Notes about the Challenge Board - PLEASE READ

Notes about the Challenge Board - PLEASE READ

Postby Hugh-AR » 03 Jun 2019 22:40

A few thoughts about the 'New' Challenge Board

The original Challenge Board was set up for Members to play something new on their keyboards in response to a 'theme' that had been set. There were no restrictions on how a piece was played, or the number of pieces that a Member could enter for a Challenge. So long as the pieces submitted were 'new' and had not been recorded previously. There was no voting or analysis of the pieces submitted, and there were no ‘winners’. So best described as an encouragement to practice playing a keyboard rather than using one’s skills to produce an amazing piece of music.

It was difficult to keep track of the entries, and virtually impossible to make comments on an entry as a ‘Challenge’ was set up as a Topic. Both comments and new entries were put up as ‘Replies’ on a ‘timeline’ and once the topic had moved on it was difficult to get back and discuss something that had been posted earlier. I didn’t want to DELETE the previous challenges so have left them up, but have renamed them as ‘Themes’.

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http://www.tierce-de-picardie.co.uk/viewforum.php?f=232

The ‘New Challenges’ have been set up to allow each entry to have it’s own space, and make it possible to put ‘Replies’ to any entry at any time. If anyone has a suggestion for a Challenge please contact Den (dentyr) or myself (Hugh-AR). We can be contacted by finding us in the Members list (you can do this alphabetically) and clicking on Email, or Send private message. Only an Administrator can set up a New Challenge as it is a Board (not a Topic) that has to be set up.

Voting

In other Forums the ‘management’ (who are the experts?) analyse and judge the entries between them and decide on a ‘Winner’. We are not going down that road. We would prefer the Members just to vote for ‘three of the entries they liked the best’. No analysis of ‘technique’ or how expertly the piece has been put together. Just which three you liked the best. Why three? Two reasons. How can you possibly choose just one when entries are so varied and played so differently? And secondly, the more votes cast the more will be allocated to individual entries. With one vote each, with such few Members voting I don’t reckon a ‘winner’ will get more than two or three votes. And that does not make a conclusive ‘winner’.

This ‘New’ Challenge is to post something that fits the criteria, with any skills you may have to make your entry interesting for other Members to listen to, and maybe inspire them to try playing something in a way they might not have thought of doing before. A bit of fun. It is not meant to be a ‘Competition’ for you to enter with the objective of winning. The only reason for having a ‘winner’ is because one of our Members, Ian Wolstenholme (who runs Oldham Community Radio) has offered to include our winner(s) in his Radio Broadcast. Brilliant! And I thank him for doing that.

Can you vote for your own entry? Well yes, and how would we know who you voted for anyway? But be objective, if you can. If you genuinely think your entry is better than all the others you have listened to then vote for it. Otherwise, go for something that you genuinely liked.
It's all about the music ♫ ♪ ♫ Organ: Yamaha AR80
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Re: Notes about the Challenge Board - PLEASE READ

Postby Hugh-AR » 04 Jun 2019 16:33

Now some comments about the content of the pieces played.

If you go back a few years when organs were the order of the day, they were played in such a way that every note you heard was being played 'live'. And then came keyboards, and STYLES. The whole purpose of a Style is to provide a 'backing' to what you are playing, so you have your own 'band' at your fingertips. So although the melody you hear is that person playing the piece, the backing is created by the software in the keyboard playing notes and phrases in a predetermined 'pattern' based on the chord you are playing with your left hand. So when you use a ‘style’, is this really you playing?

Going a step further with Styles, these days we can download ‘bespoke’ styles for a particular song via Midi. This picks up the actual backing from the original song and converts it into a style. Brilliant, really! Jackoj has posted one here .. A Bunch Of Thyme.

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http://www.tierce-de-picardie.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=7503#p46110

Then you can go even further and download a complete song ‘backing track’ where the melody has been removed. You have all the original sounds, including the 'voices off' .. and all you have to do is to play the melody along with backing track. Rather like a singer would when doing a 'karaoke'.

At our organ club we have different professional organists come and play to us each month, and I have to say that we expect them to be playing every note we are listening to ‘live’. But sometimes, I wonder why. I remember once going to a Brian Sharp concert at the Colston Hall in Bristol and he said to us before he started playing that the bass we would be listening to he had recorded previously from the lower manual .. as his legs were not working as well as they used to. But that everything we would hear was him playing. He then proceeded to play a ballad, playing the melody on the upper with his right hand while his left hand was controlling the ‘glide’ along a wire across the top of the organ. So all the backing he must have prerecorded as well. But it was all him playing! One of the most beautiful pieces I had ever heard!

How else could one put together a recording? To get an authentic orchestral sound as you would get in a classical piece, you could play each instrument separately .. and then 'mix' all the 'parts' together. The final recording will all be you playing .. but not playing all the 'parts' at the same time. You couldn't do that with only two hands! Here is an example of this.

G. Caccini - "Ave Maria"
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http://www.tierce-de-picardie.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=314&t=7539

With most modern keyboards these days you can do 'multitracking'. This involves playing a piece right through, and then 'adding' more music content into the mix afterwards while you are listening to what you had previously recorded. At our Hotel we had a Rep stay regularly and he always brought his keyboard with him. He asked me if I would like to have a go at doing some multitracking .. but once I had recorded a tune I couldn't get my head round adding anything else. My fingers just wanted to play the same notes that I had already played! I think the secret here is to have in mind something you can do before you make the recording. This can include doing a 'counter melody' to the main melody you are recording. Here is an example of this. A recording I did in 'two takes' .. Away In A Manger. Click on the LINK below to listen.

Press the 'back button' after listening to get back to this page
Away In A Manger DEMO .. melody & counter melody

And then finally there is Midi, and computer programs like Cubase where you can make changes to everything and end up with something that is nothing like what you originally had. A little story here. A friend of my son played me some music that he had composed himself. I was impressed is it had some amazing harmonies in it and a very catchy melody. I expressed my surprise and said I didn't know he played a keyboard. To which he said he didn't. He had done it all on the QWERTY keyboard on his computer.
It's all about the music ♫ ♪ ♫ Organ: Yamaha AR80
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Challenge Winner
2018 August (Joint Winner); October (Joint Winner); November (Joint Winner); December (Joint Winner)
2019 March (Joint Winner); May (Joint Winner); June (Joint Winner); October
2020 March; April (Joint Winner)
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Re: Notes about the Challenge Board - PLEASE READ

Postby Hugh-AR » 04 Jun 2019 22:27

You all know what I have in my 'Signature' under every post I make. It's all about the music. And that is what I feel about entries for this Challenge. The music is paramount, and not how it was put together.

At the end of the day, it's the voting that counts. What do you like to hear in these music entries? And when you submit an entry for a Challenge, how much of the piece is you playing/creating the music we are listening to? If the answer is, "Not a lot" then please don't enter it in the Challenge.

There may be other Forums where they have 'Challenges' that are more suited to how you like to play. I hope that you will find our Challenges both interesting and inspiring. The last thing I want is for people to feel their music is being scrutinised to see if it 'abides by the rules'. We don't have 'rules', except for one. Please only submit a maximum of three entries. If there are too many entries it would difficult to listen to them all and vote constructively.

Hugh
It's all about the music ♫ ♪ ♫ Organ: Yamaha AR80
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Challenge Winner
2018 August (Joint Winner); October (Joint Winner); November (Joint Winner); December (Joint Winner)
2019 March (Joint Winner); May (Joint Winner); June (Joint Winner); October
2020 March; April (Joint Winner)
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Hugh-AR
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Posts: 4319
Joined: 07 Feb 2015 14:34
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