Rule Sixteen: Music Awards

  1. CATEGORIES
    1. Original Score:

      An original score is a substantial body of music that serves as original dramatic underscoring and is written specifically for the motion picture by the submitting composer.

    2. Original Song:

      An original song consists of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the motion picture. There must be a clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition (not necessarily visually presented) of both lyric and melody, used in the body of the motion picture or as the first music cue in the end credits.

    3. Original Musical:

      An original musical consists of not fewer than five original songs (as defined in paragraph I.B above) by the same writer or team of writers either used as voiceovers or visually performed. Each of these songs must be substantively rendered, clearly audible, intelligible, and must further the storyline of the motion picture. An arbitrary group of songs unessential to the storyline will not be considered eligible.

  2. ELIGIBILITY
    1. The work must be created specifically for the eligible feature-length motion picture.
    2. The work must be the result of a creative interaction between the filmmaker(s) and the composer(s) and/or songwriter(s) who have been engaged to work directly on the motion picture.
    3. The work's eligibility shall be evaluated on its effectiveness, craftsmanship, creative substance and relevance to the dramatic whole.
    4. The work must be recorded for use in the motion picture prior to any other usage, including public performance or exploitation through any media whatsoever.
    5. In the case of an original musical, the composer or adapter of the instrumental score may qualify for an award if his or her contribution is deemed relevant and substantial.
    6. Only the principal composer(s) or songwriter(s) responsible for the conception and execution of the work as a whole shall be eligible for an award.

      This expressly excludes from eligibility all of the following:

      1. supervisors
      2. partial contributors (e.g., any writer not responsible for the overall design of the work)
      3. contributors working on speculation
      4. scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or other pre-existing music
      5. scores diminished in impact by the predominant use of songs
      6. scores assembled from the music of more than one composer
    7. No more than two statuettes will normally be given in the Original Song category. A third statuette may be awarded when there are three essentially equal contributors to a song.
    8. The Music Branch Executive Committee shall resolve all rules interpretations and all questions of eligibility.
    9. It is within the sole and confidential discretion of the Board of Governors to determine what awards, if any, shall be given.
  3. SUBMISSION
    1. For an achievement to be eligible for nomination in any of the three music categories, an official submission form, obtainable from the Academy, must be requested personally by the principal writer(s) who alone may make the submission.
    2. The submission form must be signed by all submitting writers and must be accompanied by a complete music cue sheet (listing all music cues), vocal lead sheets (in the Original Song and Original Musical categories), and in the Original Song category, a DigiBeta clip of no more than three minutes of each song showing how each song is used in the motion picture.
    3. Submissions may be made prior to the qualifying Los Angeles release opening, but must be made no later than 60 days after such opening, or by 5 p.m. PT on Monday, December 1, 2008, whichever comes first.
    4. The Executive Committee has the right, but not the obligation, to submit any eligible works in all three categories, but must do so no later than noon of December 31, 2008.
  4. VOTING
    1. A Reminder List of works submitted in the Original Score and Original Musical categories shall be sent with a nominations ballot to all members of the Academy Music Branch who shall vote in the order of their preference for not more than five achievements in each category.
    2. In the Original Score category (and Original Musical category, if activated), the five achievements in each category receiving the highest number of votes on mail ballots will become the nominations for final voting for the award.
    3. In the Original Song category, Music Branch members shall meet to screen clips of the eligible songs and vote on the achievements. A DVD copy of the song clips will be made available to those Branch members who are unable to attend the screening and who request it for home viewing. Voting shall be conducted as follows:

      Nominations will be determined by an averaged point system of voting using 10, 9.5, 9, 8.5, 8, 7.5, 7, 6.5 or 6. Only those songs receiving an average score of 8.25 or more shall be eligible for nomination. There may not be more than five nor fewer than three nominations.

      Members who attend the song nomination screening will vote at that time. Those who receive the DVD will vote by mail ballot. Those members who have a song in contention for the nomination are not eligible to participate.

    4. Only two songs may be nominated from any one film. If more than two songs from one film are in contention, the two songs with the most votes will be the nominees.
    5. If there are 25 or fewer qualified works submitted in any category, the Music Branch Executive Committee may recommend to the Board of Governors that nominations be limited to three. If there are nine or fewer qualifying works submitted in any category, the Executive Committee may recommend to the Board of Governors that no award be given in that category for the current year.
    6. The category of Original Musical may be activated only by special request of the Music Branch Executive Committee to the Board of Governors in a year when the field of eligible submissions is determined to be of sufficient quantity and quality to justify award competition.
    7. The entire active and life Academy membership shall vote for final selections in each category.