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danishali903

YC SUMMER COMPETITION ANNOUNCEMENT

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As a judge that will need to listen to now about a dozen submissions, likely several times in order to provide a fair assessment, believe me, a long piece will not automatically confer an advantage :glare:.  

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I'm not worried about the time thing. If someone can write a 20 minute long piece for this competition and that somehow confers an advantage on them, I'm fine with it. I'll likely cry a little when I lose. Not enough to wet my shirt but enough to cloud my vision. It'll be fine. Fine.

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After thinking it over, and reading other people's thoughts, I've decided to uphold the original length requirement (minimum 5 minutes, max 20 mins.) rule.

One of the reasons I decided to give leeway to length and instrumentation requirements was because it allows for more creative freedom. For the past couple of contests/competitions, there were really strict requirements on the work's length AND instrumentation, and not a lot of people participated in those challenges due to these constrictions. My hope is that with lesser restrictions, more people would be compelled to submit their entries, and maybe in the future we can add more challenging requirements.

Ken makes a fair point about bias in judging longer works. While I can't promise that won't happen in this competition, from prior experience (both as an entrant and judge), it hasn't been an issue.

 

To that note, I've decided to be a judge for this competition, and that means all the judges slots are now full. You can still enter as an entrant if you wish. I will soon make another thread where entrants can start posting their submissions.

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1 hour ago, danishali903 said:

For the past couple of contests/competitions, there were really strict requirements on the work's length AND instrumentation, and not a lot of people participated in those challenges due to these constrictions.

 

I would say the greatest freedom is freedom from choice (within reason, of course). Constrictions are healthy and necessary - whether you come up with them yourself after you develop good judgement or learn good judgement (and technique) by working despite them. If people are reluctant to enter the contest because they feel it compromises their artistic vision - well, that may be the case, but I think it has more to do with fear of ineptitude. This is a protected environment and there are no consequences to failing apart from a timely kick in the ego. Explore every facet of the craft and concede your mistakes wherever you may find them - that's how you become wise, not by avoiding everything potentially dangerous.

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39 minutes ago, Ken320 said:

Will you at least have blind judging?

 

I don't know how that would work on here or if it's even feasible. If you have suggestions, let me know.

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34 minutes ago, danishali903 said:

I don't know how that would work on here or if it's even feasible. If you have suggestions, let me know.

 

It's rather simple. First of all, the submissions may not have the name of the composer engraved on them. It's rather difficult to remove all recognizable elements though, as each person has a different style which the judges potentially recognize or engrave in a particular way. Anyway:

1. Elect one administrator who is in charge of receiving submissions, via a neutral email address or just PMs.

2. Associate a number with each submission and each judge. Calculate the ratio between number of contestants and judges - if the ratio is not an integer, remove the remainder of the division and distribute it systematically (for example, each judge is in charge of three submissions and one of the judges gets an extra submission - the first judge to turn up four times in the next step is the one who gets the extra).

3. Head over to random.org or use a UNIX random machine (whatever is handy) and go down the list of submissions picking numbers from 1 to n (n = number of judges). As soon as the count of a particular number exceeds the ratio of contestants:judges, start ignoring that number (or decrement the possible numbers by one and reinterpret the numbers accordingly, more error prone). Consider of course whether there are extra contestants to distribute first.

4. The final result should contain an even or at least fair distribution, 100% random, of contestants over the total number of judges. The judges receive nameless submissions from the administrator, which the administrator was not able to choose, and pair their reviews with the number. The administrator cross-references these numbers with the master vector created at the start and announces the results.

Did I misunderstand the process in some way?

Edited by Gylfi

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30 minutes ago, danishali903 said:

I don't know how that would work on here or if it's even feasible. If you have suggestions, let me know.

 

It's been done on less sophisticated sites than this. The Devil is in the details and you would definitely have to get your webmaster involved. He would have better ideas than me. But I'm thinking a special folder set up for uploads of Mp3's and scores. Each should have only a title and nothing that can identify the author. In the event that there are two of the same name, a unique identifier could be used. Again, your webmaster can advise on this. And last, the user name of the uploader should be hidden from all staff, with the exception of, perhaps, the webmaster himself for troubleshooting purposes. I am assuming, hoping, the content management system he just upgraded to should have this functionality in waiting.

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I guess some of you people are taking this too seriously.

The whole point of the competitions is to get our pieces thoroughly reviewed by judges, pieces that would otherwise struggle to get attention in a crowded environment. The ranking of the pieces is an added bonus with no other prize than bragging rights. So, in my view, there's really no point on "blind judging".

My other 2 cents.

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I'm with Austenite and Danish. It seems like too much complication to try and make this a perfectly fair perfectly balanced competition. We're all a bunch of not-famous composers just putting out our music for some other not-famous composers who we've never met to get some feedback on it. I don't like to appear dismissive of your concerns Ken, but I don't think we should be so worried about prejudice towards longer works. I'm sure the judges will feel that there are pros, cons, strengths and weaknesses to both long and short works.

 

Gylfi, I can understand you thinking that more constrictions can be healthy and that some of us are hiding from our inadequacies by spurning limitation. I also can't help but feel mildly discomfited at the (somewhat accurate) suggestion. Honestly though, the difficulty of writing under stern requirements is not what seems to me the biggest issue. I'm actually more concerned with trying to find time to write such a work when many of us may have other projects or busy schedules (work, family, volunteering, friends who I only get to see briefly in the summer, self-serving social functions like picnics) that we simply prioritize more highly than an online competition with no real stakes. But that doesn't meant I don't also want to find time and energy for this and make it work or that I don't value the opportunity to write something and set it up against all of your submissions. It just means that it would be easier to get into the swing of things by starting off with an easier challenge. Like Danish said, as we move forward we can start to introduce more of those beloved limitations of yours and see where it takes us.

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4 hours ago, Austenite said:

I guess some of you people are taking this too seriously.

The whole point of the competitions is to get our pieces thoroughly reviewed by judges, pieces that would otherwise struggle to get attention in a crowded environment. The ranking of the pieces is an added bonus with no other prize than bragging rights. So, in my view, there's really no point on "blind judging".

My other 2 cents.

 

By some you mean me. Yes, I am taking it seriously. Because contests should be taken seriously. Forgive me for having an opinion here. But it only seems that I am taking it too seriously because the rest of you are not taking it seriously at all. I had no idea you simply wanted a slap dash official/unofficial brag fest.

Much of what's been said here by Danish and Austenite (both moderators)has been disingenuous. If the purpose is "to get our pieces thoroughly reviewed by judges, pieces that would otherwise struggle to get attention in a crowded environment?" Then Austenite, who has enjoyed more commentary by far than anyone else here at YC, might prove his commitment to the neglected by eliminating himself from the contest in good faith.
KJ,you have too much faith in these judges. And in this process. Maybe you don't care. I don't know.

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3 hours ago, Ken320 said:

Then Austenite, who has enjoyed more commentary by far than anyone else here at YC, might prove his commitment to the neglected by eliminating himself from the contest in good faith.

 

Are you meaning that I have not a right to participate (and get especialized reviews) on accounts of the number of reviews other works by me have got in the past?

Sure, I have done enough to prove my commitment to the neglected by actually writing over 1.500 reviews on previously unnoticed pieces during the 4+ years I've been around this site. That might partially explain the fact that my works have quite a few reviews themselves. Satisfied?

I won't go as far as to suggest you're looking for a competitive advantage by getting rules tweaked, by forcing feared opponents to drop out, or by implying that judges can't be honest and unbiased months before a single note has been actually judged. If we're going to request things "in good faith", let's remember that the whole contest must be held in good faith, and that begins at home. Neither us (the mods) nor the judges nor the contestants are into this for any money or actual prize. And whilst it feels pretty good when you can add "Winner of the Monthly/Seasonal YC Contest" to your resume, I have never got any extra performance by having such a prestigious accolade.

I won't make any excuses if someone hands me a total, unmitigated defeat. I can bet you'll be a formidable opponent, and I don't mind if I get my butt kicked in a contest by a better work. So go ahead and write it.

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Ken's points are well taken, but since this is for fun without any major prize, I agree that blinding the entries shouldn't be necessary.  We should make it as easy on both the entrants and judges as possible.

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The rules stand as they are. Blind judging is an option we can look into for future competitions, even though I think it is completely unnecessary.

Also, I would prefer everyone show proper sportsmanship spirit...calling individuals to drop out of this 'competition' (or whatever you wanna call it) in a public forum shows immaturity and a sense of insecurity. 

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1 hour ago, danishali903 said:

The rules stand as they are. Blind judging is an option we can look into for future competitions, even though I think it is completely unnecessary.

Also, I would prefer everyone show proper sportsmanship spirit...calling individuals to drop out of this 'competition' (or whatever you wanna call it) in a public forum shows immaturity and a sense of insecurity. 

 

Yes, you are right. That was bad form and I do apologize. I suppose I have a cynical nature and tend to overthink things. It came out incoherent at best. I hope the contest is the success you wish it to be, and I look forward to hearing all of the entries.

Edited by Ken320

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Austenite, I want to offer my apologies to you regarding my recent comments on the contest. I was trying to make a point and it got tangled up in my head in some sort of abstraction. And I used you to pull off the point I could not adequately express. I am sorry for that. You must know that I respect your music and will always welcome your contributions.  Please accept my apology.

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2 hours ago, Ken320 said:

Please accept my apology.

Ken: Apology accepted, of course. I'm already looking forward to what you and the others have in store for us. No matter the contest's results, I hope we'll be guaranteed to have a fresh hour of fantastic music waiting for our attention when everything is said and done. Good luck!

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6 hours ago, gesignature said:

Is it too late to enter this competition? I would like to throw my name into the goblet of fire. 

 

Not at all! I added your name to the list

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On 13/06/2016 at 1:19 AM, KJthesleepdeprived said:

I'm actually more concerned with trying to find time to write such a work when many of us may have other projects or busy schedules (work, family, volunteering, friends who I only get to see briefly in the summer, self-serving social functions like picnics) that we simply prioritize more highly than an online competition with no real stakes.

One has to decide for oneself how best to manage one's time. Bear in mind, however, that it is only yourself you are neglecting. I know that life can sometimes be ungenerous with the time it gives you, but to say that a perfectly good opportunity to hone your skills as a composer is not worthwhile because "it is an online competition with no real stakes" is a lousy excuse.

Edited by Gylfi

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5 hours ago, MonarcheonAan said:

I'd like to enter as well, if you'll have me.

 

Sure!

Hope everyone's entries are going well! I'll probably make another thread sometime near the end of July/beginning of August where people can start submitting their works.

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  • 5 BONUS points will be given (at the discretion of the judges) if entrant provides a PDF program of their work.


Do you mean a bio? Or do you mean a description in words attending to only the submitted piece? In either case, why is it at the discretion of the judges?

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