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Author Topic: Arrangement Contest No. 10 in A-flat Aeolian "Relaxing music to empty your head"  (Read 6279 times)

mastersuperfan

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Here's the judging rubric for the contest! It should look relatively similar to previous rubrics, with some categories cut down or merged:

Relaxation Theme (10 points): How effectively does your arrangement transform a high-energy track into a relaxing one, while still remaining recognizable as the original? Is the arrangement substantially different in intensity/mood from the original? Do your choices of voicings, instrumentation, tonality, etc. enhance the relaxing nature of your arrangement?

Featured Instrument (5 points): How effectively do you use the featured instrument throughout your arrangement? Does it play an interesting, varied role without being overbearing? Does it enhance the way your arrangement satisfies the main contest theme?

Musicality (15 points): Independent of how well it satisfies the theme, is your arrangement enjoyable and engaging to listen to? Do your choices of harmonies, chords, form, etc. make sense and work together to create a cohesive piece of music?

Presentation (10 points): The technical notation and engraving side, consisting of the following components:
- Is the score neatly formatted, with all information labeled? No need to follow the submission guidelines or nitpick over precise alignment fixes, but please make sure it looks nice and include: arrangement title, subtitle with original game and track title, composer, arranger, copyright, and measure/page numbers.
- Are all parts legible, playable, and notated correctly for each instrument? (e.g. transposing instruments correctly transposed, instrument-specific articulations correctly expressed)
- Does the score have enough articulations and performance directions? No need to go overboard, but it should be clear and detailed enough for a live group of musicians to play if they wanted to.

Popular Vote (10 points): What do others think of your arrangement? The popular vote will be conducted after the submission deadline, with higher scores if your arrangement ranks higher in the vote!

TOTAL: 50 points
« Last Edit: July 15, 2022, 04:56:36 AM by mastersuperfan »
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there's also a huge difference in quality between 2000 songs and 2010 songs
The difference between 2000 songs and 2010 songs is 10 songs.

mastersuperfan

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(Belated) update! The deadline passed on Sunday; currently, we are waiting for a few more submissions from arrangers who have agreed to take a late penalty. No later than this upcoming Monday, all of the arrangements will be posted publicly, and the popular vote will open!
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there's also a huge difference in quality between 2000 songs and 2010 songs
The difference between 2000 songs and 2010 songs is 10 songs.

Tobbeh99

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Yay! :)
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tfw you get schooled in English grammar by a guy whose first language is not English

10/10 tobbeh

Kricketune54

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Just wanted to clarify I did submit before the deadline last Sunday so my name should have a checkmark lol

mastersuperfan

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The submissions are in! We have 11 arrangements for this contest! You can find them here:

Arrangement Contest No. 10 Submissions

This begins the popular vote phase! Both arrangers and non-arrangers are allowed to vote! To vote, rank:
- all 11 arrangements, if you did not submit one
- all 10 arrangements except your own, if you submitted one
in a list numbered 1 through 10 or 11 (1 = favorite, 2 = second favorite, etc.). Submit these to me over Discord DM or forum PM! (Your votes will not be disclosed to anyone besides me.)

Everyone who submitted an arrangement is strongly encouraged to vote; doing so will boost your own score slightly (when calculating scores, I will treat your ballot as if you ranked your own arrangement 1st).

The deadline for submitting your votes will be Sunday, September 25th, ~4 weeks from now!
« Last Edit: August 29, 2022, 04:56:10 PM by mastersuperfan »
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there's also a huge difference in quality between 2000 songs and 2010 songs
The difference between 2000 songs and 2010 songs is 10 songs.

mastersuperfan

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The long-awaited results to NinSheetMusic’s 10th Arrangement Contest are finally HERE! The judges’ feedback on everyone’s arrangements is given below, sorted in alphabetical order of arranger name:


Atcero: “Tal Tal Valley” [PDF] [MP3]

braix’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 8/10
Subjectively just couldn't really call it relaxing.

Featured Instrument: 4/5
Flute works fine here, it just doesn't seem very interesting and felt that it could have been integrated a bit more smoothly.

Musicality: 12/15
Felt a bit flat overall, as if things were wanting to move forward but weren't. Momentum wasn't being carried forward into anything new.

Presentation: 9/10
No note as to what the original track title is. Had to dig for it.

Total: 33/40
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cacabish’s Scoring
And here I was expecting some Castlevania music.... Well done! The cello as a base (and bass) for the majority of the piece is a great choice and really lends a wonderful timbre to the piece. The framing of the melody is also really nice, letting it show when it wants to be, and backing off to let some background sounds shine is very nice. While I feel that this gets a bit too intense at times to be what I consider truly "relaxing," I do believe the lengthening of everything really helps keep the piece in the same general mood. Now, I think the biggest thing this piece needs is variety; the glockenspiel with effectively non-stop eighth notes in a parallel fashion is an example; allowing each instrument to shine would really brighten up this piece and make it pop, including trading around the melody or things unique to those particular instrument. The score could also benefit from more articulations, ottavas, and spacing adjustments, but is pretty good, all the same. Nevertheless, this is a solid re-arrangement of a piece and with live instruments and the aforementioned improvements, it could become dangerously good!

Relaxation Theme: 6/10
Featured Instrument: 3/5
Musicality: 13/15
Presentation: 8/10

Total: 30/40
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Maestro’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 8/10
The arrangement takes a galloping overworld theme and reworks into a lullaby, with sparse instrumentation and an almost haunting atmosphere. There are moments where the piece raises in intensity, creating a looming darkness over what’s an otherwise static piece. The ending gives off the feeling of a music box ending down, which may have been reinforced with a ritardando leading into the final bars.

Featured Instrument: 3/5
The flute features throughout the piece as the primary melodic instrument. Its pairing with the cello creates an interesting color over the glockenspiel’s ostinato. However the instrument is doubled by the cello and piano throughout nearly the entire piece, diminishing its importance in the mix.

Musicality: 10/15
Scored for Flute, Glockenspiel, Cello, and Piano.

This is a curious collection of instruments, chiefly the glockenspiel as its bright, ringy tone will pierce through the subtleties of any texture. Given the small collection of instruments it is good to write it as piano throughout.

The rest of the instrumentation however is mostly played in unison with the flute, creating a flat color throughout the piece. I would’ve liked to see more counterpoint in general, more harmonizing with the flute rather than doubling. The flute’s sound gets stronger in the area above the staff and doesn’t need to be reinforced in an ensemble this small.

The cello has a sizable range, and it was almost exclusively written in its tenor range which has a bright, singing quality to it. To that end I think the piece would have a bit more depth if the cello harmonized with the flute rather than double the melody. The cello is a great partner for duets, so be sure to take advantage of its tender qualities.

The piano part at times seems to be all-encompassing, as if it was written as a solo piece before adding the other instruments. In this context the piano would be better utilized as a supporting instrument to allow both the flute and cello an opportunity to shine.

There is a subtle key change midway through the piece that features a brief cello solo. The solo itself is simple, but a nice air between the two iterations of the main theme.

Presentation: 7/10
The score itself is clear enough to follow, but it is omitting any articulations.

The piano’s bass line sometimes creeps low enough that it crowds the cello’s line when the latter spends nearly half the piece in its tenor range. This could be remedied by using a traditional chamber music score format and having the piano at the bottom of the page.

Following the key change there are some noticeable spelling errors, and persistent use of B-natural and F-natural indicate the key should be B-lydian (6 sharps) given the key changes a half-step upward. Also extreme keys like this are not very friendly for many instruments, and practical advice I have received is to err on using sharp-keys over flat-keys when possible.

The proper credits are clearly presented, though the arrangement’s source title is incorrect.

Final Thoughts:
This arrangement has some nice ideas that need some further refinement. Musically the arrangement is good, but there are more subtle touches and a general attention to detail that keep the piece from reaching its potential. Overall I think Atcero did a very fine job.

Total: 28/40
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OVERALL SCORING
Relaxation Theme: 7.3 out of 10
Featured Instrument: 3.3 out of 5
Musicality: 11.7 out of 15
Presentation: 8.0 out of 10
Popular Vote: 4.9 out of 10

FINAL SCORE: 35.2 out of 50
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Bloop: “Morpheel’s Lament” [PDF] [MP3]

braix’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 8/10
I'm voting for the relaxation theme based purely on subjective feeling. I don't think I would be able to listen to this as background music while I work, feels more like something I'd hear while watching a movie. Sufficiently different from the original but a bit too intense to put it in the 'relaxing' category in my opinion.

Featured Instrument: 5/5
The flute works great with the piano accompaniment, feels like it belongs there.

Musicality: 15/15
Really nice ethereal quality and good contrast. Themes were kept intact.

Presentation: 10/10
Really nice presentation.

Total: 38/40
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cacabish’s Scoring
Well... this is magnificent. Simply. Magnificent. The harmonies are simply sublime in this and the piano interplay with the flute is masterfully done, complete with the trademarked Bloop crazy time signatures. The sheet presentation is as beautiful as the music (with the only major gripe I have being the flute staff is never actually labelled). However, I do feel that piece gets a bit too intense at times to fully constitute what I would call truly "relaxing," but the overall has a very good relaxing feel, so still excellent. Nevertheless, just as a standalone piece, this is an absolute knock-out and I would happily listen to this for hours and would love to see a performance of this.

Relaxation Theme: 8/10
Featured Instrument: 5/5
Musicality: 15/15
Presentation: 10/10

Total: 38/40
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Maestro’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 9/10
You’ve managed to transform a strivasky-esque battle theme into an impressionist fantasy. The original is nearly unrecognizable compared to this arrangement but the themes still shine through. The flute line brings to mind moments from Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, with a lush piano accompaniment which would make Ravel jealous. The later intensity of the piece can jolt you out of the tranquil atmosphere, as if you were being capsized by an oncoming wave.

Featured Instrument: 5/5
The flute is the star here, make no mistake about that. The piano lays an undulating bedrock in which the alto flute soars above. The choice of alto flute is also a well thought out one, as its tone is deep and full in its lower octave, and when it begins creeping above the staff it has a more mellow sound over the sharpness the standard flute tends to deliver. However, even at its strongest the alto flute requires a considerable effort from the player to belt out those fortissimos, which will require a delicate balance with the piano.

Musicality: 14/15
Scored for Alto flute and Piano

This piece is impressionism in its purest form. The piano writing is nearly taken from any score by Debussy or Ravel. It’s clean, exact, and leaves nothing to chance. It is also written in such a way that the pianist will know that they are not the center of attention, with the constant rhythmic ostinato and the fact it only gets 7 bars for a solo.

The alto flute line is itself a contrast to the business of the piano, opting for longer held notes and a more airy contour. The ornamentation in the second half also compliments the piano’s intensity very nicely, though it does get lost in it to a degree.

Presentation: 10/10
The score is clear, precise, and needs no editing.

The proper credits are present.

Final Thoughts:
This arrangement is fantastic, worthy of being included in the standard flute repertoire. You’ve come a long way Bloop and I cannot wait to see how you continue to grow. Well done Bloop!

Total: 38/40
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OVERALL SCORING
Relaxation Theme: 8.3 out of 10
Featured Instrument: 5.0 out of 5
Musicality: 14.7 out of 15
Presentation: 10.0 out of 10
Popular Vote: 9.0 out of 10 (4th most popular!)

FINAL SCORE: 47.0 out of 50
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Code_Name_Geek: “Steven Stone’s Day Off” [PDF] [MP3]

braix’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 10/10
Kept the theme intact while being completely different. I like the creativity on this take.

Featured Instrument: 4.5/5
Flute in a bossa nova track is an odd choice but it works well enough I can't complain. I appreciate that it has a solo section.

Musicality: 13.5/15
I like the chord choices. The ending is a little disappointing for the genre. I feel like more could have been done rhythmically overall, and as a side note the drums are kind of simple to the point of being distracting for me. Flute solo near the end felt a little unnatural.

Presentation: 9.5/10
Wondering why there aren't any chord symbols in the intro, would have been nice to keep things consistent throughout.

Total: 37.5/40
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cacabish’s Scoring
This is absolutely amazing! From the very outset, I was laughing at how ridiculous this sounds compared to the original, but yet how amazing it all works. I wasn't so sure since the intro is a bit intense for a "relaxing" piece, but the instrumentation and the subsequent bits dispelled my doubts, primarily the electric piano really keeps the vibe chill and lax. The reharmonization is masterful, with beautiful color tones in every nook and cranny. And the flute solo is just so fantastic, I love it so much. The presentation of the score is great, with only needing some extra spacing in bits and a little bit of polish. But aside from that, this is publication-worthy!

Relaxation Theme: 10/10
Featured Instrument: 5/5
Musicality: 15/15
Presentation: 10/10

Total: 40/40
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Maestro’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 8/10
There’s nothing more relaxing than bossa nova! This was a fun way to turn the original piece on its head. It’s not easy to relaxify something that is as crunchy as Pokemon music tends to be, but you were able to weave a smooth groove through the melody and aggressive chord changes.

Featured Instrument: 4/5
You wrote the arrangement for a jazz ensemble, but the flute is featured prominently throughout. Here you have the flute alternating between melody and counterpoint, utilizing it less as a soloist and more as a member of the group, but still wonderfully done. During the tutti sections you have the flute in its upper/high register so the sound comes through over the thicker sound of the band, and during its solos you let down so its mellow sound can mesh with the groove of the rhythm section. Overall solid writing for the flute.

Musicality: 13/15
Scored for Flute, Flugelhorn, Tenor Saxophone, Electric Piano, Bass, and Drumset

This arrangement is a fun ride, with a few surprises along the way. Firstly, the use of bossa nova is well done and gives the piece a distinct feel that the players can follow. Secondly each of the melodic instruments gets their moment, though the Flugelhorn seems largely relegated to counterpoint.

The short excursion into ¾ was delightful and helped to break up the monotony of the accompaniment.

Presentation: 9/10
The score is clear and the proper credits are present.

The score overall is well constructed, and given the nature of the style it doesn’t need a great deal of articulation detail. Including the chord names is typical for the form, but still a welcome detail.

Final Thoughts:
Overall this was a charming piece and not something I expected to see from this competition. I hope you’ll continue to expand your talents with arrangement. Great work, CNG!

Total: 34/40
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OVERALL SCORING
Relaxation Theme: 9.3 out of 10
Featured Instrument: 4.5 out of 5
Musicality: 13.8 out of 15
Presentation: 9.5 out of 10
Popular Vote: 5.2 out of 10

FINAL SCORE: 42.4 out of 50
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Dekkadeci: “The Azure Tree Stands in Mourning” [PDF] [MP3]

braix’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 10/10
I think this one is really faithful to the relaxing theme. It doesn't shout at you at any point, but it still keeps itself interesting with contrasting sections.

Featured Instrument: 4.5/5
The flute feels like a natural choice in this ensemble, albeit a bit boring with the whole note spam in certain drawn out sections.

Musicality: 12/15
I like the choice of using a glockenspiel a lot. It brings things together really well. Kind of wish there were string backings in the chorus sections and in the very last measure to spice up the texture a bit, especially with the rest of the parts being so simple. There's nothing really to complain about but I'm left with a feeling of regret that there could have been so much more.

Presentation: 9.5/10
Formatting meets standards, but I wonder why sections go from A-K. Surely there couldn't have been a better way to break things down and make things easier to understand?

Total: 36/40
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cacabish’s Scoring
This is quite well done! As a Trails fan, I could actually see this as an actual song in the games; it would work really well as the background for character dialog. However, I think the mood for this piece is a bit too dark for a relaxing piece. While it does a good job "de-bossifying" the original, it's not exactly what I would call relaxing. Nevertheless, the piece does work quite well as an unobtrusive background piece. The glock solo as a music-box-like effect is quite nice, but I do wish it had intermingled amidst the flute and piano at some point (glock + flute is a pretty good combo). Extending this, I also feel that the piece would have benefited from more variety in rhythms, who has the melody, etc. Still, a good arrangement all around!

Relaxation Theme: 5/10
Featured Instrument: 3/5
Musicality: 13/15
Presentation: 9/10

Total: 30/40
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Maestro’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 7/10
This is a complete turn-around compared to the hard-rock original. The main theme is nearly perfectly preserved, and the arrangement is reminiscent of a nocturne. Largely, however, the material is otherwise unaltered.

Featured Instrument: 3/5
The flute here is used as a soloist with a piano accompaniment. In fact all melodic material is exclusively the domain of the flute part as the piano is relegated to simple arpeggios, with the occasional harmonization of the flute. The main theme of the piece is well translated to the flute, though the B section seemed unsure of what to do with it as it’s simply sustaining pitches with minimal motion.

Musicality: 10/15
Scored for Flute, Piano, and Glockenspiel

The arrangement is simple but functional. The piano arpeggios offer a solid foundation, if a little boring given the length of the piece. It would’ve been better served if the piano was given more to do, perhaps some more counterpoint to complement the flute’s melodies.

The glockenspiel is featured in a solo twice during the piece, both times acting as a coda to the preceding section. While these bits were nice they seemed disjointed, almost tacked on. I think these interludes should’ve been played on the piano instead, giving it something to do and keeping the piece unified.

Bars 86 through 116 are very tiring with long sustains in the flute; nothing happens beyond basic chord changes and the flute barely wavers within 3 pitches. It really brings the piece to a halt and you’re left waiting for something interesting to happen.

Presentation: 10/10
The score is clear and the proper credits are present.

A minimalist piece like this doesn’t require too much fussing, so the presentation is overall solid.

Final Thoughts:
I appreciate that the transformation of the piece was well done, I can’t help but feel you didn’t know what to do with that static B section. Admittedly I had not heard the original prior to this contest, but I want to commend you for your choice in song and creative direction. Good job, Dekkadeci.

Total: 30/40
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OVERALL SCORING
Relaxation Theme: 7.3 out of 10
Featured Instrument: 3.5 out of 5
Musicality: 11.7 out of 15
Presentation: 9.5 out of 10
Popular Vote: 4.8 out of 10

FINAL SCORE: 36.8 out of 50
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Fantastic Ike: “The Only Thing They Feel Is You” [PDF] [MP3]

braix’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 10/10
Interesting song choice, I'm surprised at how well a djent track translated to bossa nova.

Featured Instrument: 4.5/5
I like the flute solo.

Musicality: 13.5/15
I feel like keeping all the instruments at the same dynamic throughout the entire piece doesn't do the arrangement justice. The brass instruments in particular could have been much quieter than the rest of the instruments in contrast.

Presentation: 8/10
Needs double bar lines on key change. Could be made landscape, really difficult to read with just 3 measures a page. Think trumpet should be below sax. Missing chord markings (inconsistent).

Total: 36/40
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cacabish’s Scoring
Never in my life would I think that a Doom song could be... relaxing? What is this madness?! This is quite excellent and, when I think about the original while listening to this, I can't help but chuckle and smile at how absurd the transformation is. And yet it works! The use of brass gives the piece a nice "big-band" kind of vibe to me, and the guitar and piano help ground the piece, allowing the flute to carry the piece away. However, I do feel that, at times, the dissonance is a bit much and the reharmonization can't really make it sound good in context. Fortunately, these bits are few and far between, so the overall experience is good. Nevertheless, I think the choice of instrumentation is great and makes for a wonderful piece. The score's presentation is great, only needing some adjusting on a spot-by-spot basis. All in all, a terrific piece! Great work!

Relaxation Theme: 9/10
Featured Instrument: 5/5
Musicality: 14/15
Presentation: 10/10

Total: 38/40
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Maestro’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 7/10
Truly bossa nova is the most relaxing musical style out there. I was curious to see how you would relaxify such a heavy song. While the style of bossa nova can be smooth and tranquil, I feel this arrangement skews a bit too close to the original. It is discordant at times, and aggressive in the tutti sections. The flute solos however are very nice, suitably relaxing.

Featured Instrument: 4/5
The flute here is part of a jazz band, but is still treated as the featured soloist. The flute part is rather acrobatic, challenging but captivating. While acting as the top voice of the band, the flute helps fill out the texture, while still retaining the overall brightness of sound.

Musicality: 12/15
Scored for Flute, Trumpet, Alto and Tenor Saxophone, Trombone, Guitar, Piano, Bass, and Drumset

This arrangement is a bit of a mixed bag. The part writing is fine, you know how to utilize each part of the band and keep the arrangement interesting throughout. However there were some moments during the more intense sections where the crunchiness of the music felt like a stone against the mood. While this may be intentional given the source material, I feel it takes away from the overall piece.

That said, these elements don’t feel accidental, so I won’t consider them too heavily.

Presentation: 10/10
The score is clear and the proper credits are present.

The score overall is well constructed, and given the nature of the style it doesn’t need a great deal of articulation detail. Including the chord names is typical for the form, but still a welcome detail.

Final Thoughts:
Overall this piece is well constructed, but marred because it sticks too closely to the original at the expense of both the style and theme of the arrangement. That said it was a pleasant arrangement and I think you demonstrated your skill in its scoring. Fantastic work, Ike!

Total: 33/40
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OVERALL SCORING
Relaxation Theme: 8.7 out of 10
Featured Instrument: 4.5 out of 5
Musicality: 13.2 out of 15
Presentation: 9.3 out of 10
Popular Vote: 3.2 out of 10

FINAL SCORE: 38.9 out of 50
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Kricketune54: “Bossa de Campeona Cynthia” [PDF] [MP3]

braix’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 8/10
Transitions feel a bit forced. Chromatic basslines are funky but don't know if they add to the relaxing theme. Wonder if it could have been adapted differently.

Featured Instrument: 4.5/5
Didn't feel like the flute contributed anything particularly special to the arrangement.

Musicality: 13/15
I liked the general idea, felt a bit stiff though. Felt like parts could have been fleshed out better. Contrast in sections could have been played up more, sounded a little flat.

Presentation: 9/10
Overall good, but way too tiny.

Total: 34.5/40
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cacabish’s Scoring
It's bossa time, baby! As soon as the first chords of the guitar hit, I was smiling. This is a fantastic re-arrangement of Cynthia's battle theme and I am shocked at how good the bossa vibe fits here, almost transforming the chromaticism into very playful notes, a far cry of the original. That said, I do feel that the tone isn't fully complete as the vibe is disrupted by the analogous sharp stabs of the original (m. 48-52 area), which I think should've been reharmonized into less forceful bits. In addition, there's a few minor formatting issues, foremost being that this should've been printed landscape so some of the stuff doesn't look gross (looking at you, crossed noteheads), but honestly, the whole piece is simply a joy to listen to. Well done!

Relaxation Theme: 10/10
Featured Instrument: 4/5
Musicality: 14/15
Presentation: 8/10

Total: 36/40
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Maestro’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 4/10
Truly bossa nova is the most relaxing musical style out there. However I think this arrangement misses the mark. The smooth, calming vibes of the bossa nova are undermined by the dark chromaticism of the melody. The arrangement sticks so closely to the original piece that it felt like I was riding an elevator to Hades. The arrangement itself is nice, but not one I think adequately fits the theme of this contest.

This may have been modified by using more dynamic key changes under the chromatic line to make it sound more mysterious rather than menacing. Island grooves are no stranger to chromatics, but you need to support them with an underlying motion that makes sense. By keeping the accompaniment so rigid to the chord structure you take away the sense of wanderlust the piece aims to inspire in the listener.

Featured Instrument: 4/5
Here we have two flutes both acting as the primary voice of the melody and providing harmony through the piece. Given the brevity of the arrangement they are well highlighted, and the splashes of color from the clarinets help keep the arrangement from sounding static. The backing band is also minimal as to allow the flutes to ring through, and you avoided having the flutes in their lower register while the clarinets and strings were playing.

Musicality: 13/15
Scored for 2 Flutes, Eb and Bb Clarinets, 2 Trombones, Drumset, Guitar, Electric Bass, Harp and a Violin Section

This is a short piece that knows how to utilize its forces. With the flutes front and center everything else is acting as supporting characters to the main stars of the show. The clarinets help lively up the sound midway through and occupy the mid register, while the trombones are used sparingly in the beginning and final sections to beef up the sound of the full band.

The use of harp and violins creates a sort of 1950’s muzak atmosphere, which I mean as a compliment. The gentle tremolos from the violins act as a calming wave from the ocean, and the harp gives a nice contrast in the middle-eight.

The rhythm section here is typical for the style, not particularly innovative but well applied. When part of the whole work they function well and maintain the groove nicely.

Presentation: 8/10
The score is clear though there’s superfluous space and an empty bar at the end.

The proper credits are listed, though the original title of the piece is not included, though easily inferred.

Final Thoughts:
Overall this arrangement is fair but fails at one of the main objectives. I think there’s potential in the pieces, but it may need another pass to bring it out. However the arranger’s use of the instrumentation was well done, and I would like to see you continue to expand your skill set. Great work, Kricketune!

Total: 29/40
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OVERALL SCORING
Relaxation Theme: 7.3 out of 10
Featured Instrument: 4.2 out of 5
Musicality: 13.3 out of 15
Presentation: 8.3 out of 10
Popular Vote: 6.8 out of 10

FINAL SCORE: 40.0 out of 50
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LeviR.star: “Wily’s Day of Reckoning” [PDF] [WAV]

braix’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 10/10
Thought this could be really nice if some more work was put into the production side of things (not part of the judging criteria, but if you'd like to put more work into that). More mellow piano VST since it feels a bit sharp for the theme, add some delay on the piano lead lines in the intro and outro, lower the mix on the piano pedal, high cut the strings and lower its volume, bring on a live recording for the flute so the listener isn't taken out of the moment with the weird MIDI glissandos and fast 16th lines.

Featured Instrument: 5/5
The flute suits the ensemble and the texture of the piece. Would have been felt like something was missing without it.

Musicality: 13.5/15
Felt like implementing some pauses and messing with the density in the piano part would have helped with adding more movement and interest. I like the ideas, overall structure made sense. Some more variation in tempo/intensity could have been appropriate. Just felt like there was so much more potential but it stopped short.

Presentation: 9/10
Double barlines missing.

Total: 37.5/40
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cacabish’s Scoring
This is just really nice. The choice is great and the prevailing use of the original's melody is great and the reharmonization is simply stupendous. The piano part is just the cherry on top; it makes full use of everything I love about piano music insomuch I'd love to learn a piano piece like this. However, I feel the flute could've possibly used a bit more love and really showed it off more and had it interplay more with the piano. Nevertheless, the use of strings creates some fantastic sounds and really fill the air with strong chording. The score's presentation is great, only lacking in some consistency issues (like the part abbreviations), but nothing a bit of polish wouldn't. Overall, a wonderful arrangement of some iconic video game music.

Relaxation Theme: 8/10
Featured Instrument: 4/5
Musicality: 15/15
Presentation: 10/10

Total: 37/40
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Maestro’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 8/10
A rather sad, somber arrangement. Almost like an elegy Mega Man? Or even Wily, perhaps?

Mega Man’s music is well known for uptempo and very energetic, and here you slowed it down to let the melody carry out. The arrangement is rather relaxed compared to the original; even the more intense middle section, with a surprise secondary theme, manages to not go overboard, with an almost Chopinesque restraint. That said it did go on until nearly the end, being nearly a third of the length of the piece.

This may be nitpicky, as contrast is important for musical development, but the wall of sound coming from the strings could’ve been omitted to make the section feel less overpowering compared to the outer sections.

Featured Instrument: 2/5
After a lengthy piano intro (26 bars!), the flute enters and leads the show. Mostly.

While the flute has the melody the piano plays a beautiful accompaniment, in fact it almost sounds like an art song transcribed for a flute recital. However this is later undermined in the middle section, with the piano written at a forte and the addition of strings which drown out the mezzo-piano flute. It’s then omitted from the coda, and never given a resolution.

The actual writing for the flute is well done, though, but the uneven attention it gets as a solo work leaves something to be desired.

Musicality: 11/15
Scored for Flute, Piano, High Strings (presumably a single group of four violins)

The piano part is very well written, and the arrangement could be reworked into a true piano solo and nothing would be lost.

However the addition of the strings muddies the arrangement, adding a wall of sound in the mid-range of the piece that just sorts of washes out the flute. The secondary melody the flute has in the middle section is completely drowned out, which renders the surprise inclusion of the Mega Man 2 “Wily Fortress 1” theme moot. Omitting the strings would help the flute come to the fore (with a boost in the dynamics as well), and the arrangement would be better for it. Or as an alternative you can rework the parts into a string quartet spread out over two octaves-or-so.

Additionally the shift into e-flat minor is not a friendly key for many instruments, but perhaps a transposition down a half step would solve this problem.

Presentation: 7/10
The score is clear, but the proper credits are not complete. The secondary melody featured is listed above the section it appears in the score, but its associated composer is not listed in the credits.

Consolidating the string part into a single line is fine, but there are few moments where the strings are tied and there’s movement within the part which should have a slur to keep the sound unified during performance. Additionally it is not specified which strings are used, or their number; leaving me to assume the playback of a violin section is what was intended.

Final Thoughts:
I enjoyed this treatment of the original piece, but it stumbles midway through and doesn’t recover. However these are simple adjustments, and likely the result of not realizing how big of a sound four violin lines actually is. However, this arrangement is really beautiful and with some edits would be a delight to hear live. Wonderful work, Levi!

Total: 28/40
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OVERALL SCORING
Relaxation Theme: 8.7 out of 10
Featured Instrument: 3.7 out of 5
Musicality: 13.2 out of 15
Presentation: 8.7 out of 10
Popular Vote: 7.2 out of 10 (5th most popular!)

FINAL SCORE: 41.3 out of 50
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Nine Lives: “Dormant Duck” [PDF] [MP3]

braix’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 10/10
Gave me some Animal Crossing vibes for some reason. Would vibe.

Featured Instrument: 5/5
Liked the vibraphone with the flute. Solos made sense.

Musicality: 14.5/15
Might have been able to use a bit more variation in the drums. m35 chord feels off.

Presentation: 9/10
Drum part voices are split inconsistently.

Total: 38.5/40
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cacabish’s Scoring
This sounds really great! I hadn't heard the original before, but this does a terrific job of parodying the original. The flute is front and center (arguably to a fault), but the harmony with the glockenspiel is almost criminally good. The minor tones of the original are still present, but they have been carefully rounded out and aren't harsh or sad, creating a very nice relaxing vibe. And the build-up is nice and chill, instead of just being overbearing, which is very welcome! There are a few minor hiccups with the score's formatting, foremost being that the mini-titles on pages 2+ is of the original piece's name, not the arrangement's, but nothing majorly detracting. All that said, this totally sounds like something you'd hear in a jazz club. And it's definitely something I'd really want to hear in a jazz club! Excellent work!

Relaxation Theme: 9/10
Featured Instrument: 3/5
Musicality: 14/15
Presentation: 9/10

Total: 35/40
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Maestro’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 8/10
A nice little jazzy number. The original theme hits fairly hard so stripping it down to the essential musical building blocks was a smart move. You built a nice swing grove and gave it a bluesy feel, and the flute with the vibraphone creates a very mellow and chill mood.

Featured Instrument: 3/5
The flute here occupies a solo that would fit a crooner. You knew to bring the flute to a higher octave when the rest of the quartet kicked it up a notch so the melody would still be heard, especially as the vibraphone tends to linger and would wash out the flute if left in the lower register. Jazz flute in general is fairly underrated, but I think you stuck too closely to the original melody to let the flute do something interesting; the soloing in the A’ section was nice, but a bit by-the-numbers.

Musicality: 11/15
Score for Flute, Vibraphone, Bass, Drumset

Here is an uncommon quartet, but one that I think is well chosen. You have the drums playing a gentle swing rhythm, and when combined with the bass you create a nice, smoky room that lights up when the flute enters. The vibraphone acts as both a duetting and accompanying instrument to the flute, where the rhythm section keeps going without being too distracting.

That said, no one is allowed to deviate from their prescribed role which, while it creates a functional loop for the repeat, it makes the piece less interesting overall.

In general if you’re repeating material you should do something with it, develop it in some way. The A’ section is a welcome change, but you just repeat the B section as is; I would’ve liked to see you continue developing the theme and rework the B section in an interesting way.

Presentation: 9/10
The score is clear and the proper credits are present.

The dal segno is tucked in an awkward corner of the score, and one I admittedly missed during my read-through. I didn’t even know it was there until I saw the “to coda” instruction 2 pages later. I understand this is a consequence of the formatting, but this would’ve been better foreshadowed by the use of double bar lines in bar 24.

Final Thoughts:
Overall this is a very well done piece, and itself would be a suitable variation of the theme that could’ve been featured in-game. It’s clean and straight-foward, and the loop is well constructed; in all I think this arrangement is a fine example of “cool jazz”. Great job, Nine Lives!

Total: 31/40
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OVERALL SCORING
Relaxation Theme: 9.0 out of 10
Featured Instrument: 3.7 out of 5
Musicality: 13.2 out of 15
Presentation: 9.0 out of 10
Popular Vote: 9.2 out of 10 (3rd most popular!)

FINAL SCORE: 44.1 out of 50
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Olimar12345: “Now, or Whenever” [PDF] [WAV]

braix’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 10/10
Theme intact, relax, woomy.

Featured Instrument: 5/5
Nice idea using 4 flutes, very well executed, takes advantage of the full range of options you get with using a flute.

Musicality: 15/15
Sticks to the genre's conventions really well despite the unconventional ensemble. Probably my favorite rhythm section of these submissions. Hits are emphasized well and good dynamic interest and texture contrast.

Presentation: 10/10
Clean, organized, consistent, easy to read. Bar repeat symbols are appreciated.

Total: 40/40
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cacabish’s Scoring
Absolutely love that bossa vibe. Honestly, this piece really shines as clearly framing the original melody, but with a completely radical harmony. The use of upper extensions and color tones really make this piece pop and really keep that relaxing vibe going throughout. The flute quartet is well written, with each part being uniquely interesting. While I'm not crazy about the font choice, that's a personal taste and the score's presentation is wonderfully presented. I really don't have much else to say; this is honestly a piece I could say "stick a fork in it, it's done" and ship it off to the printers. Phenomenal job!

Relaxation Theme: 10/10
Featured Instrument: 5/5
Musicality: 15/15
Presentation: 10/10

Total: 40/40
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Maestro’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 7/10
Truly bossa nova is the most relaxing musical style out there. Music from Splatoon is well known for being loud, fast, and featuring very crunchy electronic production. Any sort of relaxification would necessitate a complete turnover of the original piece, which I think is reasonably achieved here. However there are moments where you opt for some discordant harmonization within the flutes that, combined with the shrillness of their upper register, takes away from the mood.

Featured Instrument: 5/5
Here we see a quartet of flutes written in a big band tradition. Since the flutes are the only melodic instruments used in the arrangement it’s hard to say they don’t deliver. As they were utilized as a whole section we get the full breadth of melody, harmony and counterpoint; with each player getting something interesting to do throughout the work.

Musicality: 14/15
Scored for 4 flutes, Guitar, Bass, and Drums

The arrangement is very well constructed and it’s clear you have a very distinct vision for the piece. That said when the harmonies get a bit crunchy it doesn’t blend well and cause the chords to sit like a stone. While tension is often appropriate, they feel incidental rather than deliberate and the resolutions from them do not feel complete.

The rhythm section is typical for the style and largely by-the-numbers, but functional nonetheless.

Presentation: 10/10
The score is clear and the proper credits are present.

This is a professional quality score; you know exactly what you want from your musicians and leave nothing to chance.

Final Thoughts:
This is an incredibly well constructed arrangement and its usage of both big band and bossa nova traditions create a fairly unique soundscape in this competition. I cannot fault it for its craft, but the few times it stumbles just keep it from reaching a perfect score. That said, very well done, Olimar!

Total: 36/40
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OVERALL SCORING
Relaxation Theme: 9.0 out of 10
Featured Instrument: 5.0 out of 5
Musicality: 14.7 out of 15
Presentation: 10.0 out of 10
Popular Vote: 9.4 out of 10 (2nd most popular!)

FINAL SCORE: 48.1 out of 50
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(continued in next post)
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there's also a huge difference in quality between 2000 songs and 2010 songs
The difference between 2000 songs and 2010 songs is 10 songs.

mastersuperfan

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Th3Gavst3r: “The Rains of Thyme” [PDF] [MP3]

braix’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 9/10
I really like the overall idea and mood of this one, but could have used more variation so that it doesn't get boring in the middle.

Featured Instrument: 5/5
Good use of articulations. I like the Irish flute interpretation of the prompt, creative.

Musicality: 13/15
Really wish there were some percs in this. The B section feels a bit samey to me, no real variation throughout.

Presentation: 10/10
Nice presentation.

Total: 37/40
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cacabish’s Scoring
This is, quite frankly, simply wonderful. This sounds a lot like a soundtrack from an open-world game, or a game with lots of rolling hills and green grasslands. I have to laugh at how completely polar this arrangement is compared to the original in terms of vibe. The guitar backing is phenomenal and really helps drive the melody forward beautifully. Given the nature of the instrumentation, the "intense" parts are still kept calm and relaxing, really carrying the feel forward. The presentation of the score is terrific, with maybe a few more articulations for the flutes needed to capture the true vision, but I really can't complain. Aside from that, there's not much else to say other than maybe work in bagpipes? Fantastic work!

Relaxation Theme: 10/10
Featured Instrument: 5/5
Musicality: 15/15
Presentation: 10/10

Total: 40/40
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Maestro’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 9/10
How does one relaxify a dubstep-metal song? Simple. You turn it into an Irish folk song! This is by far the most interesting take on this competition, and one that is incredibly well done. The use of the pennywhistle is a surprise, but at times its shrill, piercing quality can take away from the calming nature of the piece. However I cannot help but commend you for the direction you chose for this arrangement; it’s such a bold transformation that its relation to the original is almost lost. Almost.

Featured Instrument: 4/5
Here we get both an Irish Flute and a Pennywhistle which, while more closely related to a recorder, is technically classified as a flute. The first half is focused on the Irish flute, and its softer tone compared to the typical flute creates a very soothing mood.

But then the Pennywhistle comes in and its sharp timbre is very harsh. When used as some light coloring within a larger texture it can work well, but when exposed in a solo as in this piece it can get tiring to the ear. The Pennywhistle functions better in faster music, like jigs. Here it would’ve worked better as an accent to the flute, rather than as a soloist.

Musicality: 14/15
Score for Guitar, Pennywhistle in Eb, Irish flute, and Fiddle

The guitar accompaniment is very charming, subtle and calming. Working as a bedrock to the piece, the guitar helps the rest of the ensemble stay focused and can blend into the background nicely. Its brief solo in the intro and coda are very nice, and in a distinct meter from the main body of the piece which gives it some extra import.

The fiddle here works as a counterpoint to the melodies of the two winds, and though I would’ve liked to see more from it, I cannot fault its use here. It gives the winds a solid contrasting line to play above, and a very warm tone to the overall texture.

Presentation: 10/10
The score is clear and the proper credits are present.

The piece is rather minimalist, and doesn’t require too much fussing over the notation, and given the style the performers would add their own embellishments anyway.

Final Thoughts:
This is a very lovely piece, and possibly the most surprising conversion of this competition. This wouldn’t feel out of place as a lullaby, with its gentle lilt and soothing instrumentation. As a side note, the rain effects in the prepared audio file is a nice effect, but not one that merits commentary in the proper judgment of the work. Fantastic work, Th3Gavst3r!

Total: 37/40
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OVERALL SCORING
Relaxation Theme: 9.3 out of 10
Featured Instrument: 4.7 out of 5
Musicality: 14.0 out of 15
Presentation: 10.0 out of 10
Popular Vote: 10.0 out of 10 (MOST POPULAR!)
Late Penalty: -7.0

FINAL SCORE: 41.0 out of 50
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Tobbeh99: “Light as Heaven’s Feather” [PDF] [WAV]

braix’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 9/10
Really cool arrangement, but a bit more dramatic than relaxing, I'd say.

Featured Instrument: 5/5
I like how the wind ensemble is incorporated.

Musicality: 15/15
Good texture and movement. Don't think it'd be right to nitpick on something this long with so many layers involved.

Presentation: 7/10
I appreciate all the information in the first two pages, but formatting is a bit all over the place. Fonts, spacing, capitalization could be more uniform. Drum legend placing is a bit odd and the color mismatching bothers me. Might have just been better not to include it at all, drummers know how to read their own sheet music unless you're using some really unorthodox notation system. Landscape layout and larger page size might have been more appropriate for an ensemble of this size.

Total: 36/40
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cacabish’s Scoring
Oh baby, this is quite the ambitious choice, and yet you did a great job with it! The full orchestral sound really lends a lot of interesting motions throughout this piece and allow different parts to shine well. The reharmonization is also really good, allowing for some simply beautiful sounds. While this is a good, less-intense reimagining of the original, it definitely doesn't quite strike me as fully "relaxing" as there are tense parts and strong dissonance that offset it a bit too much for me to fully classify it as such. However, this is definitely something I would be able to comfortably listen to in a concert hall. The score's presentation is good, but I would say it just needs a bit of polish, especially around the choral parts. Also, take care to ensure that transposed instruments (like the B-flat clarinet) are transposed as well. But aside from that, I think this is a really solid piece and I could totally see it as the background music for a game, crowning the scene's mood and atmosphere. Fantastic job!

Relaxation Theme: 7/10
Featured Instrument: 4/5
Musicality: 14/15
Presentation: 8/10

Total: 33/40
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Maestro’s Scoring
Relaxation Theme: 6/10
“One Winged Angel” is one of the most recognizable boss themes in the history of video games;  and by far one of the most popular themes spawned by the Final Fantasy franchise. Anybody choosing this piece as the basis of an arrangement for this competition would have their work cut out for them. Here we see the large orchestration and melody largely preserved from the original, but to what end?

The arrangement is more tranquil compared to the original, but it is overall bloated and not particularly relaxing. Sure it's slower, and the urgency of the original is reversed; but the overwhelming size of the orchestral swells when combined with a full chorus overpowers the listener. Very rarely do the majority of the forces here fade into the background to give you a chance to breathe, it's nonstop from the beginning.

Featured Instrument: 3/5
Included in your orchestration is a complement of four flutes, ostensibly split into two sections. Their use here is fair, as befitting a full orchestral piece, but as a focal point for the competition they are secondary to the chorus and strings. As parts of the larger texture their use is adequate, but for reasons that plague the entire orchestration they are lacking in elements that make them essential to the work.

Musicality: 10/15
Scored for 4 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets in Bb, 4 Bassoons
6 Horns in F, 4 trumpets, Tuba
Xylophone, Drumset
SATB Chorus and “Pop” Soprano soloist
Piano, 2 electric/synth keyboards
Electric bass
Strings (omitting basses)

This is by far the largest arrangement submitted for this competition, but the way the orchestra is written and utilized it may have been a bit too much for the arranger.

Firstly the number of players listed in the score does not match the actual writing of their parts. Yes, the scoring is fairly typical for orchestral writing, but the parts are largely in unison. This means that there’s excessive doubling and unisoni writing, which works against the tone you’re trying to build here. Four bassoons on a single line is a lot, and even at their softest the sound will still be overbearing as the bassoon is a very buzzy instrument.

Secondly the piece is also written in B Lydian, which is not a great key for the full orchestra, especially for transposing instruments. Transposing the entire piece down a half-step would easily solve this problem, with some necessary rewrites.

Thirdly your use of the electric elements is well done, they create an interesting texture to mix with the orchestra, but when the drums kick in I feel like I’m watching a televangelist sermon trying too hard to appear cool. They could’ve been omitted and the piece would be no lesser for it.

Lastly you’ve included a full chorus with a soprano solo, befitting the original piece. The text is simple, but not a point of critique here. Your choral writing is fine, if a bit dull. So much of the chorus is sustaining notes on open vowels, and you seem uninterested in letting the basses do anything. Bars 72-82 are the most exciting part for the chorus, if only because they’re allowed to do something. The solo part is fine and when placed in front of the chorus it will carry out perfectly well, and if the previous adjustment are made I think it would be a lovely choral piece when reduced to choir and piano accompaniment.

Presentation: 5/10
The proper credits are present, but the issues in the orchestration ripple through the score which would force a conductor to make edits to get the piece to a playable point. The inclusion of the instrument list is useful, but only serves to highlight the problems in the piece. My first thought when reading the score was to cut the orchestra in half to remove the unnecessary doubling, and also fix the balancing problems present in the arrangement.

The score order itself is also incorrect. The strings should always be at the bottom of the score order, and the xylophone, keyboards, and drums needed to be above the vocal parts.

Final Thoughts:
I appreciate the scale and ambition and the arrangement; however I believe there’s a lack of understanding of exactly how big an orchestra is and how much sound even a single instrument can produce. This may be a consequence of playback not adequately representing the full breadth of sound an orchestra has, but I know I’ve made similar mistakes in my own music before and these are fixable issues. That said I think this was a very nice arrangement and I hope you’ll continue to learn and sharpen your orchestration skills. Nice work, Tobbeh99!

Total: 24/40
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OVERALL SCORING
Relaxation Theme: 7.3 out of 10
Featured Instrument: 4.0 out of 5
Musicality: 13.0 out of 15
Presentation: 6.7 out of 10
Popular Vote: 5.1 out of 10

FINAL SCORE: 36.1 out of 50
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Overall Results!

Finally, I’ll announce the top five most highly scoring arrangements overall in this year’s contest!

But first, an honorable mention for our 6th place finisher…
Th3Gavst3r!



With “The Rains of Thyme,” based on “The Stains of Time” from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, earning a score of 41.0 out of 50 points!
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And now:

In 5th place!
LeviR.star!



With “Wily’s Day of Reckoning,” based on “Last Boss” from Mega Man 6, earning a remarkable score of 41.3 out of 50 points!
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In 4th place!
Code_Name_Geek!



With “Steven Stone’s Day Off,” based on “Battle! (Steven)” from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, earning a spectacular score of 42.4 out of 50 points!
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In 3rd place!
Nine Lives!



With “Dormant Duck,” based on “Mount Vesuvius” from DuckTales Remastered, earning an exceptional score of 44.1 out of 50 points!
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In 2nd place!
Bloop!



With “Morpheel’s Lament,” based on “Morpheel Battle (Second Half)” from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, earning an extraordinary score of 47.0 out of 50 points!
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And the winner of NinSheetMusic’s 10th arrangement contest is…
Olimar12345!



With “Now, or Whenever,” based on “Now or Never!” from Splatoon, earning a magnificent score of 48.1 out of 50 points!
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Congratulations to EVERYONE who participated—it was amazing to see such a high turnout of users show off their creative arranging abilities. And a massive thank you to the judges as well—this contest wouldn’t have run without them!

And with that, NinSheetMusic’s 10th arrangement contest has come to a close. I hope you enjoyed it, and stay tuned for when the next one happens, whenever in the future that may be!
« Last Edit: October 09, 2022, 12:08:29 AM by mastersuperfan »
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there's also a huge difference in quality between 2000 songs and 2010 songs
The difference between 2000 songs and 2010 songs is 10 songs.

Tobbeh99

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I wonder were the popular votes counted in?? Looks to me like only the judges votes were counted. Nvm, I missed it.

Also I really like the title of Fantastic Ike's theme. Got to be the most funny! :D

Also congrats to everyone for participating! :D 
« Last Edit: October 09, 2022, 05:23:08 PM by Tobbeh99 »
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tfw you get schooled in English grammar by a guy whose first language is not English

10/10 tobbeh

Fantastic Ike

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Quote
Also I really like the title of Fantastic Ike's theme. Got to be the most funny! :D

I saw the opportunity and had to take it lol
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