UKSC Songwriters invited to join the music industry voting panel for the Commonwealth Song Contest.
Attention all UKSC Songwriters! The Commonwealth Song Contest is calling upon your expertise for the final round of voting in the 2022/23 Commonwealth Song Contest (CSC). Over 15,000 people worldwide have already taken part in the open round of public voting. However, your input as songwriters holds significant value and will be used to help determine the overall winner of the event. We invite you all to evaluate the 7 Grand Finalist songs and choose one which stands out to you as the overall winner. We ask you to consider all aspects of the songwriting process when making your selection including the lyrical craftsmanship, melody, composition and originality of each song. Your valuable input will add an extra layer to the robustness and integrity of the judging process and help make the Commonwealth Song Contest a true celebration of songwriting talent.
If you are registered with us as a songwriter or have subscribe to this newsletter you will receive an email soon with a link to the private industry voting form. This closed music industry round of voting will remain open until the 16th June.
The Commonweatlh Song Contest (CSC) is a major international music event representing 2.5 billion people across the 56 Commonwealth nations. Since 2018, all songs from Commonwealth nations submitted to the UK Songwriting Contest have gained automatic and free entry into the CSC. From a total of over 20,000 songs, 7 grand finalists were chosen from Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Malta, Saint Lucia, Singapore and the United Kingdom to represent their countries in the event.
Over 15000 people from around the world have voted for their favourite song between the 9th and the 31st of May (see results here). The results of this round of public voting saw Belle Sisoski from MALAYSIA take first place with her song, 'Stop Your Games' followed by Emmanuel Carlos St Omer from SAINT LUCIA in second place with his song, 'Blame Me' and Terra Spencer representing CANADA in third place with her song, 'Brick and Mortar'. The contest has been closely contested with exceptionally crafted songs by Emma Cutajar (MALTA), Leea Nanos (AUSTRALIA), Azeem Alam (UNITED KINGDOM) and Matilde G (SINGAPORE) adding to the list of Grand Finalists.
The final closed round of voting by registered UKSC songwriters will be open until the 16th of June. Your valuable input in evaluating the 7 Grand Finalist songs will play a crucial role in determining the winning song in the competition. Help shape the future of the Commonwealth Song Contest and celebrate the artistry and talent across the diverse musical landscape of the Commonwealth Nations by voting for your favourite song. All UKSC registered songwriters will receive an emailed link to the private industry voting form shortly. Thank you for taking part.
Semi-Finalist Announcement: Submit Your Songs Before June 30th to Discover If You've Made It to the UKSC Semi-Finals
The 2023 UK Songwriting Contest is well underway, with Session One having opened on February 27th and set to close at midnight on June 30th. We're excited to announce that shortly after the closure of Session One, we will be revealing which 5 Star Rated songs have made it to the Semi-Finals of the contest.
We value the feedback and support of the UKSC songwriting community, and based on your input, we have introduced the early results system. For every song submitted before the end of each month, we release the Judge's Star Rating at the beginning of the following month. Songs submitted before the end of April received their Judge's Star Rating in early May, and if you submitted before the end of May, your rating will be available from the first week of June. All songs awarded a 5 Star Rating are carefully considered for a place in the Semi-Finals of the competition. We hope this system provides valuable early feedback and allows you to gauge how well your song is performing in the contest.
The UKSC can now confirm that we will be releasing a list of all five Star Rated songs which have made it to the Semi-Finals of the contest shortly after Session One closes on the 30th June. Additionally we will be announcing the UKSC awards at the same time for exceptional songs which performed highly in the contest but did not make it to the list of Semi-Finalists. To see a full breakdown of the Star Rating system and UKSC awards visit the Scores Explained page here.
As many of you are already aware, we no longer have the dashboard system in place for results and certificates. You will be able to access your results and find out if you have made it to the Semi-Finals or if you have received a UKSC Award by using the search tool found on the Status Update page. This will be updated shortly after the closure of Session One on the 30th June.
We would like to congratulate all the talented songwriters who have submitted their songs to the contest so far and we wish you all the best with the upcoming Semi-Finalist and UKSC Awards announcements.
Unleashing the Power of Chord Progressions: Setting the Mood in Your Music
As songwriters and musicians, we often find ourselves drawn to the power and beauty of simple chord progressions. These progressions have the ability to captivate audiences and convey a range of emotions with their inherent simplicity. Understanding the impact of chord progressions on a song's mood is a powerful tool for songwriters as it allows you to effectively convey the desired emotions to your audience.
Musicians often use roman numerals to represent chords in a key, making it easier to transpose songs (change between different keys). Each roman numeral corresponds to a specific chord built on a particular note within the key. For example, in the key of C, the I chord is C major, the IV chord is F major, and the V chord is G major. Lowercase numerals indicate minor chords, while the vi chord represents the relative minor, sharing the same notes as the major key but starting on a different note.
Here are three examples of commonly used chord progressions in popular music and the moods they evoke:
1- The I-IV-V (1-4-5) chord progression is a staple of many happy and upbeat songs. This progression provides a sense of stability and resolution, and the major chords used create a feeling of positivity and energy. There are many examples of songs which use this simple chord progression including "Twist and Shout" by The Beatles and "Wild Thing" by The Troggs.
2 - The I-V-vi-IV (1-5-6-4) chord progression is widely recognised for its infectious and uplifting qualities evoking not only a sense of familiarity and joy but also nostalgia. Starting with the tonic chord (I) for stability, it transitions to the dominant chord (V) to build anticipation. The shift to the relative minor chord (vi) adds a touch of vulnerability, while the resolution to the subdominant chord (IV) brings a satisfying conclusion. One of the world's most recognisable songs using this simple chord progression is "Let It Be" by The Beatles.
3 - 'Canon' is another well known chord progression named after Pachelbel's Canon. This unmistakable classic (listen here) uses a I-V-vi-iii / IV-I-IV-V pattern originally in the key of D major. The gentle and harmonious progression of this simple chord sequence produces a sense of calmness and beauty. "Memories" by Maroon 5 and "Don't Look Back In Anger" by Oasis are two songs from recent times which use this classical Baroque sequence as a backbone to the song.
Chord progressions have a profound impact on the mood of a piece of music. These sequences can be short and simple such as the I-IV-V sequence of "Twist and Shout" or longer and meandering such as the I-V-vi-iii / IV-I-IV-V used by Pachelbel. Songwriters should be encouraged to experiment with these sequences and elaborate on them. By incorporating variations and extensions such as major 7ths, dominant 7ths, suspended chords, key changes etc, songwriters can take these progressions to new heights, adding depth and colour to their compositions.
What are your thoughts on this article? Do you believe in the power of pre-defined chord progressions evoking a particular mood? Do you have a set of go-to chord sequences or do you start again at the drawing board with each song? Can composition be reduced to a set of simple rules or do you think we should break away from these chord sequences in order to add more colour and orginality to our music? Comment and link to us on socials @uksongwritingcontest to discuss.
World-class microphone manufacturer LEWITT audio joins the UKSC as a sponsor.
We are excited to announce that LEWITT audio has joined forces with the UK Songwriting Contest as a proud sponsor for 2023. LEWITT audio are a world-class Austrian microphone manufacturer well known for pushing the boundaries in audio technology. Their commitment to innovation has made them a leader in microphone and audio interface design and their products are trusted by amateurs and professionals alike.
LEWITT believe that everyone deserves access to amazing sound, no matter where they are or what their budget is. As part of this exciting partnership, LEWITT will be awarding their LCT 240 PRO condenser microphones to select category winners of the contest this year. At the UKSC we are always working hard to add to the extensive list of prizes available to UKSC participants and category winners. A full breakdown of the prizes for 2023 can be found here which includes professional mastering by Lurssen Mastering in Los Angeles, high specification Digital Audio Workstation technology by FL Studio, Songwriting courses and webinars for every UKSC entry by SongU, an exclusive up to date registry of music industry contacts by the Music Business Registry and much more!
What equipment do you need to start recording to a professional standard from your own home? When recording music you need to consider the source, the gear and the room you are recording in. In the following video LEWITT walk you through some of the gear you might need.