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Early 2020 Competition Poll

Winter Competition 2020 - Theme Poll  

10 members have voted

  1. 1. What competition would you like to see used in Winter, 2020?

    • Competitors are constrained to a limited number of available pitch classes. Try to find a theme!
      3
    • Write a multimedia piece for live instruments and some other form of art, minus narration.
      1
    • Write a piece detailing one of your worst fears. Would ideally feature a deconstruction of the main theme.
      6


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It's no surprise, I'm sure, that I prefer the fear prompt. It's just easier. I don't dislike the idea of pitch classes but I didn't vote for it because it's completely new to me. I'd have some learnin' to do before I could even start writing. Frankly, I'd still be willing to participate despite the ruinous end result. But the dice fall where the dice fall, and I think people are always going to prefer a competition where you can choose your poison a bit more freely.

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Maybe a way that we could make it interesting is to add in a suggestion in the 'fears' category that people should try to incorporate compositional techniques that they're 'afraid' of when writing about their fears. That might push people outside their comfort zones

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26 minutes ago, Noah Brode said:

Maybe a way that we could make it interesting is to add in a suggestion in the 'fears' category that people should try to incorporate compositional techniques that they're 'afraid' of when writing about their fears. That might push people outside their comfort zones

 

Given that I've never regarded the arts as sport with winners and losers - competition is a way to participation. It also helps people face the real world where rejection falls upon them from time to time. The composer in me also supports the fear category but I have no fears of composing except drying up when there's a deadline to meet!

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@Quinn -- Sure, I just meant it as a way to encourage people to work outside whatever compositional paradigm they tend to work in (while word-playing off of the theme of the challenge). I have too little at stake in composition to be 'afraid' of any techniques in a literal sense (since I don't work in any music-related industry), but I do tend to write music that fits neatly inside of certain stylistic boundaries that I'm pretty comfortable with. Since the challenge itself is pretty straightforward, it might be good to encourage people to venture into unknown territory

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@Noah Brode I kinda like that idea too. If y'all add that as part of the criteria, I'd think it was really fitting. Obviously none of us (probably) have actual fear regarding composition, but we all favor certain styles and boundaries. I'm certainly very pop-oriented and  don't dabble outside of traditional tonality. I'm very happy in my bubble but it's also fun to pop bubbles.

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If you don't mind me asking, what exactly is a deconstruction of a theme? I'm not familiar with the term...

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26 minutes ago, jwpianist said:

If you don't mind me asking, what exactly is a deconstruction of a theme? I'm not familiar with the term...

 

To deconstruct a theme means that you break it down, generally going simpler. A great example of this deconstruction in action is the development section of the first movement of Beethoven's Fifth. He takes that motive that has been giving energy to the first movement and suddenly, it goes from being 3 eighth notes followed by a longer note a third away to being 2 half notes a step apart, with that third being between entrances of the simplified motive(like F G, E F). He then does it again going from 2 half notes to 1 half note, still keeping that third between entrances, before suddenly, with a dynamic jolt, bringing back the energetic eighth notes. This breakdown to single notes happens again, before it goes back once and for all to the energetic eighth notes. While Beethoven does this, he still keeps the third relationship, thus making it sound more like a deconstruction of the preexisting motive and less like an entirely new motive.

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7 minutes ago, caters said:

To deconstruct a theme means that you break it down, generally going simpler. A great example of this deconstruction in action is the development section of the first movement of Beethoven's Fifth. He takes that motive that has been giving energy to the first movement and suddenly, it goes from being 3 eighth notes followed by a longer note a third away to being 2 half notes a step apart, with that third being between entrances of the simplified motive(like F G, E F). He then does it again going from 2 half notes to 1 half note, still keeping that third between entrances, before suddenly, with a dynamic jolt, bringing back the energetic eighth notes. This breakdown to single notes happens again, before it goes back once and for all to the energetic eighth notes. While Beethoven does this, he still keeps the third relationship, thus making it sound more like a deconstruction of the preexisting motive and less like an entirely new motive.

 

This is *a* way to deconstruct the theme. I would be more specific in the instructions if this one is picked.

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Sounds a little over-technical. Why not let people just compose? I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that if I had to bring technical considerations/analysis into every phrase or note that I wrote then I probably wouldn't bother. Music is dictated by my inner ear. Bodily I'm just its secretary writing it down.

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