ROUND SIXTEEN: Final #2

Hi all, sorry for the wait. Yet again MuseScore failed to load for me a couple times; a disadvantage of living in the southern hemisphere is that the MuseScore development team (and those for other websites as well) often choose to run website updates during our daytime hours here (conveniently during the night time for most countries). I'm still evaluating the final scores for the last round, but I'll post some feedback as soon as possible. Now, here's Final #2.

Following the recent plan: new round, new emotion. I won't harp on this time about all the different ways you could choose to incorporate the new stimulus into your pieces, as I'm sure you've caught on from the last round that you can interpret the emotion in any way you choose. I'll list a few examples, however, of how it has been used in some varying styles of music before.

The stimulus is: Love.

EXAMPLES:
Puccini - O Mia Babbino Caro  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnkhtjpZAqQ
Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto No. 2  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEGOihjqO9w 
Elgar - Salut d'amour  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXLOF-z5Zlk
Francis Lai - Theme from 'Love Story'  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFzOFxhaNo0
Craig Armstrong - PM's Love Theme from 'Love Actually'  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hej-McdoYYw
Irving Berlin - All Alone  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fr29Bfa9JQo
Ivory Watson & William Best - (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnEtvtmFcgo
The Beatles - All You Need is Love  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsxtImDVMig
Michael Bublé - Haven't Met You Yet  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AJmKkU5POA

Also, I recently stumbled across a couple of articles about music and emotion, that I thought you might be interested in: 
https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/articles/201203/emotion-what-does-disgust-sound
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3764399/

Naturally, it's up to you where you take this task. Once again the only rule to follow is that your composition should be at least 2 minutes long. The deadline is November 21st. Best of luck!

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10 days ago
8

ROUND FIFTEEN: Final #1

As @eagri1967 wisely pointed out to me a couple of weeks ago; we are soon nearing the end of 2018, and at the rate the competition currently is going, we're likely to run overtime. So, I've decided to change things up a bit and continue slightly differently - we won't be following the usual group round, eviction round format any more. Instead, there will only be 4 more rounds to finish off the competition, and you'll all be expected to participate in all of them. At the end of each round, you will upload your pieces just like usual, only you will not receive scores for them just yet. I'll still give you the usual "strengths/weaknesses" feedback at the end of each round, but not an actual numerical score. At the end of the final round, you will then get the scores back for all 4 pieces, and the combined number will determine your place in the overall competition. The person with the highest score will be 2018's winner. This system allows you to rely on not just one, but rather your performance in several rounds, meaning that you won't be eliminated simply for one piece that isn't quite your proudest. What matters is your overall achievement. Here's a brief of the first round for you:

One of the most wonderful things about music is its ability to make people feel a certain emotion, to evoke a particular mood. Marvellous compositions can often leave someone crying for hours on end, or laughing hysterically from clever musical satire (sounds odd, but lots of composers manage this, anyone from Mozart to Tim Minchin). Emotional influence has always been quite a big part of music, and it's what I'd like you to focus on especially in these next few rounds. I'm sure that it's impacted all of your previous compositions as well, but you now have a proper chance to really delve down deep into it, and make it as exaggerated and grandiose as possible.

The particular emotion I'd like you to include in your first piece for the finals is 'anger'. I suppose this might appear somewhat of a rare quality in music, but rage is often a recurring theme, and in many different genres of music! Here are some examples:
Brahms - 1st Symphony - Mvt. I: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dg6lZXoRCbE
Alexandre Desplat - Aggression - from The Danish Girl: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14K7nsQXifU
Adam Neely - Angry Music for Jazz Orchestra: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wK1FWARZyzo
Scott Johnson - It Raged: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JO7JgVX08r0

...and Bach's Toccata in D minor is pretty angry too I guess :)

There's not much else to say about this round. The strong focus is the emotion that comes across in your composition. Make it as extreme, exaggerated, blown-up as you like. Something bursting with rage and frustration. 

Only one rule:
Your piece must be at least TWO minutes long. (preferably shorter than half an hour, but if you actually manage to write anywhere near that much I'll be so impressed that I won't mind listening to a whole symphony :D)

The deadline is set at the 25th of October (over two weeks away). Send in your pieces as usual, I'll give feedback as soon as possible, and we'll move straight on to Final #2.

Best of luck!! Don't let this project drive you too mad... :)

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a month ago
31

ROUND FOURTEEN: Results

This round was considerably different to previous ones, because the results you receive will not determine whether or not you have to leave the competition, or whether or not you'll be placed in an eviction round. The reason for having this round was simply to encourage you to expand upon your existing abilities, which you did very impressively! The compositions you entered this round were amongst the best entered in this year's competition. Hopefully this has helped you prepare for the next round/s (information about which is on its way...)

Anyhow, here are the scores: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VDhWrDdfAjyLx_XOnVnA8q6ngAof5hhk/view?usp=sharing

Welcome to the Top Eight!

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a month ago
9

ROUND FOURTEEN: Invention

Back to another whole-group round, with another Invention topic.

As I'm sure you'll remember, most of these rounds have required you to base your pieces around a certain material. So far we've used poems, paintings, and other forms of imagery to stimulate musical ideas. Now, with this round, I'd like you to try out another concept. You'll be writing your compositions based on the idea of a country in the world. As I'm sure you will, you can do this in a number of different ways. You could, for example, choose to incorporate ethnic & national instruments. You could compose it around the current political status of that country. You could write it about a war or massive historical event that occurred there. You could write a musical description of the country's flag. You could compose a new national anthem. You could dedicate the piece to a particular musician based in that country. So many ideas! And I'm sure that between you you'll be able to come up with some even more inventive ones.

RULES:
1 - 5 minutes in length
Minimum of  5 instruments, up to as many as you like!
Based on a country of your choosing

Ideally I'd prefer for there to be no double-ups in terms of the countries you choose. As such, when you see this I'd like you to pick a country (anywhere in the world) and announce your choice in the comment section. This way no one will choose the same thing. It's fine if you want to change your mind mid-way, as long as you re-choose a country that still hasn't been picked.

I can't wait to see what you all come up with, I'm very excited. The deadline is the 30th of September, which will allow you 2 weekends and the week in between. This deadline is completely set in stone, as we really do need to get a move on in the competition.

Best of luck!!

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a month ago
42

ROUND THIRTEEN: Results

Origamidos was the only contestant to enter this round, apart from Vigo (who didn't have to, but whose piece I still listened to and enjoyed!), and as such is now safe from elimination. As John Galik didn't enter, he will be leaving the competition. Thanks for being a part of it all, and I hope to see you back for next year's competition!

Here's the results, very short this time:

"Theme song", by Origamidos

Musicality: 18/20%
Technical Proficiency: 5/10%
Theory-based Proficiency: 8/10%
Performance Ability: 15/15%
Originality: 17/20%
Overall Excellence: 21/25%

Strengths:
- A pleasant, friendly piece that achieves what you were aiming for.
- Memorable, hummable tune perfect for a television show, etc.

Weaknesses:
- Would be good if some instruments could play a bigger, more important role in the piece.

TOTAL SCORE: 84%

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a month ago
2

ROUND THIRTEEN: Eviction

This is going to be the shortest round so far in the competition, and also probably one of the simplest. Instead of composing a full-length piece to submit, this round you are limited to a maximum time of 60 seconds.

The task is to try and create the catchiest, most memorable 'theme tune' - the sort of thing one would hear at the beginning of a TV show, etc. - you can. Feel free to be as creative as you like, but know that you are limited to only one minute, and it should probably last for at least 20 seconds or so. Also, your pieces must be written for an ensemble of at least four different instruments.

Since the pieces can be so short, and since we really need to get a move on with the competition, the deadline is set at the 16th of September. This will give you most of the weekend to work on it, as well as the next few days. I know that doesn't allow you much time, but the main and practically only thing you need to be thinking about when writing your piece is the melody, and how it resonates with the listener.

As you know, the composer with the lowest score will be leaving the competition. Good luck!

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2 months ago
18

ROUND TWELVE: Results

Well done to all teams! The results were closer than ever this round, with two groups tying for first.

Here they are: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NiS7x9wkvKU1s3CKJAyldkkSWWC_Jd5t/view?usp=sharing


Since their group didn't submit an entry, @Origamidos and @KeldeoJustified will be in the next Eviction round. If @John Galik turns up, he'll join them. Any who still hold an immunity will be able to use it in order to avoid the round.

Well done once more!

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2 months ago
5

ROUND TWELVE: Team

Here's the new whole-group round, sorry for the long wait...

Because I'm aware that some of you might not have to much time to work on this, I'm going to make it quite simple by saying that there is no given stimulus you have to stick to this time. Instead, as a group I would like to you to decide on a theme. The only rule that exists is that your piece should fit in the time frame of 1 to 6 minutes. Other than that, it's all completely free choice.

Here are the teams:

BLUE TEAM
Camfrtt
John Galik

YELLOW TEAM
Jband
toadvine
eagri1967

GREEN TEAM
Vigo Kovačić
Jakob Altmann

RED TEAM
Origamidos
KeldeoJustified


Once again I would strongly recommend that you get organised with your partner as early as possible, so you don't run out of time towards the end. You only have a week and a half to complete it (sorry for the short rounds, but if they're any longer then we won't finish the competition before the year's over). The deadline is the 4th of September.

**Also sorry for the lack of creativity in this round, I'm quite busy at the moment and haven't had much time to think about any good ideas for the competition.

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2 months ago
35

ROUND ELEVEN: Immunity

Very much like a past round in this year's competition, your task this time is to write a piece based on a picture. The difference is that (1) you don't get to choose the picture this time, and (2) as well as being judged by me, a 'guest judge' will also be scoring your pieces. As such, your final scores will be out of 200 (a combined score from the both of us). You will all be required to use the same image, but I look forward to seeing how differently you each interpret it. It's called "Scent of Rain", painted by Leonid Afremov.

Here it is: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eTPhZfJrqotka0VFQeh4Ygi-KPaDcFz9/view?usp=sharing

As usual, try to keep it to 1 - 6 minutes in length, but you can use any instruments you want. I'll announce who the guest judge is some time before the end of the round. The deadline is the 8th of August. Best of luck!!

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3 months ago
41

ROUND TEN: Results

Results: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tfEb-rRLRe-H24syzWDzGBvikb3miInh/view?usp=sharing

Well done to all of you on creating such good pieces with so little and vague information to go off. I found that I could definitely hear the story you were telling in each composition, which was excellent. Now, sadly as it's an eviction round, somebody does have to leave this year's competition in order for the contest to go on. And although all three of the pieces submitted were excellent, the composer with the lowest score is eliminated.

 @mathmaniac125 - it'll be really sad to no longer get to hear your entries in the competition, but I'd like to say well done on doing this well so far. Keep composing :)

The other two of you are now safe, back into the main competition for the next round.

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3 months ago
3

ROUND ELEVEN: Results

Results: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BemAMWvb5AiTSxPtsewhSz3pFjmaZC2y/view?usp=sharing

Congratulations @KeldeoJustified for winning the third Immunity of the competition. And good job to all three of you for putting up such extremely good pieces. As you will have noticed, your pieces were judged only by me and no one else. I completely forgot to send the information to our guest judge, until it was too late. So instead, if he agrees to do it, the next whole-group round can involve him as well.

Thanks, and good work!!

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3 months ago
6

ROUND TEN: Eviction

As this is going to be a shorter round than usual, I've decided to provide a short and simple stimulus for you to work on. Your challenge is to write a piece based on a "fairytale" of your choosing. Your inspiration can be either from a famous fable such as "Hansel and Gretel", etc., or from a lesser-known story that you want to musically adapt. Other than that, I'm going to allow you complete free reign. Try to make it last around 1 - 6 minutes, and use any instruments you want. The deadline is the 8th of August.

( Note: if your fairytale isn't very well-known, it might be helpful to leave a short synopsis of it in the description... )

Good luck!

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3 months ago
17

ROUND NINE: Results

Hi all, congrats on your entries this round - as usual they sounded really impressive. Before the actual results, I want to make you aware of some recent changes in the judging rubric. Here's how your pieces will be scored from now on:

Musicality (20%) - The piece is effectively orchestrated and realized in a manner that displays musical proficiency.
Technical Proficiency (10%) - Understanding the limited resources available, the piece makes adept use of any technology used.
Theory-based Proficiency (10%) - The piece demonstrates at least a basic understanding of practical music theory when required.
Performance Ability (15%) - The piece would be playable by expert-level musicians, and the score is tidy enough for easy reading.
Originality (20%) - The piece is distinctive and displays evident creativity.
Overall Excellence (25%) - The piece makes a strong, memorable positive impression.

Hopefully that will be a more accurate method to use when judging. I'll also be listing any "Strengths and Weaknesses" in your pieces, as opposed to just a messy paragraph of random comments (like it used to be). Something you should all note is that, as this rubric consists of different categories to the last one, you shouldn't compare your overall score this round to your overall score in previous rounds. As I said, this new rubric should hopefully be more accurate, and as such the scores might be incredibly different from the ones you were used to. So don't fret if you get marked from the usual 90s down to a 70% or something - it's still a good score.

Anyway, here they are: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gptVToNOqPIH1ON8dFc4673IfL5pfIbM/view?usp=sharing

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3 months ago
4

ROUND NINE: Results

Hi all, congrats on your entries this round - as usual they sounded really impressive. Before the actual results, I want to make you aware of some recent changes in the judging rubric. Here's how your pieces will be scored from now on:

Musicality (20%) - The piece is effectively orchestrated and realized in a manner that displays musical proficiency.
Technical Proficiency (10%) - Understanding the limited resources available, the piece makes adept use of any technology used.
Theory-based Proficiency (10%) - The piece demonstrates at least a basic understanding of practical music theory when required.
Performance Ability (15%) - The piece would be playable by expert-level musicians, and the score is tidy enough for easy reading.
Originality (20%) - The piece is distinctive and displays evident creativity.
Overall Excellence (25%) - The piece makes a strong, memorable positive impression.

Hopefully that will be a more accurate method to use when judging. I'll also be listing any "Strengths and Weaknesses" in your pieces, as opposed to just a messy paragraph of random comments (like it used to be). Something you should all note is that, as this rubric consists of different categories to the last one, you shouldn't compare your overall score this round to your overall score in previous rounds. As I said, this new rubric should hopefully be more accurate, and as such the scores might be incredibly different from the ones you were used to. So don't fret if you get marked from the usual 90s down to a 70% or something - it's still a good score.

Anyway, here they are: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gptVToNOqPIH1ON8dFc4673IfL5pfIbM/view?usp=sharing

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3 months ago
0

ROUND NINE: Invention

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1v4Wj3xEyR8nmZTpLygVXJVYasRWnmnAY/view?usp=sharing

The link above will take you to an image that depicts a simple chord progression. Your task this round, to put it simply, is to write a piece using that very chord progression. I have written out the roman numeral for each chord, and transcribed it into the key of F major (but your piece can be in any key you like). You can be as creative as you want with this, as long as you follow these few rules...

1) It's up to you how fast you want to move through the chord progression. Whether you change chords each measure, or each crotchet beat, you always need to get to the end of the progression before returning to the start again. However, as the last chord and first chord are the same, you are allowed to morph them together to make one.
2) You can repeat the chord progression as many times as you like, but the piece must be at least one minute long and no more than five.
3) Although the progression is written in F major, you can write your piece in any key you like. However, this must be a major key and you cannot change the value of any chords (i.e. turn a dominant major into a dominant minor).
4) Ideally, your piece should not change the inversion of the chords written. This means that most of the chords will have the lowest note being the root note, apart from the "Gm/Bb" chord, where the lowest note played in your ensemble should be a B-flat.
5) You can write it for any number of instruments, but I would certainly recommend experimenting with larger ensembles, if you have the time.

I know that some of you might not be too familiar with theory techniques, and if you need any assistance in explaining what all this means, I'm happy to help :)

Also, considering this is an invention round, try to be creative with what you write. I'm looking to see a bunch of pieces that all revolve around the same chord progression, but that sound completely different.

The three pieces with the lowest scores will be entering an Eviction round, and the three with the highest scores will have another chance in an Immunity round.

The deadline is the 27th of July. Good luck!!!

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3 months ago
52

ROUND EIGHT: Results!!

Hi all,
I was waiting for a time where I would be able to write detailed comments for the pieces in Round Eight, but I won't have time to do it for this round, so I'm just posting the scores this time. Here they are...

"Hotaru", by John Galik
Creativity: 23
Complexity: 21
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 20
Total: 89

"Rondo for Xylophone and Piano", by Jakob Altmann
Creativity: 20
Complexity: 21
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 22
Total: 88

Luckily for both of you, @Aidancw2000 didn't enter in this round, meaning that he will be automatically eliminated from the competition and both of you are still in :)

Sorry again for not being able to give you comments; let me assure you that both entries were very good. Also, I'll be implementing a better and more efficient judging criteria starting from the next round onwards :)

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3 months ago
1

ROUND EIGHT: Eviction

Yellow Team, as you received the lowest score in the last round, you'll be competing this time to try and save your spot in the competition. The person with the lowest score this time will be going home :(

I wanted to keep the brief quite simple for this round, so that you would be able to focus on the quality of your entry. Here it is:
        1) Your piece must use predominantly 'rare' instruments (ocarina, wagner tuba, steel drums, viola di gamba, etc.)
        2) You can use some more popular/mainstream instruments as well, but try to focus on the rare ones.
        3) Your piece must be at least one minute long, but no more than six.

The deadline is the 10th of July. This isn't far away, so get working as soon as possible. Good luck!!

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4 months ago
11

ROUND SEVEN: Results!!

Sorry for the wait; it ended up taking longer to judge four pieces than I thought it would :)

Here goes...….

  
"Fantasy for Violin and Piano", by the YELLOW TEAM
Creativity: 22
Complexity: 21
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 21
Total: 92
Comments: Well done! Between the two of you, you have written a very sweet and very likable duet for violin and piano. On top of working well as a team to tie your movements together, you also made your individual composition styles visible in your own sections. Perhaps the most impressive part, in my opinion, was the piano’s role in the piece. I appreciated that at times you allowed it to play more than just the accompaniment, and that it often mimicked the violin part in rhythm and in melody. Nice harmonies were used here, also. In order to really lift the piece – especially the solo violin – I would recommend using more articulation. You used dynamics really well to your advantage, but adding just some occasional staccato, tenuto, and accent markings can really improve the texture and make a piece more vibrant to listen to. Good job!

"MSCC 2018 Round 7", by the RED TEAM
Creativity: 22
Complexity: 22
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 22
Total: 94
Comments: First of all, a huge congratulation for how well you must have worked as a team. The piece you put together comes across as a well-written composition by one person, not three. It is very impressive how versatile you all were to create such a flowing piece. The double-stops are all legitimate and possible, even if some of them would be a bit difficult to play. The piano part makes such a great introduction to the theme, and I also like the fact that all of the instruments have an opportunity to shine at some point. When they all combine at the end, too, it works extremely well. Overall, superb!

"String Quartet in G major", by the GREEN TEAM
Creativity: 23
Complexity: 24
Realism: 24 – (some impossible double stops)
Effectiveness: 24
Total: 95
Comments: Great job Green Team! I think that the two of you worked together the best out of all the groups, which is evident by the fact that the string quartet you wrote appears very fluent throughout, and I was unable to tell exactly who was responsible for writing certain sections. Even though it is shorter than a string quartet would usually be, I think you developed each movement very nicely and it certainly seemed like quite a wholesome piece, despite it’s length. And anyway, nine minutes is plenty for a competition like this – I’m incredibly proud that you managed to write that much in a relatively short amount of time. I think my favourite movement was the “Romanze”, but I really loved them all. A few things to be wary of in the future: put thought into each double-stop you give a string instrument, to make sure it is possible to play, and give the performer enough time to get into a new finger position to play that chord. If you don’t want to worry about all that, it’s sometimes best just to ignore double-stops all together. Also, there were a few moments in this piece where the instruments would overlap each other in range (especially in the first movement). Whilst this sounds fine in a digital interpretation of the score, it creates a murky and confusing effect when performed live. Other than that, the piece is excellent!

"The Hunt", by the BLUE TEAM
Creativity: 25
Complexity: 25
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 25
Total: 100
Comments: Wow. I really don’t know what more I can say about this piece, other than that it is completely deserving of the first perfect score in this year’s competition. The piece is absolutely brilliant and I really can’t think of anything to criticize about it. Maybe the melodies could do with a bit more reinforcing, but that would definitely happen naturally if the piece was ever lengthened, or not written with a deadline in mind. It’s a really creative work, and it’s going to give the members of the Blue Team an advantage in the next round. Outstanding!

______________________________________________________________________________________

And sadly, that means that the members of the Yellow Team will be entering the next Eviction round (which I'll post tomorrow). Good job to all, I'll see you very soon with the next full-group challenge. Stay tuned! :)

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4 months ago
14

ROUND SIX: New Members // Immunity

As you know, my plan for this round is to gain more members for the competition and open our gates to the people who joined this group too late for the first audition process. To make it more interesting, I've decided that this round will be open to the current competitors as well as any newcomers.

The challenge is pretty free-choice centred, meaning that you're allowed to write whatever you like (within a few boundaries).

1. Your piece must last for at least 1 minute, but no more than 4.
2. It must be written for a solo instrument with no accompaniment (but it can be any instrument you like!)

Make sure to put in the effort for this round, because, like the original audition round, I want the piece to showcase your best abilities as a composer.

The three new competitors with the best scores will be accepted into the competition, and any others will sadly have to wait for next year's audition round in order to enter again, if they want to. 

As for the already existing competitors; the person with the best overall score in this round (whether they're new or existing) will win Immunity from the next eviction round they are placed in. @Jband already has one of these, let's see who'll win the next one!

If you want to invite any composers you know to join, please do! And don't feel limited - you can invite as many or as few people as you like. The more entrants, the better. @somebuddy, you can enter too!

The deadline is the 28th of May. Good luck!!

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5 months ago
55

ROUND SEVEN: Team

It's time for the long-awaited team challenge; a round that will test not only your composition, but your teamwork abilities also. The concept of this challenge is fairly straightforward - I have placed you all in groups of three, and over the next few weeks you will have to work with each other in order to compose a collaborative masterpiece. You can decide amongst yourselves how you want to go about this, but here are a few suggestions that might give you an idea of how to get started:

- Choose a method of communication. This can be anything, from email, to skype, to many other online communication sites. Choose something that works well for your group and that you can all access.

- Get one person to begin writing the very start of the piece, or perhaps a main motif. Then you can take it in turns to add your own sections/elements until the piece is finished.

- Then go back over it individually and make any small edits you think necessary. Feel free to help work on each other's parts.

- Dedicate one person to upload the piece to the group (or you can all upload the same thing if you like!)


And, of course, here are the teams:

BLUE TEAM:
@Jband 
@KeldeoJustified 
@toadvine 

GREEN TEAM:
@StandardUser101 
@Vigo Kovačić
@Camfrtt 

RED TEAM:
@eagri1967 
@Origamidos 
@mathmaniac125 

YELLOW TEAM:
@Aidancw2000 
@Cullian 
@Jakob Altmann


THE RULES:
1)
Everyone in your group must contribute to the piece.
2) The piece must be at least 2 minutes long, but no more than 10.


Try to get a start as soon as possible, because this is going to be a challenging task. Also, make sure to tell your group if you're going to be away/unavailable for a certain period of time, as they can work on their parts while you're not there, and allow you to work on yours either before or after you go away.

The deadline is 24th of June. I know this might not seem like a lot of time, but we need to start speeding up the rounds in order to finish the competition by the end of the year.

Best of luck!!

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5 months ago
48

ROUND SIX: Results!!

  
Well done to everyone, both the new contestants and the old - you all put forward really great pieces to fit the solo repertoire. Congratulations are due all around.
 
 
I didn't give comments on each piece this time, simply because there were so many pieces to get through. Whenever I deducted marks from the Realism category, however, I left a short note on the reason behind it, and if you have any other questions to ask about why you got a certain score, I'm more than willing to answer in the comments. 
 
 
Here are the scores:
 
 
"Piano Solo", by Origamidos
Creativity: 22
Complexity: 20
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 23
Total: 90
 
 
"Sonatina in G Major", by MKMusic123
Creativity: 22
Complexity: 21
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 21
Total: 89
 
 
"Piano solo in F minor", by clarinetistdavid
Creativity: 21
Complexity: 21
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 20
Total: 87
 
 
"Largo for Organ in D Minor", by Vigo Kovačić
Creativity: 23
Complexity: 23
Realism: 24 – (fast pedal runs might not be possible on some organs)
Effectiveness: 24
Total: 94
 
 
"Glass", by Aidancw2000
Creativity: 21
Complexity: 21
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 20
Total: 87
 
 
"Solo for Sopranino Recorder in A minor", by eagri1967
Creativity: 23
Complexity: 21
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 22
Total: 91
 
 
"Christmas Song", by somebuddy
Creativity: 20
Complexity: 21
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 21
Total: 87
 
 
"Sonata in D Major", by Camfrtt
Creativity: 22
Complexity: 23
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 23
Total: 93
 
 
"MSCC Round 6", by mathmaniac125
Creativity: 21
Complexity: 22
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 22
Total: 90
 
 
"Solo for Violin", by Jacob Altmann
Creativity: 22
Complexity: 22
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 22
Total: 91
 
 
"MSCC 6 Competition", by toadvine
Creativity: 23
Complexity: 22
Realism: 24 – (score needs tidying)
Effectiveness: 24
Total: 93
 
 
"Classical Piano", by Jband
Creativity: 25
Complexity: 23
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 24
Total: 97
 
 
"Impromptu No. 2", by Cullian
Creativity: 23
Complexity: 21
Realism: 24 – (score would be needed if work was performed)
Effectiveness: 22
Total: 90

"Solo for Tenor Saxophone", by KeldeoJustified
Creativity: 24 
Complexity: 22 
Realism: 25 
Effectiveness: 24 
Total: 95
 
___________________________________________________________________________________
 
Which leaves the scores looking something like this:
 
1. Jband (97)
2. KeldeoJustified (95)
3. Vigo Kovačić (94)
4. Camfrtt (93) and toadvine (93)
5. eagri1967 (91) and Jacob Altmann (91)
6. Origamidos (90), mathmaniac125 (90), and Cullian (90)
7. MKMusic123 (89)
8. clarinetistdavid (87), Aidancw2000 (87), and somebuddy (87)
___________________________________________________________________________________
 
 
Which means that...

@Jband - You have won yet another immunity title (you'll be safe from Eviction rounds for a while I think!)

@KeldeoJustified, @Camfrtt, @toadvine, @Jacob Altmann, @mathmaniac125 - Instead of just three, I'm going to let all five of you continue through to the next round - congratulations! Stay tuned for the next discussion =)

To all the other new contestants - Well done this round, even though you didn't quite make it through, you all entered great pieces and received great scores. Hopefully you audition again for next year's competition. Thankyou so much!!

Add your thoughts
5 months ago
28

ROUND FIVE: Results!!

Well, it was a lot of fun to judge these five great inventions - I think something about having a set of rules to judge by excites me, even though I hate having to obey them when it comes to composing. Although a part of me was hoping that someone would get really inventive and enter an 80's synthesizer solo that technically followed all the rules, I was even prouder when I saw that all of you had managed to submit pieces that qualify as and even sound like classical inventions.

Here are the scores:

“Invention”, by eagri1967
Creativity: 23
Complexity: 23
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 25
Total: 96
Comments: Wow, what an absolutely incredible invention! I would even go so far as to say that the structure of this piece is equally if not even more pleasant than that of J. S. Bach’s inventions. Your use of counterpoint is not only accurate, but also nice to listen to, and the motif is repeated correctly and cleverly throughout the exposition, development, and recapitulation. Another thing I should address is your use of articulation, which really helped shape the phrases and add musicality to the motif. The sections were all depicted obviously, and most of all, it abides by all the rules. Great work!

“Invention”, by Origamidos
Creativity: 24
Complexity: 23
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 22
Total: 94
Comments: You’ve done really really well, considering music theory isn’t your strong-point, and your piece absolutely resembles a slightly more modern interpretation of classical inventions, which gives you extra Creativity points! I loved your chromaticism and the rhythms you used, and also the way you modulated keys. If I were to suggest something, I would recommend you make the differences between the melody and the counterpoint accompaniment more obvious. But other than that, a superb piece! Well done!

Invention in D Major”, by Vigo Kovačić
Creativity: 21
Complexity: 22
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 22
Total: 90
Comments: You did really well with the counterpoint, and also representing the motif in both hands. However, some things that would really improve this piece would be to make the melody more clear-cut, and also to make use of certain techniques - especially modulation!!! But other than that, a very enjoyable invention that would also prove a great exercise for piano/harpsichord players.

“Invention”, by StandardUser101
Creativity: 23
Complexity: 23
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 22
Total: 93
Comments: I found this invention quite interesting to analyse, particularly the modulation passages, which played fairly smoothly. Some more work on articulation and phrasing could polish up the piece nicely, but it’s still very enjoyable to listen to all the same. The chromaticism and 6-bar motif are both major strengths in this work.

Invention”, by Cullian
Creativity: 23
Complexity: 23
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 24
Total: 95
Comments: Much like a lot of the other entries in this round, articulation could lift certain sections of the piece, and add further musical interest. However, the wide range in this invention still provides some musicality, and it is very enjoyable to listen to. The recapitulation was done perfectly, and although the fact that it ends on a C major chord intrigued me, it still works well overall. Great job!

Congratulations to @eagri1967!!

The next round is going to be a people's round where other users will be allowed to enter the competition, and I'll post that in the next few days. Then we'll get back into some more full-group rounds. Well done to all!

Add your thoughts
6 months ago
8

ROUND ZERO: Auditions

So, in order to enter for next year's competition, there's just a few things you need to do...

First of all, make sure you've read through the "ABOUT THIS GROUP" section on the right of this page. There's lots of important information there.

Secondly, fill out this online form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdGajScyMXI_cxbk09qr_hvieTztcbjENRTUv-NKgQG-iqElg/viewform. I'll send you a conformation email as soon as I get your application.

And finally, start getting ready to post your audition piece. These are due by the 31st of December, and only the 12 best entries will make it through to the competition. You are allowed to enter with a piece you've written previously, just make sure to pick something that plays to your strengths.

Best of luck!

Add your thoughts
11 months ago
25

ROUND FIVE: Invention

As well as being an Invention round, your challenge this time is to (literally) compose an 'invention'. An invention, in music terms, is a short composition using two-part counterpoint. Counterpoint is the use of two or more melodic lines playing simultaneously (similar to polyphony), written alongside each other harmoniously, and yet independent in their rhythm and melodic contour.

A great listening example for this is any of Bach's Inventions and Sinfonias (the difference being that the sinfonias use three-part counterpoint, rather than two).

Now this might sound like a very classical and theory-heavy task, but remember that this is an invention round, and as such you can interpret it any way you want. I don't mind if you end up with something that sounds like a 70's disco piece; if it follows the rules of an invention, then it's all good.
If you want to find out more on the style of inventions, the Wikipedia page is actually a good reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invention_(musical_composition)

THE RULES:
(1) The piece must use two-part counterpoint.
(2) It must be written on two staves - technically original inventions were always written for keyboard instruments, but if you like you could compose a duet for two single-staved instruments instead.
(3) The right hand (or top stave) must use only quaver and semiquaver notes, apart from the last bar, where it can use a longer note to finish on.
(4) The left hand (or bottom stave) can use any length of notes, but it must play at least two notes or chords in each bar (apart from the last one).
(5) Rests are allowed, and they can be of any length, however they shouldn't be overused.
(6) The piece should include three sections: Exposition, Development, and Recapitulation. You can find out more about these and how they should be used in an invention on the Wikipedia page I listed above.
(7) Lastly, it must be longer than two minutes in total, but no longer than six.

I know it might seem like there's a lot of rules there, but if you end up following them I can guarantee that it will greatly improve your piece.

@StandardUser101 and @Jband, as you won the advantage in this round, you have the ability to choose one of the rules listed above NOT to follow. Please make sure you say which rule you are going to ignore either in the discussion here or in the description of your piece.

And finally, since this is quite a large task and I think some people might be away for part of it, you have almost three whole weeks to post your piece. The deadline at this stage is the 24th of April.

Good luck, and remember to be as creative as possible!!

Add your thoughts
7 months ago
26

ROUND FOUR: Results!!

Great job yet again! It was really interesting this round to see how the seven of you interpreted the stimulus differently, and also how completely different your pieces were to what I pictured you'd end up with! As you might remember, the entrant with the highest score this time will get an advantage in the next round, so best of luck!

“Au revoir, Arrivederci, Adios and Goodbye”, by eagri1967
Creativity: 22
Complexity: 22
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 22
Total: 91
Comments: Nice! I appreciated the melancholy feel of the beginning and end of your piece – it seems to fit perfectly with the given theme. I also think you did a really good job using the instrumentation that you chose, as all the instruments had a purpose to the piece and added something of their own, particularly the viola. A very compliant composition with the stimuli, and a good exercise in originality. Well done!

“The Train”, by Origamidos
Creativity: 23
Complexity: 22
Realism: 23
Effectiveness: 20
Total: 88
Comments: I liked how this piece followed a very different kind of goodbye to the others; most compositions tended to go with the typical “sad” approach, but not all goodbyes are going to be sad, in fact “goodbye” is a word that most of us say every day. So instead, I noticed, you went with the idea of someone leaving on a train, and used the instruments to mimic that instead – a clever idea! This was very effective, and led to a very creative composition. Unfortunately, I had to take a couple points from Realism to make up for a few small mistakes (such as the fact that a trombone only has the ability to play one note at a time, and you had it playing an octave). Other than that, really good!

“Auf Wiedersehen”, by Aidancw2000
Creativity: 22
Complexity: 21
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 19
Total: 87
Comments: A great composition! My favourite section was the theme you introduced in measure 15, I thought it was the most pleasing to listen to, and also reminiscent of a bitter-sweet goodbye. Some interesting notation, but apart from that it was well-written in its entirety. I would suggest, for a piece like this one, that you work on repeating themes and motifs – this creates a recognisable tune that can represent whatever the stimulus happens to be. Great work!

“Our Goodbye”, by Cullian
Creativity: 23
Complexity: 22
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 22
Total: 92
Comments: Very beautiful. I found it nice how much thought was clearly put into the structure of the piece. It was pleasant how you began with the clarinet and piano duet, before building in the other instruments. Really elegant transitions, especially the way it flows into the final section. Bravo!

“Gone”, by StandardUser101
Creativity: 23
Complexity: 23
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 23
Total: 94
Comments: Good work, yet another composition that didn’t go with the obvious choice. I actually really liked the use of dissonance in this, some of the chords worked really well in a very avantgarde sort of way. I loved the moments where you used the different instruments to mimic each other, this is a really great feature of all chamber music. Congratulations!

“Au Revoir”, by Jband
Creativity: 24
Complexity: 23
Realism: 24
Effectiveness: 23
Total: 94
Comments: Excellent job with the creative structure of this piece, not only do you begin with a very beautiful, thoughtful piano solo, but you then follow that up with the French-sounding theme, merging both ideas from the stimulus together. Great use of the instrumentation, and well done!

“Au Revoir!”, by Vigo Kovačić
Creativity: 22
Complexity: 23
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 23
Total: 93
Comments: Very nice! I can picture the scene you depicted in the description, the piece definitely has a period sort of feel to it. Good use of the instrumentation, especially for the harp and flute, which were clearly the instruments of focus. I really enjoyed the melody and accompaniment, but at times I thought it would be nice to have a third instrument playing an important counterpart, as opposed to just the quiet bass notes played by the horn. Overall, fantastic!

_____________________________________________________________________________________

As they both tied on a score of 94, StandardUser101 and Jband will both get an advantage in Round Five. Well done to all!

Add your thoughts
7 months ago
17

ROUND FOUR: Set

Keeping it simple this round, your task will be based around a specific stimuli which I am about to give you. The seven of you will have to create a standard-length composition inspired by this stimuli, and using a specific amount of instruments as well. Here are the rules:
- Your piece must range from one to five minutes in length.
- It should be inspired and based upon the stimuli.
- And, you must use no more than four instruments. These must contain one woodwind instrument, one brass instrument, one string instrument, and one double-staved instrument (piano, harp, accordion, marimba, synthesizer, etc.)

The stimuli is a simple phrase: "Au revior, Arrivederci, Adios, and Goodbye".
Feel free to interpret this phrase in any way you like, and try to get creative with it!

@Jband - As you won the Immunity round, you get an advantage here. You are still required to use only four instruments in your piece, but you are granted the ability to ignore what families they are from. For example, you could choose to make all four instruments from the woodwind family.

The winner of this round will also receive an advantage in the next round. The deadline is the 11th of March. Good luck to all!!!

Add your thoughts
8 months ago
32

ROUND TWO: Results!!

Unfortunately only one person entered in this round, as @somebuddy had to quit the competition, and @Cullian didn't submit a piece. This means that @StandardUser101 will automatically go through to the next round, along with @Cullian (if he shows up).

Here is the score for the only piece submitted:

"Light", by StandardUser101
Creativity: 24
Complexity: 22
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 23
Total: 94
Comments: I found this piece thoroughly beautiful to listen to, so well done! I can really hear that the piece was based on the picture you chose - when I listen to it I can picture the moon's reflection on the vast ocean below, and the soft, calming motion of the waves. The harmonies you used were well chosen and very aesthetic, which also suits the theme of the painting. Very well written and extremely pleasing to listen to, great work!

__________________________________________________________________

See you in the next round!

Add your thoughts
8 months ago
2

ROUND THREE: Results!!

Congrats to the three competitors in the first Immunity challenge - you did an absolutely spectacular job. As you know, the highest-scoring person will receive immunity from the next Eviction round they are placed in, as well as an advantage in the next round.

Here are the scores:

"The Road Not Taken", by Aidancw2000
Creativity: 23
Complexity: 22
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 21
Total: 91
Comments: Well done! I like the way you interpreted the poem, and I also like the theme you created for the piece. The cliffhanger ending was a creative touch, as was incorporating the uncertainty of the road not taken. Good job!

"Intermezzo" by Vigo Kovačić
Creativity: 24
Complexity: 23
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 23
Total: 95
Comments: A very beautiful composition. I really admire the type of piece you wrote - the tempo of an Intermezzo seems to suit the Autumn theme very well, and the flowing structure of the piece also fits in with the descriptive language used in the poem. Very calming to listen to, I could easily picture the autumn leaves falling from the trees. I look forward to hearing it continued in another piece!

"A Dream Within a Dream", by Jband
Creativity: 24
Complexity: 24
Realism: 25
Effectiveness: 23
Total: 96
Comments: Excellent! I love the dramaticness of this piece, it really suits the idea of that dream-like reality Poe describes. The instrumentation was well-chosen, as the harp and strings add a mystical sort of feeling to the piece. Well done also on the vast use of compositional techniques, even rare things that you don't often find in music, such as telling the pianist to play any random key. This particular choice is actually very clever for the sort of dreamy feeling being conveyed at that point in the music. Overall, this is a very creative interpretation of the poem, and you've pulled it off extremely well!

_______________________________________________________________

@Jband - congratulations on winning the first immunity! When the next round is posted you'll be made aware of you advantage.

Great job to all!!

Add your thoughts
8 months ago
1

ROUND THREE: Immunity

Sorry for the lateness, I was having troubles with the eviction round earlier this week and I didn't think it was fair to post the invention round earlier than the other one. But here it is now :)

The contestants in the eviction round have been instructed to compose a piece based on a particular painting, of which I gave them three to choose from. I thought it would be fun if I gave the three of you a similar challenge, but with a little twist. Instead of writing your composition based on an image, you'll be basing it on a poem. Below I have given you links to three very famous poems, and it's your job to choose one of them to compose about. However, like in the eviction round, each poem can be chosen only once. So make sure to get in early and write which poem you plan on composing for in the comments below. When that poem is chosen, the second person to comment will have a choice between the two remaining poems. Once they also choose, the third and final person will be dedicated the only remaining poem.

The rest of the rules are like normal;
- Your piece must range between 1 to 5 minutes in length.
- You can use as many or as few instruments as you like.
- You should try to base your piece as closely to your interpretation of the poem as possible.

Here are the poems themselves...
POEM #1 - https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44272/the-road-not-taken
POEM #2 - https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44484/to-autumn
POEM #3 - https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/52829/a-dream-within-a-dream

Remember to give this round everything you've got, as the winner will receive an advantage in the next round, as well as immunity from the next eviction round they are placed in. The deadline this time is the 16th of Feb. Best of luck to all!

Add your thoughts
9 months ago
13

ROUND TWO: Eviction

I'm super sorry for the long wait again - this time it was because I had a really extravagant idea as for what this round would be, and I was spending ages trying to make it happen. Unfortunately, my plan didn't quite work out and now I've had to change my ideas. I won't tell you what the round idea was, however, because there's a chance I might be able to use it for a future eviction round instead. My apologies for making you wait :(

As is, here is the description of the challenge you'll be facing this week:

Below I have given you links to three very distinct, very different, works of art. These three paintings vary from the depiction of a small village during wartime, to a still-life portrait of a bowl of fruit. Your task is to individually choose one of these images, and base your piece around it. Keep in mind that once one person has chosen an image, the others cannot choose the same one. Be quick and write which one you're doing in the comments, so we don't have any double-ups.

The rules are like normal;
- Your piece must range between 1 to 5 minutes in length.
- You can use as many or as few instruments as you like.
- You should try to base your piece as closely to your interpretation of the artwork as possible.

Here are the paintings...
PAINTING #1: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1hiF-Xp-CM20mOEJFvE12KQNelMX4rpMU
PAINTING #2: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1HoY3teZooT2al2tc4UI4Qj5txU7KCOKe
PAINTING #3: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1G6b-Ci7WEYlMxBKStsEw5KhC6Y63FNlm

Choose quickly, first in best dressed!

The deadline this time is the 16th of Feb. Good luck, I really want you all to do well :)

Add your thoughts
9 months ago
12