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#1186131 - 04/23/09 09:12 PM Piano World Composing Competition  
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steinwaymaster Offline
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I don't think this has been brought up, but why don't we have a Piano world composer's competition? For our first one, we'll start with an easy assignment, to transcribe part of the first movement of Schumann Symphony no. 4. I've heard that he wasn't a great orchestrator. Of course he was good but not as good compared to the other Romantic greats. So see if you can out orchestrate Schumann. We'll start with Symphony 4, that's my favorite. Just the first movement. Currently it is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani, and strings. Just for fun, let's transcribe it for a wind band consisting of 4 flutes, 1 oboe, 4 clarinets, 3 alto sax, tenor, and bari sax, 2 horn, 4 trumpets, 1 trombone, tuba, and what ever other percussion you desire ex. snare bass drum, tam tam, xylophone, bells, etc. Here is the score.
http://imslp.info/files/imglnks/usim..._d__fs_BH_.pdf

Again, we're just doing the half the first movement, if you can;t do that, just part of the first movement, let's say up to rehearsal D. I'm not looking for the entire symphony, just your orchestration skills. I also need a few judges. I'll just pick the first people that volunteer. Oh, and of course, let's set the deadline at one month from now, May 23. there will be 1st place and second place, and if there are more contestants, a third and fourth place. Have fun!

If this seems like a really lame idea, and no one responds in the next three days, I won't take it personally. I'll just delete it.


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#1186813 - 04/24/09 09:14 PM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: steinwaymaster]  
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Isn't that more of an orchestration competition? Anyway I know nothing about orchestration so I think I will pass on this.


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#1186839 - 04/24/09 10:00 PM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: Hrodulf]  
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The problem is that orchestration is beyond many people's scope. I know it is beyond mine at this point in time (I hope to remedy that!). I suggest modifying so that those of us who thrive on composing for solo instruments can participate.


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1186955 - 04/25/09 04:12 AM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: Horowitzian]  
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Since we're all pianists here would it make more sense to make it a piano composition competition (and maybe chamber variants)? I think something simple like an assigned theme and a length limit (definitely upper limit, but maybe lower limit, too?) but in any style? I think it will encourage us to play our own compositions, too smile


Tar Viturawong
Amateur composer and pianist
Known on YouTube as pianoinspiration
verbis defectis musica incipit
#1186999 - 04/25/09 07:30 AM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: Tar]  
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Yes, I'm sorry. So why don't we change this to a contest to create a piano reduction of the first movement. Because it is so long, you are free to cut out parts, as long as it flows when played in your arrangement. So the new contest rules, a piano reduction and arrangement of the first movement of Schumann's fourth Symphony. If anyone is interested in participating and/or judging, just write a quick reply or send a private message to me. I will create a list of all the contestants and judges.

Last edited by steinwaymaster; 04/25/09 07:32 AM.

“Music . . . can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.”
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#1187055 - 04/25/09 09:42 AM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: steinwaymaster]  
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A piano reduction is an arrangement not a composition. Arrangement and orchestration are valuable skills, but they require more extensive knowledge than composing for a solo instrument with which one is already familiar. I have written for orchestra and have tried my hand at piano reduction, but these were my own pieces. It's a lot of work and not work I'm interested in doing on Schumann's music (maybe William Schumann, but not Robert). I like Tar's idea of coming up with a theme and having the folks here have at it.

#1187106 - 04/25/09 11:31 AM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: Tar]  
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Originally Posted by Tar
Since we're all pianists here would it make more sense to make it a piano composition competition (and maybe chamber variants)? I think something simple like an assigned theme and a length limit (definitely upper limit, but maybe lower limit, too?) but in any style? I think it will encourage us to play our own compositions, too smile


I like that idea. Unfortunately, I don't have time to participate right now, but it would make things a lot easier and more clear cut. smile


Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and nuclear weapons.
#1187191 - 04/25/09 01:09 PM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: Horowitzian]  
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Originally Posted by Horowitzian
I like that idea. Unfortunately, I don't have time to participate right now, but it would make things a lot easier and more clear cut. smile


Nor do I to be quite honest frown My thesis is taking over my life! I don't know how many people hanging in the Composer's Lounge are students but, personally, I'm more likely to participate in June.


Tar Viturawong
Amateur composer and pianist
Known on YouTube as pianoinspiration
verbis defectis musica incipit
#1187303 - 04/25/09 04:55 PM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: Tar]  
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Ok guys. It's fine. Maybe, we'll start one sometimes else on a different subject.


“Music . . . can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.”
- Leonard Bernstein

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#1187577 - 04/26/09 07:55 AM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: steinwaymaster]  
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We actually had a similar project about a year or two ago and it worked out well.

My guess is if we wait until school's out and make it a summer project we'll get decent participation.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#1187641 - 04/26/09 11:01 AM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: Kreisler]  
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
We actually had a similar project about a year or two ago and it worked out well.


That sounds promising smile Did you get much participation back then? Was there an external "adjudicator"? (Although a Piano World clapometer might be quite fun if we make we make sure people who don't usually check the Lounge are aware that this is happening grin )


Tar Viturawong
Amateur composer and pianist
Known on YouTube as pianoinspiration
verbis defectis musica incipit
#1202495 - 05/19/09 10:17 PM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: steinwaymaster]  
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Originally Posted by steinwaymaster
If this seems like a really lame idea, and no one responds in the next three days, I won't take it personally. I'll just delete it.

Rather than doing something with orchestration or a piano reduction of an existing work, let's stick to the name of the web site. Let's compose something original to be played on one or more pianos.

I don't have a clue as to either the level of proficiency or the level of experience of composing members of this forum so it is difficult to know what to suggest in regards to setting parameters. If there are no limits, compositions could range from a piano accompaniment of a nursery rhyme for a child to a four movement piano concerto with orchestral accompaniment. That would certainly allow the creative juices to flow, but would be a bitch to judge. Perhaps the scope should be limited to a specific type of composition such as:
  • An étude
  • A two part invention
  • A three or four voice fugue
  • A short dance such as a gigue, minuet, bourée, etc.
  • An aire
  • A rhapsody
  • Etc.
Has any thought been given to how the competition will be judged? Will it be by a panel of non participating judges based on the written score? Will it be by a vote of the members of the forum based on a live performance by the composer? Will it be by a vote of the members of the forum based on an audio track? Etc.?

Because of the nature of this particular forum, I would suggest that the format be limited to one specific type of composition at least X minutes long and not longer than X + Y minutes. A reasonable format for the entries should be both a PDF file of the score and an audio recording either computer generated or from a live performance recording. I would also suggest that the winners be determined by a vote of the members of the Piano World Forum. Obviously any composition that has been published or has previously won an award should be excluded.

Comments?

Suggestions?

Retching disapproval?


Last edited by photowriters; 05/19/09 10:21 PM.

Regards,

Bob
#1202543 - 05/20/09 12:20 AM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: photowriters]  
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I like the idea of a relatively short piece.
No longer than 5 minutes and probably less.

Maybe we can have a fugue or invention competition at some time but I think participation might be more vigourous if we allow more freedom.
So I think we should leave form quite open so that entrant can proceed any way he/she wants (variation, rondo, fugue, free fantasia etc).
Though a variation competition would still leave quite a bit of freedom as to how each variation is written.

The other question is whether there should be some seed material and if so, what form it should take?
Also, and how should the entrant incorporate it?
Would they have to quote it verbatim at some point or could they only use fragments as long as everything is there?
Maybe there should be no musical seed material but just a setting (literary, visual) that needs appropriate accompanying music?

I'm not sure of the answers to the questions in the last paragraph just throwing out more ideas.
'Compose something' seems too broad as things would be more interesting if the entries were all related in some way but we want it open enough so that people can still oeprate in their comfort zones and want to participate.

#1202687 - 05/20/09 09:30 AM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: Allazart]  
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I think this is a great idea. If we're going to have people compose small works, it's probably best not to give the whole summer. Rather, maybe every two weeks we could have a new competition, each with a different set of constraints. It would also be nice if in addition to just a vote, the voters would give specific feedback. Perhaps a vote would not count unless accompanied by feedback. I think the primary objective here is to learn about composition, not to pick a winner.

#1202765 - 05/20/09 11:16 AM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: Allazart]  
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Originally Posted by Allazart
The other question is whether there should be some seed material and if so, what form it should take? Also, and how should the entrant incorporate it? Would they have to quote it verbatim at some point or could they only use fragments as long as everything is there? Maybe there should be no musical seed material but just a setting (literary, visual) that needs appropriate accompanying music?

I'm not sure of the answers to the questions in the last paragraph just throwing out more ideas. 'Compose something' seems too broad as things would be more interesting if the entries were all related in some way but we want it open enough so that people can still oeprate in their comfort zones and want to participate.

My druthers would be for the composer to come up with his/her own motivic ideas rather than start with someone else's theme and composing something to that.

If the plan is to have a contest every two weeks, then perhaps it could be rotated, one two week period compose something to a given motive and the next two week period compose something without a given motive, etc.


Regards,

Bob
#1202770 - 05/20/09 11:22 AM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: mkorman]  
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Originally Posted by mkorman
I think the primary objective here is to learn about composition, not to pick a winner.

Hmmm . . .

Rather than "learning about composition," how about s stated purpose of "becoming better composers" or "sharpening composition skills."


Regards,

Bob
#1202973 - 05/20/09 05:47 PM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: photowriters]  
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If it's for piano solo and writing an original work, count me in. I'm a lousy composing beginner but this would be a fun way to motivate myself and to see what other folks will come up with. smile

#1205412 - 05/25/09 09:44 AM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: steinwaymaster]  
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How about just a composers competition, not involving Schumann or other composers, just new pieces.

PianoShel

#1205431 - 05/25/09 10:41 AM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: photowriters]  
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Originally Posted by photowriters
Originally Posted by Allazart
The other question is whether there should be some seed material and if so, what form it should take? Also, and how should the entrant incorporate it? Would they have to quote it verbatim at some point or could they only use fragments as long as everything is there? Maybe there should be no musical seed material but just a setting (literary, visual) that needs appropriate accompanying music?

I'm not sure of the answers to the questions in the last paragraph just throwing out more ideas. 'Compose something' seems too broad as things would be more interesting if the entries were all related in some way but we want it open enough so that people can still oeprate in their comfort zones and want to participate.

My druthers would be for the composer to come up with his/her own motivic ideas rather than start with someone else's theme and composing something to that.

If the plan is to have a contest every two weeks, then perhaps it could be rotated, one two week period compose something to a given motive and the next two week period compose something without a given motive, etc.


Musical themes may be restrictive, I agree. I don't see the harm of having a visual/literary theme though. Quite the opposite, I think having a non-musical theme might actually encourage composers to do their best without being musically/stylistically handicapped. Maybe a selection of themes could be given and that composers choose any two?


Tar Viturawong
Amateur composer and pianist
Known on YouTube as pianoinspiration
verbis defectis musica incipit
#1205452 - 05/25/09 11:21 AM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: Tar]  
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I like that idea - an extramusical reference. Who wants to throw some out?

It's memorial day, so how about the poetry of Randall Jarrell?


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#1205469 - 05/25/09 11:52 AM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: Kreisler]  
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That would rule me out... I'm about as ignorant of poetry as a teapot. :s

Actually, that's not quite true, I do know some modern Haiku, hence my signature laugh


Tar Viturawong
Amateur composer and pianist
Known on YouTube as pianoinspiration
verbis defectis musica incipit
#1205549 - 05/25/09 02:20 PM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: Kreisler]  
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
I like that idea - an extramusical reference. Who wants to throw some out?
It's memorial day, so how about the poetry of Randall Jarrell?

I like the extramusical reference idea too. But we probably need to make it something which is relevant not just to those in the US. (I'm assuming memorial day is something like our Anzac Day, but I haven't heard of Randall Jarrell so I can't comment specifically)


Du holde Kunst...
#1205698 - 05/25/09 06:07 PM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: currawong]  
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A passage from literature?

A piece of art?

We could do this year's Cliburn Competition Artwork...


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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#1205773 - 05/25/09 08:13 PM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: Kreisler]  
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Originally Posted by Kreisler
A passage from literature?
Chapter One of James Joyce's Ulysses? grin

Quote
A piece of art?
The Last Judgment by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel? grin


Regards,

Bob
#1205778 - 05/25/09 08:26 PM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: photowriters]  
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Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien?



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#1205810 - 05/25/09 09:21 PM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: Piano World]  
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Tar mentioned haiku. What about a single haiku, an impression if you like, which people can take as a basis for an idea. Just as an example, the one Tar has in his sig line gives us a couple of images. Someone might use the snowflake falling, someone else might think of the blind musician sitting there. It's just going to be a short piano work, so we just need a common starting point. What people do with it is up to them.


Du holde Kunst...
#1205824 - 05/25/09 09:44 PM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: photowriters]  
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a piece of art or literature sounds good or a poem may be a Sonnet


Quote
A piece of art?The Last Judgment by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel? grin

now that might fit a good orchestral piece with piano parts

#1205905 - 05/26/09 02:10 AM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: Piano World]  
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Originally Posted by Piano World
Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien?

I wonder how many works would begin with "D... C... CC D..." [ G A Bb.... A G F..... G A G..... etc etc etc] whome


Tar Viturawong
Amateur composer and pianist
Known on YouTube as pianoinspiration
verbis defectis musica incipit
#1205949 - 05/26/09 06:41 AM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: Tar]  
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I like the idea of an extramusical reference, too. Never heard of Randall Jarrell, but I'd be willing to do some reading. Literature or visual art is both suitable, of course.

There are two broad options in terms of one vs. multiple topics:
1.) We agree on a common topic for all our efforts
2.) We assemble a list of topics that are somehow connected and distribute the topics to the participants. In this way we could arrive at something like Pictures at an Exhibition, Seasons, etc. On the other hand, our styles and skills will differ so widely that the idea of a cycle is maybe overambitious anyway.

Just in case people like the idea of (2), another idea would be to pick a variety of emotional states, e.g. happiness, fear, anger, being silly, in love, etc. and distribute them.

#1206233 - 05/26/09 03:07 PM Re: Piano World Composing Competition [Re: pianovirus]  
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Okay, I love the idea of extramusical reference as well as any of you. However, as this is the first in some time, I think we should just stick with a simple set of rules and guidelines. Also, we come from a range of musical backgrounds and experience. I agree that it should be for piano, maybe let's say between two and four minutes. I can be in any form, or style. Published and award winning compositions are excluded. And instead of having people submit previous compositions, let's say that it must be a new work composed specifically for this purpose. Maybe, we should have the piece represent Pianoworld? In some way could one try to interpret the essence and feeling of this forum and connect it to music? About judging, I agree with the audience comments, but I also believe we should have a small panel of judges, that aren't going to compete. About the voting, we should have PW members choose their top two compositions based on a couple of guidelines: creativity, interest, mood, style, etc. And then a space to give a short paragraph or two on how they liked the composition, and how it could improve. We should have the judges' scores count half and the voting count half. The voters might not understand everything or comment on all compositions, and the judges are just a small population. We should combine judges and voting. To do this, we would have to set up some kind of webpage, and tools, something maybe Frank and the moderators could do. But before, that happens, we should finalize what the competitions is going to be exactly.

Last edited by steinwaymaster; 05/26/09 03:17 PM.

“Music . . . can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.”
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