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Are Song Competitions Pointless?

Acorn4 07 Apr 09 - 08:06 AM
bubblyrat 07 Apr 09 - 08:33 AM
GUEST,Mr Red 07 Apr 09 - 08:42 AM
Banjiman 07 Apr 09 - 08:43 AM
Stringsinger 07 Apr 09 - 10:07 AM
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Subject: Are Song Competitions Pointless?
From: Acorn4
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 08:06 AM

In a room full of people everyone will have a different opinion as to what makes a good song - it is sometimes a case of one person's meat being another person's marmite.

If a song is good it will go usually down well with a good cross-section of people as it will strike the right chords, so is there a need to enter contests? Judges in a competition will usually have their own preconceptions, and who can say that one song is better than another - can be a case of comparing chalk and cheese.

If you win one of these competitions, is there ever any real gain from it?

Interesting to canvas opinions as to people's experiences of these, and if they have any place in folk circles!


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Subject: RE: Are Song Competitions Pointless?
From: bubblyrat
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 08:33 AM

I think that they are a wonderful source of new material for us all !! At Banbury the other day, MGAS sang a song by last year's winning entry to the Maidenhead Folk Club's much esteemed songwriting competition ( previous winners include Les Sullivan),and a good (and picturesquely philosophical ) song it was,too.Keep up the good work , I say !!


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Subject: RE: Are Song Competitions Pointless?
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 08:42 AM

To write a song - all you need is the motivation. If the competition is well thought through it will spark someone.

Shrewsbury FF are trying a competition based on Darwin because he lived there and it is his centenary. Not a lot of folk in Darwin - except his stance on the plight of the common man (read "natives" also)- which was laudable even now - and moreso in his day.

But in the hands of an inspired lyricist it could evolve and competitions are all about the survival of the fittest (whatever that means).

The problem I have with competitions is the judging and the small print. The latter is down to you, the former there is little you can do unless you know what inspires them.


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Subject: RE: Are Song Competitions Pointless?
From: Banjiman
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 08:43 AM

"If you win one of these competitions, is there ever any real gain from it?"

Definitely!

My wife (Wendy Arrowsmith) won the songwriting competition at Saltburn Folk Festival in 2007. She was just starting out and had never done a main guest folk club slot. Take a look at what her gig list looks like now (June/ July are deliberately quiet as she will be running around getting her 2nd album ready for planned Aug 1st release date) Wendy's Gig List . Note the full guest appearance at said Saltburn Fest this year.

Now she might have achieved this anyway but I have no doubt it has helped.

Her winning song The Visitor has been picked up by quite a few people and you can hear it sung at quite a few clubs round these here parts!

Again, this might have happened anyway but I can only think the Saltburn song comp gave the song some real impetus.

Paul


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Subject: RE: Are Song Competitions Pointless?
From: Stringsinger
Date: 07 Apr 09 - 10:07 AM

The upside is that sometimes a justified criticism of a song can improve it.
It gets the songs out there.
The downside is that well-meaning criticism can be wrong. Songwriters might
tend to write for each other.
Songwriters don't make much money usually. It's hard to pay entry fees.


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