Maybe I ought to contribute some music?

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Maybe I ought to contribute some music?

Postby A_Two-Sheds_Jackson » April 11th, 2015, 1:00 pm

Hello dear Wesnothians,

I'm a mathematician who has not composed since the middle ages and would perhaps write a piece for Wesnoth.

My musical idols, and perhaps those who influence my composing style most, are the two French impressionists Debussy and Ravel.

I don't posess any professional computer orchestration equipment, but I do know a person who does and has been willing to lend it to me in the past. However, this would mean that during the composition process, I could only give updates in the form of theory (= text) and MuseScore-generated .ogg files, which have the third worst sound quality of the galaxy (level Vogon).

I think the idea to contribute here came up when I listened to

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cAL2qW-IQ4

and I thought about writing a piece on roughly the same topic, but with drastically modified imagery and musical devices.

What do you say?
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Re: Maybe I ought to contribute some music?

Postby zookeeper » April 12th, 2015, 8:46 am

Well, sure, new music is good. New tracks of any kind are pretty quickly adopted for user-made content use, but we already have such a huge pile of mainline tracks that if you aim for inclusion in the core game, I believe the track(s) should fill some specific need or gap in the current track pool.

My own pet wish is a replacement for loyalists.ogg, although recently I also figured that it'd be nice to have a small selection of really short tracks for story screens or interlude scenarios, sort of like elf-land.ogg, revelation.ogg and transience.ogg (only more... advanced). The regular gameplay tracks don't always work that well in that role, because they have fast and slow and quiet and loud parts and generally have a clear progression to them, instead of more or less steady ambience to set a mood.

Do you have any samples of your prior work done using the same sort of workflow you're planning now?
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Re: Maybe I ought to contribute some music?

Postby A_Two-Sheds_Jackson » April 12th, 2015, 11:56 am

zookeeper wrote:Well, sure, new music is good. New tracks of any kind are pretty quickly adopted for user-made content use, but we already have such a huge pile of mainline tracks that if you aim for inclusion in the core game, I believe the track(s) should fill some specific need or gap in the current track pool.


Yes, agreed. Of course.

zookeeper wrote:My own pet wish is a replacement for loyalists.ogg, although recently I also figured that it'd be nice to have a small selection of really short tracks for story screens or interlude scenarios, sort of like elf-land.ogg, revelation.ogg and transience.ogg (only more... advanced). The regular gameplay tracks don't always work that well in that role, because they have fast and slow and quiet and loud parts and generally have a clear progression to them, instead of more or less steady ambience to set a mood.


It would probably be wrong to say that a more or less steady ambience would be a characteristic feature of impressionistic music, not least because impressionistic music can describe impressions from events involving dynamics, but I think that an impressionistic-inspired piece IS able to serve this purpose.

However, writing only a 30 seconds piece seems a bit unambitious to me. In one scenario for instance (if I remember correctly), I was also a bit disappointed that the track elf-land.ogg was so short; it started repeating while I was still reading the dialogues. Therefore, I personally would prefer to write a 3-5 min piece, although I'm of course willing to change my mind if it is absolutely required.

My personal favourite would be a 3-5 min replacement for elf-land.ogg (although I kind of like it, although I agree that the harmony and orchestration used might be to simple to induce real awe for 'elvish culture' in the listener; it is perhaps too classical).

zookeeper wrote:Do you have any samples of your prior work done using the same sort of workflow you're planning now?


I have never used the workflow as suggested above previously, but I have sort of a 'why not?' feeling about it. I mean, I could try stuff, and you can then of course still say 'we don't like it!'. In fact, until now I have only composed small music pieces which are not really substantial (walzes for piano, small pieces for a short movie of friends etc.), but I have handled projects with a high complexity in mathematics, and I would like to try something similar in music.

I should mention that the workflow I would like to use may require that I do a lot of theory in advance in order to figure out what the piece will look like and how to obtain the desired reaction in the listener. If so whished, I could post the progress in a forum thread.
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Re: Maybe I ought to contribute some music?

Postby pe_em » April 12th, 2015, 11:59 am

Hello and welcome to forums!

A_Two-Sheds_Jackson wrote:writing a piece on roughly the same topic, but with drastically modified imagery and musical devices

Emm... Is it legal? I don't think so.

Glad to see that someone wants to write some music for BfW. :eng: Composers weren't seen there for ages. ;)

Spoiler:
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Re: Maybe I ought to contribute some music?

Postby A_Two-Sheds_Jackson » April 12th, 2015, 12:21 pm

pe_em wrote:Hello and welcome to forums!

A_Two-Sheds_Jackson wrote:writing a piece on roughly the same topic, but with drastically modified imagery and musical devices

Emm... Is it legal? I don't think so.


By 'topic' I mean the topic of fairies, elves and other forestfolk. I did not mean to use musical material of Ravel's.
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Re: Maybe I ought to contribute some music?

Postby zookeeper » April 12th, 2015, 1:49 pm

Note: our actual music developers are most long gone and the remaining ones might only occasionally lurk here, so getting authoritative replies and feedback might take a long time.

A_Two-Sheds_Jackson wrote:
zookeeper wrote:My own pet wish is a replacement for loyalists.ogg, although recently I also figured that it'd be nice to have a small selection of really short tracks for story screens or interlude scenarios, sort of like elf-land.ogg, revelation.ogg and transience.ogg (only more... advanced). The regular gameplay tracks don't always work that well in that role, because they have fast and slow and quiet and loud parts and generally have a clear progression to them, instead of more or less steady ambience to set a mood.


It would probably be wrong to say that a more or less steady ambience would be a characteristic feature of impressionistic music, not least because impressionistic music can describe impressions from events involving dynamics, but I think that an impressionistic-inspired piece IS able to serve this purpose.

However, writing only a 30 seconds piece seems a bit unambitious to me. In one scenario for instance (if I remember correctly), I was also a bit disappointed that the track elf-land.ogg was so short; it started repeating while I was still reading the dialogues. Therefore, I personally would prefer to write a 3-5 min piece, although I'm of course willing to change my mind if it is absolutely required.

Sure, if you want to do longer pieces then that's fine. And just to clarify, by steady ambience I didn't really mean that the piece should be monotone and constant as such, but rather that it should be reasonably slow and not have big changes in mood throughout it (such as for example go from ominous to epic action to sadness), in order to widen the number of situations it can be used in.

One of the main reasons for the idea for short pieces was that instead of (possibly abruptly) switching from intro music to gameplay music when leaving a story screen, the intro music could play out at its own pace and the gameplay music be queued after it: something that perhaps works better with shorter rather than longer intro tracks. Of course, it's debatable whether that's a good idea in the first place or whether we should instead just gracefully fade from the intro track to the gameplay track.

A_Two-Sheds_Jackson wrote:My personal favourite would be a 3-5 min replacement for elf-land.ogg (although I kind of like it, although I agree that the harmony and orchestration used might be to simple to induce real awe for 'elvish culture' in the listener; it is perhaps too classical).

I'm sure something like that would see a lot of use. In my opinion, it doesn't necessarily need to aim to invoke anything specifically elvish (although I don't think there's any problem with that either), I think the main role it fills is the sense of a relaxing sunny day on a nice forest meadow without any trace of all that usual war and drama you wade in 90% of the time. Which in Wesnoth I suppose usually does involve elves.

A_Two-Sheds_Jackson wrote:
zookeeper wrote:Do you have any samples of your prior work done using the same sort of workflow you're planning now?


I have never used the workflow as suggested above previously, but I have sort of a 'why not?' feeling about it. I mean, I could try stuff, and you can then of course still say 'we don't like it!'. In fact, until now I have only composed small music pieces which are not really substantial (walzes for piano, small pieces for a short movie of friends etc.), but I have handled projects with a high complexity in mathematics, and I would like to try something similar in music.

I should mention that the workflow I would like to use may require that I do a lot of theory in advance in order to figure out what the piece will look like and how to obtain the desired reaction in the listener. If so whished, I could post the progress in a forum thread.

Well, I don't have experience in all that so I can't really comment on the specifics, but if you think it'll work, then great.
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Re: Maybe I ought to contribute some music?

Postby A_Two-Sheds_Jackson » April 12th, 2015, 7:29 pm

I'm gonna give it a try then. I hereby use the opportunity to suggest that an ambient music could be played, and the normal music could just start once the former is finished.

I'm not sure if I can handle this but I guess there won't be any enourmously negative consequences in the case of failure so I'm gonna go for it.
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Re: Maybe I ought to contribute some music?

Postby Pentarctagon » April 13th, 2015, 12:32 am

A_Two-Sheds_Jackson wrote:I'm gonna give it a try then. I hereby use the opportunity to suggest that an ambient music could be played, and the normal music could just start once the former is finished.

I'm not sure if I can handle this but I guess there won't be any enourmously negative consequences in the case of failure so I'm gonna go for it.


In the case the music you make doesn't get included, is it alright if I add it to the UMC Music Books?
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Re: Maybe I ought to contribute some music?

Postby A_Two-Sheds_Jackson » April 13th, 2015, 6:20 pm

Pentarctagon wrote:is it alright if I add it to the UMC Music Books?


That's no problem, go ahead ! (It's gonna take a while until it's finished anyway.)

BTW: What is this list about? What does 'UMC' mean?

EDIT: BTW I have opened a new thread for the progress : viewtopic.php?f=14&t=41881
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Re: Maybe I ought to contribute some music?

Postby shadowm » April 14th, 2015, 12:58 am

UMC = User Made Content (i.e. user-created add-on campaigns, eras, and such).
Author of the unofficial UtBS sequels Invasion from the Unknown and After the Storm.
I also made Wesnoth RCX, a team-color preview tool for artists and content creators.
Elsewhere: shadowmBlogFollow me on Twitter
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Re: Maybe I ought to contribute some music?

Postby Pentarctagon » April 14th, 2015, 5:36 am

A_Two-Sheds_Jackson wrote:
Pentarctagon wrote:is it alright if I add it to the UMC Music Books?


That's no problem, go ahead ! (It's gonna take a while until it's finished anyway.)

BTW: What is this list about? What does 'UMC' mean?

EDIT: BTW I have opened a new thread for the progress : viewtopic.php?f=14&t=41881


The list is a list of all the various pieces of music I found when I went through the Music forum a while back that I put together and uploaded to the add-on server. In addition to those 12, there's also West's Chronicles I and II.
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Re: Maybe I ought to contribute some music?

Postby leorock116 » September 26th, 2015, 3:26 am

If it helps, you can send me the scores or midi and I generate the orchestra and render the audio file
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