Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

Hello members,

You may notice that some pieces posted here get comments, some even provide for a lively discussion, and some get few comments or none at all. Here are some thoughts and tips about how you can get comments on your pieces. None of this guarantees you will get a comment, but it may help in at least some cases.

1) The number one thing you can do to get comments on your piece is to comment on other people’s pieces. If all you do is post your own works and never comment on anybody else’s, you’re not really participating in the site or helping anybody else get benefit from what you might have to say. By commenting on others’ works, you are showing you care, and may receive a response in kind on your works. It’s perfectly fine if the first thing you do after joining is to post one of your own pieces, but don’t let it stop there!

2) Reply to as many comments on your work as you can. If you receive a response, even if you disagree with it, say “thanks.”

3) When submitting your work, include a brief description of it. A post which says “Here’s my work, hope you like it,” is much less likely to get a response than one which gives a little information about the work.

4) Be nice in all your commentary. A critical response is ok, but a critical response which is argumentative or disparages someone else is of no benefit to anyone, and detracts from the overall professionalism of the site.

5) If you have a score, submit it with your work as a PDF, it makes it a lot easier for us to understand your intentions.

6) Realize that not everyone here is at the same level. There are all types of composers on this site, from young to old, new members to long standers, beginners to highly skilled, people with little equipment/software to people with professional grade studios. Try to get at what a piece is about rather than get hung up on notation problems or output quality. It’s fine to mention this, but just realize that the composer may not be seeking that type of input.

7) Did I mention comment on other people’s works? Ok, let me say it again.

Cheers -

Gav

Site Manager, Composers’ Forum

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New members: Want comments on your pieces? ^^

Thanks for the little piece of advice Gav, it's appreciated. Will try.

Paul a.k.a. TCC



Gav Brown said:

New members: Want comments on your pieces? ^^

I'm as guilty for not posting comments. After months of writing a short piece that became a 40 minute symphony, not a word was said. Probably my own fault for giving a long and rambling description. Possibly because it was awful. Possibly because people have a life and can't invest the time in one un-established piece. But more likely, it's because I've not earned the trust and reputation from forum members.

I'm a long term contributor to a non-music forum which is related to my day job. I add something every day and, as a consequence, get a lot of feedback, requests for advice and offers of conferences etc. So, in principle, it works for me.

A tiny issue for me is that I often access the composers forum from my mobile phone, and the site doesn't lend itself to mobile use (not on mine anyway). I will, however, be building in forum time to my evenings studies over the coming months as my schedules have changed. I hope to offer as much as I learn. Keep up the good work folks.

HI Graeme,

You have summed up quite well some things which may lend people towards not replying. I can tell you that I am personally less likely to respond to a longer work, or at least delay my response until the weekend when I have more time to listen. Even then, I am unlikely to listen to the whole thing, I'll just slide my way through it, checking it in spots and only coming back for a fuller listen if it really catches my attention. One other thing - we get a lot of flybys, that is, composers who join, post one thing, and then disappear, never to be heard from again. For us long-timers (I have been here over 10 years), we tend to be more cautious with new posters than with ones who have been here a while and who have contributed to the site. We recently had for example one new poster who put up an hour-long work, never commented on anything anyone else did, was slow to respond to comments, and perfunctory in their responses. If someone is not here to give us a real try, we can see it, and will give them short shrift.

Regarding mobile, there is a mobile version of the site. The site is often able to detect when you are accessing it from a mobile device and deliver it to you, but in case that is not happening, you can directly type the mobile site address in your device:

http://composersforum.ning.com/m

Like all mobile sites, it is "less" than the full site, but as mobile sites go, it's pretty good, and it allows you to switch to the full site for greater access.

Thoughtful post!

Gav

Note to new members!

Hi Graeme,

Very good advice from Gav here. I'm sorry I haven't commented on your piece but I have a fairly hectic life and have to pick and choose with care what I listen to. I loathe it when people just listen to bits of my own works because the key to all of my stuff is the methods and style I use to develop logically throughout a piece. However, I get great satisfaction from hearing how others' progress from section to section in their works and this process leads to a better understanding of the overall art of music writing. It is sad that a lack of time makes me break my own rules and I have to do just what Gav describes i.e. listen to bits here and there and if anything piques my interest, I go back and listen and comment on the complete work. Ideally I'd like to comment on everything that's posted and to offer as much encouragement or positive advice as I can, but tempus fugit and I can't do anything about it.

I'd like to listen (and look) at your 40 minute symphony - what's the easiest way to find it (or would you be willing to re-post it here)?

Stephen


Graeme Helliwell said:

I'm as guilty for not posting comments. After months of writing a short piece that became a 40 minute symphony, not a word was said. Probably my own fault for giving a long and rambling description. Possibly because it was awful. Possibly because people have a life and can't invest the time in one un-established piece. But more likely, it's because I've not earned the trust and reputation from forum members.

I'm a long term contributor to a non-music forum which is related to my day job. I add something every day and, as a consequence, get a lot of feedback, requests for advice and offers of conferences etc. So, in principle, it works for me.

A tiny issue for me is that I often access the composers forum from my mobile phone, and the site doesn't lend itself to mobile use (not on mine anyway). I will, however, be building in forum time to my evenings studies over the coming months as my schedules have changed. I hope to offer as much as I learn. Keep up the good work folks.

Steven, I will take time over the weekend to represent the work for you, and others. By coincidence, or good luck, a lot has since happened to the music since I first put it up.

I try to comment on pieces within my capture range; to say a bit more than ‘that’s nice’. It’s good to encourage but if the style is way out of reach it may be better to say nothing. Pretty eclectic in musical taste there isn’t much I have trouble with.

But the ratio of comments I make to comments received has been about 10:1. Admittedly my pieces tend to be closer to 6 minutes than 2 but it’s still a bit disconcerting that I get so little response. Therefore one deciding factor is whether members comment on others’ work – doesn’t necessarily have to be mine. If not I’ll leave them alone. Surely a major point of the critique forum is engagement.  I’m always grateful for criticism even if negative and will always say so in a reply even if it isn’t immediate. Courtesy doesn’t cost a lot in time!

 

Nicely said Dane

Out of curiosity I've checked My Page and found  that I've posted 45 compositions on this site, of which 24 have received comments from other site members.  I've made comments on 18 compositions posted by others.

Those figures don't include comments I've made or received on postings which weren't compositions.

I think this is an acceptable record, given that as I've explained before many of the compositions posted here are things which for various reasons I don't think I'm qualified to make useful comments on.

It’s a great record, Jon, thanks!

It would be easy for me to say that we should require a donation for anyone who wishes to post on this forum and that we should also require a certain number of comments to be posted before someone is allowed to post a work.  But Gav's approach is more gentle and works better really so I support him in that.

That said, we have a group of "drive-by" posters who I guess feel that the road to success is to publish far and wide and let their careers blossom forth. I don't spend as much time here as I would like but it is annoying to make the effort to help someone who never replies or sometimes never even returns at all.

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