How to Know if a Song Is Contestable

The Contest & Judging (C&J) community recognizes that there are always questions bubbling up about rules concerning contests. To that end, there are a variety of services available to answer your questions vs asking on Facebook about the latest rumor you heard.

The most frequent question is "Is this arrangement contestable?" There are a couple of services available that will help you.

  • Tom Moore maintains a website - Barbershop Music Database (BSMDB - also accessible through the BHS website) that has every song sung in contest for the last 10 years and more. It is easy to use. If the song has been sung and it doesn't look like there was any sort of reduction based upon the scores, and your arrangement sounds barbershop to your ear, then it is likely fine.Warning: there are no arrangers tied to the song listings.
  • However, if you're still concerned you can send it to the Chart Contestability Committee via Don Gray. You'll need to send them a copy to review the chart.
  • The latest set of rules is always maintained at our website. Finally, if you have a question about judging itself (possible rule changes, interpretations, questions, etc.), you can follow the Ask A Judge thread on the blog, where you can engage in a dialogue with judges as well as others who want to join in on the blog. The benefit with this is that the comments stay and can be reviewed by others.

In today's world, there is no reason that you can't get an answer to your question. Don't rely on hearsay or Facebook to make decisions about your questions!

Randy Rensi
Director of C&J
Southwestern District, BHS