If you're reading this, you have probably just joined Young Composers. Welcome to the site - we hope you have a pleasant stay!
The Young Composers (YC) staff have taken the time to author this page which we believe contains information that new members would do well to absorb.
The Young Composers community has been around in some form or another for over a decade, and has seen many members come and go. We are a very close-knit group who take the time to get to know each other and often become friends outside of the forum.
Because of the close relationships between many of the forum’s members, new members sometimes feel left out at first. This is normal, but after a short time, you should start feeling more included. To introduce yourself (professionally or casually), post in the introductions thread. Our archive is also visitor-recommended for those who wish to learn more about the forum’s history.
Purpose of This Forum
YC's main purpose is to allow people to post their music, receive feedback on it and improve as composers. The forum also caters for discussions on music/composition, performance technique, compositional styles, composers and more. The best way to absorb and benefit from the knowledge on this forum is to become a contributing member: review others' works, start and participate in discussions, ask questions and, of course, post your own pieces for feedback and analysis.
As previously mentioned, the best way to take advantage of the forum and to establish yourself as a member is to participate. This means more than just posting your pieces: by reviewing the works of others - anything from just a quick comment based upon your thoughts and feelings to a full in-depth analysis - other members will get to know you and they will see that you are making an effort to give back to our community. Reviewing the works of others is the easiest and most reliable way to ensure that others will make the effort to comment on a piece of yours when you decide to post one. If you’re not comfortable with commenting on other people’s works, consider participating in one of the many discussions in the Discussions category.
Posting Your Own Work
Young Composers maintains eight forums for the posting of works, split by genre or ensemble. A link to them can be found here: Upload Your Compositions for Analysis or Feedback
When posting a piece for the first time, consider which forum it would best belong in. Most pieces don’t fit perfectly into one forum, so choose whichever you deem the best match.
Please be aware that the top forum, Major Works, is quality-controlled and for completed works that show exceptional ambition, evaluated at the staff's discretion. If you decide to post a piece here, be sure to thoroughly read through the submissions criteria and ensure the piece you are posting is on a par with existing material inside the forum.
Start a new thread in one of the upload forums. Select the one that fits best for the piece you are uploading.
Tip: To start a new thread, click on the forum link, then click the New Thread button above and to the left of the thread listing.
You should include a short commentary accompanying your piece, including information on instrumentation, motives and techniques used, your inspiration, any setbacks experienced along the way, what your expectations were when you started writing it, etc.
On the New Thread screen, you can attach your music files to the message by clicking Manage Attachments (scroll down to find it). For information on file formats, see below. Be warned, digital audio files such as MP3s cannot currently be directly uploaded to the site, though links to external sites (such as free file hosts) are allowed. When posting your music, it is advised that you post a score along with any kind of audio file. Some members have slow internet connections and will not take the time to download large MP3s so posting a score plus MIDI or score files will greatly increase your chances of getting a review.
We accept the upload of file attachments in all of our separate forums. Below are the most common types of files used to share music:
- MIDI (*.mid, *.midi); maximum allowed size 0.5 MB
- Finale Score File (*.mus); maximum allowed size 1.5 MB
- Sibelius Score File (*.sib); maximum allowed size 1.5 MB
- Noteworthy Composer File (*.nwc); maximum allowed size 1.5 MB
- PDF document (*.pdf); maximum allowed size 3.0 MB
As touched upon previously, audio files such as MP3s may not be uploaded on the forum.
In addition to the above, we also accept the upload of numerous other filetypes, including:
- Images (GIF, JPEG, PNG)
- Documents (RTF, TXT)
Things to keep in mind
- If you've just joined up, you might not get reviews straight away. There are several potential reasons for this:
- Since you're new, other members won't yet know whether or not you are receptive to and appreciative of feedback. It's disheartening for people to post a detailed, constructive review, only to find the person who posted the piece has not returned to thank them for the feedback or address any points they raised. The best way to let people know you mean business is to get involved in other threads, either through reviewing music or participating in musical discussions.
- It may take a day or two for someone to come along and review your music. Reviewing music is something that takes time - everyone has responsibilities, schedules and lives to fulfill, after all!
- If you don't include a score, your chances of receiving a review will be reduced. Some of YC's members do not review anything at all without a score.
- Avoid referring to your work as a song, instead using the term piece, or work (unless it is in fact a song - a short vocal piece).
- When writing your message, be descriptive. Don't be too long-winded, but at the same time, don't be too brief.
Off Topic Discussions
The Off Topic forum is perfect for kicking back and getting to know other members. It has three subforums for specific kinds of threads: Other Arts (discussions relating to art forms other than music), Serious Discussion (debates and discussions of a serious nature) and Journals (diaries/blogs of YC members). The topics in this forum are diverse, and there’s nearly always something interesting happening here.
As a registered user, you are able to edit and create your own articles in the Wiki. Members are encouraged to contribute articles on subjects such as famous composers, composition styles, instruments, etc. More information can be found on the Wiki's main page.
As you may have noticed, at the top of the forum’s main page is a what looks like a search bar, below a box full of conversation. This is not a search bar. It is, in fact, our real-time shoutbox. Here, members can conduct conversations with one another while browsing.
Some advice on using the Shoutbox:
- If you do not wish to be exposed to the discourse taking place in the Shoutbox, it can be minimized by clicking the arrow icon on the right, beside Archived Shouts.
- Spam and shameless advertising is not appreciated. If you want someone to review your piece, ask once and ask nicely.
- Try to keep the conversation suitable for all ages. Remember, this is Young Composers and there are impressionable minds who read it.
- The Shoutbox is a good place to get to know other members: don't be afraid to be friendly and social. Acting out or insulting/demeaning others is not a good way to make friends.
- Do not be offended if it takes a few days for other members to warm up to you. We’re a close community and sometimes it takes a little bit of time to accept a new member.
- If a member is harassing you and will not cease, contact one of the staff.
Our forum boasts integrated Flash user chat. The chat rooms are an excellent place to get to know others, carry on private conversation or lead a large group discussion. A group chat is scheduled for 8 PM EST/BST, though it remains accessible at all other times. Chat can be accessed either by clicking the Chat tab at the top of the page or the Chat Schedule link above the Shoutbox.
There is a private pager system enabled on the forum which allows members to exchange short pop-up messages. A member must have made at least 20 posts before they are permitted to send pager messages, but anyone can receive them, if they have it enabled.
By clicking the Member Map tab located at the top of the page, you can view our Google map where members have stuck in ‘’push-pins’’ indicating their geographical location. Members can have one pin on the map at a time. This is an excellent way to find out who lives near you and is testament to the national diversity of our community.
If you need help at any time or have any questions, the method which sometimes delivers the most immediate response is to ask one of the members in the Shoutbox. There is a good chance that someone there will be able to answer your question or at least point you in the right direction. Should that fail, feel free to start a new thread in the Technical Problems forum. If you wish to speak with someone privately, feel free to contact one of the staff members. There are 4 kinds of staff who can be contacted, depending on your needs:
Reviewers moderate the upload forums. They have been selected because they’re known to give informative and concise reviews and have good knowledge and expertise on music composition. They can deal with questions about how and where to post music as well as composition-related inquiries.
Editors are responsible for all matters relating to the Wiki including but not limited to questions on writing and editing articles.
Moderators are all around helpful and can answer many of your questions. If you have an issue that can’t be resolved by the reviewers or editors, contact the moderators.
Administrators are responsible for keeping this place running. They can be contacted about anything but they are often very busy so if a quick response is needed, get in touch with one of the above staff instead.