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Author Topic: Easy Versions Idea  (Read 8663 times)

Tobbeh99

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Easy Versions Idea
« on: June 14, 2015, 06:16:42 PM »

Once I was looking at Jordan Kanpp's arrangement, there was a discussion about whether to include all voices in the fugue, or to omit some for the sake of playability.

And then I wondered if it would be nice to have an option to submit a simplified version of the arrangement. I, and I think other people as well, have come across certain times when you want to keep a voice, arrange it in a certain way, or try to make it sound as much as the original, but when doing so increases the difficulty of the arrangement. And you start wondering whether to keep the voices and make it harder, or omit it for the sake of accessibility.
 
I'm particularly thinking on popular themes which people recognize well and just want to able to play without too much difficulty. In that case it might frighten people if the arrangement looks too hard, since I think most people visiting the site aren't piano experts. You might say that it's just to omit certain voices, simplify here and there if you like, if you think it's too hard to play. But I think it's more appealing if people open the file and look and then see that it's a doable song to play.

I don't think it's that difficult for arrangers to do either, once you got your "full version", it's just to simplify certain parts for the sake of playability/accessibility. It might not be that much for updaters either, since I'm thinking that the main focus will be on the "full version".

In this way people you'll be able to have one "original version", where you can strive on achieving the best possible arrangement to the song even if that means that there can be fast runs, leaps, multiple voices and other difficult techniques included. 
And a "easy version" which is meant to be more accessible, so that people can enjoy playing their favorite video game songs on piano. 
Thereby people visiting the site will have options to chose from, so the moderately good pianist can chose the easy version, and the advanced pianist can chose the original version.

Easy Versions Survey



More specific information

I'll write down here more specifically some of the ideas of this new system. Note that these aren't final and can be changed but it is only to give people a grasp about what this could mean if implemented.


The general idea:
  • The site will offer two versions of the same song. One with accuracy as primary aim, whether that result in a difficult arrangement which demands advanced piano technique in order to preform. And a second version with the accessibility as it's primary aim. 
  • The difficulty of an easy version will vary from song to song as with regular arrangements, some songs are harder than others. 
  • Creating simplified arrangements should be optional, not required.
Other options, which hasn't been discussed:
  • Being able to make an simplified arrangement of a duet (one or two pianos)
Submission form is to be discussed. But some ideas discussed are:
  • Being able to submit a simplified arrangement along side your regular arrangement.
  • Being able to submit 2 regular submissions and 1 simplified.
The credit for a simplified arrangement is being discussed but here are some of the options:
  • Credit for a simplified version will go to the arranger of the full version.
  • Credit for a simplified version will go to the arranger of the full version, but the arranger who simplified can write "simplified by ...".
  • Credit for a simplified version will go the arranger who simplified the arrangement.
Replacing an easy version:
  • Being able to replace a simplified arrangement, like regular arrangements.
  • Credit? Who get's credit for a replaced version?



Discussion and Arguments

Since the discussion has been running for a while I'd like to list some argument pro and against, some of which has been discussed but also some of great concern for the issue.

Pro:

  • Creates more options for the piano enthusiasts visiting the site as they now can chose from two difficulties. If they find the full version too difficult they can choose the easy version and still enjoy playing their favorite tunes. And if you're an experienced pianist you can still enjoy playing your favorite songs as accurate as possible for the piano.
  • Can give the site more popularity. With implementing this the site might receive greater popularity, since people after enjoying playing their favorite tunes in a simplified version might become members or recommend the site to friends.
  • Target the average visitors, people who enjoy gaming and piano playing. I'm not really sure what the average visitor is, in terms of piano experience, but if this is true then this argument can be heavy.
  • Easy to implement. Since simplifying an arrangement doesn't require the work as arranging, it won't be too difficult for arrangers to do, and neither for updaters to review.


Against:
  • Can risk the quality standards. As the site have grown to having high quality and accurate arrangements, this new arrangement form can risk the quality and accuracy standards the site has.
  • It's unnecessary since people can simplify for themselves. It's only more work for arrangers and updaters, and simplifying isn't a too difficult task for even a moderately good pianist.
  • Delays updates/submission process and requires more work for updaters. The updates are at times very slow already, and implementing this will only make them even slower plus having more work for updaters, which cannot be a good thing for the site.
  • Takes time to implement. Lots of things needs to be considered for this to work properly, which makes it hard to implement, and therefore a less attractive idea.
  • Infringement on arrangements. Some arrangers might be picky with their arrangements, and might not be pleased with the simplified version of their arrangement.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2015, 01:10:56 PM by Tobbeh99 »
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Sebastian

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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2015, 06:43:32 PM »

You just opened a can of worms buddy :P

We have had this idea in the past but I guess the song's accuracy is more important then the song's difficulty.
 
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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2015, 06:56:55 PM »

*cough* bespinben *cough*
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Bespinben

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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2015, 07:24:23 PM »

Is no one aware two versions of Dr. Wily exist on-site?



I'm 100% for this idea. I see no reason why it shouldn't be so.

Also, the updater staff is not a stagnant nebulous body. We're evolving, and so can these word-of-mouth "rules" about NSM Standard.

And for the record, I don't like the phrase "lacks playability". This seems to connote an arranger didn't account for how the song would actually be performed (something that is ALWAYS on the forefront if my mind). "Lack of accessibility" is the phrase I would use to describe especially challenging material. An unplayable "full" version of a song will NOT be accepted as a submission, but one a difficult one lacking accessibility will. It is not the Updater's place to force an arranger to force changes that would compromise the arranger's intended ratio of fullness/accessibility. It should be noted however that there with the right arranging approach, a song can both have a high level of fullness AND accessibilty. A situation where a small increase in difficulty would result in a large increase of fulness is where I would suggest to give "arranging advice" to an arranger.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2015, 07:27:57 PM by Bespinben »
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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2015, 07:29:59 PM »

Idk if I like this. What if there is only a simplified version of a song and not a normal version? We should make a rule that you can only submit a simplified version if there is already a normal version on site or you can submit a simplified and normal version at the same time. If we don't make this a rule then people will be doing just simplified versions which is plain lazy (because obviously making a simplified version would be easier and take less time).

Another idea is that there could be a section of the site dedicated to simplified works.
There are lots of possibilities :P
 
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Bespinben

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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2015, 07:38:05 PM »

What if there is only a simplified version of a song and not a normal version? We should make a rule that you can only submit a simplified version if there is already a normal version on site or you can submit a simplified and normal version at the same time.

Don't overthink it. I would see this in much the same vein as Duet submissions. It is recommended to produce a solo in tandem with a duet, but not required.

At the heart of the matter, this suggestion isn't about full vs. Simplified. It's about allowing two arrangements of the same song. Since we already allow two versions of the same song (I.e. Duets), this New Suggestion is only a natural extension of that.
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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2015, 07:42:24 PM »

Don't overthink it. I would see this in much the same vein as Duet submissions. It is recommended to produce a solo in tandem with a duet, but not required.

At the heart of the matter, this suggestion isn't about full vs. Simplified. It's about allowing two arrangements of the same song. Since we already allow two versions of the same song (I.e. Duets), this New Suggestion is only a natural extension of that.
Ok.
Excellent idea! I agree and I was also thinking of duets.
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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2015, 12:36:34 AM »

Yeah, if a simplified version maintains the essence of the original piece, I see no reason it shouldn't be acceptable regardless of whether there's a more difficult version on the site. A lot of these arrangements are already simplifications; there are only so many voices you can fit into two hands, after all.
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Bespinben

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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2015, 12:43:49 AM »

I see no reason it shouldn't be acceptable regardless of whether there's a more difficult [full] version on the site.

This, so much. If this approach was taken, I could accept Slow's "Prologue" right now (after a few aesthetic touch-ups). Then, if someone else or Slow himself wants to make the "full" version, they may freely do so, and both can coexist.
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Olimar12345

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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2015, 05:18:14 AM »

Imo, this ties in with two of our previous and infamous discussions, difficulty ratings and orchestral arrangements (as in, submitting another version of a previously hosted arrangement).

First, as all of our discussions of difficulty have ended, the degree of difficulty is too ambiguous to be regulated at the quality we have at this time. What one user finds difficult another might find easy, and I don't think over complicating things with a system for measuring difficulty would be worth the effort. People can just do what they've been doing, either simplifying it themselves or picking something easier to play. That or use the more difficult arrangements as a sort of goal to aim for when practicing (lord knows I wouldn't have become nearly as proficient on the keyboard as I am today if it weren't for arrangements I wanted to play being slightly too difficult for where I usually was). I also wouldn't want this to become a crutch for arrangers to get around doing a bit of hard work.

"But Olimar!" you say whilst you load your text-wall retort guns with words like "hypocrisy" and "Dissimulation". "What about Duet arrangements? Those are different versions of songs that we already have, too!" Well that is a great point you bring up, me. Unfortunately, duet arrangements were more of an experiment for arrangements of a different ensemble, NOT a different version of the same instrumentation that differs in complexity (even though more hands paves the way for more opportunities). Two hosted arrangements of the same tune that differ in instrumentation should not have an outstanding focus on the difficulty, but rather the duet (one or two pianos) should be an expansion upon what the solo arrangement could not do. In other words, a duet arrangement isn't solely created to make things easier/harder, it should stand on it's own, as it's own arrangement. Thus, bring it up here has little validity.

As for that old Commander6 arrangement, that is another relic from an older time before our current set of standards and quality control were implemented. There have been other oddities that have been slowly discovered and corrected over time, and this is just one of those.

Submitting multiple solo arrangements of the same tune would, ironically, complicate things more than simplify them. In our current state, I believe we aren't ready for this kind of thing.


Edit: As for Slowpokemon's arrangement, I would say that it is fine for him to submit it how it is. But if someone else were to arrange their own version of it in a more completed state, their new arrangement would be welcomed as a replacement arrangement.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 05:28:27 AM by Olimar12345 »
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JDMEK5

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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2015, 05:52:31 AM »

I think that this is being overthunked. Could we not (as previously stated) just submit "Simplified" versions? Regardless of whether a 'normal' version is already on the site or not? And I see no reason we can't just send "simplified" versions through at our own leisure. Like, here and there. No pressure.
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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2015, 06:44:03 AM »

On the flip side, what's saying we can't submit virtuoso arrangements, or other odd custom arrangements? Uniformity.
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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2015, 07:10:42 AM »

On the flip side, what's saying we can't submit virtuoso arrangements, or other odd custom arrangements? Uniformity.
I just had like, 3 different thoughts for various sides so I'm gonna just spill them and see what ppl think.

-Olimar has a point in the sense that if we accept simplifications then it's only fair to take in virtuoso. Only thing regarding that is that with simplifications, nothing's being added to the original. Whereas with virtuoso there's extra fills, parts, etc. It kinda kills our rules for arranging around here regarding accuracy.

-To argue against Olimar's point, simplifications would be far more practical and useful to the general populous compared to custom arrangements or virtuoso.

-All that being said, I definitely see what Olimar said by "we're not ready yet". There's too much to think about still and unless everyone comes to a simple, unanimous agreement on how this would go, I don't think it should change.
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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2015, 07:28:52 AM »

"But Olimar!" you say whilst you load your text-wall retort guns with words like "hypocrisy" and "Dissimulation"

I feel like this was directed at somebody, but I'm not quite sure who
Oh well

Not that I'm particularly eager to get into a discussion on a topic on which your mind seems to be made up, but I do have a few questions/comments:

1. Does this mean that "fuller" arrangements would be favored over simpler ones, and if so, wouldn't that approach be sort of skewed toward higher level pianists that we have no reason to believe make up the majority of our users?

2. If we're leaving it up to the users to create more simplified versions for themselves, essentially making the transcription our sole contribution to their experience, wouldn't it make more sense to just do a full transcription involving every voice and call it a day? I mean, yeah, that's an exaggeration, of course, but what the "leave it to them" approach seems to do is put the burden of actually arranging onto the player, and I think that's a bit much to expect of people that are, by definition, less musically experienced. You, yourself, have had me take out technically playable passages (consecutive sixteenth notes in Vegetable Valley, for example) for being too difficult, and I agree with those decisions, because we can't expect every person who comes to our site to be a prodigy. If they were, they'd probably be doing this themselves. (And yes, I understand that we could adhere to, and have generally been adhering to, a standard of a "reasonable level of difficulty", but to me this seems just as ambiguous as what we're proposing.)

3. I don't really think that this compares to the two other discussions you mentioned; difficulty ratings would be extremely difficult to implement, and ultimately wouldn't help anybody wanting to play a specific piece. And orchestral arrangements, aside from the practical concerns (exact imitation = more dangerous in terms of copyright, much more difficult to evaluate, etc.), would really warrant a whole other site of their own, and benefit far fewer people (how many people would happen to have the exact instrumentation we'd specified at their disposal?). Simplified arrangements, however, would A: be a welcome addition for many visitors of our site, and B: be much easier to implement than either.

4.
People can just do what they've been doing, either simplifying it themselves or picking something easier to play. That or use the more difficult arrangements as a sort of goal to aim for when practicing (lord knows I wouldn't have become nearly as proficient on the keyboard as I am today if it weren't for arrangements I wanted to play being slightly too difficult for where I usually was).
As a musician, I can appreciate this approach, as some of my proudest experiences have been working with pieces that were initially way beyond my reach (Arban's variations on a carnival of venice comes to mind). My first piece I ever played on piano (just a few years ago actually) was Deku's arrangement of Song of Healing, and I felt very rewarded after struggling for days with the second half. However, again, I think it's a bit much to expect everyone coming to the site to have this mindset. However, as a gamer, as a listener, as someone who's still taken aback by the magic that occurs when a piece really touches me, I have to ask: what do you think the goal of our site should be? It's not a rhetorical question, and I personally don't have a single, definite answer for it. But I think that at least part of it should be to keep that magic alive, to let people of all backgrounds enjoy the extremely personal connection that comes with playing a piece of music that one has come to love. And "all backgrounds" includes more than just adults planning on entering music-related professions such as us. Younger people, people who've yet to have any dreams of musical greatness, people who simply heard a piece that they liked and wanted to play it, I truly hope will not feel alienated on this site, and I believe that these simplified arrangements could be a great way to achieve that.

When I was learning Deku's "Song of Healing" arrangement, as I mentioned, I was about 16. I'd been playing brass for six years, been in various honor bands, [insert various anecdotal evidence for reasonable level of musical discipline], etc. So I knew how to practice, and I knew how to sit down and struggle with a piece. And luckily, it was summer, and this was before I spent all summer working, so I had quite a bit of free time to work on it. But even still, that "magic" I was talking about earlier was never achieved until I was actually able to play the piece in tempo, which took more time than I like to admit.

Now, put yourself in the shoes of a 10-year-old who's been studying piano for two or three years. They've just played super mario galaxy, and fell in love with the Gusty Garden Galaxy theme (honest to god I'd never looked at our arrangement of that before, so it was pure luck that I picked one of yours). They're a novice, they've no experience arranging, transcribing, or even understanding at a basic level what's going on in a piece. Perhaps some octave transpositions will be apparent to them, perhaps not, but with each hour they spend struggling with a piece they haven't nearly enough experience to play, their motivation will wane, and with each change they blindly make themselves, they face the potential of losing the essence of the piece, be it an important line, an important harmony, or anything else; they face the potential of losing the "magic" that should be there by the end. The goal of these simplified arrangements should be to maintain that essence for these players, and the goal of evaluating these submissions should be to make sure that this essence is there. Is that not what we already do for all submissions?

I understand that this was a really extensive, "philosophical" way to treat this, but hey, we're discussing music, here. Sometimes considering music from a technocratic perspective isn't the best way to deal with it.

Oh wait ninjad:
On the flip side, what's saying we can't submit virtuoso arrangements, or other odd custom arrangements? Uniformity.

Not to immediately dismiss your argument, or to sully this topic with another controversial (yet decreasingly so) one, but by similar (though admittedly more extreme) logic, gay marriage should remain illegal because it would open the door to bestial and polygamous marriage.

We are not such a large operation that we are above considering these things on a case by case basis.
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Olimar12345

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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2015, 08:24:26 AM »

If I wasn't so busy building this damn music box rn I'd type up another text wall to continue this pointless "debate."
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