NinSheetMusic Forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Be sure to tell your friends about NinSheetMusic!

Poll

What would you like to see as this contest's theme?

JUST the "making songs happier" idea
- 5 (50%)
JUST the "limited orchestration" idea (idk how that'd actually work)
- 2 (20%)
Both ideas, WITH THEIR POWERS COMBINED
- 2 (20%)
The "limited orchestration" idea, but in combination with another theme
- 0 (0%)
Solo with optional accompaniment
- 0 (0%)
Something else, all of these ideas suck
- 1 (10%)

Total Members Voted: 10

Voting closed: May 14, 2015, 02:23:06 AM


Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 6

Author Topic: Arrangement Contest No. 7 - Brainstorming  (Read 9902 times)

FierceDeity

  • Samus Sonata
  • ****************************
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 1600
    • View Profile
    • Email
Arrangement Contest No. 7 - Brainstorming
« on: May 09, 2015, 09:43:52 PM »

Alright, so I have a couple of ideas for the next contest. I'll update this post as more ideas are suggested/any consensus is reached.
Spoilers added because oops this turned out really long (to nobody's surprise but my own)

Idea 1 - Take A Sad Song And Make It Better

So, this one's kind of a natural progression from a couple of our previous contests, namely the bossification and the...spookification (?) ones. We've focused a lot on making pieces less peaceful and less joyful, so why not try the reverse? The criteria for this would simply be to take a melancholy, scary, and/or intense piece and make it "happier". Think Ordon Village or Green Greens. Obviously, pieces like the ones I mentioned would be off the table for originals to base this on. It would likely be judged similarly to the "spookification" contest in that considerable departures from the mood within the piece would result in a lower criteria score, even if the majority of the piece were still cheerful.

The drawbacks of this one are that it limits the pool of pieces one can choose from a bit more than usual, and has a somewhat vague goal (I'd have gone with "hometown theme" or something like that, but that just seems too specific, imo). On the other hand, though this means that despite the lower amount of freedom in piece choice, arrangers might end up with a greater amount of freedom as to what they do with the original.
[close]

Idea 2 - Limited Orchestration

Most contests, we have a pretty similar thing happen: A theme is suggested, and while people are pretty successful in portraying it, they do it with such drastically different instrument setups that it's pretty difficult to rate them against one another. I'd never try to qualitatively compare a Basie chart to a Mahler symphony, or, a more thematically appropriate comparison, a NES soundtrack to a nextgen soundtrack. So, what if the theme for a contest were instead very broad, and the focus were on how you deal with a prescribed orchestration?

My initial idea for this is to limit everyone to a quartet of monophonic instruments (i.e. no keyboard instruments, and likely no guitar). It'd be kinda like the solo contest we had a while back, just with a lot more freedom for typical writing styles. On the one hand, I'd thought of making it more limited to, say, a string quartet, but that gives unfair advantage to people more experienced in that area. On the other hand, I'd also love to open it up to combo arrangements with guitar and piano and such, but polyphonic instruments really stretch the definition of 4-part writing.

This is obviously limited in that it doesn't warrant that much of a change from the original piece, especially if it already contained a similar amount of voices. That could partially be resolved by arbitrary rules such as "no instruments that were in the original piece" or "write for a different emotion than that present in the original" (the level of difference then being valued in the creativity scoring), but still, eh. This idea truly is more of a brainstorm, as I'm really just intrigued by the idea of how everyone's pieces would compare if limited in this way.
[close]



Also, I have a couple of thoughts on some of the judging criteria:

Orchestration
- I love this one conceptually, but historically it's kinda just turned out to be a pretty universal "I love your choice of instruments!" with an occasional "...but this isn't that realistic of a part for [some instrument]." Arguably, this could be because everyone who submits has a pretty good grasp overall on how to write for the instruments they chose, but it could just as easily be an attempt to remain fair and objective on a very subjective scoring criteria. And, as evident in the scoring of them's last time, for example, there's quite often a disconnect between what works best for the instruments in real life, and what might be ideal in the digital interface in which we ultimately experience them. And while this has the potential to be a great experience for people to learn about the inner workings of instruments, it could also be a time to learn about what additional liberties we can take when we're not just limited to what real-life players can accomplish, as well as when and how realistic portrayals of instruments can still be beneficial in that new space. Part of this thinking came from me doing more work with purely electronic sources that don't even have a basis in real-world instruments, such as 8-bit chip sounds and synths, which would be both interesting to see in this context and a bit blurring of the current lines we have set on this criteria. Just some food for thought; is everyone okay sticking to a strictly acoustic approach to this, or would anyone like to see some more digitally-minded judging? And if we were to keep the same "attemptedly objective" approach that we have been, would anyone be interested in seeing its weight lowered?
[close]

Criteria
- I feel like for this one, my only concern is that it's historically been the least transparent of the judging criteria, even though it's the main focus of the contest, and should therefore have the most codified set of rules you have to follow. So, as we're discussing these ideas, if y'all have any thoughts on what considerations should be included in the scoring for this, let me know. I'm talking ideas like
Quote
It would likely be judged similarly to the "spookification" contest in that considerable departures from the mood within the piece would result in a lower criteria score, even if the majority of the piece were still cheerful.
only I'd try to make that clear from the very beginning.
[close]

Formatting
- Not just saying this because I've historically done poorly on it, but more because most people have historically done much more poorly on it than the "This should result in easy points." description would suggest. My thoughts are that we should lower the weight of this criteria, say, to 5 points. It isn't, and shouldn't be, the focus of these contests, especially considering the medium we're working with; maybe if most games had the funds or style required to work with live musicians, it'd make sense, but they don't, so it seems silly to work as if we do. The majority of us are never going to have these pieces read, and so long as the score presented allows the judges to adequately understand what's going on in the piece without a need for aural skills, I don't see why it should play such a huge part in somebody's overall score. Hell, if we change it, you can even change it back to normal weighting for any future contest that I participate in; as a judge, I just really don't want to have to say "Your piece was great! You did exactly what was asked of you! Except the imaginary players you won't be working with might find the score a bit unseemly. 10 points from Slytherin."

(As a learning experience, we could still point out what changes would need to be made if working with real players, it just wouldn't have nearly as much impact on the overall score.)
[close]

Preservation
- I think this criteria is fine preserved the way it is. (get it? GET IT???)
[close]

Creativity
- Arguably the most important of the criteria we have, as well as the most undervalued. This really should be what we're most encouraging; this shouldn't be training to be a better arranger by the NSM definition (which is really more of a transcriber + engraver), but more in the vein of Percy Grainger (ideally with less anti-semitism). So, my thoughts are that we could weight this category higher and/or divide it into multiple categories, like so:

Creativity - Like the current definition; how much change is made from the original?
Variety - Within the piece, what kinds of techniques are used? Is much headway made throughout the piece to maintain interest, or does it remain static, and to what extent do these qualities suit the arranger's apparent goal?
[close]


Obviously, none of this is set in stone (including me being the host, for that matter), so please let me know what your thoughts are on any of this.
Logged

InsigTurtle

  • Expert Typoist
  • Staff Emeritus
  • Rupee Ragtime
  • *
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 1176
    • View Profile
Re: Arrangement Contest No. 7 - Brainstorming
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2015, 11:44:44 PM »

Idea 1 - Take A Sad Song And Make It Better
Remember to let her into your heart...

I like the idea of having a contest that contrasts the previous ones. Instead of the objective being that specific, why not just make the goal to make the resulting piece peaceful, relaxing, etc.? I feel it would result in a more diverse end result.
Logged

them

  • Video Game Midi
  • **
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 37
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Arrangement Contest No. 7 - Brainstorming
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2015, 01:27:18 AM »

Idea 1: Arrangement of a classical piece, and not a video-game piece.
And when I say classical, I mean all the styles, not just classical, so Ravel and more modern composers are acceptable too along with older Gregorian chants.

Idea 2: Arrangement of a piece where the singer is the main focus. Basically you take a theme and turn it into an air. You could add another score category for who can come up with the best lyrics!

I like your second idea, FierceDeity, but I'd feel more comfortable with a piano behind my quartet.
Logged

MaestroUGC

  • Bringer of Magnificence
  • Global Moderator
  • Nintendo Nocturne
  • *
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 5250
  • A Man of the People
    • View Profile
    • YouTube Page
Re: Arrangement Contest No. 7 - Brainstorming
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2015, 03:58:33 AM »

I'm all for a limited orchestration, but I feel it shoukd be an additional requirement to a contest rather than the contest itself.
Logged
Try to do everything; you're bound to succeed with at least one.

mikey

  • Nintendo Nocturne
  • ********************************
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 11385
  • This Space Intentionally Left Blank
    • View Profile
Re: Arrangement Contest No. 7 - Brainstorming
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2015, 06:33:09 AM »

I have a sweet idea for a limited orchestration that I might want to try out
Logged
unmotivated

FierceDeity

  • Samus Sonata
  • ****************************
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 1600
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Arrangement Contest No. 7 - Brainstorming
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2015, 07:46:40 PM »

Instead of the objective being that specific, why not just make the goal to make the resulting piece peaceful, relaxing, etc.?

I feel like that's actually more specific than what I'd said, haha.
The criteria for this would simply be to take a melancholy, scary, and/or intense piece and make it "happier".
Peaceful and relaxing are just one side of "happy"-sounding music; that's why I included the example of Green Greens, too :P

Idea 1: Arrangement of a classical piece, and not a video-game piece.
And when I say classical, I mean all the styles, not just classical, so Ravel and more modern composers are acceptable too along with older Gregorian chants.

Idea 2: Arrangement of a piece where the singer is the main focus. Basically you take a theme and turn it into an air. You could add another score category for who can come up with the best lyrics!

I have nothing against other genres, they just seem kind of out of place for a website/forum dedicated to video game music haha

I like your second idea, FierceDeity, but I'd feel more comfortable with a piano behind my quartet.

That's a possibility I'm still willing to entertain, assuming you mean it's being considered as one of the instruments. But then again, "comfort" isn't really the goal of that challenge, haha.

I'm all for a limited orchestration, but I feel it shoukd be an additional requirement to a contest rather than the contest itself.

Yeah, that's why I was thinking it might be included with some broader theme. Maybe this would work in conjunction with idea 1?
Logged

Olimar12345

  • The Captain
  • Staff Emeritus
  • Nintendo Nocturne
  • *
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 10228
    • View Profile
    • VGMSheetMusicbyOlimar12345
Re: Arrangement Contest No. 7 - Brainstorming
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2015, 07:50:13 PM »

In regards to the instrumentation thing, we could do something like "write a solo for your primary instrument" with optional accompaniment or something. That way the ensemble choices would be somewhat similar (at the very least in size), and the quality would be a bit higher, since we'd be writing what we know best.
Logged
Visit my site: VGM Sheet Music by Olimar12345 ~ Quality VGM sheet music available for free!

Yug_Guy

  • Resident Palindrome
  • Staff Emeritus
  • Ordon Overture
  • *
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 1562
  • Wisconsin Made Since '97!
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Arrangement Contest No. 7 - Brainstorming
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2015, 08:54:25 PM »

Idea 1 - Take A Sad Song And Make It Better
I guess this idea would work, I think the biggest two problems would be 1) the fact that there aren't as many "spooky" songs to begin with, and 2) would a change from a minor to a major key affect the judging of the piece at all?

Idea 2 - Limited Orchestration
I really like this idea! Especially if it were applied to say, a more modern video game song that's more heavily orchestrated.

Also, I have a couple of thoughts on some of the judging criteria:
Orchestration
I would for sure say leave 8-bit chiptunes out unless the prompt specifically asks for them. While it's nice to see people want to work with digital synthesizers, I think more of us have experience with regular music notation, and would simply like to stick with that. I think an interesting thing to add with the judging would be to judge how much each instrument brought to the arrangement, and whether the individual instrument was worth putting into the arrangement. Idk, food for thought.

Criteria
Yeah, this one probably doesn't need to be weighted as heavily. After all, 99%+ of people exposed to any kind of video game music never get the chance to actually see the music. If we were to judge it the same way here, it'd be kind of pointless.

Creativity
Adding a variety category seems like a good idea, but it shouldn't completely undermine the original melody. It still has to be recognizable.

Otherwise, everything's looking pretty solid at the moment.

FierceDeity

  • Samus Sonata
  • ****************************
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 1600
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Arrangement Contest No. 7 - Brainstorming
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2015, 01:58:50 AM »

In regards to the instrumentation thing, we could do something like "write a solo for your primary instrument" with optional accompaniment or something. That way the ensemble choices would be somewhat similar (at the very least in size), and the quality would be a bit higher, since we'd be writing what we know best.

That'd be cool, but didn't we already have a solo contest? :P Granted, this is slightly different as it includes an optional accompaniment, but that still leaves the potential of the same style of piece if people decided to forego that. Also, by accompaniment do you mean like basso continuo style accompaniment, or broader than that?

But yeah, my thoughts for quartet-only were that it basically lets people write similarly to how they normally would in terms of counterpoint and harmony, while restricting everyone to a similarly sized sound. You'd still obviously be allowed to include the instrument you know best (except for the possibility of polyphonic instruments, which I'm honestly leaning more toward allowing at this point anyways), just within the context of a 4-person ensemble (which could potentially just include multiple of that instrument, anyways haha).

there aren't as many "spooky" songs to begin with

The criteria for this would simply be to take a melancholy, scary, and/or intense piece and make it "happier".

There are many feelings different from "happy" aside from just "spooky", haha. This includes most dungeon themes, boss themes, tragic themes, etc. I acknowledged that this is still a smaller pool to choose from than we usually have, but in and of itself it's still a pretty wide selection, haha. Even super cheerful games like Kirby have their fair share of qualifying tracks.

2) would a change from a minor to a major key affect the judging of the piece at all?

Not actually sure what you mean. Generally, yes, it would involve taking a piece in a minor key and rewriting it in major, but that'd just be the basic change, for which contestants would be marked down in the creativity department. It'd still be necessary for people to make other changes than that. But the way you phrased your question makes me wonder if you're asking whether it's okay to change it from minor to major, to which the answer is, yes, absolutely.

I really like this idea! Especially if it were applied to say, a more modern video game song that's more heavily orchestrated.

Yeah, in the (probably unlikely) situation that the limited orchestration concept were the only basis for the contest, it'd be neat to require contestants to choose a more heavily orchestrated song to start with. But then again, that'd be pretty discriminatory in terms of tastes and genre.

I would for sure say leave 8-bit chiptunes out unless the prompt specifically asks for them. While it's nice to see people want to work with digital synthesizers, I think more of us have experience with regular music notation, and would simply like to stick with that. I think an interesting thing to add with the judging would be to judge how much each instrument brought to the arrangement, and whether the individual instrument was worth putting into the arrangement. Idk, food for thought.

I'm less asking if we should switch to that approach entirely, more asking if we should give more freedom to that approach if people desire it. And chiptunes were more of an example, really (though it'd be interesting to see a contest for rearranging modern pieces into chiptunes, if Chipsounds weren't like $80). I'm more talking about anything that might be unrealistic in the real world, but potentially ideal for a recording, like greater variance in volume level for keyboards.

Yeah, this one probably doesn't need to be weighted as heavily. After all, 99%+ of people exposed to any kind of video game music never get the chance to actually see the music. If we were to judge it the same way here, it'd be kind of pointless.

I'm wondering if you meant to say this in response to my thoughts on formatting XD

Adding a variety category seems like a good idea, but it shouldn't completely undermine the original melody. It still has to be recognizable.

Yeah, the preservation criteria would still maintain equal weight, so hopefully that wouldn't be an issue.


This is great feedback guys, keep it coming! And sorry if my responses seem dismissive or argumentative, I don't mean it that way; it's just that debating ideas is how I tend to evaluate their worth, haha.
Logged

Maelstrom

  • Ghost Updater
  • Nintendo Nocturne
  • *
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 7600
  • Currently screaming at chemicals
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Arrangement Contest No. 7 - Brainstorming
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2015, 02:08:47 AM »

I know I dropped out of the last one, but I'd love a "Make a song happier" contest.

InsigTurtle

  • Expert Typoist
  • Staff Emeritus
  • Rupee Ragtime
  • *
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 1176
    • View Profile
Re: Arrangement Contest No. 7 - Brainstorming
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2015, 02:14:50 AM »

I feel like that's actually more specific than what I'd said, haha.Peaceful and relaxing are just one side of "happy"-sounding music; that's why I included the example of Green Greens, too :P
Less specific than the "hometown theme" idea, that is.

I don't know, you could always try mixing the first and second idea, but that might be a bit too restrictive.
Logged

FierceDeity

  • Samus Sonata
  • ****************************
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 1600
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Arrangement Contest No. 7 - Brainstorming
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2015, 02:25:03 AM »

Ah, gotcha. Yeah I'm still kinda feeling all of this out.

Speaking of feeling it out, I put up a preliminary poll, so feel free to let me know what you think of the options thus far.
Logged

mikey

  • Nintendo Nocturne
  • ********************************
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 11385
  • This Space Intentionally Left Blank
    • View Profile
Re: Arrangement Contest No. 7 - Brainstorming
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2015, 03:06:24 AM »

In regards to the instrumentation thing, we could do something like "write a solo for your primary instrument" with optional accompaniment or something. That way the ensemble choices would be somewhat similar (at the very least in size), and the quality would be a bit higher, since we'd be writing what we know best.
what about percussionists do they Getty to use multiple instruments
Logged
unmotivated

Olimar12345

  • The Captain
  • Staff Emeritus
  • Nintendo Nocturne
  • *
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 10228
    • View Profile
    • VGMSheetMusicbyOlimar12345
Re: Arrangement Contest No. 7 - Brainstorming
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2015, 03:12:16 AM »

^Don't worry about it if you're not a percussionist.

And we've already done a solo and three mood-inverse themed contests. I think form and instrumentation would be more interesting things to center the next one around.

Also, I'm always down to ms paint some prize sig images xD
Logged
Visit my site: VGM Sheet Music by Olimar12345 ~ Quality VGM sheet music available for free!

Sebastian

  • Master of the Mario
  • Ghost Updater
  • Nintendo Nocturne
  • *
  • Gender: Male
  • Posts: 8110
  • Send me a personal message anytime for any reason!
    • View Profile
Re: Arrangement Contest No. 7 - Brainstorming
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2015, 03:14:59 AM »

And we've already done a solo and three mood-inverse themed contests. I think form and instrumentation would be more interesting things to center the next one around.
I totally agree. If it's something.....I'll probably join :)
Logged


Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 6
 

Page created in 0.173 seconds with 26 queries.