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Beethoven Challenge

Discussion in 'Tips, Tricks & Talk' started by Mattia Chiappa, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. Hello people!

    For a while now I wanted to try writing something going straight to paper without using the piano.

    I wasn't sure I would be able to do this, so I made it easier on myself by keeping it short and simple. As expected, the end result is nothing spectacular or original (a bit of a bad rip off in fact) but considering how big a limitation that was, It could have turned out way worse. Maybe I'll try something more adventurous next time.

    During the process I noticed a few interesting stuff:
    • Whilst very limiting or maybe because of that, working like this is super fast. Without your ears playing tricks on you there aren't many decisions to take.
    • What I missed the most was having my usual piano sketch to guide the overall shape of the piece and orchestration.
    • Despite trying not to, I caught myself many times singing the lines I was writing. Maybe this could be considered a way of cheating but I really couldn't help it in the end.
    Just to show you the results of the experiment, I did not change anything after hearing the piece even if this could obviously be improved in many ways. Anyone else up for the challenge?

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/4tujga95e096e07/BEETHOVEN CHALLENGE.mp3?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/tbottha5fnyawbq/BEETHOVEN CHALLENGE - CONCERT SCORE.pdf?dl=0
  2. Mattia,

    Wow! Do this more often. As you said you "caught yourself singing"... Is this cheating? I'm not sure but who cares! Because what came out, in the end, was something just as "singable" and lyrical as you wrote. I can sing your theme because YOU COULD SING IT! It was quite rhythmic and lyrical all the way through. It breathed, it flowed, it made sense.


    Question: As you notated it into your notation program, did you hear the notes then or waited to the very end to hear it finally played back?


    Tchaikovsky didn't need a piano to write his scores. He notably wrote his scores in his diary while he took his walks. He would write from within his head and/or would sing the melodies... hence! Why his melodies are so lyrical because he would sing them and articulate them.

    Here is a real Tchaikovsky sketch from one of his diaries.

  3. I'm not a fan of calling this "Beethoven Challenge", but being able to do this one day is one of my goals too. I think you did a wonderful job at this, very well done! I do think there are great benefits in terms of speed and melodic quality to be reaped from this approach.
    Mattia Chiappa likes this.
  4. Maybe to write a melody that isn't trash, but not something to this extent! Great job!

    I'm with Dillon -- I don't think singing is cheating. Maybe if you're really trying to be like Beethoven, but many of the greats composed by singing.
    Mattia Chiappa and Dillon DeRosa like this.
  5. Thank you very much for your support guys!

    Yeah I muted the master output while making the score. I was quite tempted to turn the volume up a few times but I've only heard it at the very end :)
  6. That is a good challenge and a way to develop your concentration probably. I think you should be able to sing or whistle though. I would whistle.

    One problem - if somebody else does this how can you verify they didn't cheat? Like the Straight 8 Super 8mm film competition - the film isn't developed so you can't cheat.
  7. They'd mainly be cheating themselves out of the learning opportunity and satisfaction of pulling it off. Why do you think it's a "problem" that we can't be certain? What's at stake that makes it a problem for us?

    When I read the title pop up on the notification bar again I thought this was about something different entirely:


    I was wondering what the redbanned crowd thinks about this.
    Rohann van Rensburg likes this.
  8. Of course, I was just saying that as a semi-humorous observation. Never mind.
  9. #9 Mattia Chiappa, Nov 21, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
    I don't know this guy but just reading a few comments made me cringe. I don't care for academia, rules or theory and I'm indeed self-taught myself but I don't really get how not having an education of any sort (not necessarily schools) has become a point of pride and something to be celebrated for many people. It's a lot harder to get your shit together and work on your craft consistently for years, rather than messing around for a few hours and spit out some half decent piece of music but somehow people misunderstand these types for geniuses. It genuinely pisses me off. I find it incredibly arrogant and disrespectful to even think you could compare yourself to the greats when you have zero knowledge of how their work and craft was put together. Then again I don't know this guy and if he proves me wrong I'll be envious because normal people like me have to work their ass off to get very minimum achievements with little to no recognition. Sorry for getting a little intense.
  10. Oh, Sorry! :D My girlfriend frequently makes fun of me for not understanding jokes or irony and taking most things literally.

    Par for the course for youtube comments. I've seen a tweet recently by an indie gamedev who showed some examples where spambots nowadays leave more positive and wholesome comments on her blog than real people do.

    I guess it must come from a place of still thinking higher education is some magical fairydust and those who manage without it must be truely gifted heroes to achieve anything without that formal education guiding them. I can't imagine anyone who actually studied to talk like that. At least I thought large parts of my (non musical btw.) education held me back compared to autodidactic studies that I could have done in that time.

    I don't know him super well, but I watched a couple of his videos. I don't think he's arrogant and I expect him to fail this challenge in some way and also acknowledge it himself. I was tempted to invite him to redbanned because I'm sure he could learn a lot here and generally I think he'd be receptive to the input, but I was worried he might recommend this place on stream or on youtube and I wouldn't want to see dozens of random fans of his join here and mess with the "balance of the force" this place has.
    I'm curious to see what he comes up with.
  11. "I don't care for academia, rules or theory and I'm indeed self-taught myself but I don't really get how not having an education of any sort (not necessarily schools) has become a point of pride and something to be celebrated for many people. "

    Really agree with that. The best music is intuitively created. Most great composers just breezed through harmony classes or didn't even take them because they already had it down. Also think of all the blues and jazz players who never could afford an education but created the greatest music. Or another example ( though a very different area of music) is Erich Korngold who wrote his Sinfonietta when he was 17. It is musical technique and expertise equal to Richard Strauss or Mahler and he hadn't had time yet for hardly any formal education. His brain just did it.

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