In 1976 Roland Held the first of their annual Synthesizer Tape Contest for multi-track recordings of synthesizer. The Winner of 1981's contest, a Canadian by the name Amin Bhatia, was latter asked to be a judge in the competition. He had this to say:
"Any synth is able creation of huge sound with very little effort. So the new challenge is to move step presets flashy, instant gratification and to create a sound and musical style that Is unique to you. Think about what you want to say musically first and then dive in to all the toys"
That was translated from French and done so poorly that there probably shouldn't even be quotes around it. There were better translations but this one struck me as funny and I think the sentiment still comes through. He goes on:
"On one hand, it's always nice to know that the music you do is appreciated by your peers in this strange but exciting world of electronic music composition. On the other hand, listen to participants and other parts of the chance to win or lose will help you learn more about the effect of music on your audience. This is an important feedback, no matter the outcome"
This is a handy little pocket tool that was given to contestants in 1984.
This song, Resuscitation by Masaya Matsuura (from minato-ku, Japan), was supposedly the 1981 B-class 1st prize winner (maybe there were three classes?). It was made with a Roland MC-8, System 700, Jupiter-8, Vocoder Plus as well as a Prophet 5, Minimoog, Yamaha CP-70 and Eventide H949 Harmonizer.
Keyboard Magazine also had their own reader's tape contest that ran from 1986 through the mid 90's.