Composers' Forum

Music Composers Unite!

Hello to all members,

This post is to announce our Winter Music Contest - members were asked to create a piece which evokes the idea of Winter. The rules of the contest are simple: any instrumentation, 7 minutes or less in duration. 16 members total submitted entries, making this one of the most-participated-in contests which I have run on this site! Please take some time to listen to these entries and vote your top three. The winners will have the honor of having their entries posted to the top of the home page of the site until the first day of summer! Please click the link below to cast your vote! Deadline is 2/14/2015 at 5 pm EST!!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/R2733RF

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Yeah, I think Ondib has a clue about this. He also has a very dry sense of humor sometimes, that isn't always welcomed.

Personally, I like anything I can tap my foot to. ;o)

Stephen Lines said:


It is categorically and psychologically impossible to judge any art in a completely objective fashion, indeed in any sort of objective manner whatsoever.

Personally, I'm a little surprised and disappointed that only 24 people have voted so far. There has been more than enough time to sort the wheat from the chaff, according to one's own subjective views, in my opinion. And what it tells me is that probably only around 9 or 10 people who didn't participate in the contest have bothered to listen and vote, as it stands now, which is a little bleak for a site with the intentions (and the traffic) this one has. Are folks just lazy about it? Or is it for most just a vanity wherein only their own music matters to them, and to hell with everyone else?

The main 'objective ' point in this music contest, as Gav posted, was

"create a piece that evokes the idea of winter". This for me was first and

foremost. No real ambiguity there, right?

Any other objective analysis will depend on an individuals depth of

knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of composing.

This is not a concrete subject, I believe, simply because it's basically

all theory and depending on which'school of thought' you subscribe to,

your individual judgement will most likely align with that understanding.

So it is a pointless arguement from the start.There is not 1 format agree to by all.

This makes objectivity subjective and a mute point in a sense.

On the subjective side of the coin, after meeting Gav's object of the contest,

I ask myself, how well does the composer do this in both a general and specific

way- and thru the genre of music they chose, did their music express the objective,

understanding for instance, that winter in the Sahara might not be experienced the

same as in Toledo. Another factor I consider is; 'is this something I would like to listen

to again'. No matter how techniquely pure and well constructed, if the emotional/humanistic

appeal is not there in the melodies and harmonies , I will most likely not want to listen to

the piece after the contest is over. To boil this down to a soundbite- In the final analysis.

'Heart trumps Intellect'. As proof, just check record sales over the last 25 years.   RS

Yes, it is, and there's still time. I also thought the quality of submissions was pretty high, too.

Bob Porter said:

24 voters is pretty good for this site. The best I ever did was second in one of these contests. But so few people voted that my second place was so far back, it almost didn't matter. So, yes, get out and vote.

Roger,

I agree with your first point which is well made. However you say: "So it is a pointless arguement from the start.There is not 1 format agree to by all. This makes objectivity subjective and a mute point in a sense"....which I can't agree with. There must always be a place for discourse of the philosophical kind (as opposed to argument). I didn't suggest there should be one format to be agreed by all - I'm suggesting that some form of guidance would be helpful in attempting to judge music in all its glory - the main objective being to achieve some kind of fusion between objective technical elements and subjective emotional ones...so this cannot make objectivity subjective and a moot point in a sense. (If it were mute we wouldn't hear it...heh! heh!).

All in all I'd like to receive some constructive criticism that will help me move forward - for instance being told that 'I liked it because it made me tap my foot' doesn't do a lot for me and teaches me very little (other than that my music is rhythmical). I am unsure what motivates other people but I treat all competitions simply as a learning ground and as a litmus test of what people generally get turned on by. I have learnt equally from competitions I have won as from those where listeners have hated my music with a passion...and I guess there have been a few of those ;}



roger stancill said:

The main 'objective ' point in this music contest, as Gav posted, was

"create a piece that evokes the idea of winter". This for me was first and

foremost. No real ambiguity there, right?

Any other objective analysis will depend on an individuals depth of

knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of composing.

This is not a concrete subject, I believe, simply because it's basically

all theory and depending on which'school of thought' you subscribe to,

your individual judgement will most likely align with that understanding.

So it is a pointless arguement from the start.There is not 1 format agree to by all.

This makes objectivity subjective and a mute point in a sense.

On the subjective side of the coin, after meeting Gav's object of the contest,

I ask myself, how well does the composer do this in both a general and specific

way- and thru the genre of music they chose, did their music express the objective,

understanding for instance, that winter in the Sahara might not be experienced the

same as in Toledo. Another factor I consider is; 'is this something I would like to listen

to again'. No matter how techniquely pure and well constructed, if the emotional/humanistic

appeal is not there in the melodies and harmonies , I will most likely not want to listen to

the piece after the contest is over. To boil this down to a soundbite- In the final analysis.

'Heart trumps Intellect'. As proof, just check record sales over the last 25 years.   RS

Stephen, I think I understand what you are saying and would agree except that

since I joined this forum there have been numerous' I'll use the word 'squabbles'

about the idea of objectivity and no bottom line ever reached.

Therefore, my point ; if objectivity is different to each individual, then it must be a

subjective interpretation.

In an earlier post I had asked others for their list of their judging criteria with the hope

of narrowing down some basic lines of thought about a common platform.

I'm still curious to hear from others, but hope they would offer a list or suggestions

rather than pick apart someone elses opinion.(not saying yours)

ps- yes moot   sometimes in the grocery store I'll grab a regular bottle of

Cran-Apple and when I get home , find I have a bottle of diet  lol    go figure   RS
 
Stephen Lines said:

Roger,

I agree with your first point which is well made. However you say: "So it is a pointless arguement from the start.There is not 1 format agree to by all. This makes objectivity subjective and a mute point in a sense"....which I can't agree with. There must always be a place for discourse of the philosophical kind (as opposed to argument). I didn't suggest there should be one format to be agreed by all - I'm suggesting that some form of guidance would be helpful in attempting to judge music in all its glory - the main objective being to achieve some kind of fusion between objective technical elements and subjective emotional ones...so this cannot make objectivity subjective and a moot point in a sense. (If it were mute we wouldn't hear it...heh! heh!).

All in all I'd like to receive some constructive criticism that will help me move forward - for instance being told that 'I liked it because it made me tap my foot' doesn't do a lot for me and teaches me very little (other than that my music is rhythmical). I am unsure what motivates other people but I treat all competitions simply as a learning ground and as a litmus test of what people generally get turned on by. I have learnt equally from competitions I have won as from those where listeners have hated my music with a passion...and I guess there have been a few of those ;}



roger stancill said:

The main 'objective ' point in this music contest, as Gav posted, was

"create a piece that evokes the idea of winter". This for me was first and

foremost. No real ambiguity there, right?

Any other objective analysis will depend on an individuals depth of

knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of composing.

This is not a concrete subject, I believe, simply because it's basically

all theory and depending on which'school of thought' you subscribe to,

your individual judgement will most likely align with that understanding.

So it is a pointless arguement from the start.There is not 1 format agree to by all.

This makes objectivity subjective and a mute point in a sense.

On the subjective side of the coin, after meeting Gav's object of the contest,

I ask myself, how well does the composer do this in both a general and specific

way- and thru the genre of music they chose, did their music express the objective,

understanding for instance, that winter in the Sahara might not be experienced the

same as in Toledo. Another factor I consider is; 'is this something I would like to listen

to again'. No matter how techniquely pure and well constructed, if the emotional/humanistic

appeal is not there in the melodies and harmonies , I will most likely not want to listen to

the piece after the contest is over. To boil this down to a soundbite- In the final analysis.

'Heart trumps Intellect'. As proof, just check record sales over the last 25 years.   RS

If constructive criticism is *all* that you're truly after, you might get better results by posting in the Music Analysis/Critique or Suggestions Wanted/Open to Revision forums. Contests like this one are great for motivating people to compose, and comparing your result to others results. There won't be much in the way of indepth analysis or constructive criticism, nor should there be (IMO). It's a different kind of feedback. Sure, there may be comments and thoughts shared about the pieces in the contest, like some that have already been shared, but I don't think anyone (well, maybe someone) is going to spend the time and effort of a thorough critique/analysis on all 16 entries.

Stephen Lines said:

All in all I'd like to receive some constructive criticism that will help me move forward - for instance being told that 'I liked it because it made me tap my foot' doesn't do a lot for me and teaches me very little (other than that my music is rhythmical). I am unsure what motivates other people but I treat all competitions simply as a learning ground and as a litmus test of what people generally get turned on by. I have learnt equally from competitions I have won as from those where listeners have hated my music with a passion...and I guess there have been a few of those ;}

Hi folks,

Following what Janet said, you're not likely to get in depth analysis in a contest. There will be continued opportunity for comments on this thread once the voting is done, and you can also re-post your music in one of the two forums Janet mentioned (though please don't do this until 1 week after the winners have been posted to give this thread a chance to be the central place for comments).

Janet Spangenberg said:

If constructive criticism is *all* that you're truly after, you might get better results by posting in the Music Analysis/Critique or Suggestions Wanted/Open to Revision forums. Contests like this one are great for motivating people to compose, and comparing your result to others results. There won't be much in the way of indepth analysis or constructive criticism, nor should there be (IMO). It's a different kind of feedback. Sure, there may be comments and thoughts shared about the pieces in the contest, like some that have already been shared, but I don't think anyone (well, maybe someone) is going to spend the time and effort of a thorough critique/analysis on all 16 entries.

Stephen Lines said:

All in all I'd like to receive some constructive criticism that will help me move forward - for instance being told that 'I liked it because it made me tap my foot' doesn't do a lot for me and teaches me very little (other than that my music is rhythmical). I am unsure what motivates other people but I treat all competitions simply as a learning ground and as a litmus test of what people generally get turned on by. I have learnt equally from competitions I have won as from those where listeners have hated my music with a passion...and I guess there have been a few of those ;}

 

 

 

I have a few remarks here for Victor, Janet, Paul Smith, and Stephen Lines; also touching indirectly on points recently made by Bob Porter and Roger Stancil.  I apologize to Victor.  Janet, quite rightly said, about me and my sort of joking around (if anyone can call it “joking”):  O. “also has a very dry sense of humor sometimes, that isn't always welcomed.”

 

Given the truth of Janet’s observation—that my own posts on this forum are sometimes tinged (or tainted) with various sorts of Pythonesque, Dadaist, Absurdist, (quasi-Gogolesque, Tristan Tzaran, and Hugo Ballian) “humor,” which even Erik Satie might not like—I definitely OWE Victor Eijkhou AN APOLOGY.

 

Again. Sorry, Victor.  I was really using your post as a sounding board, or prop, just to make a few “points” in relation to the process of the contest that have had to do with past discussions here, on Composer’s Forum   So I will clarify.  If I put the gist of my last message here into a series of straightforward propositions, it might be something like this:  ONE:  (Really, this contest has been very well organized, and as successful as it possibly could be, precisely because it was announced well in advance of the deadline, and because so MUCH time is being give to judge the piece, however): It is indeed difficult to judge so many works even in the time given, and the problem of criteria, which many have commented upon, looms large in my mind.  TWO: The discussion of criteria here echoes our discussion of determining the “quality” of composers and compositions, in an interesting way, and so compels us to think that through more thoroughly, since we ACTUALLY and practically have to decide, when we vote, what we think quality is.  Accordingly we must at least TRY to find some method which is as objective as possible (even though total objectivity is incredibly difficult, if not impossible—though a panel of mixed demigods and full fledged divinities, say containing Orpheus, Apollo and several Muses could probably make the proper judgments).  I will make reply to some of the questions put forward, and comments made by Victor.

 

 

Ondib Olmnilnlolm said:

.......

What did you say?  How many people have voted? I don’t see how anyone could have listened to all those pieces carefully enough, as many times as they needed to, and made a genuine and conscientious decision.  It’s impossible.   I am nowhere near making a decision yet.  I won’t be able to vote until Friday, or Saturday.  I am still working on the criteria.

 

Victor Eijkhout:  So what are you saying? Everyone that has already voted has not been conscientious?

 

Ondib Olmnilnlolm replies:  It was a joke really.  In a way, I am really chastising myself, for taking so long.   But I do have genuine concerns about judgments made too quickly, and without sufficiently clear criteria.  

 

 

I notice the statement:

“I: Solitary music

 

Victor:  Look, I tried to not just vote, but try to write a sentence or two about each piece. I didn't have time to write a 500 word essay about each piece. Are you going to do that? In that case I bow in humble reverence. If not, please have an actual point. Would you rather be spared my shallow opinions? Fine with me. I'll not post my thoughts next time.

 

Olmnilnlolm replies:  I thought it was good, actually, that you did take out the time to write something about each piece.  You ask me if I am going to do that?   Please don’t tempt me.  I don’t want to cause mayhem and counter-revolution with what would inevitably be offhand remarks (unless I stick strictly to my “objective method” as the basis of commentary on people’s works). 

 

O.O. said,  I strongly urge others, who have not yet voted, to consider the notion of thinking about reading a few hundred books which describe and recommend the method I have mentioned 

 

Victor:  Ok, now I know that you're being silly. I wish you would actually have a point. I think I'll not read your post from now on. They seem to be information-free.

 

Olmnilnlolm replies:  Yes, I was being “silly.”  In Turkey, Turkestan and Turania, such comments are referred to as “cold jokes.”  Certain Saxon tribes still use this type of “humor,” along with some of the still extant and remaining Gallic clans that were originally conquered by Julius Caesar.  But I am a great believer in “freedom,” so if my posts are “information-free,” then all the better. 

 

Janet said, “Personally, I like anything I can tap my foot to. ;o)”

 

That is a universal and objective feeling I believe, which explains why Le Sacre du Printemps is (to this day) still considered the greatest piece of music of the 20th century.

 

Mr. Smith says, “Are folks just lazy about it?” [about judging]

 

I don’t criticize those who don’t vote at all.  After all, it’s a lot of music to listen to, and not everyone’s browsers can play all the pieces.  (I had to use three different computers and two different browsers to be able listen to all of them—seriously!)

 

Also, people, when they feel they have time to listen to music at all, may say, “what the heck:  I only have a few spare minutes, so I am going to listen to the ‘Ballet Mechanique,’

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SgsqmQJAq0

 

while I still have the chance, and then watch “Red Shoes,” on Turner Classic Movies, probably the only film that convincingly depicts the life of a composer, even if he is only fictional)”  [Unless you happen to take “Amadeus” seriously, as a portrayal of Mozart].

 

 

 

Stephen gave a very intelligent reply to my post, on judging, and said,

 

Ondib,

 

I have to take issue with your statement: So I am alighting gradually, on a way to judge the pieces of music presented for this contest, in a completely objective fashion.

 

Stephen observes, “It is categorically and psychologically impossible to judge any art in a completely objective fashion, indeed in any sort of objective manner whatsoever.”

 

My reply:  “Completely objective fashion,” I agree.  Complete objectivity is difficult for human beings, though advanced artificial intelligences and deities can almost certainly judge in a “Completely objective fashion.” (If the advanced artificial intelligence is programmed by a celestial angel, or a beneficent deity, then it will be all the more accurate).  Humans, nonetheless, can devise limited criteria, which can approach true objectivity.  We can think, we can analyze, we can feel and we can make decisions.  That is all that is necessary.

 

“The very essence of art (as I have mentioned before) is a fusion of academic judgment as to the grammar, syntax, phrasing, balance and all the 'technical' elements of composition with the emotive pleasurable forces released by it in the listener/looker.”

 

Hey, I like that.  It’s probably very true.  We agree to some extent.  As you say,

 

“I agree with you wholeheartedly that some form of benchmark/set of rules needs to be established that will guide us towards judging in a like manner...but these rules will inevitably have to include marks for the emotional impact of the piece being judged.”

 

Emotional impact, spiritual impact, moral impact, simple physical impact (even if it’s good, if it gives you headache, you might not like it).  

 

But contrary to common belief, emotional and spiritual impact are NOT subjective, at least not entirely, especially with the truly great works of art.   No one listens to the opening of Beethoven’s Fifth and says, “That’s delightfully peaceful and serene.”  Anyone who has a soul (or who believes they have a soul or a moral nature), will listen to Brahms “Tragic Overture,” and sense a series of “feelings” having to do with a “noble struggle,” sadness over heroic events which were not in vain, but which have some sort of redemptive qualities (to over-qualify the experience, if only slightly).

 

I don’t deny that subjective events occur in the mind when listening to any piece of music, but those have nothing to do with judging the value of the piece (or at least, SHOULD not have anything to do with that), and the piece has for sentient beings who understand something about the human condition, a meaning and a value above the merely subjective (and not beneath it, as the value and meaning of various flavors of chewing gum have). 

 

Thus, based on any OBJECTIVE ASSESSMENT, we can say that none of the pieces presented for the contest are as good as Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro,

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQmL6ki6yE8

 

… but they are all most certainly better than the Meow Mix Jingle (and even its souped up remixes:)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_5zELmun9E&index=3&list=PL...

 

 

Regarding the quote,'I used to think I was indecisive but now I'm not so sure'.

 

I can only quote the art critic, who said, “I may not have the slightest idea what I like, but I do absolutely know with total certainty what is beautiful.”

 

Let's please keep the outbound links on posts in this thread to a minimum (the suggested number is zero). Discussion is fine, but let's keep it on the site. Honor your 16 colleagues as they have honored you by placing their works in front of you for your consideration by keeping the conversation here. I ask all members to consider whether an e-mail to all of your forum friends to join us in the vote might be a good way to participate. If you do mail your friends (I mailed mine), please let them know that the deadline is 2/14/2015 at 5 pm EST. The link to vote is https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/R2733RF

Ondib,

Following on from our subjective/objective theme for a little while longer herewith a few quotes...the first by Hector Berlioz: 'There is one God - Bach - and Mendelssohn is his prophet'. Whereas Mendelssohn isn't quite so complimentary in return for he says: 'Berlioz is a regular freak, without a vestige of talent.' Tchaikovsky in his diary wrote: 'I have played over the music of that scoundrel Brahms, what a giftless bastard!' Pierre Boulez says: 'I hate Tchaikovsky and I will not conduct him'. Stravinsky says of Boulez's Pli Selon Pli  'Pretty monotonous and monotonously pretty'.

Beethoven is slightly more forgiving and shares my personal (subjective) viewpoint: 'Handel is the greatest composer who has ever lived. I would uncover my head and kneel at his grave'.

Also, if Le Sacre du Printemps  is indeed considered to be the greatest piece of music written in the 20th Century, then I think Handel's Messiah must stand head and shoulders above anything written in the 18th Century.

Lots of entertaining subjectivity among these comments! - thank heavens we on this site aren't quite so forthright in our opinions of others' efforts. 

S
 

Ondib said: 

I have a few remarks here for Victor, Janet, Paul Smith, and Stephen Lines; also touching indirectly on points recently made by Bob Porter and Roger Stancil.  I apologize to Victor.  Janet, quite rightly said, about me and my sort of joking around (if anyone can call it “joking”):  O. “also has a very dry sense of humor sometimes, that isn't always welcomed.”

 

Given the truth of Janet’s observation—that my own posts on this forum are sometimes tinged (or tainted) with various sorts of Pythonesque, Dadaist, Absurdist, (quasi-Gogolesque, Tristan Tzaran, and Hugo Ballian) “humor,” which even Erik Satie might not like—I definitely OWE Victor Eijkhou AN APOLOGY.

 

Again. Sorry, Victor.  I was really using your post as a sounding board, or prop, just to make a few “points” in relation to the process of the contest that have had to do with past discussions here, on Composer’s Forum   So I will clarify.  If I put the gist of my last message here into a series of straightforward propositions, it might be something like this:  ONE:  (Really, this contest has been very well organized, and as successful as it possibly could be, precisely because it was announced well in advance of the deadline, and because so MUCH time is being give to judge the piece, however): It is indeed difficult to judge so many works even in the time given, and the problem of criteria, which many have commented upon, looms large in my mind.  TWO: The discussion of criteria here echoes our discussion of determining the “quality” of composers and compositions, in an interesting way, and so compels us to think that through more thoroughly, since we ACTUALLY and practically have to decide, when we vote, what we think quality is.  Accordingly we must at least TRY to find some method which is as objective as possible (even though total objectivity is incredibly difficult, if not impossible—though a panel of mixed demigods and full fledged divinities, say containing Orpheus, Apollo and several Muses could probably make the proper judgments).  I will make reply to some of the questions put forward, and comments made by Victor.

 

 

Ondib Olmnilnlolm said:

.......

What did you say?  How many people have voted? I don’t see how anyone could have listened to all those pieces carefully enough, as many times as they needed to, and made a genuine and conscientious decision.  It’s impossible.   I am nowhere near making a decision yet.  I won’t be able to vote until Friday, or Saturday.  I am still working on the criteria.

 

Victor Eijkhout:  So what are you saying? Everyone that has already voted has not been conscientious?

 

Ondib Olmnilnlolm replies:  It was a joke really.  In a way, I am really chastising myself, for taking so long.   But I do have genuine concerns about judgments made too quickly, and without sufficiently clear criteria.  

 

 

I notice the statement:

“I: Solitary music

 

Victor:  Look, I tried to not just vote, but try to write a sentence or two about each piece. I didn't have time to write a 500 word essay about each piece. Are you going to do that? In that case I bow in humble reverence. If not, please have an actual point. Would you rather be spared my shallow opinions? Fine with me. I'll not post my thoughts next time.

 

Olmnilnlolm replies:  I thought it was good, actually, that you did take out the time to write something about each piece.  You ask me if I am going to do that?   Please don’t tempt me.  I don’t want to cause mayhem and counter-revolution with what would inevitably be offhand remarks (unless I stick strictly to my “objective method” as the basis of commentary on people’s works). 

 

O.O. said,  I strongly urge others, who have not yet voted, to consider the notion of thinking about reading a few hundred books which describe and recommend the method I have mentioned 

 

Victor:  Ok, now I know that you're being silly. I wish you would actually have a point. I think I'll not read your post from now on. They seem to be information-free.

 

Olmnilnlolm replies:  Yes, I was being “silly.”  In Turkey, Turkestan and Turania, such comments are referred to as “cold jokes.”  Certain Saxon tribes still use this type of “humor,” along with some of the still extant and remaining Gallic clans that were originally conquered by Julius Caesar.  But I am a great believer in “freedom,” so if my posts are “information-free,” then all the better. 

 

Janet said, “Personally, I like anything I can tap my foot to. ;o)”

 

That is a universal and objective feeling I believe, which explains why Le Sacre du Printemps is (to this day) still considered the greatest piece of music of the 20th century.

 

Mr. Smith says, “Are folks just lazy about it?” [about judging]

 

I don’t criticize those who don’t vote at all.  After all, it’s a lot of music to listen to, and not everyone’s browsers can play all the pieces.  (I had to use three different computers and two different browsers to be able listen to all of them—seriously!)

 

Also, people, when they feel they have time to listen to music at all, may say, “what the heck:  I only have a few spare minutes, so I am going to listen to the ‘Ballet Mechanique,’

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SgsqmQJAq0

 

while I still have the chance, and then watch “Red Shoes,” on Turner Classic Movies, probably the only film that convincingly depicts the life of a composer, even if he is only fictional)”  [Unless you happen to take “Amadeus” seriously, as a portrayal of Mozart].

 

 

 

Stephen gave a very intelligent reply to my post, on judging, and said,

 

Ondib,

 

I have to take issue with your statement: So I am alighting gradually, on a way to judge the pieces of music presented for this contest, in a completely objective fashion.

 

Stephen observes, “It is categorically and psychologically impossible to judge any art in a completely objective fashion, indeed in any sort of objective manner whatsoever.”

 

My reply:  “Completely objective fashion,” I agree.  Complete objectivity is difficult for human beings, though advanced artificial intelligences and deities can almost certainly judge in a “Completely objective fashion.” (If the advanced artificial intelligence is programmed by a celestial angel, or a beneficent deity, then it will be all the more accurate).  Humans, nonetheless, can devise limited criteria, which can approach true objectivity.  We can think, we can analyze, we can feel and we can make decisions.  That is all that is necessary.

 

“The very essence of art (as I have mentioned before) is a fusion of academic judgment as to the grammar, syntax, phrasing, balance and all the 'technical' elements of composition with the emotive pleasurable forces released by it in the listener/looker.”

 

Hey, I like that.  It’s probably very true.  We agree to some extent.  As you say,

 

“I agree with you wholeheartedly that some form of benchmark/set of rules needs to be established that will guide us towards judging in a like manner...but these rules will inevitably have to include marks for the emotional impact of the piece being judged.”

 

Emotional impact, spiritual impact, moral impact, simple physical impact (even if it’s good, if it gives you headache, you might not like it).  

 

But contrary to common belief, emotional and spiritual impact are NOT subjective, at least not entirely, especially with the truly great works of art.   No one listens to the opening of Beethoven’s Fifth and says, “That’s delightfully peaceful and serene.”  Anyone who has a soul (or who believes they have a soul or a moral nature), will listen to Brahms “Tragic Overture,” and sense a series of “feelings” having to do with a “noble struggle,” sadness over heroic events which were not in vain, but which have some sort of redemptive qualities (to over-qualify the experience, if only slightly).

 

I don’t deny that subjective events occur in the mind when listening to any piece of music, but those have nothing to do with judging the value of the piece (or at least, SHOULD not have anything to do with that), and the piece has for sentient beings who understand something about the human condition, a meaning and a value above the merely subjective (and not beneath it, as the value and meaning of various flavors of chewing gum have). 

 

Thus, based on any OBJECTIVE ASSESSMENT, we can say that none of the pieces presented for the contest are as good as Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro,

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQmL6ki6yE8

 

… but they are all most certainly better than the Meow Mix Jingle (and even its souped up remixes:)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_5zELmun9E&index=3&list=PL...

 

 

Regarding the quote,'I used to think I was indecisive but now I'm not so sure'.

 

I can only quote the art critic, who said, “I may not have the slightest idea what I like, but I do absolutely know with total certainty what is beautiful.”

 

HOW THE CONTEST RESULTS WILL BE POSTED. The contest consists of 5 questions. The first question is to name your favorite piece (and optionally, offer comments). The second question is to name your second favorite piece (again, comments optional). The third question is to name your third favorite piece (again, comments optional). The fourth question is to rate the entries according to “fun” categories such as “coldest piece” and will not be counted towards the total. The fifth question is to guess the composer and it is also a “fun-only” question which does not count towards selecting the winners (the top three vote getters). I will be posting the contest results in four separate posts. The first post will reveal the composers’ names and also how many people guessed correctly who the composer is (from the answers to question five). The second post will reveal who got the votes in the “fun” categories (from the answers to question four). The third post will reveal the winners based on the answers to questions one, two, and three, and will include any comments made by voters (as of this posting, about 15). The fourth post will be to put the top three vote-getters on the top of the home page.

HOW THE VOTE COUNTING WILL BE DONE. Again, only the votes for first, second, or third place will count towards who wins. For every first place vote, I will give the entrant 3 points, for each second place vote 2 points, and for each third place vote 1 point. Whoever has the most points wins. The three top vote-getters will have the honor of having their compositions posted on the top of the home page until the first day of summer. I will post the points for every composer and I am happy to say that as of this posting every single composer who entered has gotten at least one vote for first, second, or third.

WHEN THE CONTEST RESULTS WILL BE POSTED. Since Saturday, when the contest deadline happens, is Valentines Day, the results will be posted on Sunday.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE CONTEST RESULTS ARE POSTED. This thread will remain open for any commentary by members. Although comments members made on compositions in the survey are anonymous, members who made those comments should feel free to step forward and identify themselves as the person making the comment, if they so wish. I ask the entrants to hold off on submitting their works anywhere else on the forum for a week to give this thread some time to be the central discussion point, but after that, entrants should feel free to post their works on the Music Analysis and Critique or Suggestions Wanted forum to get a deeper level of commentary than can be gotten out of a contest such as this.

LASTLY: THANK YOU! If you are one of the contestants, thanks so much for taking the time to put your original music on this forum so that others could listen and look! This is one of the premiere sites in the world for composers to share their music and get commentary and by participating in this contest, you have contributed to keeping original music alive. If you voted in this contest: thank you also! By voting, you have shown that you care about original music - and BTW, consider entering your own original music next time!

Deadline to vote is 2/14/15 at 5 pm EST

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