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GuyInSummers

Meaning In Music

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Over the past few months I had envisioned a website where people could submit short (~20s) pieces of music they had composed that, to the best of their abilities, captured the essence of some single idea, to explore the remarkable way music can have meaning to its listeners. The idea stemmed from a game my friend and I would play where we’d each have an instrument and be given a random noun, and had to try and express that noun – something like musical pictionary. Since I couldn’t find anything quite like that online, I decided to sit down and build it, and now the website (http://www.meaninginmusic.com) is alive and ready to start rolling.

I mention it here particularly because, going back, the inspiration really comes from video games – part of what made the gaming experience so captivating to me was the way the music could turn text and graphics into worlds and experiences. It made the Ice Forest from Secret of Mana beautifully cold and lonely; it made Zero from the MMX series exude pure kickass, and everything about EarthBound's Twoson was just perfect. Since I’m sure many of you share that appreciation, I thought perhaps this would be a good place to invite interested people to help get the site going. Additionally, writing twenty-second pieces is a great way to practice various aspects of composing that doesn't take long but still gives you a sense of accomplishment and a way to get feedback. It’s very small now, but I’m hoping some day it’ll grow into an active community with a piece for whatever you could think of.

I’m also very interested in feedback, since I have no idea what I’m doing in terms of being a webmaster. How can I improve the site? What should I keep in mind to do or not do? How does one typically solve the user-generated content bootstrapping problem of needing lots of users to get lots of content and lots of content to attract lots of users?

I apologize if this sort of post is not allowed here; I suppose this is advertising... this is my first time trying to build a web community and I don't honestly know how you're supposed to get people to know about your site. I am genuinely interested in feedback and discussion regarding the idea and webmastering in general, not just in attracting potential members. I hope to become an active member of OCRemix too, but if I wait to post this until I have a posted remix, my site may be dead by then...

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Interesting concept. Played a little bit with it, I guessed wrong all but one (which probably says a lot either about the music or me :roll:).

This will be specially interesting for more complex compositions. Many of the samples in the site sound like fanfares or musicalized sound effects, but more complex arrangements can vary a lot from a range of meanings / emotions. It's also a great source of feedback (even if indirect) for a music composer - this applies to vgm composers but general as well

I don't really like the flow of the app when you are not registered (I don't know if it's the same when you are registered). Too many clicks. IMO, the site could be much better if I didn't have to click that much, and the site would allow me to listen and guess in the same page, and maybe reload a new melody in the same page. User interaction is as important as the content itself, so use this opportunity to engage the user and make it better.

I'll keep playing with it a little more, thanks for sharing!

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Thanks! Heh, I'm actually really surprised anybody has been able to guess the intended meanings of pieces. I thought it would just be interesting to see how people's guesses and original intentions compare / contrast, but some people have blown me away with their ability to guess with great specificity what the piece was meant to be about. It still blows my mind that somebody guessed "lemonade" perfectly...

I agree that the flow needs some work, but I'm a bit confused by your suggestion. Each time you click 'random' you get a page where you can both listen and guess, and from there it's one click either to loading a new piece in that page or going to the piece's page. How I'm reading it, it sounds like that's what you described -- could you clarify that a bit?

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