Grammys: More rule changes affecting Album of the Year and three more fields announced

The Recording Academy, on Wednesday 26 May, announced that some of its awards and nomination processes will see several changes with the album of the year, dance/electronic music, classical, music for visual media, and music video/film falling to such category.

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This is after the Grammys announced last month that it will put an end to nomination review committees, as well as effect a reduction in the number of categories in which members may vote and also added two new categories namely best global music performance and best música urbana album.

These changes, save one, would go into effect for the 64th annual Grammy Awards which will take place on 31 January 2022.

Here’s a quick summary of the approved changes to take effect immediately:

1. Expanding eligibility for album of the year

Henceforth, all credited featured artists, songwriters of new material, producers, recording engineers, mixers and mastering engineers who worked on an album up for nomination are automatically nominated in the album of the year category.

The previously rule on stipulates 33 percent or more playing time to be nominated. But now, anyone credited on the album in one or more of these capacities gets automatically nominated if the album is nominated for album of the year.

2. Best dance recording now Dance/electronic field

The best dance recording category has been renamed best dance/electronic recording bringing it in line with the corresponding album category, which has since been called best dance/electronic album. At the 63rd annual Grammy Awards, Kaytranada won in both of these categories.

For the category Best dance/electronic recording, recordings with significant electronic-based instrumentation generally based around a rhythmic dance beat is considered.

3. Singles now allowed in about 5 classical categories

For singles that eventually didn’t make it to an album, they can now be considered in five classical categories:

  • Best orchestral performance
  • Best choral performance
  • Best chamber music/small ensemble performance
  • Best classical instrumental solo,and
  • Best contemporary classical composition.

4. Music for visual media

Music pros now have to get their strategy and timing to perfection with this new rule. They now have two options once they enter albums and tracks released during the current eligibility period in the music for visual media field but are somehow associated with a visual release planned during the following eligibility period:

  • Entering albums or tracks during the current year in categories that are not in the music for visual media field renders them ineligible the following year in the music for visual media field if the option is chosen.
  • They may also enter them the following year if they were not entered in any category during the current year. Albums will be eligible only in the category of best compilation for visual media or best score score soundtrack for visual media. Songs on the other hnd will be eligible for best song written for visual media. Eligibility in other song categories is also viable as long as they satisfy the “track from a previous year is eligible” rule.

5. Eligibility clarification for Music film field

Music-related documentaries must now contain a minimum of 51 percent of performance-based material or individual music videos that together create a visual album (if videos are packaged and entered together as one cohesive film) for eligibility to be considered for best music film.

Dramatic feature films as well as biopics, however, are not eligible. Films with fictional elements are eligible.

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