Author Topic: What Do You Look For When Posting One Of Your Works (a companion thread)  (Read 3872 times)

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Michel.R.E

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This is a parallel thread to that which discusses how we examine works that have been posted, our approach to critique, what aspects of the music do we concentrate on when evaluating, etc...


In return, what do you expect from comments when you post a new work?

Speaking for myself, obviously, I hope to get some comments that validate the decisions/choices I made when writing the piece in question.

Do peoples' comments reflect the musical intent I had?
Are people noticing any of the details to which I paid a particular attention?
Do people seem indifferent to the piece? or feel strongly one way or another?

I always accept comments regarding issues of playability for any of the instruments, when those comments are based on experience. The same goes for engraving.

And most of all, I love questions:
"how did you do this?"
"why did you do that?"
"what structural tool was used to achieve this result?"

And to be perfectly honest, the last thing I want to hear is a non-committal comment.
If you didn't really care for the piece, one way or another, I'd rather you say "I didn't care for it".
Obviously, if you are capable of voicing any specific or general reasons for that feeling, it's immensely appreciated.
Even "it's too modern for me", or "it's not modern enough for me" are helpful comments to me.

They speak to the listener's frame of mind, and in a way, indirectly to the music.


I don't post my works only for praise. Obviously, praise don't hurt!  ;D Everyone wants to feel some pride in their work.
As I said, posting one of my works is a means for me of gauging whether I achieved the objectives I set out for myself when writing it.


So, for the beginners, and the most advanced composers among us, for the amateurs and professionals, for those who do it for pleasure alone, and those who do it as a calling, a vocation, speak up.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 04:57:37 PM by Michel.R.E »
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

Jamie Kowalski

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Re: when posting a work, what do you look for (a companion thread)
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2013, 11:32:16 AM »
I love being asked questions as well, no matter how mundane. I like when I'm asked why I made a specific choice, as it shows a level of engagement from the listener.

For other comments, I like them all -- even the negative. Engraving and performance issues are very helpful.

FossMaNo1

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Re: when posting a work, what do you look for (a companion thread)
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2013, 11:58:25 AM »
I'm still in the stage where I'm not entirely sure what I should want in the comments. Sure, someone liking the piece is nice, however I personally look for suggestions on how I can continue the work or develop it further. Engraving comments are certainly welcome, but I don't really find them useful until I am closer to finishing the work. Still, egregious errors in the sort of badly sorted instruments along the staves is very welcome.
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tbmartin

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Re: when posting a work, what do you look for (a companion thread)
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2013, 01:01:22 PM »
WARNING: EXTREME SARCASM AHEAD: When I post, I'm only looking for people to stroke my ego. Anything else, don't bother responding. (END OF SARCASM)

But seriously, I'm looking for my blind spots and ideas to help me improve. Pointing out a boring harmony, parallel 5ths, etc, is all fine, but what's even more helpful is things like:
(1) ways to avoid the problem in the first place
(2) WHY my harmony is boring, and what are some ideas to fix it, and
(3) Why the revised version is better.
(4) If you like it, which parts made you like it?
(5) If you don't like it, what about it didn't you like? If it's just a style you don't care for, that's ok, but if you can point to portions that rub you the wrong way, it helps.

All of these things can be summed up by paraphrasing the old saying: Don't hand me a fish. Help me learn how to fish.
Terence Martin

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Michel.R.E

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Re: when posting a work, what do you look for (a companion thread)
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2013, 01:16:20 PM »
give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
teach a man to fish, and you get the house all to yourself every weekend as he goes off to fish with his buddies.
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

tbmartin

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Re: when posting a work, what do you look for (a companion thread)
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2013, 01:28:26 PM »
give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
teach a man to fish, and you get the house all to yourself every weekend as he goes off to fish with his buddies.

ROAD TRIP!!!! I'll see you Saturday. I'll bring the bait, you bring the beer! (Canadian beer is so much better than the stuff I could bring up from the US)
Terence Martin

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Play: Saxophones (all, but tenor primary), Bass Clarinet, Piano (poorly)

Michel.R.E

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Re: when posting a work, what do you look for (a companion thread)
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2013, 01:35:16 PM »
LOL, I'm not much of a fisherman, but honestly that WOULD be a blast!
"Writing music to be revolutionary is like cooking to be famous: Music’s main function is not revolution. – Alan Belkin "

"Saying something new about something old is still saying something new. – Jamie Kowalski"

tbmartin

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Re: when posting a work, what do you look for (a companion thread)
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2013, 04:30:18 PM »
LOL, I'm not much of a fisherman, but honestly that WOULD be a blast!

Neither am I, in fact I HATE fishing. So, that leaves just beer. And I'm ok with that!

(We now return you to your regularly scheduled thread...)
Terence Martin

Tools: Finale 2003 on Windows XP
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http://bit.ly/TerenceMartinSaxArranger
Goal: Improve quantity and quality of concert band compositions.
Play: Saxophones (all, but tenor primary), Bass Clarinet, Piano (poorly)

sandalwood

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Re: What Do You Look For When Posting One Of Your Works (a companion thread)
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2013, 05:33:20 PM »
picking a word each from Kowalski’s reply  and Michel’s opening post , i feel engagement and detail are important. indicating any emotional impression (or lack of it), also indicating any moments with dense emotional impact or those that spoil the affekt, parts that sag or do not fit in well are valuable feedbacks.

likewise a detailed technical appreciation is always welcome: anything on melody, harmony, counterpoint, form, style, instrumentation/orchestration, etc. or hopefully on all of them. the more the detail the more, i believe, the poster will benefit. also, i tend to think remarks like “a countermelody in low brass might work well from measure ..., like in grieg’s ... mvt. 2 ...” , or  “woodwinds in octaves might be better in that spot, see nielsen’s ...”  would be illustrative and helpful, am i wrong? and one last type of comment that i consider indispensable is: “are you aware that your melody is the main theme of the ode to joy?”

i think, on the emotional or technical side, criticism like "this and that do not work" is very welcome, and "they don't work, (possibly) because..." is even more welcome.

perpetuo studens

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Re: What Do You Look For When Posting One Of Your Works (a companion thread)
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2013, 08:21:51 PM »
Another great thread.

I post because I want to learn, and I need to learn much, much more about all aspects of composition and my work. This is a great space to be in because I benefit from all comments. I learn something about my music, and about how to make better music, from every response.

Having worked in more or less total isolation for about five years I suppose what I wanted to learn first was whether or not I was making obnoxious nose, whether or not I could trust myself.

Once I started hanging around here though, I realized I could learn much more. I think Mark made some comment about "no tuition", and that kind of describes how I feel: I'm getting a free education in composition. So on one level I'm not "looking for" anything. I'm truly grateful for whatever I get, and I always learn something.

On a deeper level though I found that Michel's description struck a chord so to speak:

Do peoples' comments reflect the musical intent I had?
Are people noticing any of the details to which I paid a particular attention?
Do people seem indifferent to the piece? or feel strongly one way or another?

Reading this I realized that in addition to the obvious desire to develop technically, I was also interested in the above, but not really consciously so. And as with all new self-realization now I get to go back over all the comments I've received and look at them in that light. Fun!

Michel & Jamie: You say you like questions? Excellent! I have lots. Feel free to ignore if I get carried away. :)

Apologies for the long post...this is just a topic I think about a lot.

Jamie
The perceived object...is not a sum of elements to be distinguished from each other and analyzed discretely, but a pattern, that is to say a form, a structure: the element's existence does not precede the existence of the whole, it comes neither before nor after it, for the parts do not determine the pattern, but the pattern determines the parts: knowledge of the pattern and of its laws, of the set and its structure, could not possibly be derived from discrete knowledge of the elements that compose it.

That means that you can look at a piece of a puzzle for three whole days, you can believe that you know all there is to know about its colouring and its shape, and be no further ahead than when you started. The only thing that counts is the ability to link this piece to other pieces...

Georges Perec - Life: A User's Manual

mjf1947

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Re: What Do You Look For When Posting One Of Your Works (a companion thread)
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2013, 06:08:26 AM »
Hi,

This past weekend's Pops concert - I received a most wonderful compliment on my Oboe playing.  I played a very simple musical line (a solo) from Paul Simon's Sound of Silence.  The Bassoonist behind me said, "My playing brought tears to his eyes".

When I post music .... it MUST have an impact upon the listener.  Why compose if it does not have meaning?  If I get a emotional and/or intellectual response I feel I accomplished my task.  The music needs neither to be simplistic nor complex just enough to connect to someone's "being".

Now of course I want the musical impact to be as polished and sophisticated as possible and that's why I participate in the forum.

So if I post: Did I move you?  Did it mean anything to you? Does it relate to you in some manner?  Do you feel my intent and share in that intent?  Can you participate in my joy or angst.

Mark


winknotes

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Re: What Do You Look For When Posting One Of Your Works (a companion thread)
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2013, 06:56:48 AM »
I think I'm like others that I like comments on technical, notational and formal issues.  Whatever strikes the listener/commenter.  Personally I want my music to go somewhere.  I like the listener to feel like they've been on a journey.  I think this falls under the formal aspects of my music.  But as I said I appreciate any feedback one is willing to give. 
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Ron

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Re: What Do You Look For When Posting One Of Your Works (a companion thread)
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2013, 08:16:59 AM »
I look for the technical errors in my score that others have pointed out and I consider their suggestions for improvements carefully, often incorporating them.
Ron
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mjf1947

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Re: What Do You Look For When Posting One Of Your Works (a companion thread)
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2013, 11:06:31 AM »
I think I'm like others that I like comments on technical, notational and formal issues.  Whatever strikes the listener/commenter.  Personally I want my music to go somewhere.  I like the listener to feel like they've been on a journey.  I think this falls under the formal aspects of my music.  But as I said I appreciate any feedback one is willing to give.

I am in full agreement!  This is something I have been struggling to do .... form harmonic patterns/structures which carry the listening from place to place while maintaining the listeners interest and connection to the music.  Lovely melodies are fine however insufficient by themselves!

Mark

Susie

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Re: What Do You Look For When Posting One Of Your Works (a companion thread)
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2013, 03:39:59 AM »
In the beginning stages of my piece, I expect to hear comments about flawed harmony and clashes (I still have yet to take a formal theory class, so I only know a few of the basics). Later on, I like to hear if a section has potential to be something that it isn't yet, and suggestions as to how I can make it so. Once my piece is pretty much in its final form, comments about engraving are very helpful.

In general, I like to hear what the listener likes and dislikes. Usually, if someone asks a question, I'm not sure how to answer it because I often don't know how I achieved something they ask about, but they do challenge me to think about what techniques I might have discovered, so I like them. :)
"Whenever I'm certain that I have something all figured out, I deprive myself of the opportunity to learn more..." - perpetuo studens