Judges for the American Songwriting Awards consist of current and former music industry professionals, musicians, executives, and industry authorities with expertise in song evaluation, music history, market trends and practices. Most importantly, they are dedicated to helping discover new talent and helping emerging songwriters receive the recognition and acclaim they deserve.
All entries are judged anonymously. No judge will identify any song or lyrics with any individual contestant during the evaluation process. Contestants will be assigned a unique entry tracking number and judging results will be recorded based on this number. Each entry will be assigned judging scores by the judges and the total scores will determine advancement in the contest.
Judges will be assigned categories based on their music genre of expertise, experience and interest. Each category will be judged with understanding and respect for the particular art-form and the audience it targets. No genre of music will be held in higher regard than another.
Entries will go through multiple rounds of evaluation by various judges. Each category or genre of song will have its own isolated competition and panel of judges. In addition, there will be an award for the best overall song regardless of genre. Lyrics are placed in a single category regardless of intended genre.
For most song categories, songs will be judged on a broad list of criteria. Some categories (such as the Comedy category) have their own, added or amended judging criteria. Each judge is free to interpret the qualities of an entry under these creiteria as they individually see fit.
Songs will be reviewed and evaluated based on the following criteria:
Does the song offer something different? Is it unique in its genre or create something entirely new? The judges will be looking for exciting, original material that stands out from the pack.
Creativity Within Genre
Does the song add a new dimension to its genre? Does the song create a new twist to a style of music? As opposed to Uniqueness, Judges in this criteria look for a great new spin on a given genre.
For submissions that have lyrics, judges will look for brilliance, creativity and imagination in words. Are the lyrics a poem set to music? Do they perfectly blend and influence the music? Do they compel the heart and the mind?
As these are songs, pitch and rhythm matter. Judges look for continuity and coherence in melody, as well as tone, tension and style.
Will the song appeal to a broad audience? Would it play on the radio? Would it be an alternative hit? Will the song survive the test of time and become a classic?
Other elements aside, is the song undeniably genius in its execution and boldness in style? Is it unique among all others in creating that perfect song experience?