OPUS IGNOTUM. VIII International Composition Competition for Choirs

Aim of the Competition: The organizers aim to initiate the creation of new choral pieces, which would
be compositionally distinctive, but at the same time interpretationally feasible, and could enrich the
repertoire of non-professional choirs.

Competition deadline for youth and adult choirs: May 31, 2020

Competition deadline for children’s choirs: May 31, 2021

COMPETITION RULES
I. General Conditions

Art. 1
The Competition is announced every year. The deadline for children’s choir compositions in odd years
alternates with the deadline for youth and adult choirs in even years. All categories have identical
General Conditions, however, there are specific rules for each target group.

Art. 2
The scores must be sent by 31 May of the respective year either by e-mail in pdf format to
opusignotum@nipos.cz, or by post in A4 format (legible manuscripts, their copies or prints) to the
Competition Organizer’s address, labelled with „Opus ignotum“ (date is determined by the postmark).
We also recommend sending a demo recording of the composition.

Address:
National Information and Consulting Centre for Culture (NIPOS)
Fügnerovo náměstí 1866/5
P.O. BOX 12, 120 21 Praha 2, Czech Republic

Art. 3
The Competition is anonymous. Each piece must be labelled solely by its category and a codename,
which substitutes the author’s name for the duration of the Competition. The email must also contain a
text document named with the author’s codename and containing the author’s name, address, phone
number, postal and email address. In case of sending by post, a sealed envelope labelled by the
codename and containing the aforementioned data should be enclosed.

Art. 4
Each author is allowed to submit one composition in each category. Compositions that have already
been awarded a prize in another competition, have been commercially published or do not meet the
conditions set out in the Competition Rules, will not be admitted.

Art. 5
The received scores, manuscripts, copies or prints will not be returned, they will remain property of the
Competition Organizer. Following the end of each Competition, selected scores will be placed in
musical section of the NIPOS library, where it will be available for borrowing.

Art. 6
Official results of the Competition will be published in October of every year. Winning compositions
may be published in the Polyhymnia Bohemica edition and will be presented at national festivals and
seminars organized by NIPOS. The award ceremony will take place at an upcoming choir festival or
competition organized by NIPOS.

Art. 7
The Competition Rules are published in the Czech and English language. In case of doubt or ambiguities,
the Czech version takes precedence.

II. Conditions for Children’s Choirs (deadline May 31, 2021)

Art. 1
The composers may send their scores intended for children’s choirs, composed with lyrics primarily in
Czech, Slovak or Latin.

Art. 2
Categories of children’s choirs:
A1 (children up to ~10 years)
A2 (children up to ~15 years)
A3 (children up to ~18 years)

Art. 3
Recommended voice types for each category:
Category A1: one or two voices (SA)
Category A2: two voices (SA), three voices (S1, S2, A), or four voices (S1, S2, A1, A2)
Category A3: two voices (SA), three voices (S1, S2, A), or four voices (S1, S2, A1, A2)

Art. 4
Recommended vocal range for each category:
Category A1: B♭3 – E♭5
Category A2: A♭3 – F5
Category A3: G3 – G5

Art. 5
Compositions may be a cappella, accompanied by piano, or other commonly available instruments
(accompaniment is recommended especially for the A1 category).

Art. 6
Duration of the compositions should not exceed:
Category A1: 2 minutes
Category A2: 3 minutes
Category A3: 4 minutes

III. Conditions for Youth Choirs (deadline May 31, 2020)

Art. 1
The composers may enter the Competition with their compositions intended for youth choirs (boys’,
girls’, mixed), with regard to the vocal abilities of young people and the specifics of the work in youth
choirs.

Art. 2
The Competition will accept scores with lyrics primarily in Czech or Latin, possibly in other languages.
Lyrics written in other than the Latin script need to be supplemented by phonetic transcription in the
Latin script (incl. the names of the composer and lyricist) as well as indicative Czech or English
translation.

Art. 3
Categories of youth choirs:
B1 (compositions for girls’ choirs)
B2 (compositions for boys’ choirs)
B3 (compositions for mixed choirs)

Art. 4
Recommended voice types for each category:
Category B1: four voices (S1, S2, A1, A2), or three voices (S, Mz, A)
Category B2: four voices (T1, T2, B1, B2), or three voices (T, Bar, B)
Category B3: four voices (SATB), or three voices (SAB)
The voices in youth choir compositions should not be further divided.

Art. 5
Recommended vocal range for each voice:
Soprano: highest note G5
Alto: lowest note G3
Tenor: highest note E4
Bass: lowest note G2

Art. 6
Compositions may be a cappella with the possibility of piano, percussion, or one or two melodic
instruments, but primarily based on singing, with the possibility of using other means of expression or
spoken word. Required duration is 2–4 minutes.

IV. Conditions for Adult Choirs (deadline May 31, 2020)

Art. 1
The composers may send adaptations or original scores intended for adult choirs (women’s, men’s,
mixed).

Art. 2
The Competition accepts adaptations or original scores composed from specific textual and melodic
incipits, stated below. The authors can choose one of two incipits in each category and adapt it for threeor
four-part harmony, or create their own composition based on it. The authors do not have to observe
the original key of the melody, they should however respect the character of the song.

Art. 3
Categories of adult choirs::
C1 (compositions for women’s choirs)
C2 (compositions for men’s choirs)
C3 (compositions for mixed choirs)
The composers may send a maximum of one adaptation/original composition for each category.

Art. 4
Recommended voice types for each category:
Category C1: four voices (S1, S2, A1, A2), or three voices (S, Mz, A)
Category C2: four voices (T1, T2, B1, B2), or three voices (T, Bar, B)
Category C3: four voices (SATB), or three voices (SABar)
The voices should not be further divided.

Art. 5
Recommended vocal range for each voice:
Soprano: B3 – G5
Alto: G3 – D5
Tenor: E3 – F4
Bass: G2 – D4

Art. 6
Adaptations/compositions may be a cappella, accompanied by piano or with the possibility of using
other commonly available instruments or spoken word but primarily based on singing.
The duration should not exceed 4 minutes.

Art. 7
Melodic incipits
In each category, the composer may choose one from two incipits, which will form the base of the
composition. For further information, we also provide the name of the collection, from where the incipits
were taken, and literal translation.

C1 (women’s compositions):
Co se to tam blejská (Holas, Čeněk: České národní písně a tance. Part 3, Jižní Čechy, Praha 1909, 157, no. 232.)
Což ten slavíček (Jindřichův chodský zpěvník. Part III, Kdyně 1928, p. 25, no. 18.)

C2 (men’s compositions):
Sluníčko polední (Bělík, Vratislav: Horácký zpěvník, Havlíčkův Brod 1954, s. 40.)
Ešče som sa něoženil (Poláček, Jan: Slovácké pěsničky VI., Praha 1951, p. 33, no. 47.)

C3 (mixed compositions):
Už je słúnko (Kunc, Jan: Slovácké jednohlasé písně, Moravská Ostrava 21918, p. 151, no. 194.)
Zelené sem seła (František Bartoš: Nové národní písně moravské, Brno 1882, p. 22, no.
56.)

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