Eurovision Song Contest

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Jul 26, 2017, 04:20 AM
Marc-Alan Barnette - 25 July 2017 05:03 PM

. And if this contest is the size you guys say it is, they could probably get HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of songs.

Hi MAB,
good to hear from you and real brilliant that you share your experience with us ...

You know, the Eurovision Song Contest was established by the national broadcasting TV Stations in Europe. So it´s not an “open” Contest were everyone can contribute. An artist needs to be nominated by it´s natinal TV station. Some TV stations just “pick” an artist, some have “national finals”. In the last years - just to give you an example - Austria did a national final. The national broadcasting station “picked” 9 artists, that already had a hit in the Austrian Top 40. Spot no 10 was some kind of a “Wildcard”, chosen by the public. Most of the artists bring their own songs with them. Those 10 acts competet in the “national finals” hostet on national tv. In the end, the public could vote for the winner. The winner was sent to Eurovision - the european finals.

Sometimes the tv station already picks an artist, because he or she is an upcomming national star, or a hopeful artist… something like this. Most of the time the broadcasting station is then looking for the perfect song for the artist. Some countries do make calls to established Songwriters and producers, others offer an “open entry” it really depends on what the country is asking for.

To sumn it up. Last years winner always hosts the next competetion. All delegations from all participating countries are travelling to the hosting nations. The “big five” so England, Spain, Italy, France and Germany are automaticly qualified for the finals. All the other countries have to do a “qualification round” - a semi final.

After the Show there´s a voting through europe. Every spokesperson of each country is called - live on Television. To read out for whom the public has voted - the country with the most calls receives 12 points, the 2nd place 10 points, 3rd 8 points… 7,6 and so on…

For example. Austria helds a vote. They give 12 points to Italy, 10 points to Croatia… and so on… and that´s done all over europe. The voting ceremony sometimes takes over an hour… but it´s really interessting :)

I wouldn´t say that amateurs are participating in the contest. Most of them have been uprising stars in their home country. Many of them have record deals…

...every once in a while, I get in the mood or so…and start to play..

http://www.songcycle.org

 
     
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Martin G Joined May 27, 2009
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Jul 28, 2017, 01:25 AM

The Eurovision Song Contest explained for Americans:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/jamiejones/eurovision-explainer-post?utm_term=.moqg1Y5Z#.htd268eb

 
     
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Robert Baitinger Joined Jun 01, 2006
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Jul 28, 2017, 04:30 AM

I would like to thank everybody here for their valuable contributions. I finally found what I was looking for. This is a sensational article from Ewan Spence about the options open to songwriters who want to be part of next year’s Eurovision Song Contest. It’s titled “How to write a song for the Eurovision Song Contest”:

Everybody Needs A Songwriter
In a sense, songwriters have similar constraints to performers who want to sing at the Eurovision Song Contest. There will be a tendency to want to represent the home country, but there will also be a realization that at the Song Contest, the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) has no nationality requirements for the material that takes to the stage in May.

If there are any requirements to check passports it will come from the national broadcasters. Some will be incredibly strict and are only looking for nationals to represent the country at Eurovision. Other broadcasters operate a mixed policy where one part of the team – be it a performer, a lyricists, or a composer – has to be able to fly the flag. Others will be quite happy to accept songs from any and every source. Russia’s Sergey Lazarev was backed by a Greek songwriting team, Swedish production houses can be found in many National Finals, and the UK’s last victory came from the voice of the American Katrina Leskanich (Katrina and the Waves).
It’s vitally important that you not only investigate all the countries you could submit an entry to, but also to check the rules to see what you need to do to make the broadcaster happy with your entry.

What Are The Odds?
Broadcasters will change the rules each year, but what hasn’t changed over the years is the volume of songs and the chances you have. From all the information that we have, each year around 10,000 songs are submitted to broadcasters. Of those songs, expect around 300 songs to get through to the televised rounds, and from those songs one per country will get the ticket to the Eurovision Song Contest.
Obviously some countries are going to offer a better percentage than others. Swedens Melodifestivalen offers less than a 0.6% chance to get through the selection process and onto television, while the 55 entries into Albania’s Fesitvali i Kegnes 2014 were fighting over 28 places – offering a fifty-one percent chance to be seen on-screen.
Unlike performers, as a songwriter you have the opportunity to enter multiple National Finals and it is not unknown for a writer to have more than one song in the Song Contest final in May. The odds for a composer or lyricist are higher, because they can have multiple entries not only in a single National Final, but across multiple Finals – an option not open to performers.

Some Top Tips
No matter what you might believe from popular culture, there’s no formula to writing a winning Eurovision song for a songwriter to follow. If you’re new to this, you should take some time to listen back to the winning songs since 2009 (when the jury/televote split returned to the Contest) to see the wide variety of styles and presentations that succeed. Go further and take the top three from each year, you’ll realize that all predictable and safe bets are off.

That said, there are some broad strokes you should consider.
At three minutes your Eurovision song will be shorter than the commercial standards of today, but shorter doesn’t mean easier. You need to think about pacing and structure in a different way to a 4 minute 30 second composition. There’s no time to build up interest in a song – at best you get one full play in front of a televised audition process and then taken to television with no extra airplay. It has to be incredibly instant, and not feel saggy at any point during that first listen.
Pay special attention around the two-thirds mark. That’s where you need to avoid retreating back to the same verse/chorus style. Offer some more energy and something distinctive.
But try to avoid the key-change. It might be sought out by a certain subsection of fans, but it’s not a mandatory element of a song in the Contest. When you can move from electronic dance music to country and western, with a dash of chanson and some high-energy pop along the way, the time-honored twist to add in a touch more energy is frankly cliché.
Finally, don’t rely on visual gimmicks at this stage. Smart staging ideas, props, and dancers can be added to the package later, but they all need a strong foundation. That comes from the songwriter. Make that as strong as possible and your back projection graphics, flute player, oiled drummers and green-flame pyrotechnics will feel natural when the credits roll to close the contest.

Once You Start, You Won’t Stop
The Eurovision Song Contest is a huge endeavor but it continues to attract songwriters across the continent every year. It can be addictive, with many names popping up year after year all hoping that this will be the year they make it out of the Nationals to ‘the big one’.
The focus may well be on the performers, but hasn’t that always been the case? The Song Contest offers the modern songwriter the chance of a national stage and a shot at an international hit. As the music industry fractures over multiple platforms, streaming subscriptions, and diminishing cultural returns, the unique offering of the Eurovision Song Contest continues to stand out.

 
     
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Robert Baitinger Joined Jun 01, 2006
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