Music Contest #2 - Desert

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Environment: Desert
Make a piece of music that expresses the environment of a desert.



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  • No submission may violate any of the site rules.
  • If a submission does not follow the Rules of the contest the creator will be disqualified.
  • All submissions must follow the current theme. If any musical piece does not fit, a moderator will tell you as soon as possible as to avoid confusion.
  • Your submission must be posted before the deadline. Your post must include the music in an accepted file Format (MP3, OGG, or MIDI) and an accompanying explanation of the song (i.e. explain how it fits into the theme).
  • Your submission may not be started/made before the official launch of the contest.
  • Judges may not participate.
  • Your final submission must be finished and logically conclude and start.
  • Teamwork is not allowed.
  • You may not include long periods of silence in your song - rests are allowed but using 30 seconds of continuous silence simply to fill up space is not allowed.
  • Your song must include at least 2 parts(You basically can't have an entire song containing only a single instrument soloing)
  • You must post at least 1 WiP before the deadline so your final work can be verified as your own.
  • Minimum length is 1 minute, there is no maximum length (please keep it reasonable, 20 minute entries may create the necessity for a maximum length).
  • Any method of music production is allowed, including using Sequencers, Virtual Instruments, Sound Samples (granted you provide the source of the original sound sample) and standard recording.
  • Contestants may use any program to create their music. Essentially, the only part that is judged or limited is the final product.
  • No former works can be submitted, the piece must be new and created to fit the theme.
  • All entries must be accompanied by an explanation of how the song fits into the theme.
  • Vocals can be used, though the part being judged is the overall sound. Essentially the Vocals are being treated as if they were Instruments. Since this is a music contest, the sound is the product being judged, not the lyrics.
  • Though Sampling is allowed, it must be within reason:
  1. If you use an instrument sound sample for a Sampling VSI (basically if you just use the sound for the instrument, and make it play your music) you must provide the source of the sound, be it a website or an individual.
  2. SAMPLING COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE OWNER IS ILLEGAL, AND WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.
  3. You may use Royalty free sound samples - but you must provide the source of the sample.
  4. The final song must be at least 75% of your writing - In essence, you can use a royalty free drum loop (or other form of sampled material) in your song, but if you chose to you must create enough of the other material or use in such a way that it can be said that YOU wrote 75% of the song. Samples of instruments simply to be used for a sequencer (like building a drum line out of specific drums or using a pitch altering sampler to make a melody out of a sound sample from an instrument) are exempt from the 75% rule.

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  • First Place: 40 reputation points and your entry on an award icon
  • Second Place: 25 reputation points and an award icon
  • Third Place: 15 reputation points and an award icon

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  • Tell us if you want to be a judge

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Theme
How well does it demonstrate the feeling of a desert/15

Creativity/Originality
How original is the piece? How creative are you with the theme/instruments/etc./10

Dynamic/Tonation
Basically, how well does it flow? Are accents used to good effect? Do overall levels make sense? etc./10

Composition
How well is it composed? Do the key changes make sense?/15
I'm not so sure about having a poll this time - people were pretty pissed last time as to some it seemed like the voters were mainly voting for the catchy electronica type songs without considering how well the song was written and other things.

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All submissions must be complete and submitted 5 weeks after the contest is started.
The contest shall begin on Tuesday, 24th August and conclude on Friday, 24th September, 11:59 PM, 2010 GMT

Current Contestants - please notify me or one of the judges if you drop out, a post in this thread is fine - more are still welcome to join

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If you need a music program to get you started, a list of free/nearly free programs were included in the last contest thread which can be found here:
Resources are at the bottom of the first post
 

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Level 11
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I love it. This has tons of potential and sounds adequately challenging.

Can't wait for this to start!
 
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Dont like the theme.
Dont want to enter.
Got very very very bad experiences with mixing music styles that dont look like eachother. Maybe because theres a reason they're different.:)
And many styles are already mixes. Think of R&B. It's a mix of blues and hiphop basically.
I prefer to enter a contest with a theme that's not about what kind of style(s) you make but more what kind of message you're trying to bring over.

Edit: Oh and in real life I'm in a Fusion Band. But Fusion actually means Jazzrock so I was kinda confused when this came up.
Edit2: Oh and you're giving an example called Rap and Swing. Swing isn't a genre, it's a way you can play a music piece. Lots of Rap tracks already have a swing feeling in it. I'm not sure but I think you're trying to say Bebop instead of Swing. Bebop is a certain style within Jazz with swing.;)
 
Edit2: Oh and you're giving an example called Rap and Swing. Swing isn't a genre, it's a way you can play a music piece. Lots of Rap tracks already have a swing feeling in it. I'm not sure but I think you're trying to say Bebop instead of Swing. Bebop is a certain style within Jazz with swing.;)

Perhaps "Big Band" is a better word for it:



Songs like this seem to always be labeled something like "Swing" on the sheet music where it denotes the genre/style (in this case most likely to denote the style) - though I guess they'd be grouped under Jazz.
 
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Hmmm. The more I think about this theme, the less excited I am about it (mainly because I know almost nothing about music in styles other than my own). On the other hand, I still want this to get started ASAP.

How would this be for a theme: Musical Self-Portrait.
The idea would be to depict yourself in a piece of music. It could tell your life story, depict your current circumstances in life, or simply describe your general state of mind.

Another Idea would be to write a piece simply based on the concepts contained in a single word. So, up in the main post, one word would be listed, and contestants would have to write a piece that adequately tells the listener what meaning that word contains for them. Alternatively a list of words could be provided, or contestants could simply choose any word. Possible words include: Farewell; Death; Ecstasy; Tyrant; Flame; Sting; Mountain; Sky; Innocence; Youth.

Also: Poetry
Take your favorite piece of poetry (scenes from plays such as Faust, and Shakespeare's plays may also be used) and write a piece of music to fit it. The poem (or scene) can be used as lyrics if you want to include lyrics.

And Another One: Variations
Take a simple, non-copyrighted melody (preferrably a well known one, such as a folk song), and create as many variations of it as you can in a single piece. See how many different sounds you can get from using different rhythms, instruments, modes, keys, harmonies, and methods of ornamentation for this one melody, while still keeping your piece coherent and enjoyable.

Just some Ideas I made up off the top of my head. Any of those sound appealing?
 
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The thing that bothers me. This is thw for warcraft 3 (and sc2) but this contest has really NOTHING to do with that. That's my point basically.
Last contest was to make music for a wc3 race. Now we need a theme that connects music to warcraft, why would there else have to be a music section in here if it has nothing to with wc3?
 
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I've been thinking the same thing. However, I also see WherewolfTherewolf's point of how, last time, many people got confused and thought that either the point was to make background music, or that all the music should be orchestral/classical. While I don't think that the non-orchestral submissions did a particularly good job of depicting their chosen race, I'm still open to the idea of letting other genres and styles have a chance. I am willing to go along with both Blizzard-related and non-Blizzard-related themes. On the one hand, I don't want submissions to be compared with soundtracks from Blizzard games. On the other hand, you could say that contests with themes completely unrelated to this site might as well be on other sites.

For those who want non-Blizzard-related themes, see my above post, for those who want Warcraft/Starcraft-related themes, here are my suggestions.

Character: Write a piece depicting a character from the Warcraft or Starcraft universes. Example Here.

Location: Write a piece depicting a place in the Warcraft universe (Starcraft not included because, due to the fact Starcraft deals with quite a few different worlds, people could just say, oh, well there's this vaguely mentioned world and my piece fits it perfectly!).

Lore: Write a piece depicting a specific event in Warcraft or Starcraft lore.
 
The thing that bothers me. This is thw for warcraft 3 (and sc2) but this contest has really NOTHING to do with that. That's my point basically.
Last contest was to make music for a wc3 race. Now we need a theme that connects music to warcraft, why would there else have to be a music section in here if it has nothing to with wc3?

That's actually my problem - I want to distance the contest from Wc3 and Sc2 as that gets people into a spiral of "this has to be wc3 background music" and "this isn't orchestra music, thus it doesn't work for Wc3." For a theme I've been trying to choose one that allows the most creative freedom possible for the entrants to get some really interesting unique pieces, something someone would actually listen to in their spare time and not something destined to sit in a library of songs labeled "for wc3" until someone comes along and wants them (and no this isn't directed at classical music - game backgrounds just tend to be repetitive and tailored to only fit a specific atmosphere, making ones aside from really good ones difficult to want to listen too). Of course anyone is free to make wc3 styled music if they'd like and I guess a new theme is in order since so many people don't like this one.

And about the whole Wc3 modding site thing - I don't see anyone complaining that the concept art contests aren't all wc3 themes, I don't see anyone complaining that the latest short story contest wasn't specifically wc3 lore - the things like icon and model contests are wc3 themes mainly because the resource is specifically and can only work in wc3, thus having a theme that wouldn't fit a wc3 theme would be for not as the resource most likely wouldn't get used.


Okay if you guys can come up with a better theme I'll change it - but I'd like something a bit more creative then like Goblins or Horde - with the site being wc3 it's a bit lazy to just regurgitate wc3 keyterms - with the last contests theme we covered a large chunk of possible wc3 things anyways.
 
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Didn't like any of the non-Blizzard-related themes I suggested, eh?

(NOTE: don't confuse the themes suggested at post #8 with those suggested at post #6. Post #8 contains Warcraft/Starcraft-related stuff. Post #6 has non-Blizzard-related themes.)
 
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In my opinion, combining two genres is a difficult task for any musician because composing a song in just one genre is already hard -- having a blend of two will require extensive knowledge in both genres. Then you have to create an aurally pleasing sound -- that will be even more difficult.

However, I really like how you're choosing to distance the theme away from the Warcraft / Starcraft universe. I really like the idea of a self-portrait composition, though. Music is one fundamental way a musician can express his or her self. Why not allow us the freedom to do so? This allows us to compose something we enjoy and if we enjoy the process, we may create better songs for everyone to enjoy. The only problem is the wide variety of genres and the possibility for discriminated taste among the judges. Other than that, I'm voting for a self-portrait piece contest!

Btw, what are the rules for remixing? Say I had song A and wrote in mostly my own arrangement. Would this be sufficient as a piece?
 
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Someone read this?
http://www.hiveworkshop.com/forums/contest-submission-233/music-contest-ii-discussion-166423/
I don't see why this Music Contest post got host in the first place when we all kinda decided to make up a poll first. Then I said I didnt know how to make a poll, and nobody could help me with that so the topic became forgotten.

I personally liked this the most:
A song that replaces the background movie of a specific Wc3 campaign movie. <Examples>

And for Wc3 fitting music or not. I don't see any reason to join a contest here that has nothing to do with Wc3 music. I would rather find a music only forum then or compose songs for my own band then. If we're going to make selfportrait music then how is that ever going to get judged? Not! The only thing you can criticise is if you like the song or not, it has nothing to do with if it actually fits the theme. And people with populair music styles will eventually win the contest anyway. I also saw someone writing that "Background" music is repetive and not that spectaculair. Give me a break I don't know ANY song in the entire world withoud repeats in it. And bad background music has lots of repeats in it but listen to the music in per example the lord of the rings. That's well composed background music and is very hard to make.
The reason I like this contests is because I like making some sort of fantasy music once in a while and I don't really want to make music that I already make every day, for that I would rather join a real contest.

Here's a copy&paste from the post I refered to:
- Locational: People chose between those 4 locations; Desert, Under Water, Forest or Tundra.
- Starcraft: You have to create music that suits Starcraft II.
- Action Music: Basically background music for a combat scene in a game like whenever you start a bossbattle or do a duel versus someone.
- A theme song written to fit with a certain character from either the warcraft or starcraft lore. Like a song for Medivh or Jaina (don't know any sc2 characters:p)
- A theme song for a warcraft location like Orgrimmar, Stormwind, Darnassus or Wyrmcrest Temple, Wailing Caverns, Deadmines or something.

And since the background (or not) specification seems to be very dangerous I like to say that background music shouldnt be a MUST. I would prefer making background music, but others should be able to make foreground music.
 
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Hm, I also think that this theme is very difficult to put into actual music. As JetFangInferno mentioned, the question of getting only one genre clear is already very difficult and requires extremely much detail knowledge (btw, also the judges will need this, and not for only two but for every used genre - an impossible task!). The other problem is, that the more you fuse two genres, you will lose the specific aspects of each single one and in the end, you might not even be able to say which genres have been there originally and feel it just as "no specific genre".

I think discussing about styles is a VERY hot thing, perhaps too hot to make a contest out of it. Just look at the (short, thanks to god) discussion about what is "swing".
That's why I liked the aspect of the first contest, that everybody could try to fit the theme using the possibilities of his own preferred style. So I'd also like a theme more relating to a special situation, place or character. And hell, this is a warcraft(/starcraft)-related forum, so why not take a situation/place/character from the Warcraft (or maybe starcraft) universe? I'd suggest to keep this "content theme" more restricted than last time, maybe like "create a musical piece for the character of Jaina Proudmoore" or something like that.
We should try to keep style discussions out of this. This will end in war. :grin:

...so far just my opinion about this discussion.
@Wherewolf: Thanks for putting this first "draft" for a contest up! This really seems to bring the discussion to life again. :wink:
 
Yes yes yes the Fusion theme was a bad idea - that's what discussing it's for.

The reason I just put this up after all the discussions was because most discussions seemed to get ignored or couldn't come up with an overall consensus.

And hell, this is a warcraft(/starcraft)-related forum, so why not take a situation/place/character from the Warcraft (or maybe starcraft) universe?

I already explained this - I have no problem allowing people to choose warcraft related pieces, but I don't want to restrict people to them.

The reason I like this contests is because I like making some sort of fantasy music once in a while and I don't really want to make music that I already make every day, for that I would rather join a real contest.

No one said you couldn't do fantasy music, but "I like Fantasy music - you guys must all do it too" is a bit shallow. You have understand that most people's music creation set up is based on their favorite style to write in - thus a lot of people won't even have the necessary instruments/virtual instruments to make it. That why a theme that's unrelated to genre would work best - as it would give a clear theme to work with, but would give the musician the freedom to express it in the way they want to.

I also saw someone writing that "Background" music is repetive and not that spectaculair

Yes there a few gem games but realistically, look (well listen) to the average video games sound track. Sure it helps with the game experience, but would you really care at all if that music was separated from the game it was in?

If we're going to make selfportrait music then how is that ever going to get judged? Not!

This same exact argument came up in the Self Portrait Hero contest - let's see, that was judged and finished fine with no major melt downs pr people arguing saying the judge didn't judge them right. It's the final product being judged, and it will most likely be accompanied with a written explanation - that's whats being judged, not you personally.

Btw, what are the rules for remixing? Say I had song A and wrote in mostly my own arrangement. Would this be sufficient as a piece?

I believe using samples and such are covered in the rules (near the bottom) if that's what your talking about.

On the one hand, I don't want submissions to be compared with soundtracks from Blizzard games.

Another good point - your not trying to live up to Blizzards expectations, your trying to create your own best music.

On the other hand, you could say that contests with themes completely unrelated to this site might as well be on other sites.

Well I hate rehashing the same example, but you might as well had the last concept art contests on Deviant Art - worked fine here though.

And people with populair music styles will eventually win the contest anyway.

Not true - look at the winner of the last competition.
Also I'm considering doing away with the poll - though I'd like to hear you guy's opinions on it.



PS Sorry about the wall of text
 
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Well all I can say that if the contest is not going to have something to do with warcraft or starcraft or even something with games, I don't see any reason why I should join.
This isn't a music forum, it's a modding forum so I really think what we do here has to do with that. This is exactly why there isnt an easier mp3 section in here for downloads, because else it would become like a limewire for random songs instead of thing sthat actually have to do something with the theme of this entire site.
I made a thread. We discussed and agreed to make up a poll. Never happend because I didn't know how to. But now you made a contest with a totally different theme withoud any democratic poll or whatever to see if people actually like it.

My vote is to still make that poll and see what is the most populair idea and go on with that.
 
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I don't mind using a poll, but, just for argument's sake, I'd like to bring up a good point made while discussing the next terrain contest.

The reason that I am so hesitant when it comes to polls is because there are always the non terrainers that come in and think (for example) "I love gameboys that gets my vote." They don't take the time to think of things like what theme can be done by less experienced terrainers, what theme will get enough entries to make it a successful contest, what theme will be able to bring forth vast amount of variation between entries instead of having them all look the same (originality), etc.?

In this case, instead of having a poll, voters simply left a comment of this format:
Username - Yes/No Playable* - Theme
*in that case we were also deciding whether or not the terrains should be playable.

I think that something similar to that would be more appropriate. You may remember we didn't have a poll last time either. Another drawback of polls is that they don't let you change your vote. If you vote for one theme and then someone writes a convincing argument against that theme, you can't change your vote. With this setup, we can discuss the pros and cons of different themes, and, hopefully, come to an agreement.

If you want, I could make a list of all possible themes suggested in both this thread and the discussion thread, and we could start discussing them.

Or we could make a poll and go with plan A. I don't really care which.
 
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I don't mind using a poll, but, just for argument's sake, I'd like to bring up a good point made while discussing the next terrain contest.



In this case, instead of having a poll, voters simply left a comment of this format:
Username - Yes/No Playable* - Theme
*in that case we were also deciding whether or not the terrains should be playable.

I think that something similar to that would be more appropriate. You may remember we didn't have a poll last time either. Another drawback of polls is that they don't let you change your vote. If you vote for one theme and then someone writes a convincing argument against that theme, you can't change your vote. With this setup, we can discuss the pros and cons of different themes, and, hopefully, come to an agreement.

If you want, I could make a list of all possible themes suggested in both this thread and the discussion thread, and we could start discussing them.

Or we could make a poll and go with plan A. I don't really care which.


That sounds good.
The list part with all possible themes, and everyone that's thinking about entering votes, not in a poll, but in the thread.
 
Well I'm open to that - seems like it worked out well for the terrain thread.

trance + house = progressive house.
Also, I'm tended to join.

Yeah, a lot of people didn't like the fusion theme - we're trying to sort out a better one atm - though I'd love to hear something electron that's a bit more then the normal electronica approach we got a lot of in the last contest in the whole synth field.
 
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Alright then!

Here's what I've found.


1. Environmental: Write a piece of music depicting a specific environment.
This theme has several possible variations. A single environment could be listed, or contestants could choose from a list of environments.

2. Starcraft: Write a piece of music that fits Starcraft II. Essentially, what does Starcraft sound like to you?

3. Action Music: Write a piece of music which creates a sense of action, rush, and/or combat. This theme has two possible variations. One would require all submissions to be composed as background music, the other would not.

4. Cinematic (Non-specific): Write a piece of music that could serve as background music for a cinematic.

5. Cinematic (Specific): Write a piece of music to replace the background music of a Blizzard cinematic of your choosing. A possible variation would limit the choices to Warcraft 3 cinematics only.

6. Self-Portrait: Portray yourself (or your image of yourself) in a piece of music. All submissions must have a written explanation of how the submission depicts its creator.

7. Word: Take a single word and use music to convey any meaning it has to you. This theme has several possible variations. One variation would require all contestants to use the same word (which would be listed in the main post). Another variation would be to create a list for contestants to choose from.

8. Poetry: Take a piece of poetry (this includes scenes from plays such as Faust and Shakespeare's plays) and write a piece of music to fit it. If you wish to include a vocal part, you are allowed to use the poem for the lyrics. All submissions must be accompanied by the poem you based your piece on. Poems in other languages are allowed so long as you provide a rough translation, and/or an explanation of the poem's meaning.

9. Variations: Take a simple, non-copyrighted melody (preferrably a well known one, such as a folk song), and create as many variations of it as you can in a single piece. See how many different sounds you can get from using different rhythms, instruments, modes, keys, harmonies, and methods of ornamentation for this one melody, while still keeping your piece coherent and enjoyable.

10. Character: Write a piece depicting a character from either Warcraft or Starcraft lore.

11. Location: Write a piece depicting a place in the Warcraft universe.

12. Lore: Write a piece depicting a specific event in the history of Warcraft or Starcraft.

If I missed any, or if you'd like to suggest a theme, notify me and I'll add it.

And here's my vote:
CoBrA b - Self-Portrait.
 
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Dude, honestly I don't like the theme. It's hard to mix two different music genres. A better derivation of the theme would be to take a song of one genres and re-write it in another genre. Like take a jazz song and make it metal. Also from that list I thing number 10 is perfect for the second song contest.
 
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What aboud doing the voting in an other thread and let people vote ~4 times?
Because its a big list I think its better to let people vote a 1st, 2nd and 3rd (and 4th) choice.
 
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What aboud doing the voting in an other thread and let people vote ~4 times?
Because its a big list I think its better to let people vote a 1st, 2nd and 3rd (and 4th) choice.

Yeah. That sounds better. Avoids any confusion as to whether we're still considering the theme presented in this thread. Also, the 4 votes thing also sounds good.

I'll get said thread up ASAP.
 
Think carefully when voting - Character seems a lot like the last contests theme (race), example: Grom is a war-bound orc thus his music will most likely have a menacing looming war feeling to it, which is pretty much what you'd for Orcs period.

My favorite choices are:
1: Environment
6: Self Portrait
7: Word


Do you want to start another thread for the actual voting?
 
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I'll enter this!
Whenever it starts I will start actually making something, but I'll start brainstorming right away.
 
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I don't really like this rule that much:
"All entries must be accompanied by an explanation of how the song fits into the theme."

With that it becomes who makes the best explanation. My opinion actually is that if the composition is good, everyone should immediately be able to hear it's for a desert. If you can only see the desert feeling whenever someone explains to you why you should feel that then the whole point of the message of the composer is gone.
I understand you might want this rule but I'm just saying it ruins a littlebit of the challenge of making a track where people immediatelly understand where it could fit in.
 
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I don't really like this rule that much:
"All entries must be accompanied by an explanation of how the song fits into the theme."

With that it becomes who makes the best explanation. My opinion actually is that if the composition is good, everyone should immediately be able to hear it's for a desert. If you can only see the desert feeling whenever someone explains to you why you should feel that then the whole point of the message of the composer is gone.
I understand you might want this rule but I'm just saying it ruins a littlebit of the challenge of making a track where people immediatelly understand where it could fit in.

The bit about whoever makes the best explanation winning is not true. In the previous competition, explanations, no matter how great or otherwise, were hardly considered. As for your point about immediate theme recognition, if the song fit the theme and this was immediately apparent, then it obviously won.
 
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I changed my mind.
I don't have much time anymore to join the contest. But on the other hand I could judge this contest. So if you agree I could become a judge and you could just get the contest started because I got the feeling like everyone's waiting for a judge.

teun.
 
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