Theme Song Contest Rules

How On Earth is now taking submissions for a contest to determine our new theme song. If you are interested in participating, please read this entire document before submitting. You can also download the rules as a PDF—right-click (CTRL-click on a Mac) and select “Save As”.

Contest Rules:

  • The contest will begin 12 April, 2011, and end 12 July, 2011 26 July, 2011; a winner will be announced by 12 August, 2011;
  • Valid entries will be music which you performed/produced, and to which you own the rights. Previously released music is okay as long as it meets those criteria;
  • Entries must be exactly one (1) minute;
  • Entries must be submitted as mp3 files via email to;
  • Entries received during the contest period may be played on the air and/or featured on our website as a way of promoting the contest and recognizing those who submit;
  • A winner will be chosen by the How On Earth production team, with the assistance of an expert panel (including Tom Wasinger, the Grammy-winning producer of our current theme music);
  • The winning submission will be featured as our theme music for a trial run of 6 months, after which we will decide whether to keep it permanently; the winning artist will be mentioned in the closing credits of every show; and the winning artist will be featured in an interview on our show to discuss how they approached the contest and created their theme.

Some thoughts to keep in mind as you decide on your submission:

  • Theme music sets the tone of a show, so we are looking for music that feels like it matches up with our style and content and establishes a unique “soundprint” that identifies us and sets us apart from other shows. We like the world-music sound of our current theme, but we’re certainly open to other styles as well. Explore our website ( to listen to some of our past shows and to get a sense of what How On Earth is all about.
  • Our theme music needs to serve several specific purposes during the intro and close of each show. At the beginning, it should grab listeners’ attention. Then, as our hosts introduce themselves and the topics to be covered in that episode, the music should hold that attention without distracting from our hosts’ voices (we adjust volume levels on-the-fly during each broadcast). Finally, there should be a definite end-point to mark the transition into the first main segment of our show, or to mark the end of the episode.
  • Submissions need not be polished, studio-quality recordings (although quality is appreciated). If your submission has the musical elements, style, etc. that we are looking for, we will work with you to produce a broadcast-ready version.

Please direct all questions to

Back to Contest page

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How On Earth is produced by a small group of volunteers at the studios of KGNU, an independent community radio station in the Boulder-Denver metro area. KGNU is supported by the generosity and efforts of community members like you. Visit to learn more.


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