Musical Composition

(Revised May 2004)

Entries will be judged for skill in music composition as influenced by documentable period practices. An entry may be vocal or instrumental, or both. Entry must include a legible score in modern notation, with lyrics, if any. Lyrics must be period or original in period style. Entries must be performed live or on tape; performance skills will not be judged, but instrumentation will.

Musical Composition; Novice

Documentation

0-8 points. Judging and scoring for Documentation is based on a graduated level of knowledge and discussion of the components of the item. For Novice level, a 3x5 card is the minimum required, but more is encouraged. Any discussion beyond listing of the criteria below, on period practice, any conscious compromises or research is encouraged and should receive higher points than simply listing the information. Verbal feedback during the judging, how well the entrant understands the process of the creation of their item beyond what is written, can enhance the Documentation score. Give score based on the following:

  • Description of entry including some of the following: country of origin, period of origin, characteristics of style for that period.
  • Lists intended purpose (Court, revel, play, etc.).
  • Lists rationale used for specific instrumentation.
  • Research and reference: cites at least one source and one visual or descriptive reference, or two of either.

Authenticity

0-8 points. Judge this at the Novice level, keeping in mind any plausible/explained deviations or substitutions from authentic period equivalents. Efforts to achieve a completely authentic item will score best.

  • Form/function—performs like a period piece with period compositional style.
  • Methods of creation—notation, lyrics,etc.
  • Materials used—period use of range, variation, tunes, instruments.
  • Design, style—period sentiments, consistent to time/culture, intended purpose.

Complexity

1-5 points. Rank the ambition of the entry, not the workmanship, based on the following. Judge the entrant at the Novice level, keeping in mind that not all period items are complex.

  • Scope of endeavor—number of pieces, range, rhythmic variations.
  • Difficulty/variety of design elements used.
  • Difficulty/variety of phrasing, sections, melody, any attempt at multiple ‘voicing.’
  • Difficulty/variety of musical styles, choral accompaniment, period instrumentation.
  • Extent of original work or ideas.

Workmanship

1-5 points. Rank the quality of execution and success of the entry. Judge the entrant at the Novice level, based on the following:

  • Clear, legible, accurate score, suitable for performance (note technical demand on performers).
  • Techniques—harmonic and contrapuntal techniques, ‘horizontal’ and ‘verticle’ sonorities and voice leading.
  • Design: compatibility of music and lyrics, including text placement, effect on audience.
  • Form/function: overall musical form, work is a consistent, unified whole.
  • Period styling or personalization or special embellishment.

Overall Quality

1-4 points. Evaluate the work as a whole, rating the aesthetic effect and appeal beyond the mere technical proficiency. Consider how you react to the entry (intuitive response) and other items not previously addressed. This is the ‘wow’ factor; following are some examples to consider, but the category is not limited to these.

  • Completely authentic from the ground up.  -OR-
  • Unique or outstanding display or attempt at period presentation.  -OR-
  • Logical creative endeavor within a period methodology (creativity/individuality).  -OR-
  • You want to take it home because it is really outstanding.

Musical Composition; Intermediate

Documentation

0-8 points. Judging and scoring for Documentation is based on a graduated level of knowledge and discussion of the components of the item. Intermediate level documentation should have at least minimal discussion of the components involved. More in-depth discussion or period practices or conscious compromises is encouraged and should receive higher points. Verbal feedback during the judging, how well the entrant understands the period practice and process of the creation of their item beyond what is written, can enhance the Documentation score. Give score based on the following:

  • Description and some discussion of entry including the following: country of origin, period of origin, intended purpose (Court, revel, play, etc.).
  • Some discussion of rationale used for the choice of specified instrumentation or if score gives none, rationale for instrumentation of entry performance.
  • Some discussion of methods and tools used to complete the project.
  • Research and reference: cites more than one source and one visual or descriptive reference, includes a reference sheet (bibliography) or cites sources in a standard format (endnotes, footnotes, parenthetical, MLA, etc.).

Authenticity

0-8 points. Judge this at the Intermediate level, keeping in mind any plausible/explained deviations or substitutions from authentic period equivalents. Efforts to achieve a completely authentic item will score best.

  • Form/function—performs like a period piece with period compositional style.
  • Methods of creation—notation, lyrics,etc.
  • Materials used—period use of range, variation, tunes, instruments.
  • Design, style—period sentiments, consistent to time/culture, intended purpose.

Complexity

1-5 points. Rank the ambition of the entry, not the workmanship, based on the following. Judge the entrant at the Intermediate level, keeping in mind that not all period items are complex.

  • Scope of endeavor—number of pieces, range, rhythmic variations.
  • Difficulty/variety of design elements used.
  • Difficulty/variety of phrasing, sections, melody, any attempt at multiple ‘voicing.’
  • Difficulty/variety of musical styles, choral accompaniment, period instrumentation.
  • Extent of original work or ideas.

Workmanship

1-5 points. Rank the quality of execution and success of the entry. Judge the entrant at the Intermediate level, based on the following:

  • Clear, legible, accurate score, suitable for performance (note technical demand on performers).
  • Techniques—harmonic and contrapuntal techniques, ‘horizontal’ and ‘verticle’ sonorities and voice leading.
  • Design: compatibility of music and lyrics, including text placement, effect on audience.
  • Form/function: overall musical form, work is a consistent, unified whole.
  • Period styling or personalization or special embellishment.

Overall Quality

1-4 points. Evaluate the work as a whole, rating the aesthetic effect and appeal beyond the mere technical proficiency. Consider how you react to the entry (intuitive response) and other items not previously addressed. This is the ‘wow’ factor; following are some examples to consider, but the category is not limited to these.

  • Completely authentic from the ground up.  -OR-
  • Unique or outstanding display or attempt at period presentation.  -OR-
  • Logical creative endeavor within a period methodology (creativity/individuality).  -OR-
  • You want to take it home because it is really outstanding.

Musical Composition; Advanced

Documentation

0-8 points. Judging and scoring for Documentation is based on a graduated level of knowledge and discussion of the components of the item. Advanced level documentation should have a thorough discussion of the components of the item, explains the rationale behind methods, materials, skills and tools, provides illustrations (if available), references and notes, as well as any original research or experimentation. Any conscious compromises should be explained. A summary page is helpful if the documentation is exceptionally in-depth, and more detailed work can also be put in appendices. Verbal feedback during the judging, how well the entrant understands the period practice and process of the creation of their item beyond what is written, can enhance the Documentation score. Give score based on the following:

  • Description and discussion of entry including the following: country of origin, period of origin, characteristics of style for that period, intended purpose (Court, revel, play, etc.).
  • Thorough knowledge or discussion of rationale used for the choice of specified instrumentation or if score gives none, rationale for instrumentation of entry performance.
  • Thorough knowledge or discussion of methods used to complete the project.
  • Research and reference: very complete sources and visual or descriptive references, includes a bibliography and cites sources in a standard format (endnotes, footnotes, parenthetical, MLA, etc.).

Authenticity

0-8 points. Judge this at the Advanced level, keeping in mind any deviations or substitutions from authentic period equivalents must be plausible and explained. Efforts to achieve a completely authentic item will score best.

  • Form/function—performs like a period piece with period compositional style.
  • Methods of creation—notation, lyrics,etc.
  • Materials used—period use of range, variation, tunes, instruments.
  • Design, style—period sentiments, consistent to time/culture, intended purpose.

Complexity

1-5 points. Rank the ambition of the entry, not the workmanship, based on the following. Judge the entrant at the Advanced level, keeping in mind that not all period items are complex.

  • Scope of endeavor—number of pieces, range, rhythmic variations.
  • Difficulty/variety of design elements used.
  • Difficulty/variety of phrasing, sections, melody, any attempt at multiple ‘voicing.’
  • Difficulty/variety of musical styles, choral accompaniment, period instrumentation.
  • Extent of original work or ideas.

Workmanship

1-5 points. Rank the quality of execution and success of the entry. Judge the entrant at the Advanced level, based on the following:

  • Clear, legible, accurate score, suitable for performance (note technical demand on performers).
  • Techniques—harmonic and contrapuntal techniques, ‘horizontal’ and ‘verticle’ sonorities and voice leading.
  • Design: compatibility of music and lyrics, including text placement, effect on audience.
  • Form/function: overall musical form, work is a consistent, unified whole.
  • Period styling or personalization or special embellishment.

Overall Quality

1-4 points. Evaluate the work as a whole, rating the aesthetic effect and appeal beyond the mere technical proficiency. Consider how you react to the entry (intuitive response) and other items not previously addressed. This is the ‘wow’ factor; following are some examples to consider, but the category is not limited to these.

  • Completely authentic from the ground up.  -OR-
  • Unique or outstanding display or attempt at period presentation.  -OR-
  • Logical creative endeavor within a period methodology (creativity/individuality).  -OR-
  • You want to take it home because it is really outstanding.