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Oticons Faculty

"You are the Music while the Movie lasts"

paraphrased T. S. Eliot

The most innovative film music competition in the world that focuses on Quality in Film Music and calls for all the undiscovered talented artists to finally get heard and discovered!

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Frequently Asked Questions

If you still need explanations about the contest, here are your answers!
1. What makes your film music competition different than any other?
This is a question we have often had to answer in the past, especially with our first edition in 2014. But after so many successful years, the result speaks for itself. Everyone praises the Oticons Faculty as a competition with a unique perspective on its Assignments and Awards, an ambitious goal to reinvent film music by discovering the world's truly most talented film composers who were previously undiscovered.

The Oticons faculty team remains passionate that this is by no means “just another film music competition”. We see this as a mission and a calling, raising awareness of quality in music, but also helping to shape the future of the film music world. If you would like a more detailed answer to this question, you can read our Mission Statement.
2. What does the registration fee represent & what is the unique registration ID?
The registration fee represents the service that we offer and that the big winners of recent years have praised in their testimonials. It represents the truly unique opportunity we offer talented artists to have their music heard, evaluated and judged by an ensemble of established film music professionals. Many of them have received invaluable career advice and support simply by entering our competition and receiving the official Feedback Letter with our jury's notes. The Oticons faculty offers each participant a great opportunity to develop their skills and ultimately take the next step in the film music industry by winning one of the prizes.

Upon successful registration, each participant will receive an automatically generated unique registration ID. Keep this Registration ID as it will be your login password for the submission platform!!!
3. I do not own a credit card but I still want to participate. Is there any other way to register?
If registering by credit card or PayPal is not an option for you, then in this case you should simply email us at and we will get back to you with the bank transfer details and instructions about how to proceed with the wire bank transfer.
4. I have registered and already submitted the completed Assignments. Can I share them on social media or YouTube?
You cannot share the music you composed for the contest's assignments before (a) we announce the top20 finalists that qualify to the 2nd Round and you are not among them or (b) if you are among the top20 finalists, before the accouncement of the winners happens. Typically, every year in the first few days of April we announce the grand winners and the Top10. From that moment on every participant can share his music in any way he/she wants. The reason you shouldn't be sharing it before that point, is because the voting is anonymous, which is the very reason we provide you with a unique registration ID! Your entry's validity will be compromised the moment your music will be attached to your name! So please refrain from sharing your works before the contest is officially completed!
5. When can I upload the files of the completed Assignments and how strict are the deadlines?
The Submissions Platform for the Assignments' files to be uploaded is enabled annually on January 1st, when also the Early Bird Registration period concludes. Also, given the number of assignments and the expected high number of participants, it would be wise not to leave this till the last minute. An upload of your files within reasonable time before the deadline of February 28th, will be very much appreciated!

The deadlines are pretty strict. Once the page where you need to login & upload your files gets closed, you cannot upload them anymore! So please double-check you have your deadline right based on your timezone! (click for a TimeZone Conversion here)
6. What if we are a composing duo or a group? Can we also participate?
Sure you can. But as you’ll see in the registration form, you are asked to fill in the details of only one person. This also means that if you are indeed one of the finalists that will win any of the Awards, then only the composer who registered with his own name will be eligible to enjoy them, in particular the attendance of the festivals.
7. What about the music rights ownership of the submitted compositions?
In brief, the participant-composers will retain 100% the ownership of all compositions they will submit to the Competition. What might seem confusing as stated in the Official Rules, is the part that we ask the right to "exploit in perpetuity and for all media" (typical Legal language in English) the music - i.e. to grant us the license to use the submitted compositions in respect with the given assignments, awards and promotional activities of the Competition. This will allow us to use them within the Competition's structure: e.g. to share them with the jury on our online platform, use them for promotional purposes, place them on Soundcloud, etc. Other than these purposes Oticons won't have the right to use them in any way, commercially or otherwise. Unless we'll contact the finalists specifically regarding the Oticons Sync Catalogue, the composers will always be the sole owners of their music.
8. What about the duration of the compositions? Should they be exactly as long as specified or there is some flexibility on their duration?
There is some flexibility about the requested duration but not much. The challenge is not only to create beautiful music but also within the duration limitation we give you (60'' for the first two assignments and 90'' for the third one). If a cue you create is not exactly that duration, but shorter or longer by max. 10'', that is acceptable and won't affect the jurors. If it is more than that then it will be interpreted as a weakness to tackle the challenge and affect your final rating. The more precise you are, the better!
9. Is my full name or any other personal info of the contestants revealed to the jury members at any moment during the voting process?
Never. No names or other info are ever disclosed to the jury members. As stated right before, the participants’ compositions that the jury will listen to and vote for on the online voting platform will only be identified by each participant’s unique Registration ID. Only when the TOP-10 finalists and Winners will be announced, will the jury members find out their names.
10. If the judging is really anonymous, how should we write the orchestrator's name on the score sheets PDFs for Assignments 2 & 3? And what about the CV you ask for Assignment 4?
If the participant-composer is also the one who will make the orchestrations then he/she has to mention their unique Registration ID instead of their name. If there is someone else who will make the orchestrations instead of the participant composer, then they should leave empty the "name" field on the score sheet . As for the CV, this is only accessible by the President of the Jury and only taken into account (if at all) during the deliberation process of the 2nd Round.
11. I don't think of myself as a good orchestrator and that makes me hesitant to participate. How important are the orchestrations for the jury members? Also do you ask Conductor's score or all parts?
While orchestration is undoubtedly a crucial aspect of composition, we recognize that many talented composers prefer not to undertake it themselves, often regarding it as a distinct art form. The primary reason for requesting score sheets is to heighten the challenge of the assignments. Even if you outsource this work and seek assistance, it remains an integral part of the "exercise" that may lead to new and beneficial learning experiences. The jury reviews the score sheets while listening to the music, but their final decision is not overly influenced by the orchestrations, except in cases of exceptional brilliance.

Lastly, we only require the full score, the Conductor's Score in A4 PDF format, rather than individual parts.
12. I'm not very good with software like sampling libraries, and my weak spot is producing very well sampled compositions. Is this going to hurt my entry?
While possessing advanced digital tools and fluency with sample libraries isn't mandatory, the quality of your composition submissions remains paramount. Ideas, rather than production perfection, are the primary focus of our competition. Nonetheless, it's crucial to present "decent enough" samplings that enable our jurors to discern every note, layer, and gesture with clarity.

To enhance your submission's impact, consider composing for our competition's Assignments as if responding to a request from a genuine filmmaker seeking demo recordings for their actual project. Imagine that your selection hinges on those very demos. For optimal outcomes, seek assistance from skilled virtual orchestra programmers; outsource such technical tasks while learning from their expertise.
13. In Assignment #2 (Battle of the Bows) you mention "no percussions, woodwinds, brass or choir allowed" and at the same time "any other acoustic instrument is allowed". I'm not sure how to interpret this. Can you clarify?
The answer to this dilemma, without getting into too much detail to confuse you, lies in the answer to the following question: do the instruments you have in mind also qualify as strings? If the answer is "no" then you're not allowed to use them at all. This includes marimba, glockenspiel, bells etc. If the answer is "yes" (e.g. piano, harp, guitar, etc.) then you can use them. But with one rule in mind: do not generate percussive effects or use them with your hands like percussions (e.g. take the cellos or guitars and hit them to create percussive sounds). This isn't allowed and it will disqualify you.
14. Also in Assingment #2 (Battle of the Bows) you mention "no electronic instruments allowed." Does that mean that the composition for this assignment has to be performed and recorded by real strings?
No electronic instruments mean no purely electronic sounds. Of course we are NOT requesting from the participant-composers to record real string instruments! They're welcome to do so if they do have that possibility. Otherwise, all assignments should be completed with whatever composing, orchestrating, sequencing and programming or other (if any) recording capabilities each composer has available. Remember, this is a task that composers need to prove the writing skills exclusively for strings. So we need to hear string sounds, sampled or real, whatever every composer can produce.
15. Do the compositions have to be made from scratch for the competition?
Well, no one can really stop you from taking out of the drawer old works and revising them for the competition's assignments. Nonetheless it will be extremely appreciated and most certainly a very helpful exercise for you, to make something new and fresh just for us. As long as there is no violation of rights or any kind of copyright infringement in the compositions you will submit, then you are free to work for the Assignments as you see best. But don't forget that if they are existing works most probably the jury will figure it out; especially if there are fade outs or the duration of the submitted cues won't match the requested limited duration of each assignment.
16. When I have all my files ready do I log in and upload them to the Entries page? Can I log in and/or delete/replace multiple times my files after I upload them?
No!!! This is something you should be very careful with! (not to do) The platform allows you to upload all your files for Round One only once!!! Make sure you have completed all three assignments and the respective files are within the right specifications before uploading. Once the upload of all materials for the first three assignments will be completed and validated your login will be locked! So be careful and don't be hasty! Read the Specifications for more details.
17. Can my compositions include any type of vocals or you are asking us to make pure instrumental compositions?
Actually you are only limited to not to use vocals in Assignment #2. Therefore, since the specs of the other assignments don't prohibit you from this then you can of course use vocals any way you see fit.
18. How does the voting process occur exactly?
For Round #1 each jury member accesses the Oticons Faculty online voting platform to listen to the submitted compositions of all participants. There they vote and write notes on each composer's "Listening" page. All rates and notes are gathered and upon deliberation among all jury members with both the President and the Administrator of the Jury, the final list of the TOP-20 Finalists that qualify is solidified.

For Round Two the jury members will listen again to all the submitted compositions of the TOP-20 Finalists and cast their vote, again on the online voting platform. They include personal notes for the 4th Assignment here as well. Lastly, after a new deliberation and due consideration of all the votes, the names of the final TOP-10 winners will be announced.
19. By participating in this competition does that mean you might also consider me as a client in the OTICONS agency?
Oticons Faculty is a contest that aims to discover amazingly talented people from every corner on the globe, and give them the chance for their music to be heard by renowned film music artists and professionals: in extent the winners are put under the industry's spotlight in major film music events. This is an opportunity to evolve personally and as professionals through the interaction with established professionals of the industry and we do offer to the composers we discover any kind of help with can: we do indeed invest time to mentor and give legal and other professional advice. Ask the previous Winners & Finalists and you'll discover how much we helped them already. However, none of these actions should be interpreted in any way that our talent agency is looking for new artists to represent!
20. How will I know if I made it to Round Two or not?
All participants will be notified by email. The 20 Finalists' unique Registration IDs will also be announced on our website, and our group page on Facebook. So keep checking your e-mail or our Facebook group for the announcement of the 20 Registration IDs that qualified and if yours is included then you are up for the next round!
21.  Are there going to be any changes each year regarding the jury, the supporters or the awards?
In every edition of our competition there are small changes on our judging panel, although the core always remains the same. But we are indeed seeking to add to the Faculty judging panel any passionate, significant film music artists, professionals or other organizations and festivals that wish to support us.
22. Assignment #4 for the second round, is called "Self-Pitching". Does that means that I only have to choose and upload an existing work of mine and not to create a new one?
Exactly. The 20 Finalists that qualify to Round Two have to choose their "best composition ever" - as also described at the Assignments page - hence an existing one that they have created already in the past. Then they have to upload it to the same page they uploaded the initial three assignments but this time they will only have four days to do so! Therefore we advise all participant-composers to complete this assignment even before we announce the 20 Registration IDs that qualify, since the schedule from then on will be very tight, and be prepared for that possibility beforehand.
23. Will any of the Winners be accompanied on their trips to the “Awards” locations?
Even if the Winners suggest to cover the expenses to make this happen, they’re unfortunately not allowed. These Awards have a very professional nature; hence, there will be a team of professionals dedicated to accompany the winners. The schedule and activities leaves no time to treat these as leisure trips.
24. What if I win but I can’t accept the award(s) due to force majeure or any other unpredictable reason?
If this will occur then you will remain in the List of Winners and we will announce you as one of the lucky Winners! Although you won't be able to enjoy the award(s), your winning status won't be affected.
25. How can I receive the Official Feedback Letter?
All the numerous "notes" the jury members write on each composer's page during the voting process are gathered and upon careful compilation of them become the content of the Official Feedback Letter. Such feedback letter is created and sent received by all TOP20 Finalists within two months after the announcement of the Winners. Nonetheless if you are not among the composers who qualified to the second round you are eligible to request feedback for your three submitted compositions, but please be patient till its compilation and delivery since we need to write literally dozens of them every year!

Register & Submit ONLINE

Registration & Submission DEADLINES

Early-bird Registrations 1.9.2023 - 1.1.2024 @ 12 p.m. (noon) UTC
Registrations & Submissions
Regular Registrations & Submissions 1.1. - 29.2.2024 @ 12 p.m. (noon) UTC
Announcement of Finalists & Winners
Announcement of the Winners by April 1st