Muse's Muse Songwriting Message Board: Song Comp Discussion (2011 - 2012) - Muse's Muse Songwriting Message Board

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This is a forum where you can find all the contests that we run in the Muse. In the past these were run in different forums but now we are gathering them all together in one place to make them easier for you to find.

Each contest is run by the moderators from different forums, so you will find song contests from the Lyrics and forum moderators, lyric contests from the Lyrics forums moderators, and so on. The moderators will post the results and you can add your congratulations for the winners (or accept the congratulations of others).

Read the rules for each contest carefully, they differ for each contest. Don't forget you can judge contests as well as enter them.
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Song Comp Discussion (2011 - 2012) format, scoring 'n' stuff

#1 User is offline   Jason Kalman Icon

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 09:47 AM

All,
Has anyone entertained the idea of changing the voting process? I think having a single guest judge score the songs would be a possible good way to go. Someone within the industy that is not part of the messageboard and would donate their time to judge each month. That would give us a different/objective perspective from within the industry. It would keep the scoring fresh. That coupled with real feedback would be even better.

I'm not a fan of contestant's judging. Over time it could lead to subconsiously or deliberately lowering the score of your competition. If I know a song is a 10 and I give it a 5 and I know another song is a 5 but give it a 10, I keep my average high, while bringing the real quality song (my competition) down. Even if no one ever does that, it is way too easy to do. It leaves open too much room for potential or suspected favoritism or sabatage. Also, if I develop a relationship with some of the boardmembers will I, somehow inflate their score at the cost of lowering someone else's score, even if I am not consciously aware I'm doing it?

Any thoughts?
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#2 User is offline   DonnaMarilyn Icon

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 10:41 AM

Actually, I have a threefold wish for 2011. :)

1. More Muse members participate in the lyric and song competitions;
2. More Muse members take part in the voting process;
3. More variety in the song comps. For instance, just as we have “open”
and “1+1”, perhaps now and again the contest could involve pieces only in one genre, e.g. blues or country or whatever.
It might be a fun challenge for those folks who don’t normally write/compose in the particular genre.

For me, one of the most difficult things about voting in the song comps is that there’s such a wide range of genres. In this recent one, for instance, there was bluegrass, rock, singer-songwriter, waltz, jazz, and so on. It’s hard to compare the individual works and arrive at a fair assessment.

Well. Just my tuppence worth. ;)

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#3 User is offline   lyD Icon

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 11:24 AM

I think things work well as they are, to be honest. I'm yet to see a poor song win, the songs generally seem to end up in a justifiable order (if not the order I would put them in) and if I ranked my songs in order of average score received/position in the contests I reckon it would be pretty close to the order I would pick.

Guest judges would take away one of my favourite aspects of the contest - guaranteed listens by at least the number of people who enter. The reason I always try to get something entered into the contests is little to do with trying to win, but more to do with knowing that people are going to listen to my song. It would also be hard to know how getting guest judges would work in practice.

As for the idea of "themed" contests, I like it, but I'm not sure genres are the way to go. The collab contest method is great - you get some guidelines to follow, but within those you can write in your own way. On the other hand, the open format contests give us a great chance to show off our latest best efforts, so it might be a shame to lose that freedom.

Scoring will no doubt be brought up too, so on that I would say the endless debates have never got us to a perfect system, and nor can they, but what we have is fine by me :)
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#4 User is offline   DonnaMarilyn Icon

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 11:34 AM

View PostlyD, on 17 December 2010 - 05:24 PM, said:

As for the idea of "themed" contests, I like it, but I'm not sure genres are the way to go. The collab contest method is great - you get some guidelines to follow, but within those you can write in your own way. On the other hand, the open format contests give us a great chance to show off our latest best efforts, so it might be a shame to lose that freedom.
Scoring will no doubt be brought up too, so on that I would say the endless debates have never got us to a perfect system, and nor can they, but what we have is fine by me :)


David, I don't think any freedom would be lost. :) The collabs and open comps and 1+1 are fine. It's simply about having a bit of variety, perhaps twice a year. One possibility could be to have one or two comps where there's a choice of, say, two genres. Lots of permutation possibilities. Anyway, just a random thought. ;)

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 11:40 AM

This scoring question has come up several times over the past few years. There are several problems with outside judges. Not too many industry insiders are willing to donate that free time month after month.
These comps are meant to be friendly competitions (just for fun) and I'm wondering if bringing in an industry professional would change that.
I have to agree with David, usually the best songs end up on top and the scoring seems as fair as it could be considering it's all subjective anyway. If I want to get a professional critique of my song, I'm willing to pay a professional to do that. If you want a thumbs-up, thumbs-down opinion, start shopping your song around. If it has legs, it will walk.
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#6 User is offline   NigeQ Icon

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 12:18 PM

One idea I am toying with is getting 2 or 3 non-musesmuse friends to agree to listening to all the entries and grading them. These ‘guest’ judges would not know any of the artists so would have no prejudices. One day I will do this as a bit of fun in addition to the normal scoring method just to see how it comes out ;)

#7 User is offline   FunkDaddy Icon

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 12:22 PM

I like that idea Nige, would they be songwriter friends or just casual listeners?

I don't really have any problem with how the contests are run or scored. I just like to see more non-contestant votes as, like Jason said, it eliminates a lot of the prejudice or sneaky scoring, even if it's not done consciously.
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#8 User is offline   kimberlyinnc Icon

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 01:43 PM

I like the ideas Nigel brought up.


I also wish it could be considered to add to the scoring half marks. I think it would help me in the situation to not give 3 people the same score when one stands above it a bit.
Is that really difficult to incorporate? I have addressed this before, but never been told really the reason it can not be used...perhaps ask the other voters if they like the .5 points? If it would benefit?

I agree with Funk as well. I can't help but wonder when someone scores all the songs as 9 and 10...if they are trying to up their average score, by doing that. I don't get it.

I try to be honest as I can with my scoring, and if it brings my average down, then it just does...It's hard to get everyone to do it fairly, but we can hope... :)

Have a great day all.
Going to go attempt to do my Christmas shopping. If I don't make it back, it was nice knowing you all.. :P ..I dread this worst than the dentist. :blink:


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#9 User is offline   Salley Gardens Icon

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 02:01 PM

Jason, thanks for starting this thread. Like Daddio said, the subject comes up from time to time, but it's been awhile since a thread was devoted to it.

As for people subconsciously voting higher or lower scores, I place that in the category of subjective scoring. And that's all that we are capable of doing, anyway. I think it's rare when people vote high or low based upon how much they like/dislike the songwriter. I have seen people's taste change after they get used to a songwriter's style. When this happens to several of us, a cultural preference develops.

The same people who cry "foul" now about favoritism would also find something sinister with that "industry professional's" motives. And if it's true that what people complain about others is actually a projection of their own motivations, well, then that puts a different light on those who doth protest so much... :rolleyes:

I think what keeps the scoring fresh are: discussions like you started here; and Donna's top two items on her wish list.

The more people who vote and enter really change things up. I'd like to put more thought into these areas.

Donna, I like your idea of varied genre comps, too. I wonder if we have enough to make a go of it though. It's true we have a lot a variety in any one contest. But we'd need several artist in each genre able to enter. One possibility might be to take stock of the primary genres Musers produce, and periodically have a comp focusing on one of them. (I can already hear people screaming how unfair that would be, although the idea might have merit...)

Personally, I like the variety, and don't have a problem comparing the genres. One exception, however, is your latest entry in this month's context. :) That would have been perfect in a spoken word competition, within the Lyrics Boards. There is a lot of this kind of art being performed in the jazz clubs and other venues in my neck of the woods. I can see this as related to, but a distinct departure from "songs" and poetry read/spoken without a sound backdrop.

Nige, I like your idea of getting non-Musers (in particular, non-musicians!) involved in the scoring process. After five years in music school, I don't think I even know any non-musicians anymore! How motivated would a non-Muser be to wade through 15-20 songs?

#10 User is offline   DonnaMarilyn Icon

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 05:23 PM

View PostSalley Gardens, on 17 December 2010 - 08:01 PM, said:

I think what keeps the scoring fresh are: discussions like you started here; and Donna's top two items on her wish list.

The more people who vote and enter really change things up. I'd like to put more thought into these areas.

Donna, I like your idea of varied genre comps, too. I wonder if we have enough to make a go of it though. It's true we have a lot a variety in any one contest. But we'd need several artist in each genre able to enter. One possibility might be to take stock of the primary genres Musers produce, and periodically have a comp focusing on one of them. (I can already hear people screaming how unfair that would be, although the idea might have merit...)

Yes, I think this could work too, Salley. Also, I feel it could be an interesting challenge for people to write/compose out of their comfort zones. For instance, I'm always astonished at the number of good songs that emerge from challenges like 50/90 and FAWM (coming up in just 6 weeks, folks ;) ), where people take up the weirdest challenges and come up with things they'd never done before, or even considered.

Personally, I like the variety, and don't have a problem comparing the genres. One exception, however, is your latest entry in this month's context. :) That would have been perfect in a spoken word competition, within the Lyrics Boards.

If the lyrics comp hadn't been geared to the "Turning" theme, I'd have entered the Blah-Blah lyrics there. (Mind you, they may not have fared well against the excellent lyrics that were posted and won. ;) ) Actually, Billy - the Blah-Blah composer - was keen to try something experimental along the lines of Gil Scott-Heron's approach. Scott-Heron is well known for his text/music performance in the jazz genre. I got a real kick out of Billy's result, albeit knowing it wasn't likely to score high in the song comp. Mainly I was curious. :P

There is a lot of this kind of art being performed in the jazz clubs and other venues in my neck of the woods. I can see this as related to, but a distinct departure from "songs" and poetry read/spoken without a sound backdrop.

Nige, I like your idea of getting non-Musers (in particular, non-musicians!) involved in the scoring process. After five years in music school, I don't think I even know any non-musicians anymore! How motivated would a non-Muser be to wade through 15-20 songs?

I can understand wanting non-Musers to vote, but would non-musicians be entirely appropriate? Shouldn't voters have at least some sense of what makes a song compelling? Be the peers of the songwriters participating? Just wondering. ;)


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#11 User is offline   Salley Gardens Icon

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 07:39 PM

View PostDonnaMarilyn, on 17 December 2010 - 03:23 PM, said:

Yes, I think this could work too, Salley. Also, I feel it could be an interesting challenge for people to write/compose out of their comfort zones. For instance, I'm always astonished at the number of good songs that emerge from challenges like 50/90 and FAWM (coming up in just 6 weeks, folks ;) ), where people take up the weirdest challenges and come up with things they'd never done before, or even considered.

I think that could be fun. I wouldn't like to see a challenge like this replace the freedom that now exists. It could work as an additional contest.

There's supposedly a songwriting TV show currently in production, along the lines of "Project Runway". From what I read about it, the contestants will have to write quickly according to genres picked out for them. I can't wait!

Quote

I can understand wanting non-Musers to vote, but would non-musicians be entirely appropriate? Shouldn't voters have at least some sense of what makes a song compelling? Be the peers of the songwriters participating? Just wondering. ;) [/color]

After being in music school, and especially composition, for the last few years, I can say I now tolerate some pretty weird stuff, and enjoy much their intricacies and innovations. What I value most though, is the unadulterated ears of my non-peers, who just like what they like, without knowing why. I haven't entered a song contest on the Muse in more than five years, so I don't think my opinion counts much as far as who should vote, but... oh well. :rolleyes:

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 09:26 PM

View PostJason Kalman, on 17 December 2010 - 06:45 PM, said:

Sally,
I don't know what you just wrote is supposed to mean, but what I do know is that you should compete. Then maybe you would better appreciate what our concerns are. Oh and I don't talk about the years of classical training I have had and what I am willing to 'tolerate', I just post songs.
Cheers,
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Jason, I get the feeling I have insulted you somehow... I don't know if I can explain my point better, but I can try:

While studying composition, we had to splice and dice music to such a great degree, that we learned to appreciate things many people might not even consider to be music (like the sound of a buzz saw against clucking chickens, playing tuba with a trout in the bell... yes, "tolerate" was a good word sometimes!). While this opened our minds and ears to a great degree, it also made it difficult to enjoy some good ol' foot stomping, knee slapping grooves that non-composition majors could easily recognize and appreciate. I used this as an extreme example of why having an "outsider's" ear can be a good thing in our Muse song competitions.

I acknowledge that I haven't entered a song competition in a long time. I'm not bereft of understanding, though, I just think my opinion should be taken with a grain of salt... as always. :)

#13 User is offline   Jason Kalman Icon

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 09:34 PM

View PostSalley Gardens, on 17 December 2010 - 09:26 PM, said:

View PostJason Kalman, on 17 December 2010 - 06:45 PM, said:

Sally,
I don't know what you just wrote is supposed to mean, but what I do know is that you should compete. Then maybe you would better appreciate what our concerns are. Oh and I don't talk about the years of classical training I have had and what I am willing to 'tolerate', I just post songs.
Cheers,
jason

Jason, I get the feeling I have insulted you somehow... I don't know if I can explain my point better, but I can try:

While studying composition, we had to splice and dice music to such a great degree, that we learned to appreciate things many people might not even consider to be music (like the sound of a buzz saw against clucking chickens, playing tuba with a trout in the bell... yes, "tolerate" was a good word sometimes!). While this opened our minds and ears to a great degree, it also made it difficult to enjoy some good ol' foot stomping, knee slapping grooves that non-composition majors could easily recognize and appreciate. I used this as an extreme example of why having an "outsider's" ear can be a good thing in competitions.

I acknowledge that I haven't entered a song competition in a long time. I'm not bereft of understanding, though, I just think my opinion should be taken with a grain of salt... as always. :)

Salley,
I realize that my post was getting off topic so hope you don't mind that I deleted it.

cheers,
jason
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#14 User is offline   Salley Gardens Icon

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 09:37 PM

The only thing I can offer you, Jason, is a larger grain of salt to go with my opinions!

#15 User is offline   Jason Kalman Icon

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 09:45 PM

View PostSalley Gardens, on 17 December 2010 - 09:37 PM, said:

The only thing I can offer you, Jason, is a larger grain of salt to go with my opinions!

Salley,
Per previous post, I was getting off topic for this board, so apologies and I deleted.
cheers
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Posted 17 December 2010 - 10:18 PM

Well, Jason - I'm not very prolific when it comes to posting my stuff - but I do write! Not all of it is meant for adult ears as I am a school teacher - so I feel it a waste to post it here for those who aren't really my target audience. I do critique when I can - and of course, since my organizational skills lend themselves well to running the contests - I lend a hand there as well.

I have been writing songs for a long time and I do feel I have something to offer. Better yet - I've been an avid music LISTENER for even longer still! So to discount someone's opinion just because you don't "know" them as a songwriter is really ridiculous. If you play out, do you "know" all the folks who sit and listen to your stuff? Do you know all the people who listen to your tunes on SoundClick? Likely not. But I bet if someone sends you a message regarding a song of yours either with feedback or just general atta'boy comments, you're not going to ask them for their songwriting credentials. Soaking it all in is what we do best. So why should it be any different here? ;)

As for the scoring of the comps - I'm willing to try something new. I rather like Nige's idea above. I, personally, try to drum up as many non-contestant voters as I can through pestering folks on multiple boards with numerous posts and sometimes even PM's if necessary. Some may view me as a pain in the butt in that regard, but I like the number of non-contestant voters to be at least approaching the number of contestant voters. I think it gives a more valid result. But that is my opinion. So there ya go.

I think a big reason why more folks don't chime in on the contests is that sometimes they overlap and it is a bit overwhelming to those who are willing but short on time. Maybe coming up with a seamless master schedule for all the contests would be worth the effort if we could maintain a less frenzied, more organized pacing. Again, just my two cents.

~Bubbles :)

#17 User is offline   Jason Kalman Icon

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 10:29 PM

Bubbles,

I deleted my post due to the off-topic nature of the discussion.
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#18 User is offline   DonnaMarilyn Icon

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 05:25 AM

View PostSalley Gardens, on 18 December 2010 - 01:39 AM, said:

I think that could be fun. I wouldn't like to see a challenge like this replace the freedom that now exists. It could work as an additional contest.

Yep, "additional" is exactly what I meant. A "dedicated" genre perhaps once or twice a year as well as the usual comps. :) It could even be a kind of "mini-challenge".

There's supposedly a songwriting TV show currently in production, along the lines of "Project Runway". From what I read about it, the contestants will have to write quickly according to genres picked out for them. I can't wait!

That sounds interesting, for sure. In addition to the usual song-every-2-days challenge, 50/90 and FAWM also have "skirmishes", during which participants write/compose something within 60 minutes, and to a specific hook/title. It can be any genre and any kind of lyrical content.

Quote

After being in music school, and especially composition, for the last few years, I can say I now tolerate some pretty weird stuff, and enjoy much their intricacies and innovations. What I value most though, is the unadulterated ears of my non-peers, who just like what they like, without knowing why. I haven't entered a song contest on the Muse in more than five years, so I don't think my opinion counts much as far as who should vote, but... oh well. :rolleyes:


I feel that if non-peers assess songs, they'll miss a lot of the things that a composer intentionally does to create a memorable melody, etc.
For the same reason, I wouldn't want the lyrics comp to be judged by people who have no idea about what goes into writing a half-decent lyric.

(The thought has just just crossed my mind that it would be an interesting empricial study to see how a song or lyric would fare if the "voter" comprised both "peers" and "non-peers". :P Given that a sense of music/rhythm is claimed to be innate in human beings... But I digress... :P )

It'd be interesting to know how others would view "non-peer" assessment. ;)


In summary, I'd like to see:
- more Musers participating in the lyric and song comps
- more Musers voting
- Perhaps once or twice a year - and in addition to the regular comps ("open"/1+1/collaboration) - a variation of the song comp (e.g. one genre)

Donna
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Posted 18 December 2010 - 07:29 AM

To me, it's amazingly inappropriate to call someone out because they don't enter comps. Everyone is here for their own reasons and everyone has their own situations to deal with. I don't know anyone else's home situation, their recording abilities, or their motivations for entering or not entering. To call them out is to judge them, that's wrong.
Some kinds of music do not do well on the muse, for whatever reason. Try posting some jazz and see what happens. If you enter it in a comp, it dies. If you post for crit, every crit starts with, "I don't like jazz but...." It's easy to say children's music, for example, would be ok in a comp but ask musefrommichigan. She bravely enters with music that is not one of the mainstream accepted styles and gets insulting scores of 1 or 2 from judges who are unable to get past their own stylistic prejudices.
Salley has been tireless in supporting the muse and tireless in setting up the melody discussion page of the board. She's very active on the board discussing music, critiquing songs, judging comps, etc. I don't need her to enter comps to appreciate everything she does. Comps are not for everyone, nor should they be.
Lately I'm feeling my inner dog.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable"

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." Hunter S. Thompson

"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."
Hunter S. Thompson


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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


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Ain't That True 1+1 Song Of The Year 2009

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#20 User is offline   NigeQ Icon

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 07:35 AM

View PostFunkDaddy, on 17 December 2010 - 05:22 PM, said:

I like that idea Nige, would they be songwriter friends or just casual listeners?
Chances are they would be casual listeners, but ones that would actually enjoy the task :) I nearly did it a few comps ago when there was yet another big fall-out with allegations of 'cliquey' scoring.

There are a few things to bear in mind, some of which has already been pointed out. These comps are supposed to be fun and not taken too seriously. It's nice to win of course but it's also nice that so many of our songs get listened to. With regards to actual scoring, sure I see things that seem a bit odd but then I know we all have differing views. I see Alistair from time to time and we often discuss comp entries. There have been occasions when we have had totally opposing views about the merits of a certain song.

With regards to half-marks - the reason I don't allow them is to try and get folk to actually make a decision and differentiate between the songs - half marks always strike me as a cop-out, that's partly why I introduced the restriction on 9 and 10 scores. Too many people were giving top marks to too many songs. For me a 10 is for something very special (I've only ever awarded 2 in the whole history of the comps), yet some folk dished them out like gummy bears ;)

One thing I may do is get scorers to grade the songs between 1 and 10. Your worst song would get 1 and your best song 10. However, the song that gets 10 may not be fantastic (it just happens to be the best that month) and the song that gets 1 may not be that bad it just is the poorest that month (in the scorer's opinion). The 10 scores can only be used once, if there are more than 10 songs I may allow half marks ;) but no 2 songs can have the same score.

I’m just throwing this stuff out at the mo, so all comments appreciated.

#21 User is offline   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 07:41 AM

I'd also love to see more people entering and more people voting.

I'm a little cautious about some of the ideas being floated, but see no real harm in trying them.

As far as the idea of a single person judging a contest is concerned, I have to say that the idea doesn't thrill me. Whether they are "pro" or not (and what field of "pro" they are), is not really the point to me. It is still a single person. Part of the value in entering is to get raw feedback from a wide range of people, all of whom have different tastes. I think I have said this before, but if I score mostly 5s I learn that my song is "bleh". If I score a mix of 8-10s and 1-3s (and maybe receive the same score, I know I am onto something (but possibly with a small audience). I can't get that from a single judge. I can also completely disagree with a single judge's opinion, no matter how "pro" they may be. After all, I don't listen to, or value, much "commercial" music these days and that may well be what they are looking for. I'd probably enter, but just out of curiosity and I believe my interest would wane if it became the "norm".

How about the genres idea? While I can see some merit in the idea of trying something new, we can get a certain amount of that from the collab comps. Let's try it, by all means. However, depending on the genre, I suspect that we may get a lower than usual turnout. It takes a lot of work to write, practice, record and mix a song. Most people also have busy lives and already have plenty to work on. The great thing about the current contests is that you can enter stuff you have already done. If you had to write something especially for each contest (rather than stuff you were doing anyway) I suspect we would reduce the number of entries significantly.

As far as the idea of "non-musicians" scoring the contests (as well as musicians), I'm all for it! We have plenty here, and I wish more would score the songs. The final judge of any song will be the audience. Who could be better qualified? :)

The original question was about possible, better ways of scoring. Ideally, the contestants wouldn't need to score. That would be the cleanest way of doing it. However, unless we can get enough non-contestant voters, I see no alternative. In terms of the scoring mechanism, the current way of doing it works well enough, but has flaws (as any system would). That doesn't mean that I wouldn't be open to any better suggestions, if anyone has a great idea!

Any system should (imo):

* Be easy to score (to encourage voters)
* Provide useful feedback to the contestants
* Be difficult/impossible to manipulate
* Be transparent
* Be easy to administer
* Be sustainable month after month

Let's also remember that this is a fun contest (with no prizes), in a dark corner of the internet that most people have never heard of, and let's therefore not go overboard :)
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#22 User is offline   DonnaMarilyn Icon

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 07:54 AM

All excellent points, Alistair. :) With regard to different genres, however, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people do have older songs in genres they may have moved past for one reason or another. Perhaps they could take these down from the shelf. Besides, I've never assumed that any of the submitted songs were in a stage of completion. In fact, many of the authors have said they came up with them very quickly indeed. Certainly if few or no people enter a "genre" comp, the message will be very clear. :P I'd like though - at least once - to assess songs in the same genre, simply to see how they compare in terms of lyrics/music/performance, etc.

The bottom line, however, is - as you say - not to go overboard on any of this. ;)

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#23 User is offline   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 07:54 AM

I just saw Nige's idea of ranking the songs. That could work, and it has been suggested before (including once, by me!).

The only issue I can see with it is the accusation that contestants could rank their main rivals low and the lesser songs high. I think this would soon become apparent, though. If anyone did that, peer pressure might prevent it in future.

Personally, I'd have no issue if the votes were not anonymous. I think that would help keep people honest. I could understand people not liking that idea, and it may reduce the number of voters, but I think it has some merit. I'd happily justify any score I gave.

One of the main things I would do, and forgot to mention in my previous post, is to get rid of the idea that a score is associated with absolute quality. The scoring guidelines no longer exist in these contests, but there is still a view that a score of 5 = average and a score of 1 = poor. When we have 14 songs to score, some songs have to get scores lower than 5, even if they are above average (if we are to separate them sufficiently). If someone gets a score of 1, I think the sting comes from the view that someone has said it is poor. I tend not to give scores that low as a result. I decide a low mark and anything that would score below that will get that mark, After all, I don't care as much about separating songs that I consider weaker as I do about separating the top songs. Ranking would avoid that quandary.
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#24 User is offline   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 07:56 AM

Donna, I don't want to pour cold water on the idea. As I said, let's give it a try! It may need a nudge to make it happen. Would you want to run one?
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"In my opinion this is a bunch of filth and garbage and we need far less this type of lyrics gettin back in the ears of our children." - from a critique received

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#25 User is offline   Thinman Icon

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 08:35 AM

Ranking is so obviously the best way (IMO) - I expressed this opinion in the argument after the November comp - I actually compared the results and there was hardly any difference and it would've avoided people getting upset with getting a 4 or less which seems to be interpreted as "this song is rubbish".

It might even be possible to make voting easier by simply clicking in some kind of "poll".

I'm not criticising - it's great to have these comps with a wide open entry and all types of music represented - I always try to consider "the song" for most of the marks with "performance" and "production" of lesser importance. I hate people deducting marks cos it's "too long" or "not recorded correctly" - got NO INTEREST in that - some people have and that's great and I got no objections.

If you want a vote - mine would go towards ranking the songs - you can rank them equally too if you like (so if you get 2 number 1's the next is a number 3, etc - add up the ranks and the lowest number wins - easy). As for the vindictive low rank, it's nowhere near as bad as the vindictive low score, even seasoned performers get irked if they get a low score - dunno why !

Just my opinion

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#26 User is offline   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 09:32 AM

I don't run these comps, normally, but I wouldn't have a problem if we tried a grading scheme to see how it goes.

What do you think of the idea of the gradings being being shown in public, by voter (at least for the contestants)?
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"In my opinion this is a bunch of filth and garbage and we need far less this type of lyrics gettin back in the ears of our children." - from a critique received

"When I was 5 years old, my mum always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wante to be when I grew up. I wrote down, "Happy". The told me I didn't understand the assignment and I told them they didn't understand life." John Lennon.

#27 User is offline   DonnaMarilyn Icon

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 09:36 AM

View PostAlistair S, on 18 December 2010 - 01:56 PM, said:

Donna, I don't want to pour cold water on the idea. As I said, let's give it a try! It may need a nudge to make it happen. Would you want to run one?


Sure, I'd be game to give it a whack, Alistair. :P (Not before March/April, though. FAWM's coming up in February. ;) ) The comp could also include lyricists/composers working together on the song. (I'd likely need help sorting out voting results, though. I'm not good with numbers. :P )

Donna
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#28 User is offline   bubblingsoul Icon

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 10:24 AM

Good for you, DonnaMarilyn! I can help you with the scoring/numbers portion but only after an amicably agreeable scoring system has been worked out. ;)

Lots of ideas bouncing around. Maybe a poll is in order!

I still think we need to get all the contests a bit more organized on a regular schedule with one another and no overlapping if possible - but maybe that's just me. Anyone else get confused or overwhelmed when more than one contest is going on at a time???

~Bubbles

#29 User is offline   DonnaMarilyn Icon

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 12:17 PM

View Postbubblingsoul, on 18 December 2010 - 04:24 PM, said:

Good for you, DonnaMarilyn! I can help you with the scoring/numbers portion but only after an amicably agreeable scoring system has been worked out. ;)

Excellent! Thanks for the offer, Bubblesl. :) But as you say, once the scoring system has been worked out. ;)

Lots of ideas bouncing around. Maybe a poll is in order! I was thinking that myself. Would save time and energy if it's known beforehand what folks want or don't want.

I still think we need to get all the contests a bit more organized on a regular schedule with one another and no overlapping if possible - but maybe that's just me. Anyone else get confused or overwhelmed when more than one contest is going on at a time??? Yep! :P

~Bubbles


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#30 User is offline   fabkebab Icon

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 12:25 PM

I have been at muses muse for ages, and have seen these "how do we better score the competition" threads come and go - I have also seen cheats come and go regardless of the rules


Often the minor changes improve things, but if the rules are not really simple they can confuse and alienate newcomers - I was even disqualified as a voter for the november competition because I had made a mistake in my scoring, giving 9 to two songs after initially trying to round up my .5 votes and running foul of the "only give one 9" rule

My main point is that I think we are trying to wring just a little bit too much meaning from the competitions, when they are basically just for fun. At the end of the competition, you will know how your song was rated amoungst 20 other listeners - you will have had your song move up the "soundclick" charts - you might even gain a fan or two - but to hope for more is unrealistic

Sorry to be a bit curmudgeonly - I guess I am saving my cheer for christmas!
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#31 User is offline   bubblingsoul Icon

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 01:09 PM

Actually, Fab, I didn't disqualify your scorecard at all. I kept things as is. You and I both know the PM's that went back and forth between us for that comp, and it was basically a mistake on my part that caused the double 9 score. I simply didn't catch it early enough to have you fix your card (again). :ph34r::lol:

I spoke with the person who pointed it out and explained the confusion on both our parts and they were content to keep it as it was. It wasn't discovered until a few days after the comp and then we had a few days of communication back and forth - and basically, no one really wanted to mess with it.

They are supposed to be fun, Fab. You've got that entirely right. But occasionally, there are some who want to give it more weight - and that is fine as well. But when it comes to fisticuffs and the like in the actual contest threads - while at times entertaining to watch ;) - it is really disrespectful of ALL involved.

***********************************************************************
Anywho . . .

DonnaMarilyn, glad to know I'm not the only one who is struck with a bit of blondeness when contests overlap. (My apologies to the true blondes! ;)) I've come up with a skeleton format of contest weeks - this is what I've included:
  • Full Song Comp (6)
  • 1+1 Song Comp (6)
  • Lyric Comp (12)
  • Collab Comp (6)
  • Match the Melody Comp (3)
  • Genre Comp* (3)
None of the Entering weeks overlap any other, none of the Scoring weeks overlap each other - but usually, there is an entering week of one contest while scoring of another is going on.

a proposed schedule

This is a little clunky because I imported it into google docs for sharing, but this is a good visual of what might work. I know song and lyric comps are pretty set in the monthly flow - but I haven't talked to the mods who run Match the Melody, or the Collab Comp to see if this might work for them. And then of course, Genre Comp would be new. Is 3x a year reasonable? Did Match the Melody occur more than 3x? How about Collab Comp - six okay there?

Just playing around with this really. Looking for more input.

****************************************************

I know that was off topic, but thought I'd just lay that out here too.

As far as scoring goes, PM me your idea and I will put together a poll to run on general. Also something to consider - can we make all of our contest have the same scoring system??? Sometimes that is a major issue when collecting scores as well. Folks don't read the scoring "rules" and send scores using a different comps rules! LOL It happens more than I dare say!


~Bubbles

#32 User is offline   Salley Gardens Icon

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 01:18 PM

View PostDonnaMarilyn, on 18 December 2010 - 03:25 AM, said:

I feel that if non-peers assess songs, they'll miss a lot of the things that a composer intentionally does to create a memorable melody, etc.
For the same reason, I wouldn't want the lyrics comp to be judged by people who have no idea about what goes into writing a half-decent lyric.

(The thought has just just crossed my mind that it would be an interesting empricial study to see how a song or lyric would fare if the "voter" comprised both "peers" and "non-peers". :P Given that a sense of music/rhythm is claimed to be innate in human beings... But I digress... :P )

It'd be interesting to know how others would view "non-peer" assessment. ;)

Yeah, that's the reason I never vote/score in the lyric competitions. Not only do I never write lyrics, unless there's music with them, but I'm not an active listener of poetry readings/spoken word performances, either. I feel particularly uncomfortable and unqualified to assess lyrics. I couldn't tell you what cool things existed in "Blah Blah Blah", but I can tell you I was thoroughly engaged, and glad I wasn't drinking anything by the time I reached the last line... :lol: Most people do actively listen to music though, and have particular preferences.

It's true that non-peers would most likely miss those intentionally used techniques (I've noticed this already happens at the Muse when people present a different genre, or unfamiliar technique). Non-songwriters would certainly miss more. I mis-spoke when I said the non-peers' opinions were more valuable to me, I think they are equally valuable. Each sheds a different light.

I'm finally taking my last class needed to graduate in the Spring, Statistics. I'd love to use the Muse contests scores as statistics project! Especially evaluating the difference between peer and non-peer scores.

#33 User is offline   Salley Gardens Icon

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 02:06 PM

View PostNigeQ, on 18 December 2010 - 05:35 AM, said:

With regards to half-marks - the reason I don't allow them is to try and get folk to actually make a decision and differentiate between the songs - half marks always strike me as a cop-out, that's partly why I introduced the restriction on 9 and 10 scores. Too many people were giving top marks to too many songs. For me a 10 is for something very special (I've only ever awarded 2 in the whole history of the comps), yet some folk dished them out like gummy bears ;)

One thing I may do is get scorers to grade the songs between 1 and 10. Your worst song would get 1 and your best song 10. However, the song that gets 10 may not be fantastic (it just happens to be the best that month) and the song that gets 1 may not be that bad it just is the poorest that month (in the scorer's opinion). The 10 scores can only be used once, if there are more than 10 songs I may allow half marks ;) but no 2 songs can have the same score.

I share your reasoning on the above.

I wouldn't care, however, if half marks were introduced, even though it would be the same as scoring from 1 to 20, and we'd *still* have to make up our minds!

The "only one 9 & 10" is cumbersome, but is so far the best way to combat skewing the results like I've seen in the past. I remember what some of the people said about giving out all those 9's and 10's. Most of them felt guilty about not liking a song, and were afraid it would hurt the songwriter's feelings to give out low scores. It seems to be human nature to not want to hurt another (imagine that!). I don't think anything has changed with human nature since those times. People still get hurt when they receive low scores, and others would prevent it if they could. I say keep this rule as is, unless a less cumbersome method serving the same purpose comes along.

The idea of ranking the songs in order of best to least, allotting one score each, is pretty distasteful to me. I would hate, hate, hate, to rank songs I really liked with low scores! And almost equally hate ranking mediocre songs with high scores!

At least with the "9-10" rule, if there were more than one song that were the "best", I could rank them all an "8". I've given out more 9's and 10's in the last year, than I ever used to, but still not too many.

One thing I think might be helpful is to expand on the guidelines, such as suggesting what "average" means... average within the entries? average to what your personal preference is? to what you hear on the radio? to what that particular Muser is capable of? (I've heard all of these expressed.)

It's hard to develop criteria guidelines, but I think it may be helpful. There is criteria for the "Match the Melody" contest, and even though people don't always follow it, it's nice to have.

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 02:19 PM

View Postfabkebab, on 18 December 2010 - 12:25 PM, said:

My main point is that I think we are trying to wring just a little bit too much meaning from the competitions, when they are basically just for fun. At the end of the competition, you will know how your song was rated amoungst 20 other listeners - you will have had your song move up the "soundclick" charts - you might even gain a fan or two - but to hope for more is unrealistic

Sorry to be a bit curmudgeonly - I guess I am saving my cheer for christmas!

I think this is spot-on.

I'm personally happy to go with whatever scoring methods, judges, etc, that everyone agrees to. I'm even happy to have a higher authority hand down a prescribed method in the holy book. I think that the results will generally be the same.
In the end, it's just for fun and perhaps a bit of ego stroke for the winner.
Lately I'm feeling my inner dog.

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#35 User is offline   Salley Gardens Icon

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 02:24 PM

View PostAlistair S, on 18 December 2010 - 07:32 AM, said:

What do you think of the idea of the gradings being being shown in public, by voter (at least for the contestants)?

In a perfect world, this would be a fine idea... maybe even including the thoughts behind the scores. (I always write comments down as I go through the entries.)

Here comes the "but".... But, I don't ever, ever want to see what happened to me in the November 1+1 contest happen again, to me or anyone else. I stand behind my scores, too, but think it's unreasonable to subject scorers to that, whether or not they are contestants. As it stands now, I haven't recovered enough to consider voting in that comp again...

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 04:46 PM

View PostSalley Gardens, on 18 December 2010 - 02:24 PM, said:

View PostAlistair S, on 18 December 2010 - 07:32 AM, said:

What do you think of the idea of the gradings being being shown in public, by voter (at least for the contestants)?

In a perfect world, this would be a fine idea... maybe even including the thoughts behind the scores. (I always write comments down as I go through the entries.)

Here comes the "but".... But, I don't ever, ever want to see what happened to me in the November 1+1 contest happen again, to me or anyone else. I stand behind my scores, too, but think it's unreasonable to subject scorers to that, whether or not they are contestants. As it stands now, I haven't recovered enough to consider voting in that comp again...


I have to agree with this. I have no problem ever sharing my grades and the reasons, if asked, but I think anonymity brings more honesty. There may be a potential voter, a newbie perhaps, that wouldn't participate in open voting because of a lack of confidence. I think that it would be more difficult to increase voting by non-participants with open voting.
Lately I'm feeling my inner dog.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable"

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." Hunter S. Thompson

"The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."
Hunter S. Thompson


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#37 User is offline   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 05:49 PM

Yes, I do see that.

My main reason for suggesting it (mostly for contestants) was to make any shenanigans more visible (and thus, less likely). Not that I think they are likely, but this would be reassuringly transparent.

However, when all is said and done, all we are discussing is the measuring stick. What we are actually measuring with it is people's opinions, and I agree with you that whichever stick we use will make little (if any) difference to those.
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#38 User is offline   Len Icon

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 07:19 PM

For what it's worth some history may help.

When I joined (5 years back?) Smile ran the lyric contests using her 1-10 absolute scale. Folks just scored lyrics on their own merit, no ranking. But contestants didn't vote; a panel of five judges scored. The judges were usually experienced musers. When Eddy and I took over the contests from Smile we found that getting those five judges was not easy. We have to beg to get enough, and contests were delayed because of it. And as we were begging the ideal of having experienced musers to judge went by the wayside.

So we introduced the contestant voting scheme. To me the main benefit was that the contest ran themselves with no need for chasing up judges, and people were putting something back into the contest. At the time I built on Smile's scoring scheme to what it is now in the Lyrics Contest rules and it's still used.

Then in one contest, one contestant marked everyone with 1 out of 10 except one lyric, which he scored a 2. So we came up with the Get the Average of Your Score idea to stop that. And here we are.

All that said, the contests are for the folks here today and not the folks who made the rules years back.

I fully support a single consistent marking scheme for contests. Keeping track of variations between contests causes problems, and imo it's the fault of us who make the potholes, not those who trip over them. Mixing it up for some one off contests is fun though, such as Song/Lyric of the Year.

Another thing we should be consistent with is absolute scoring or relative (rank) scoring. If one person thinks its an absolute (e.g. 1 = crap) and then someone ranks them as 1 out of the entries, they get upset. I'm sure some of the problems have been caused by that. Neither system is right or wrong, but we should all use the same. Me, I prefer the absolute scale, I'm scoring a song on it's own merits, not how it compares to the other entries. And if I give every song a 5 that's fine because the total scores from everyone count (which I think addresses Kim's question about half marks - you don't need them as you don't have to separate entries).

All that said, despite my view that what we have is the best we'll get, I think a change will be good and refreshing. Let's try ranking; if there are 13 entries we rank from 1 to 13. But let's be consistent with it for all the regular contests, no variations.

Bubbs, not sure that an advanced schedule of contests is a good idea. Who knows what the mods will be doing in Dec next year (or who the mods will be)? Let each contest (Lyrics, Songs, Others) manage their schedules, but let's not have more than two contests running at any time.
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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:38 AM

View PostLen, on 19 December 2010 - 12:19 AM, said:

For what it's worth some history may help.

When I joined (5 years back?) Smile ran the lyric contests using her 1-10 absolute scale. Folks just scored lyrics on their own merit, no ranking. But contestants didn't vote; a panel of five judges scored. The judges were usually experienced musers. When Eddy and I took over the contests from Smile we found that getting those five judges was not easy. We have to beg to get enough, and contests were delayed because of it. And as we were begging the ideal of having experienced musers to judge went by the wayside.

So we introduced the contestant voting scheme. To me the main benefit was that the contest ran themselves with no need for chasing up judges, and people were putting something back into the contest. At the time I built on Smile's scoring scheme to what it is now in the Lyrics Contest rules and it's still used.

Then in one contest, one contestant marked everyone with 1 out of 10 except one lyric, which he scored a 2. So we came up with the Get the Average of Your Score idea to stop that. And here we are.

All that said, the contests are for the folks here today and not the folks who made the rules years back.

I fully support a single consistent marking scheme for contests. Keeping track of variations between contests causes problems, and imo it's the fault of us who make the potholes, not those who trip over them. Mixing it up for some one off contests is fun though, such as Song/Lyric of the Year.

Another thing we should be consistent with is absolute scoring or relative (rank) scoring. If one person thinks its an absolute (e.g. 1 = crap) and then someone ranks them as 1 out of the entries, they get upset. I'm sure some of the problems have been caused by that. Neither system is right or wrong, but we should all use the same. Me, I prefer the absolute scale, I'm scoring a song on it's own merits, not how it compares to the other entries. And if I give every song a 5 that's fine because the total scores from everyone count (which I think addresses Kim's question about half marks - you don't need them as you don't have to separate entries).

All that said, despite my view that what we have is the best we'll get, I think a change will be good and refreshing. Let's try ranking; if there are 13 entries we rank from 1 to 13. But let's be consistent with it for all the regular contests, no variations.

Bubbs, not sure that an advanced schedule of contests is a good idea. Who knows what the mods will be doing in Dec next year (or who the mods will be)? Let each contest (Lyrics, Songs, Others) manage their schedules, but let's not have more than two contests running at any time.


Wait up - I'm confused here - when I say "ranking" I mean if there are 10 songs you put them in order that you like and there is nothing wrong with ranking stuff equally - so for instance:

1

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:38 AM

View PostLen, on 19 December 2010 - 12:19 AM, said:

For what it's worth some history may help.

When I joined (5 years back?) Smile ran the lyric contests using her 1-10 absolute scale. Folks just scored lyrics on their own merit, no ranking. But contestants didn't vote; a panel of five judges scored. The judges were usually experienced musers. When Eddy and I took over the contests from Smile we found that getting those five judges was not easy. We have to beg to get enough, and contests were delayed because of it. And as we were begging the ideal of having experienced musers to judge went by the wayside.

So we introduced the contestant voting scheme. To me the main benefit was that the contest ran themselves with no need for chasing up judges, and people were putting something back into the contest. At the time I built on Smile's scoring scheme to what it is now in the Lyrics Contest rules and it's still used.

Then in one contest, one contestant marked everyone with 1 out of 10 except one lyric, which he scored a 2. So we came up with the Get the Average of Your Score idea to stop that. And here we are.

All that said, the contests are for the folks here today and not the folks who made the rules years back.

I fully support a single consistent marking scheme for contests. Keeping track of variations between contests causes problems, and imo it's the fault of us who make the potholes, not those who trip over them. Mixing it up for some one off contests is fun though, such as Song/Lyric of the Year.

Another thing we should be consistent with is absolute scoring or relative (rank) scoring. If one person thinks its an absolute (e.g. 1 = crap) and then someone ranks them as 1 out of the entries, they get upset. I'm sure some of the problems have been caused by that. Neither system is right or wrong, but we should all use the same. Me, I prefer the absolute scale, I'm scoring a song on it's own merits, not how it compares to the other entries. And if I give every song a 5 that's fine because the total scores from everyone count (which I think addresses Kim's question about half marks - you don't need them as you don't have to separate entries).

All that said, despite my view that what we have is the best we'll get, I think a change will be good and refreshing. Let's try ranking; if there are 13 entries we rank from 1 to 13. But let's be consistent with it for all the regular contests, no variations.

Bubbs, not sure that an advanced schedule of contests is a good idea. Who knows what the mods will be doing in Dec next year (or who the mods will be)? Let each contest (Lyrics, Songs, Others) manage their schedules, but let's not have more than two contests running at any time.


Wait up - I'm confused here - when I say "ranking" I mean if there are 10 songs you put them in order that you like and there is nothing wrong with ranking stuff equally - so for instance:

1

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 08:55 AM

I can see scope for confusion there, Robby (and when people get confused, they can become agitated).

For example, let's say we have a contest with 6 songs.

Rank them, from first to last (with a "lowest score wins" philosophy):

Song D - 1 points
Song B - 2 points
Song C - 3 points
Song F - 4 points
Song E - 5 points
Song A - 6 points

Now, let's try again, making some equal:

Song D - 1 points
Song B - 2 points?
Song C - 2 points?
Song F - 2 points?
Song E - ? points?
Song A - ? points?

How many points do the last two songs get? It should be 5 and 6, but some people will expect 3 and 4.

Come to that, should the equal songs receive 2, 3 or 4 points? I could argue it whatever way.

It would be simpler, and less prone to dissent, if you had to rank and separate every song.
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Posted 19 December 2010 - 10:19 AM

With regards to the current system, I believe it is about as good as you can get. The key is getting lots of voters, the more voters there are the harder it is to buck the system. I remember a few months back when Robby (a different one) blew up over the scoring. I proved that it would take at least 3 extreme votes to change any of the top positions, I don't think he was listening though. And by 'extreme' I mean the same songs getting the high and low marks, so unless there was an organised conspiracy between current members (that's why we have a qualifying criteria) it just would not happen.

In the current December comp if for example lyd and kimberlyinnc really disliked Alistair’s song and awarded it 1 Alistair would have still have won the competition. When there is close on 20 scorecards a rouge scorecard makes very little difference.

Just out of interest if the voting for the December comp had been restricted to the Non-contestant scorecards only, the result would have been as shown below. You can play spot the difference if you like.

1. One Last Chance To Shine
2. With You
3. Gonna Start a Bonfire
4. Just Trust the Tales (5)
5. Change (6)
6. The Fall Of Man (4)
7. The Start Of The Dance (8)
8. Ghost Tears (7)
9. S.A.D. (10)
10. Relentless Love (9)
11. See Papa Run (13)
12. Breathe (11)
13. Blah-Blah Blah-Blah Blah-Blah (12)

Where (n) is the actual position where different.

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 11:21 AM

Nige, I bet you were the *star* pupil in Statistics class! I may be calling on you for help next semester... :rolleyes:

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 12:34 PM

View PostNigeQ, on 19 December 2010 - 03:19 PM, said:

With regards to the current system, I believe it is about as good as you can get. The key is getting lots of voters, the more voters there are the harder it is to buck the system. I remember a few months back when Robby (a different one) blew up over the scoring. I proved that it would take at least 3 extreme votes to change any of the top positions, I don't think he was listening though. And by 'extreme' I mean the same songs getting the high and low marks, so unless there was an organised conspiracy between current members (that's why we have a qualifying criteria) it just would not happen.

In the current December comp if for example lyd and kimberlyinnc really disliked Alistair’s song and awarded it 1 Alistair would have still have won the competition. When there is close on 20 scorecards a rouge scorecard makes very little difference.

Just out of interest if the voting for the December comp had been restricted to the Non-contestant scorecards only, the result would have been as shown below. You can play spot the difference if you like.

1. One Last Chance To Shine
2. With You
3. Gonna Start a Bonfire
4. Just Trust the Tales (5)
5. Change (6)
6. The Fall Of Man (4)
7. The Start Of The Dance (8)
8. Ghost Tears (7)
9. S.A.D. (10)
10. Relentless Love (9)
11. See Papa Run (13)
12. Breathe (11)
13. Blah-Blah Blah-Blah Blah-Blah (12)

Where (n) is the actual position where different.




Rock-on - NonContestants rule - we should get more of those guys to vote !!!!!

I'm happy to make my scores visible

TeeHee - I'm also happy to offer my services as a "judge" !!!!!! Bet you'd all love that

Robby

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 12:58 PM

View PostAlistair S, on 19 December 2010 - 06:55 AM, said:

I can see scope for confusion there, Robby (and when people get confused, they can become agitated).

Agitated? That must be what I'm feeling now! (Nah! not really. But I'm sure getting confused!)

I guess, I can't see the difference between Robby's ranking system and the current system. Now, Alistair, you're exposing another can o'worms of a different color!

No matter, what system we use, there will still be those who will claim either deliberate sabotage or general idiocy among the scorers for the reason their brilliance wasn't recognized!

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 01:22 PM

View PostSalley Gardens, on 19 December 2010 - 11:58 AM, said:

No matter, what system we use, there will still be those who will claim either deliberate sabotage or general idiocy among the scorers for the reason their brilliance wasn't recognized!


:lol: Exactly! (oh my!)

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 03:38 PM

Question.
Are we supposed to ignore the scale on the contest rules for lyrical? Can or should it be a ruler for the songs too? I want to know, because that is what I go by when I score. If I am not doing it right, I want to know. If the scores mean something other than what the scale says, let me know.
Here is what was posted a good while back from Alistair regarding scores under the LYRICAL
this is the scale I am speaking of...

Use your judgement for scoring but if you need a guide here is a score card to use for marking:

1 -awful (no hope)
There's nothing recognisable as a lyric here. Bin it, nothing worth keeping.

2 -bad (pray)
There are a few lyrical qualities but it's far from a lyric. Keep some lines for another lyric and scrap the rest.

3 -poor (needs alot of work)
Some of the basics are there but they are not consistent or interesting. This looks like a first draft.

4 -below average (needs some work)
The basics are in place but it's dull. A promising 1st draft - need to keep working on this.

5 -average
The structure is sound and the topic is okay, but nothing special. Looks like a 2nd or 3rd draft. Some bits need rewriting.

6 -above average
The structure is good with a few original lines and ideas. Rewrite some lines and tweak the rest.

7 -very good
Good writing, several memorable lines, an original concept and the lyric "sings" to me. Some tweaks needed but nearly there.

8 -excellent
Full of interesting lines and not a bad line amongst them. A topic that is original and fun/thought-provoking/powerful. A few tweaks perhaps but this is good to go.

9 -hit
Great, a pleasure to read. Ticks all the boxes, great structure, reads like a song, killer lines, original and effective ideas. I want to read this again and I want to hear it as well.

10 -classic
Wow, inspirational. This has the X factor. A professional quality lyric with no filler. Every word is in the right place and every word is right. This is begging for music. I will read this again and again.



My vote would be to have a scale such as this for lyrical and song contest.

If we had that, it may make it where the newcomers know what the scores means.
How do we know for certain that some are not giving a 1 as meaning NUMBER ONE- best? We do not. Of course as mentioned before, we can give rules til the cows come home, but there may still be someone who either refuses to go by them or doesn't read them and will score their favorite as a ONE and least as a 10...though I am not sure how that will work if there are more than 10 songs, but it does throw off scoring if their least favorite is given a 10 meaning excellent...doesn't it?, especially if they did not mean it to come out as being scored best.

I remember Alistair said one time if he has to go by a chart or scale to score, he will not score them anymore. EDIT. I mispoke. Alistair said he would never use the scale to score, he scores without it--Sorry Alistair... :P . I do not see the reason a chart with a basic understanding for those who WANT to go by it, would be a problem.
One time I was floored when it was mentioned that people were voting both ways....then I was not sure what my own scores for my songs/lyrics meant. When I read my score, if it is a 5, then I know what 5 means, due to the scale....and I will not think it is half way between 1-13 or whatever the amount of songs/lyrics there are in that month..

Do we not want our songs/lyrics to be scored on their own merit? Not again't others, then if the added scores bring it to first place, great, if not that is fine too:)


In regards one more time to the HALF MARKS....I like the .5's because I feel that someone may be a better than a 7, but not quite in the 8 catagory as another song I placed there, but better than the other 7's...so the 7.5 would give the song that extra boost and credit. :) As it is, when I do not plan to go lower than like a 4 usually, just because I do not feel any of the songs deserve it, I also feel that not all 7s are equal...No one can say that everyone that gave a 6 to is even with one anothers?

Would it make it fair to add the .5? Does anyone else want this? Can there be a vote?
I do not feel we should do the 1-10 with 10 being worse, 1 being best. This will confuse again, and if there are more than 10 songs then do we do 1-20?

I score a song on that one song. NOT in comparision to the others. After that scoring, then one comes out in front. If there are two tied, then I compare....to try to make a winner on at least the top choice, BUT usually the others have some ties, because there is not much of a scale to go down, and I don't want to put 7 songs down to a 5 to bring up the betters one to take away ties, because I am going by what the 5 means....I am not comparing it to anothers, because I grade it as to what that person is capable of doing and did.


Sorry to be so long winded and add to the confusion on scoring again. I just want it one way or the other for sure, if the scale is invalid then delete the thing...and tell us.

? :P

Kimberly

PS and please don't throw up to me that this is JUST a contest, not important. No in the grand scheme of things no, it is not curing AIDS, but if we continue to have different score systems and not have a guideline then why have it? I bring it up as it is being discussed...again :blink: :lol:
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#48 User is offline   Len Icon

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 05:29 PM

Kim, that's the scale that I developed from Smile. The headings are from Smile and I added the descriptions for each one. As far as I know that scale is still used. Alistair said earlier that it isn't used anymore but I don't know when that happened or remember reading anything along those lines. Unless Neal or Jonie (the lyric mods) say otherwise, I'll use that scale and recommend it to others who want to know how to score.

Nige, do you still have the 1-10 guidelines in the song contests?

As for half marks, I've no objection if some see a need. It makes no difference to managing the scores, not that I run the contest much these days.

One thought to share; these contests are useful not just to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places, but to everyone. I used to get last places, now I'm up to 4th. I can see my songs improve. Without wanting to bang on about absolute scales like the lyric one above, I can see my average score on the scale improving as well.

But I do think a change to ranking is worth a go. If it causes problems and we have to go back to this, at least we can say we tried.

Jason, good idea to start this discussion off.
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Posted 19 December 2010 - 05:33 PM

Kim

I make the scoring as clear as I can on the monthly song comp (I have no responsibility for Lyric Comps). At present the monthly song comp is 1=poor, 10=excellent - the in-between scores are determined by your own criteria, you decide what that is. The only reason I say 10 = excellent and 1 = poor is so that you know that 10 high and 1 is low and not the other way around. The rest is up to you and there is no right or wrong.

Nige

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 05:37 PM

View PostLen, on 19 December 2010 - 10:29 PM, said:

Nige, do you still have the 1-10 guidelines in the song contests?
No, they went a long time ago, for the whole of 2010 it's just 10 Excellent, 1 poor as explained above.

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