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Robert M. Stevenson Prize - Application Process Details
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All submissions for the prize must be made in electronic format. Submissions are of two types: (a) nominations of ethnomusicologist-composers other than the submitter (self-nominations are not allowed), and (b) compositions by the submitter (self-nominations are required). Each SEM member may submit at most once in each year when the prize is offered (i.e. an SEM member may nominate one composer, or submit one composition).

(a) Nominations should include composer's name, a website (if available), a list of works (with URL links to recordings, if possible), and a statement (two pages maximum) explaining why this composer is deserving of the award. Living composers must be SEM members; deceased composers must have been SEM members in the past. Self-nominations are not accepted; instead composers should submit a composition for consideration by the prize committee. Note that live performance of a winning composer's works at the Stevenson Prize concert program will be contingent upon locating suitable instrumentation, arranging rehearsals, and upon sufficient funding; however recordings may also be played if provided. An SEM member may nominate only one composer. The prize may be awarded posthumously.

(b) All composition submissions must range from 2 to 10 minutes in duration. There are three possible compositional forms (see below). All compositions must be entirely original, must have been composed entirely by the submitter, and must not have been published or submitted to a previous composition competition (though they may have been previously performed). New compositions in traditional genres and recompositions of traditional works are acceptable, provided that a high degree of creativity is exhibited. Each submission must include an audio or video file (mp3 or mp4) either as an attachment or via URL link (e.g. to Google Drive); a score is optional for forms #1 and #2 but required for form #3. A 1-2 page statement explaining the sources of inspiration, compositional processes and intentions, and any other information that will help the committee to understand the work must accompany each submission. The committee will evaluate composition submissions based on three principal criteria: (1) aesthetic and emotional impact; (2) creativity, especially in linking composition and ethnomusicological research; (3) general significance to ethnomusicology. Composers are encouraged to address especially (2) and (3) in the accompanying statement. Composers will retain all copyrights, granting only permission for performance at SEM. There are no age or nationality restrictions of any kind. Any SEM member may submit one composition per competition, in one of three forms:

1) 2-channel audio works, which may also include a single channel video component, submitted as mp3 or mp4 files. These pieces should not be recordings of performances, but rather works that exist as digital AV files. Soundscape compositions, creative montages of field recordings mixed with other sounds, and electroacoustic works are encouraged.

2) Solo works for any instrument, to be performed by the composer, submitted as an mp3 or mp4 plus an optional score. Such works may also incorporate a 2-channel audio work. Winners must attend SEM and participate in the concert. A single microphone will be available.

3) Works for arbitrary ensemble, to be performed by the SEM Orchestra, an all-volunteer ensemble composed of SEM members performing on instruments of their choosing (including body & voice). Such works may also incorporate a 2-channel audio work. Live instrumentation cannot be predicted, and there will be only one 2 hour rehearsal scheduled prior to the performance. Use of vocal and body music not requiring any particular instrumentation is encouraged. A single microphone will be available. The compositional challenge lies in creating a piece and notation optimized for quick learning by a heterogeneous group of (mainly amateur) ethnomusicologist-musicians. The winner must attend SEM, lead the rehearsal, and participate in the concert.

Winning compositions selected by the prize committee will be performed at the Robert M. Stevenson Prize Concert.

Download a copy of the Submission Form and enter the information requested. Email a copy of the form together with other requested materials to the SEM Business Office at sem@indiana.edu.

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