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Joined: Dec 2007
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Sam S Offline OP
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Qazsedcft makes all good points. I had the same feeling about the "Composers of Colour". Probably not enough composers to select from.

And we do not have "recital police", so there is no way to enforce anything too complicated. The upcoming "Beginner Pieces" recital is an example. My beginner piece is not your beginner piece. I do not reject any submissions, even if they obviously do not fit the theme. The only exception is the one performance limit in the Quarterly recitals - occasionally I have had to remind people...

As far as Mendelssohn, we did have a themed recital dedicated to him back in 2013, but it did not use the recital software, so it is lost...

My point in suggesting Mendelssohn, Grieg, and Schumann was to give players at all levels something to choose from, hoping to increase participation. While we do have 40 submissions in the themed recitals, we have a lot of multiple submissions. For instance, the GAS recital had 40+ performances, but only 17 performers.

Looks like I will have to resolve the ties and make a decision - that's why I get paid the big bucks. And no good deed (or volunteer) goes unpunished, so I am sure I will not please everyone.

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4 - Mendelssohn (lots of Songs Without Words at all levels)
3 - Grieg (lots of Lyric Pieces at all levels)
3 - Schumann (lots of short character pieces at all levels)
8 - "Modern" 20th and 21st century music
3 - Theme and Variations
3 - Composers of Colour
3 - Nocturnes
3 - Dances
2 - Happy music
5 - Film music (Main themes of movies)
2 - Any piece of your choosing but first attempt only (so more like a live recital)
2 - Rare Gems (there are just so many beautiful rare gems out there!)
1 - Etudes
1 - Opera - arrangements for piano at all levels

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Originally Posted by Sam S
Looks like I will have to resolve the ties and make a decision - that's why I get paid the big bucks. And no good deed (or volunteer) goes unpunished, so I am sure I will not please everyone.
Well, some of the ties are between nomimees that were sugested after you voted, so I don't think it would be unfair if you voted for them, resolving the tie at the same time.

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I understand Sam's motivation of trying to pull more people in

So much of both the themed and ABF recitals relies on trust, if we haven't got that then the whole thing breaks down.

I like the idea of the first attempt only recital, for me it will force me to be more realistic in the selection of a piece, to learn it, practise it until I rarely make a mistake the whole way through and when i do I can recover from that mistake.

In terms of Composers of Colour I can see that this could be a problem with Sam's motivation. I would say in its defence I went for the more generic term so that effectively it is non white. I didn't perceive that it could be so limiting. For example Japanese composers who do manga and anime film scores I also had in mind as a possibility and I've been impressed in the past by the performers in the themed recitals to find scores when they are limited by the requirements of the theme. So yes, I can easily imagine some Joplin being in there but I never thought it would Joplin dominated. But I can see how this might conflict with Sam's desire to pull in fresh performers since finding material for performers with less skill might be more difficult.

I kind of feel similarly about the idea of Nocturne's recital, yes there will be plenty of Chopin, but once again the usual suspects here will do their best to find plenty of non Chopin nocturnes because that is what seems to happen in the themed recitals, but Nocturne's that are accessible to weaker players like myself are not common so it will limit the option to pull in new performers.

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4 - Mendelssohn (lots of Songs Without Words at all levels)
3 - Grieg (lots of Lyric Pieces at all levels)
3 - Schumann (lots of short character pieces at all levels)
8 - "Modern" 20th and 21st century music
3 - Theme and Variations
3 - Composers of Colour
3 - Nocturnes
3 - Dances
2 - Happy music
6 - Film music (Main themes of movies)
3 - Any piece of your choosing but first attempt only (so more like a live recital)
2 - Rare Gems (there are just so many beautiful rare gems out there!)
1 - Etudes
1 - Opera - arrangements for piano at all levels

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How about instead of the "Composers of Coulour" we have "Not Dead White Men" (that's a joke, it can be called something else). A composer should meet one of the following requirements:

Not a man
or
Not white
or
Not dead

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Sam S Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
How about instead of the "Composers of Coulour" we have "Not Dead White Men" (that's a joke, it can be called something else). A composer should meet one of the following requirements:

Not a man
or
Not white
or
Not dead

I am not in favor of dividing us by race, so I want nothing to do with a recital like that.

Sam

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I was more hoping for composers who would bring a different cultural context to their composition than the tradition from which classical piano came from.

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Originally Posted by KevinM
I was more hoping for composers who would bring a different cultural context to their composition than the tradition from which classical piano came from.

Which I think is precisely what a Composers of Colour recital would represent. For instance, I'm no expert on the history of the Blues originators from the Deep South but I think it's a given that their culture and life experiences was absolutely integral to their compositions.

It's worth adding that there are more than enough composers of colour to based a themed recital around. Just scrolling through the list of composers in ABF Recital Index I can see entries written by the likes of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, George Walker, Alexis Ffrench, Joe Hisaishi, Florence Price, Ryuichi Sakamoto and many others. I could also add the names of Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Viola Kinney and Nathaniel Dett as well as a multitude of video game and Anime soundtrack composers. And that's before we even get to the too-many-to-mention greats of Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Ragtime, Soul etc etc.

I do get Sam's point about wanting to appeal to all skill levels. Of the above genres I'm most familiar with anime soundtracks and I can say for certain that there are many arrangements available from a true beginner level all the way to a high standard of difficulty. I'd be amazed if there wasn't a similar range for say, Jazz and Blues. There certainly is for Ragtime. All of these can be searched for and found, if the will is there.

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To vote, copy this post after this one and add your favorite theme or increment the number of votes if your favorite is already there. Please use the latest post!

4 - Mendelssohn (lots of Songs Without Words at all levels)
4 - Grieg (lots of Lyric Pieces at all levels)
3 - Schumann (lots of short character pieces at all levels)
8 - "Modern" 20th and 21st century music
3 - Theme and Variations
3 - Composers of Colour
3 - Nocturnes
3 - Dances
2 - Happy music
6 - Film music (Main themes of movies)
3 - Any piece of your choosing but first attempt only (so more like a live recital)
2 - Rare Gems (there are just so many beautiful rare gems out there!)
1 - Etudes
1 - Opera - arrangements for piano at all levels

Joined: Mar 2017
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To vote, copy this post after this one and add your favorite theme or increment the number of votes if your favorite is already there. Please use the latest post!

5 - Mendelssohn (lots of Songs Without Words at all levels)
4 - Grieg (lots of Lyric Pieces at all levels)
3 - Schumann (lots of short character pieces at all levels)
8 - "Modern" 20th and 21st century music
3 - Theme and Variations
3 - Composers of Colour
3 - Nocturnes
3 - Dances
2 - Happy music
6 - Film music (Main themes of movies)
3 - Any piece of your choosing but first attempt only (so more like a live recital)
2 - Rare Gems (there are just so many beautiful rare gems out there!)
1 - Etudes
1 - Opera - arrangements for piano at all levels

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Qazsedcft, just to go back to something you wrote several posts up... the term "people of color" or "person of color" is quite common in the US and rather than being thought of as out of date or offensive, it's just the opposite, this tends to be the preferred term to talk about including people who are often otherwise left out. We don't need to go on about the pros and cons of this terminology here, but I just wanted to point out that these terms, and the thoughts around them, can vary quite a bit from one country or one culture to another....

Back to the question at hand....

Sam, if you wanted to make it complicated, you could pick the top three choices and ask everyone to vote again, only on those three. Otherwise just a simple "most votes" selection??


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To vote, copy this post after this one and add your favorite theme or increment the number of votes if your favorite is already there. Please use the latest post!

6 - Mendelssohn (lots of Songs Without Words at all levels)
4 - Grieg (lots of Lyric Pieces at all levels)
3 - Schumann (lots of short character pieces at all levels)
8 - "Modern" 20th and 21st century music
3 - Theme and Variations
3 - Composers of Colour
3 - Nocturnes
3 - Dances
2 - Happy music
6 - Film music (Main themes of movies)
3 - Any piece of your choosing but first attempt only (so more like a live recital)
2 - Rare Gems (there are just so many beautiful rare gems out there!)
1 - Etudes
1 - Opera - arrangements for piano at all levels

Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,784
Sam S Offline OP
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Voting has tapered off - it's been five days. Most of the regulars have voiced their opinion, anyway.

Here are the top 4:

8 - "Modern" 20th and 21st century music
6 - Film music (Main themes of movies)
6 - Mendelssohn (lots of Songs Without Words at all levels)
4 - Grieg (lots of Lyric Pieces at all levels)

I would like to change Film music to any music from a movie, which would include anything from a musical, not just the main theme.

For the schedule, how about:

January- Grieg
April- "Modern" 20th and 21st century music
July- Film music
October- Mendelssohn

That would put the non-classical recital in July, same as the current GAS recital.

Sam

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Hi, Sam - Your suggestion for next year's Themed Recitals is totally OK with me.

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Originally Posted by Sam S
I would like to change Film music to any music from a movie, which would include anything from a musical, not just the main theme.
The reason I limited this to main theme was not to include the entire soundtrack of a movie. Because then we were able to play anything because you will find almost any music in a soundtrack. And "main theme" was simply the shortest way to exclude the entire soundtrack with a few words.

Basically I wanted to write:
Composed for a movie or strongly associated with a movie. (like "The Entertainer" to "The Sting")
About including musicals, I like the idea because all its songs are written for the musical, so it matches "composed for a movie" as well as "strongly associated with a movie". The only rule: There must be a movie of the musical smile

Originally Posted by Sam S
For the schedule, how about:

January- Grieg
April- "Modern" 20th and 21st century music
July- Film music
October- Mendelssohn

That would put the non-classical recital in July, same as the current GAS recital.
If the only limitation of "Modern" is to be 20th and 21st century, every Great American Songbook falls in this category. And almost every "Film music" was also written in in this time. In this case I feel this is too much of the same in a row. Please tell me, if I am mistaken with my understanding of "Modern".
In Germany there is a radio station called "Klassik Radio" (Classical radio) and they play real classical music (and baroque, operas, ...). They also play what they call "Modern classical": this is mostly film music as long as the mood and the instruments go this direction. Basically anything from John Williams, Yann Tiersen, Ludovico Einaudi, Yiruma, Hans Zimmer, Alan Silvestri and others of that kind. This is a big overlap with "Film music", even if we would restrict "Modern" to this classical appearance as the radio station does.

tl;dr;
Please do not put both "Modern" and "Film music" to the schedule within a year.


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Sam S Offline OP
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Wie Waldi, I appreciate your concerns, but there is always going to be some overlap in categories. As far as film music, I was thinking about something like "The Sound of Music" - lots of great songs that would be missed if we just limited it to the main theme. Pick any musical, and that is the case. Which doesn't stop someone from playing the Stars Wars theme if they want.

As I have said many times, there are no Recital Police and I am not interested in excluding anyone because their choice doesn't fit the theme.

Given the classical preferences of most of us, I think the modern music theme will lean towards classical or neo-classical. There is a lot more than Einaudi and Yiruma. Debussy, Schoenberg, Rachmaninoff, Prokofieff, Ives, Beach, Khachaturian, Tcherepnin, Muczynski, Glass, and so on - thousands of composers. Tim Andrianson is, I think, something of an expert - he could probably give us an overview.

Sam

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Sounds great, Sam, thanks for coordinating all of this!! I will try to participate!


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What about creating a sticky thread for the future themed recitals?
Just to collect ideas over the year. And if one has a good one, it won't get lost!
We can use it for debating. Something like change from "Scott Joplin" to "Ragtime" or vice versa. Or explain what exactly is meant with an idea!

And there is a second advantage: Every time when Sam makes up for a new decider-thread with "Ideas for 2023" / "2024", he can start with a bigger set. Of coarse it is allowed to add new ideas as we did in this thread. But the ideas on top of the list have an unfair advantage because there might be people that don't read the later posts and their vote is already set on the earlier ones.


As a Covid-beginner, I don't know if I keep this hobby that long, nor if I keep trolling around every day, so I could miss the Call for future ideas next year. And I don't want this one to be lost:
- Musicals (Basically it was SamS idea, but it is not listed as a theme for its own)


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Great idea WieWaldi. There wasn't really much discussion this year and it was decided too quickly, IMO. But it is what it is. Participation is free and optional.

Personally, I feel there are too many of these recitals. I don't really want to organize all the pieces I learn around specific recital themes. If it was approximately one themed recital per year then it might be fun to do something special for that occasion but as it is I think we are just running out of ideas and it's not so special anymore.

Just my 2 c.

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