Please check first whether your question is already answered in the FAQs below. If it is not, you are welcome to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org; we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Composers of any age, nationality and place of residence are eligible to enter, provided that they have a maximum of three IMDb records (key date: 11 May 2017) as “composer” or “orchestrator” in films with duration of 60 minutes or longer. This includes all film genres (fiction, documentary, animation…)
People who don't have any IMDb record are, of course, eligible to enter.
The reason behind this restriction is that the competition wants to promote film composers who are at the beginning of their career.
In case of doubt don’t hesitate to contact email@example.com before you start composing!
Only one member of the team should register and act as a contact person. The other team members must be entered in the online registration form. Please keep in mind that all the team members must be eligible to enter.
In case of a nomination, Zurich Film Festival will pay for the journey and accomodation of one person only. But, of course, all the team members are welcome to Zurich and will be asked to come on stage on 5 October 2017.
3(picc,afl).2(ca).2(bcl).2(cbn) / asax
3 flutes (one player can also play piccolo, another player can also play alto flute)
2 oboes (one player can also play english horn)
2 clarinets (one player can also play bass clarinet)
2 bassoons (one player can also play contrabassoon)
The players can switch instruments during the piece, but you must provide enough time for it in your score.
1 alto saxophone
6 french horns
4 trumpets (in B flat or in C)
4 trombones (3 tenor trombones and 1 bass trombone)
timp, 5 perc, drum set
Timpani (1 player)
Orchestral percussion (5 players) – full list in the next FAQ
1 drum set
pno or cel / egtr, bgtr / harp
1 keyboard player who can play either piano or celesta
(The player can switch instruments during the piece, but you must provide enough time for it in your score.)
1 electric guitar
1 bass guitar
14 first violins, 12 second violins, 10 violas, 8 celli, 6 double basses (5 strings)
If you want to use other percussion instruments, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
(Waterphones and taikos are not available.)
No. However, your composition is expected to remain in an orchestral context.
A conductor stave is an additional stave at the top of the score that contains information about timecodes, the click track, and the position of important hitpoints.
A typical conductor stave could for instance look like this:
This is not absolutely necessary. It is OK when there is a timecode at the important hitpoints and at the beginning of sections.
MusicXML is not a music notation program, but a standard file format for exchanging digital sheet music. Nowadays almost every notation program and DAW software can export data in the MusicXML format.
The quality of the performing material is of paramount importance for a successful performance by an orchestra of this size. Therefore we can't take the responsibility for nominating a composition where we are not absolutely sure that professional-quality performing material will be available until the end of July. If we get the score in Finale, Sibelius or MusicXML format, we can, if absolutely necessary, prepare or edit the performing material ourselves. (However, the nominee will be required to pay for the costs.) Since we can't do so if we get the score in another format as Sibelius, Finale or MusicXML, we must make sure right away that the participant is able to deliver professional-quality performing material.
That's up to you, but please indicate clearly whether the score is notated in sounding or in transposing pitch.
A mockup is a computer-produced audio file that gives an acoustical impression of your score.
The members of the jury are not only musicians, but also film directors. The musicians can read scores and imagine how your music will sound even if your mockup isn't very realistic, and, of course, they will judge the quality of your score and not the quality of your mockup. The film directors, however, can't read music; if your mockup doesn't sound realistic, they might have difficulties imagining how your music will sound with a real orchestra. So make your mockup as good as possible, as if you submitted your work to a film director.
You have to upload your mockup as an MP3 file. If you are concerned about audio quality, make sure to set the bit rate to at least 256 kbit/s. Your audio file will be recombined with the film before it is forwarded to the jury. (See the question below about how to make sure that your audio will be in sync with the film.)
The beginning of the audio files must coincide with the beginning of the QuickTime file you downloaded (timecode 00:59:54:00). So there can’t be any music during the fist 6 seconds of the MP3 file with the mockup. (You don't have to notate this silence in your score, though.)
If you want to be absolutely sure that your audio files are correctly synchronised with the film, you are welcome to include the 2-pop at timecode 00:59:58:00 in your audio files – although this is not absolutely necessary...
You are welcome to include the 2-pop at timecode 00:59:58:00 in your audio files – although this is not absolutely necessary...
It is very important that the submitted score is performable and conductable, i. e. that it doesn't contain a lot of abrupt tempo changes. (Ritardandi and accelerandi are unproblematic, though.) The audio file with a click track has to be submitted because it makes it a lot easier for the jury to assess whether a score is conductable or not.
Hint: If you bounce the click track without any reverb, you can dramatically reduce its file size by using ZIP compression.
The electronic track or the live electronics are not supposed to simulate acoustic instruments that are not available in the instrumentation. Apart from that, you can use any kind of sound. If in doubt, don't hesitate to contact email@example.com.
It's entirely up to you which parts of the film will be scored and which parts will be left without music. You are welcome to score the opening and ending credits, too. Most participants grab the opportunity to make big musical statements during the credits.
No. As long as your piece can be performed with the provided instrumentation (regulations, paragraph 3.1), you can compose in any style.
The online application form cannot be downloaded; it is the form that you complete during registration.
No. As soon as you have registered and paid the competition fee, you will be assigned an upload account. Then you can log in at any time, even shortly before the deadline, and upload your documents.
Direct money transfers would cause too high administrative costs for the competition organisers. Therefore we accept other payment options only for countries where PayPal is not supported (i.e. countries that are not on this list). If you live in one of these countries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opening a PayPal account is free of charge, and you can use PayPal even if you don't have any credit card. It's also possible to pay via a PayPal account of another person.
In any case you are strongly advised to arrange for the payment well in advance and not to wait until shortly before the deadline.
DON’T PANIC! Please bear in mind that many internet service providers have very slow upload speeds.
Please make sure that none of your files is larger than 20 MB. Don't upload uncompressed audio files (.wav, .aiff etc.)! If uploading seems too slow, try uploading your files one at a time.
If the problems still persist, email@example.com will help you out.
Pacific Daylight Saving Time: Thursday 11 May 2017, 11:59 p.m.
Eastern Daylight Saving Time: Friday 12 May 2017, 02:59 a.m.
Central European Summer Time: Friday 12 May 2017, 08:59 a.m.
Korea & Japan Standard Time: Friday 12 May 2017, 03:59 p.m.
No. This wouldn’t be fair towards the other participants.
(Subject to change)
As in almost all composition competitions, the jury cannot give a feedback for your work because of the great number of participants. If you want a feedback for your work, you are advised to attend film music courses or masterclasses.
If it turns out on 23 June 2017 that you are not among the nominees, you may publish your mockup with the film TAMAH under the condition that
If you are nominated, you'll have to wait until the world premiere of your music on 5 October 2017...
The Tonhalle premises must be refurbished for three years, starting summer 2017. For this reason, the concert hall “MAAG EventHall” will be converted into a classical concert hall and will serve as the provisional concert venue for the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich during the next three concert seasons. Details here.