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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I want to open a competition between the pieces of Bach.

Why Bach? Because I want to do the same with many composers and I have to start with someone. At the end, the awarded pieces of each composer will compete between each others.

To complete this competition, three phases are required:
  • Setup
  • Enrollment
  • Competition

In the Setup Phase we have to define the categories.

In the Enrollment Phase users will insert the pieces for the different defined categories.

In the Competion Phase the pieces inside each category will compete between each others.


This thread is for the Setup Phase.

What we have to do here is quite simple: define the catgories with a democratic process.

The problem is that it doesn't make so much sense a competion between a solo piece and an orchestral piece, so we need some categories that make sense for most people. At the same time, we have to try to keep things simple. I don't want 100 categories. Just a few.
Keep in mind that the categories must work for all classical music composers, because when the pieces of different composer will compete between each others the categories will have to work.

For example:
  • Solo (pieces with only one instrument)
  • Chamber (pieces for a little ensemble of instruments)
  • Orchestral

Do you want to split solo pieces in more categories?

Solo for keyboard, solo for organ, solo for violin, and so on?

Here below each user can submit his model and then we will do a poll to determine the best one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The set-up looks fine to me except for one giant missing link - vocalism (lieder/choral/opera).

Yes, you could split every category but that would result in dilution.
Ok, could you write your list of categories?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Solo
Chamber
Orchestral
Vocal
Thanks.

A sonata for violin accompanied by piano (to make an example) should be considered a solo or a chamber piece? An if we divide the instrumental music according to the used force, shouldn't we do the same with vocal?

Solo instrumental
Chamber instrumental
Orchestral instrumental

Chamber vocal
Orchestral vocal
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
His catalog is already divided into "types" by BWV numbers (because trying to organize them chronologically was impractical). Perhaps that might help with categories.

BWV 1–224 Catatas
BWV 225–231 Motets
BWV 232–243 Latin liturgical
BWV 244–249 Passions and oratorios
BWV 250–438 Four Part Chorales
BWV 439–524 Small vocal works
BWV 525–771 Organ compositions
BWV 772–994 Other keyboard works
BWV 995–1000 Lute
BWV 1001–1040 Other Chamber music
BWV 1041–1071 Orchestral
BWV 1072–1078 Canons
BWV 1079–1080 Late contrapuntal

Thanks, but the categories must be generic and must work with all composers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Oh, sorry, between the thread title

Talkclassical best pieces of J.S. Bach award - Setup

and the OP



. . . I guess I mistakenly thought that you wanted a Bach-exclusive competition.
Yes, it is a Bach competition. But later, the pieces which will have won this competition will compete with pieces of others composers. For future puroposes I need categories that works for all classical music.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hmm. There are chants, oratorios, masses, operas, leider and other art songs, and other choir works. And Beethoven's 9th Symphony 4th mvt.

That's a pretty broad category.
With instrumental music I think I'm done.

Solo
Chamber
Orchetral

For vocal music, what about:
  • Song: every kind of vocal music piece that it's intended to be listened
  • Opera
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You might consider adding

  • Choral
  • Oratorio/Cantata/Masses
I think that for vocal music we need three categories:
  • One category for pieces where the lyrics are as much important as the music
  • One category for pieces where the music importance is prevalent
  • One category for pieces that are intended to be watched (like opera)

Now, the problem is to give a name to each category and determine where should be placed the different kinds of vocal music.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 · (Edited)
Why not have categories similar to the solo-chamber-orchestral classification for instrumental music?

So solo vocal, then small scale vocal music with some accompaniment like art songs, then the large choir works.

But then I'm not sure where opera can be placed. Makes me wonder if a separate category should be made for programmatic instrumental music too
Now I'm thinking to remove categories about complexity.

I wanted to create categories because I was thinking that a solo keyboard might be squashed by a large orchestral work. But now I'm thinking: what's wrong with this? I mean, if complexity is perceived as "quality", what's wrong if a large orchestral work is considered better than a solo because is more complex?

If, for example, someone think that the best piece of Beethoven is the fifth symphony and he thinks this also because it's a symphonic work, what's wrong?

If really want to determine what's the best of Bach, shouldn't we be free to think that he has reached his higher level with orchestral works (if we think so)?


And what about vocal vs instrumental? Isn't human voice just an other instrument, like any other?

What I want to say is that instruments used are an intrinsic part of composition, so I don't know if it really makes sense to separate composition from instruments used.

I think that you touched the right point with programmatic music Vs simple music: simple music must compete with simple music and programmatic music must compete with programmatic music because in the latter there is more than only music involved.

So, what about:
  • Non-programmatic music
  • Programmatic music to listen
  • Programmatic music to watch

What do you think about my reasoning?
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Here's something I used for a previous 'game'. It might help. It might not.

Symphony -
Tone Poem/Suite/Overture/Ballet -
String Concerto -
Keyboard Concerto -
Brass/Wind Concerto -
String Chamber -
Keyboard Chamber -
String Sonata/Solo -
Keyboard Sonata/Solo -
Lieder/Madrigal -
Oratorio/Mass/Requiem/Cantata/Chant -
Opera/Operetta -
Thanks, but I want to use simpler categories.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
However, I'm still leaning towards having separate categories for each of them, since I think it'd be helpful for people who prefer some genres over others & want to look for the best pieces in that genre.
This is not a problem, because I can assign categories to the different pieces, but the pieces of different categories will compete between each others.

So, at the end of the competion every piece will have a score and a category, so it will be possible to say what is, for example, the keyboard solo with the best score.

I think that the competion categories, however, will be only three:
  • Music without lyrics
  • Music with lyrics
  • Music with images

I wonder if I also have to create subcategories for the lenght. Wouldn't be strange to compare a multi-movement piece of 2 hours with a simple piece of 3 minutes? I don't know. Or, alternatively, should we split multi-movement pieces? The longest work of Bach is a passion of 2 hours and 40 minutes.
 
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