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Arrangement Contest No. 10 in A-flat Aeolian "Relaxing music to empty your head"

Started by mastersuperfan, July 02, 2022, 08:59:09 PM

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Welcome to the 10th NSM Arrangement Contest!

In a crushing victory, the theme for NinSheetMusic's 10th arrangement contest is...

Take an intense track and make a relaxing arrangement of it!

Additionally, this arrangement contest has a secondary featured instrument requirement: every arrangement must use the FLUTE as one of its instruments! I expect most people to use the standard Western concert flute, but... if your heart desires, you can use another variant, like a piccolo or a wooden flute! Just check in with me beforehand so that I know you're not using, like, a clarinet or something.

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

Arrangement Contest No. 10 Submissions

Currently Planned Timeline
  • Sign-up and song choice deadline: Sunday, July 10
  • Submission deadline: Sunday, August 21
  • Judging and popular vote timeline: Sunday, September 25
  • Results announced: Saturday, October 8

Overview of Contest Theme and Guidelines

The theme is relaxification! Take any intense/high-energy/high-tension/upbeat/fast/etc. video game track and make a cozy, relaxing arrangement to chill out to! There's a lot of leeway in which track you pick, as long as it's not something that most people would already consider relaxing! If you're unsure about your track choice, feel free to check in with me about it.

Your submission should be a very substantial, creative re-arrangement—i.e. change the instrumentation, tempo, mood, structure, and even melodies, rhythms, and harmonies if you so wish! Add interesting new parts and features that match your vision of the relaxing re-arrangement. But, also make sure your arrangement is still easily recognizable as a re-arrangement the original track!

The featured instrument is a flute! i.e. You'll be required to use one in your arrangement. The flute should play an interesting role (i.e. not just adding generic harmony buried under other instruments). But that doesn't mean it should have the melody the whole time (it probably shouldn't!)—you can have it switch to ornamented countermelodies, harmony parts, etc. tl;dr Make the flute an interesting and integral, but not overbearing, part of your arrangement!

Choosing the instrumentation can be hard. If you're newer, I recommend trying to use between 4 and 10 instruments for your arrangement. Don't feel pressured to make an arrangement with tons of instruments—many arrangements that have done well in the past have used 5, 6, or 7. Often less is more, and you can flesh out each instrument better. However, if you feel strongly about trying to make a grandiose arrangement with lots of parts, there's no one stopping you (but make sure it's still relaxing!).

You should make your arrangement in Finale or Musescore (or, heavens forbid, some other notation software of your choice). It's not just about the sound—aspects like visual and technical presentation, i.e. engraving practices, articulations, clear instructions, playability are part of the score! It should be something that a group of real musicians could very well play if they wanted to.

Judging Rubric

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


  • mastersuperfan (that's me!)

  • braix
  • cacabish
  • InsigTurtle
  • MaestroUGC
  • Static
  • XiaoMigros

  • If you have a check mark by your name, that means you've submitted your arrangement!
  • Atcero ✅
  • Bloop ✅
  • Code_Name_Geek ✅
  • DaBluePipe
  • Dekkadeci ✅
  • Fantastic Ike ✅
  • Kricketune54 ✅
  • ✅
  • meeow
  • NineLives ✅
  • Olimar12345 ✅
  • PokeMaestro
  • Radiak488417
  • Samusthedude
  • Th3Gavst3r ✅
  • Tobbeh99 ✅
  • Trasdegi
  • Whoppybones

Links to Past Contests

Here are some links to earlier contests, for consideration:
Arrangement Contest No. 1 in A "Praeludium"
Arrangement Contest No. 2 in C "The Grand Dance"
Arrangement Contest No. 3 in G minor "Going Solo"
Arrangement Contest No. 4 in F diminished "Nightmarish Visions"
Arrangement Contest No. 6 in G# Phrygian "Bossification"
Arrangement Contest No. 5 in E-sharp "Variable Mix"
Arrangement Contest No. 7 in D-double-flat minor "Seasoning"
Arrangement Contest No. 8 in B# "Mix"olydian "Amalgamation"
Arrangement Contest No. 9 in C-triple-flat major "An Odd Time for a Contest!"

What's happening right now?

The contest is over! Thank you so much to everyone who participated, and we hope to see you come back for the next one!
Quote from: NocturneOfShadow on February 11, 2016, 03:00:36 PMthere's also a huge difference in quality between 2000 songs and 2010 songs
Quote from: Latios212 on February 11, 2016, 03:29:24 PMThe difference between 2000 songs and 2010 songs is 10 songs.


I participate as well.

Although it is a bit unsure as I has a lot of stuff I'm working on, so I might DQ if I feel like it's a bit overbearing.
Quote from: Dudeman on August 16, 2016, 06:11:42 AM
tfw you get schooled in English grammar by a guy whose first language is not English

10/10 tobbeh

Fantastic Ike



I think I'll have some fun with this! I'll participate as well—unbolded, no less.  ;D


Visit my site: VGM Sheet Music by Olimar12345 ~ Quality VGM sheet music available for free!

Check out my Youtube channel for remixes and original music!'s Remixes

Also check out my piano arrangements here on my PA thread!'s Arrangements




I'll sign up as a participant for now, but might end up switching to a judge down the line.




The arranging period is open! The submission deadline is Sunday, August 21 at 11:59 PM EDT. When you're done, submit the following files to me via Discord DM or, if you don't use Discord, email me at [my NSM username] at gmail dot com:
  • PDF
  • MP3
  • MUS or MUSX or MSCZ or XML or URL to Musescore sheet

Late submissions will incur a penalty, although if you find you have extenuating circumstances before the deadline that warrant an extension, reach out to me and we may or may not (TBD) be able to accommodations on a case-by-case basis.

Anyone who still wants to sign up after the deadline can contact me to ask, but given the high volume of people already signed up, you may not be able to be included. For judges, signing up now (including if you drop out as a participant) would probably mean being a back-up judge in case another judge can't follow through.

The judges and I are discussing the scoring rubric and hope to announced a finalized one to you over the next couple days. You can expect it to look fairly similar to ones from previous contests, although hopefully less complicated.
Quote from: NocturneOfShadow on February 11, 2016, 03:00:36 PMthere's also a huge difference in quality between 2000 songs and 2010 songs
Quote from: Latios212 on February 11, 2016, 03:29:24 PMThe difference between 2000 songs and 2010 songs is 10 songs.