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Mittelalternativ.de - Challenge 2022

Welcome to the second annual Mittelalternativ.de Challenge

To vote, click here: https://mittelalternativ.de/2022-challenge-vote-en

The "Challenge" consists of recording and releasing a piece of music. This must be done within five weeks. A given melody must be used. Afterwards the public will vote on which piece they liked best.

The given melody may also be used beyond the challenge and can be played live. It can be recorded, and also sold (by you). It is thus "public domain".
So called "medieval music" is often based on old melodies, which everyone can use as they like. We want to follow this example (only with a new melody).


  • Melody release date: April 4, 2022
  • Last submission deadline: May 9 2022 23:59:59 German Time
  • Voting period: 11.05.22 to 23.05.22
  • Live stream: Winners Ceremony: 24.05.22 20:00 German Time
  • All may participate (see below)
  • All may vote, even if they did not participate themselves

The Melody

The melody to be used in the challenge is located here: https://mittelalternativ.de/2022-challenge-melody-en

Simplified version of the melody

An easier variation of the challenge-melody is here: https://mittelalternativ.de/2022-challenge-melody-en-simple

What is the musical genre or style for this challenge?

The name of this website "mittelalternativ" is a German play on words, combining "Mittelalter" (medieval) and "alternativ" (alternative). Most people just call it "Medieval Music", even if that is not technically correct.
What they mean is a style of music that has been developed in Germany since the 1980s, initially as utility music for so-called "Medieval Markets", comparable to "Renaissance Fairs".
Today this music is also an independent genre with its own recordings and concerts. Listeners are very "generous" in what they accept as belonging to the music genre: Besides newly composed pieces, you can find whole melodies, or single elements, from folk songs of all centuries, fantasy, LARP and boyscout songs, folklore from Europe (i.e. Irish or Scandinavian Folk), or actual medieval music (900-1430), dance music of the Renaissance and more. Some Heavy Metal bands also integrated these elements into their music (e.g. Band + Bagpipes) and are considered "medieval" as well.

If you happen to play music with mostly acoustic instruments, interpreting old (but non-classical) music, or create new music that is broadly related to the categories above you are in the right place.

To vote, click here: https://mittelalternativ.de/2022-challenge-vote-en

Rules and Information

The melody should be treated as if it originated truly from past centuries. Do whatever is common in your music scene (medieval, folk, fantasy, etc.) or whatever you like in general. Also give the piece your own title!

The melody and how to use it

  1. The melody is a brand new composition, made for this challenge. It is made to resemble a "typical" melody for this music scene. (see description of the music genre above)
  2. The selection whether a piece fits the challenge-theme or not is made by the audience through voting. A solo synthesizer arrangement is in principle submittable, but will most likely fall behind in votes to, compared to e.g. a Nyckelharpa or tin-whistle solo :)
  3. The melody is provided as sheet music (also PDF), midi and audio (synthetically generated).
  4. It is provided in many transpositions/root notes.
  5. The melody is released under a Creative Commons 0 license. This translates colloquially to "public domain", so anything is allowed with it, even outside of the challenge.

The given melody must be incorporated into your piece in such a way that an attentive listener will recognize it. However, there are several liberties and possible "obfuscations":

  1. The melody does not need to be the central element of the piece, but it may be, of course.
  2. Further parts, intros and outros, improvisations, etc. are to be created by yourself.
  3. Can further be split (e.g. A and B part separately). Or used as "melodic snippets", as a prelude to an improvisation, etc.
  4. Song lyrics or other vocal expressions can be sung to it.
  5. May be arranged in multiple voices.
  6. Any kind of embellishment and grace notes are of course possible.
  7. Slight variations are permitted, e.g. change of scale (e.g. from major to minor) or exchange notes (e.g. melody has 9 notes range, your instrument only 8).
  8. The melody is composed as drone/bordun music, but it does not have to be used as such. It can be accompanied with chords.
  9. Generally, musical parameters such as instruments, volume, tempo, etc. may and should be chosen by yourself.

Terms of participation

  1. Participation is free and open to all, internationally.
  2. There are no winner or consolation prizes.
  3. You may participate as an individual or as a group.
  4. You do not have to be famous or "established" to participate.
  5. Anonymous participation or under a pseudonym is allowed.
  6. Name and title of the piece will not be further anonymized by us.

Submission of the piece, File format and licenses

  1. To promote music culture, participating and submitting your piece requires a license selection between CC-By, CC-By-Sa or CC-0. Also, it makes it much easier for this website to handle your submissions.
  2. This given license explicitly only applies to the challenge audio file submissions. Any subsequent or further recordings, arrangements, adaptions, music videos or live performances are completely independent. They can be treated by the musicians as their own work, meaning "All rights reserved" for the musicians.
  3. The submitted audio file must be provided without lossy compression. This is possible as .flac (preferred) or .wav. However, anyone who cannot do this should send any audio file; this is better than not participating at all.
  4. Submitted files will be compressed by us for the web player, so that they load faster. However, the original file (as .flac) will be downloadable for everyone.
  5. The file names will be renamed by us in a standardized way. Possibly existing .flac or .wav metadata will be reset and overwritten.


  1. The organizers are aware that the voting can very easily become a "popularity contest". A band with many fans is likely to get many votes, even if other submissions are musically better. Therefore, the number and distribution of votes should not be judged as musical quality. At the end of the day "taking part is what counts"
  2. Your own contribution, even in a semi-finished state (e.g. accompanying blog, Making-Off...), may be published at any time and in any form (audio, video, sheet music, etc.) before, during and after the challenge. Of course, it would be good if you point out that the challenge exists, so that as many people as possible participate and vote afterwards.
  3. For any other questions, email nils@hilbricht.net


Nils Hilbricht
c/o RA Matutis
Berliner Straße 57
14467 Potsdam

Email: nils@hilbricht.net
Tel: 0221 98657450

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