Rule Fifteen: Special Rules for the 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. 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. 

      Expressly excluded from eligibility are all of the following:

      1. supervisors
      2. partial contributors (i.e., any writer not responsible for the overall design of the work)
      3. contributors working on speculation
    6. Scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or other preexisting music, diminished in impact by the predominant use of songs, or assembled from the music of more than one composer shall not be eligible.
    7. No more than one statuette will normally be given in the Original Score category.  A second statuette may be awarded when two composers function as equal collaborators in producing the score, each contributing a substantial amount of original music for the film.
    8. 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.  The Music Branch Executive Committee has the right, in what it alone determines to be a very rare and extraordinary circumstance, to name a fourth qualified songwriter as eligible for nominations.
    9. 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.
    10. The Music Branch Executive Committee shall resolve all rules interpretations and all questions of eligibility.
    11. 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 or DVD clip of no more than three minutes of each song showing how each song is used in the motion picture.
    3. The composer’s on-screen credit and submission form, as well as the actual cue sheet for the music as used in the film and supplied by the film company, shall be used by the Music Branch Executive Committee to help determine the eligibility of the score.
    4. Submissions may be made prior to the film's Los Angeles County qualifying run, but must be made no later than 60 days after such opening, or by 5 p.m. PT on Friday, November 30, 2012, whichever comes first.
    5. The Music Branch 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 PT on Friday, December 14, 2012.
  4. VOTING
    1. A Reminder List of works submitted and a nominations ballot for the Original Score category (and Original Musical category, if activated) will be made available to all members of the Music Branch who shall vote in the order of their preference for not more than five achievements in each category.
    2. A Reminder List of works submitted in the Original Song category and a DVD copy of the song clips will be sent to all members of the Music Branch, who shall watch the clips and then vote in the order of their preference for not more than five achievements in the category.
    3. In all three categories, the five achievements receiving the highest number of votes will become the nominations for final voting for the award.
    4. A maximum of two songs may be nominated from any one film.  If more than two songs from a 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 Awards 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. Final voting for each category shall be restricted to active and life Academy members.