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Author Topic: Easy Versions Idea  (Read 8480 times)

Olimar12345

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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2015, 07:04:14 PM »

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?

No. As you already know, our focus lies in accuracy and playability. We aren't typically focusing on any specific degree of difficulty in the current submissions; we try to keep things reasonable. As you stated later in that post, though, we keep an eye open for the extremes. If things are unrealistic or not pianistic (as in, ignoring the way the piano works (possibly being too transcription-y and often not arranged for the piano very well)) I will usually address it and suggest a change in the work. On the other side of that spectrum, if an arrangement is overly simplistic, then the inclusion of absent voices (if applicable) should at least be attempted to be worked in, in some fashion.

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 are giving this one too much thought. Any idiot can make adjustments to a piece to make it more accessible for themselves, (adjust octaves, simplify LH, etc.) and if they can't do that yet, than they shouldn't have internet access at their age. One of the greatest qualities about our site is that we offer arrangements that are faithful to the originals actually sound like the original tunes. Most other sites in our field can't offer the quality we do.

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 I'm thinking of the correct arrangement, and irc, that was an instance where you were asking from the piano something it doesn't normally do. That instance was more of an issue of writing against the instrument, and less of an issue of difficulty (similar topics, but very different topics d: ).

3. I don't really think that this compares to the two other discussions you mentioned; difficulty ratings

It kind of does, as a matter of fact lol. Determining the level of difficulty for the rating system would go hand in hand with determining the level simplicity of an adjusted arrangement, and if both systems were ever simultaneously implemented, I would imagine that they would be regulated similarly. Of course, the technical side of these two (actually getting the tech in place to work) is an unrelated issue. I didn't say these two topic were the same; I said that they "tied in" with one another.

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?).

My touch on that topic was about the possibly ambiguity in having multiple arrangements of the same tune:
orchestral arrangements (as in, submitting another version of a previously hosted arrangement).


Simplified arrangements, however, would A: be a welcome addition for many visitors of our site, and B: be much easier to implement than either.

A: Just about any major change we make will draw attention from a different audience. This one just happens to focus on the beginner.
B: Sure, I guess pressing that "Accept Arrangement" button is pretty easy to do, when you ignore everything else.

I think I addressed all of the questions/points in that post.
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Olimar12345

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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #31 on: June 17, 2015, 07:19:15 PM »

Another topic regarding the submission of simplified arrangements would be to watch for lazy plagiarism. This is something that I have been extremely cautious of when reviewing challenge-based replacement arrangements, and, imo, would be even more problematic for simplified versions. Let me give you a quick scenario:

-Little Joe-schmo visits the site regularly and likes hearing all the new arrangements posted on the site.

-Eventually, he creates an account on the forums, and sees how things work behind the scenes. "liljoshmo02" then sees that simplified arrangements are a thing, and decides that he wants to become internet-famous (as he and his friends call it).

-liljoshmo02 then proceeds to downloads all the popular arrangements, replaces the LH with sloppy block triads, then submits them one-by-one under his name, as "simplified arrangements".


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Brawler4Ever

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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #32 on: June 17, 2015, 07:45:52 PM »

In that specific case of simply changing the left hand (or other, minor changes), I believe that the arrangement would remain in the credit of the original arranger. In my example above, It is my opinion that the simplified Athletic arrangement should be submitted under Brassman388's name. It's no different than the current replacement project; if all we do is change the style of the sheet, without changing its substance, then we don't deserve to take credit for the original arranger's work. If we make that the precedent from the beginning, then I personally don't see plagiarism being a concern.
But I might be mistaken. Worst case scenario: if someone does try to upload a sheet with some sloppy work copying off of the original arranger and claiming credit as his/her own, then it will simply get rejected by the updaters. It's a fine balance there, but I believe that all of the updaters have done a fine job so far. As long as we set the example of giving due credit, I believe that future arrangers will follow suit.

Another idea would be to have simplified versions start completely from scratch, not taking any portion of the original into account. This would remove any potential allusion of plagiarism, while still giving the site simplified arrangements. However, it would force arrangers to basically reinvent the wheel. I'm against this idea, but it is another possibility of handling the situation. Personally, I prefer that we just trust one another.
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Tobbeh99

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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #33 on: June 17, 2015, 08:05:45 PM »

The thing is, my idea was that: if you only going to make a "simplified arrangement", it has to from an already existing arrangement, and also must be somewhat similar. For example let's say I want to make a simplified arrangement of Legend of Zelda "Overworld". Then my simplified arrangement must be similar to the already existing arrangement, so I'll have to look up the arrangement and simplify it, maybe remove some low 16th in those fast runs etc. I also think that the credit should still go to the arranger of the "original arrangement", but maybe put something like "simplified/simplification by .." under "arranged by.."; so in this example case, if it was accepted, it would say "Arranged by JDMEK5" "Simplified by Tobbeh99". I think it's reasonable since the one who simplified didn't "arrange" much, but more so edited the the arrangement to make it easier. So in this way, I think it should be emphasized that the simplification must be similar to the original arrangement, and that most of the credit goes to the original arranger, you only get credit for the simplification.

Another idea would be to have simplified versions start completely from scratch, not taking any portion of the original into account. This would remove any potential allusion of plagiarism, while still giving the site simplified arrangements. However, it would force arrangers to basically reinvent the wheel. I'm against this idea, but it is another possibility of handling the situation. Personally, I prefer that we just trust one another.

I think it might be difficult to tell if you did start it all from scratch, or if you just edited the original arrangement. So like you, I'm also against this idea. 
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JDMEK5

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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #34 on: June 17, 2015, 09:16:01 PM »

As I said in my previous post I think that, if it's going to be possible adding easy versions, it should be an option not a requirement. So that people who want to submit an easy version along side with their "full arrangement" can do that, but people who don't want to aren't required to do so, so it's up to the arranger to decide whether an arrangement is to difficult or not, or if it needs a simplified version along side it or not. I also wanted to make it an option to add only a simplified version, but it should be to an arrangement already existing on site. So for example if someone made an arrangement, and thought something like: "this isn't too difficult" or "I don't feel like making an easy version, people can simplify by themselves", that happen to accepted and uploaded to the main site. Then later comes another arranger who looked at it and thought something like: "this is my favorite tune, ...but it is too difficult to play" or "this is a great theme but somewhat difficult, might by nice to an easy version along side it"; then that person should have the option of creating a simplified version of the arrangement the first person created. And in the end the second arrangement(the simplified one) happens to be accepted and uploaded to the main site, so in the end we're left with two arrangements of the same song, one arrangement(the "full version") by the first arranger, and another arrangement(a "simplified version") by the second arranger.
^This. Exactly. Nobody will ever be forced to do this and it should only be possible for tunes that already have a normal arrangement on site as well.
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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #35 on: June 18, 2015, 01:10:15 AM »

I agree with JDMEK's last point. As for orchestral arrangements, we tried it out and it didn't work so well. Not only does it take a completely different arrangement style which very few arrangers can manage, having the community believe that we can start accepting requests for ANY song with ANY set of instruments is too big of a dream. Think of the thousands of combinations of instruments that can be used for each given track.

We are a websites of standards, anything that can be standardized should be. We have a ton of content already with the restrictions of one or two pianos, and simplified arrangements aren't too far off the radar in my opinion. Although it's true that anyone can simplify a song simply by studying it for a few minutes. Perhaps we should post a poll on the facebook page and let the community decide what they want.

This could be interesting, but priority should ALWAYS be put towards full arrangements. If you can create a beginner sheet during the process of arranging the regular one, I suppose it makes sense, in fact rather than creating an entry with a separate difficulty level making our sheet pages way long, we should have a beginner button that replaces the links to each file with a beginners file.

That's just my two cents, but the idea that any and all VG arrangements should be welcome at NSM is absurd, and you can't ask that of our skeleton staff.                                                                                     
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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #36 on: June 18, 2015, 01:16:34 AM »

Getting far ahead of things, I could see it being easily implemented as an extra button or identifier on existing tracks (since there would be easy versions ONLY on existing tracks) that would indicate there was an easy version available, with the link to download right there or what.
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JDMEK5

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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #37 on: June 18, 2015, 04:19:38 AM »

I agree with JDMEK's last point. As for orchestral arrangements, we tried it out and it didn't work so well. Not only does it take a completely different arrangement style which very few arrangers can manage, having the community believe that we can start accepting requests for ANY song with ANY set of instruments is too big of a dream. Think of the thousands of combinations of instruments that can be used for each given track.

We are a websites of standards, anything that can be standardized should be. We have a ton of content already with the restrictions of one or two pianos, and simplified arrangements aren't too far off the radar in my opinion. Although it's true that anyone can simplify a song simply by studying it for a few minutes. Perhaps we should post a poll on the facebook page and let the community decide what they want.

This could be interesting, but priority should ALWAYS be put towards full arrangements. If you can create a beginner sheet during the process of arranging the regular one, I suppose it makes sense, in fact rather than creating an entry with a separate difficulty level making our sheet pages way long, we should have a beginner button that replaces the links to each file with a beginners file.                                                                   
Getting far ahead of things, I could see it being easily implemented as an extra button or identifier on existing tracks (since there would be easy versions ONLY on existing tracks) that would indicate there was an easy version available, with the link to download right there or what.
Yes and yes. This has tons of potential and if a Facebook poll is what it takes to get everyone on board, I'm all for it. Sounds like a great idea actually.
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Tobbeh99

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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #38 on: June 18, 2015, 03:07:54 PM »

we should have a beginner button that replaces the links to each file with a beginners file.                                                                                 

Concerning the design of the main site, I'm thinking of a little "arrow" or tab, which you can press to show all the arrangements of a song. So let's say you got an original arrangement, a duet and an easy version. Then that tab-arrow will show that there exist more than one arrangement of a song, and when you click on it it'll show all the arrangements of the song. But if a song only have one arrangement then it'll look just like it is now. It is kind of like the "spoiler" feature in the reply options.
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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #39 on: June 23, 2015, 09:45:23 PM »

Oh, hi, it's one of those sprees again. You're not going to get rid of me for long, you know. Or, well, you might, but I'll be back occasionally, chiming in on subjects then vanishing into the night again. I'm easier to find on Smogon these days.

Small talk aside, on to the subject:

In my opinion, simplified versions would be a great little boon to NSM. As FierceDeity said, and Olimar touched upon, "lil' Joe Schmo"s comprises a pretty major part of our target audience. People who like gaming, have some piano skills, and would like to play video game music. Heck, even that part about "have some piano skills" is optional; when I first started downloading sheets from this site, I knew exactly one piece I had learned off YouTube, and I learned to read notes mainly to get something out of the huge database of sheets NSM had (and continues to have). Simple appreciation of some video game music can get people into piano or music in general, and NSM would seem to be a natural place to start for those people. As such, the effective removal of the "Finale Wall" by adding PDF versions of sheets was possibly the greatest thing to yet happen to NSM, as it made our content a lot more accessible.

However, lil' Joe Schmo will soon hit a pretty major hurdle: Many songs on site are pretty damn hard for people with little experience. The iconic ones such as the Mario Athletic themes, or the Legend of Zelda theme, or most things from Pokémon will be far beyond the skill of beginners. Many sheets on site feel like they shout "learn piano first, come back here later" to the poor novices, and motivation drops like a brick in vacuum. Simplified versions (sometimes grossly simplified, even) of popular themes would be a good motivator for inexperienced players. It gives them something to build their skills upon.


Another topic regarding the submission of simplified arrangements would be to watch for lazy plagiarism. This is something that I have been extremely cautious of when reviewing challenge-based replacement arrangements, and, imo, would be even more problematic for simplified versions. Let me give you a quick scenario:

-Little Joe-schmo visits the site regularly and likes hearing all the new arrangements posted on the site.

-Eventually, he creates an account on the forums, and sees how things work behind the scenes. "liljoshmo02" then sees that simplified arrangements are a thing, and decides that he wants to become internet-famous (as he and his friends call it).

-liljoshmo02 then proceeds to downloads all the popular arrangements, replaces the LH with sloppy block triads, then submits them one-by-one under his name, as "simplified arrangements".

I daresay that even if this happens, the sheet approval procedure should be good enough to filter out the laziest conversions. If the mods/peers do such a bad job that they let sloppily edited plagiarism through just like so, we kind of deserve the quality we get. Nothing is put on site without prior revision, so any failure to meet standards should not be blamed on the submittors only. I have faith that this community would stop lazy hacks like that.

And even if Olimar's scenario unfolded, as per my point above, liljoshmo02 would still contribute to the site by making more sheets accessible to more people. Heck, we do have quite a few pretty botched arrangements on site already, but they still get downloaded from time to time.



Conversely, the idea of "virtouso arrangements" are less important to NSM the way I see it. If you're a skilled enough pianist to even be able to play some of MaestroUGC's stuff, you're skilled enough to elaborate on the sheets we already have on site yourself. You wouldn't need a dedicated sheet to do that job for you, if you already are on that level.
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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #40 on: September 10, 2015, 05:11:47 PM »

As someone who sucks at piano but wants to learn to play a 'working' version of some Nintendo songs, I think the idea of easy arrangements is a great one.

But I also understand the point that the NSM page should be dedicated to accuracy over any difficulty levels, and like Olimar said earlier every piece is very different so finding an appropriate difficulty level for each piece is a big ask.

Here's my thought: What if we had a new forum category for 'easy' arrangements? I'm imagining that it would work like the Personal Arrangement Threads - each person could make a thread for their own work and post the simplified arrangements to that thread. Maybe it's reinventing the wheel here but I know that I personally am going through my arrangements and simplifying them so I can actually play them for fun instead of waiting for a virtuoso to come along and play the super overcaffeinated  MarioKart titles I've been working. To me, that would be a way to offer simpler arrangements to users without deprecating the accuracy of the sheets on the NSM site. What do you guys think? Is it hard to add a new forum? On some of the other forums I've moderated, our framework just has a giant "Create Forum" button that we can click to make a new one.
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Tobbeh99

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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #41 on: September 10, 2015, 05:25:02 PM »

^About the new forum idea:
I think it's much easier if you just have it all in your arrangement thread, both the original version and the simplified, instead of creating a new forum category for that. It's pretty easy to do just have a like with the simplified version under the regular one. The advantage of this is also that people can view all your arrangements you have and also see which ones you have done simplified version to, instead of having to go to different forums to search, better with all in one thread.

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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #42 on: September 10, 2015, 05:31:01 PM »

Fair enough. Although, are we worried about users not knowing to look in the Personal Arrangement Threads? If I were a new user/beginning piano player and wanted to find a collection of easy titles, I'd have to learn about individual forum members in order to know that their threads could have simplified arrangements. I don't know if that's a big deal or not - I'm obviously not fully acquainted yet with NSM, its forum, members or history.
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Tobbeh99

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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #43 on: September 10, 2015, 05:35:05 PM »

I'm not sure about this, but I think that most people who visit the site only look on the main site. That's what I used to do before I became a member. So it might not add much.
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Re: Easy Versions Idea
« Reply #44 on: September 10, 2015, 11:53:29 PM »

I'm not sure about this, but I think that most people who visit the site only look on the main site. That's what I used to do before I became a member. So it might not add much.
This is a huge point. I knew about the main site for about five years before I stumbled across the forum side. So people like me in my past would have no way to find easier versions...
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