Music Composition

MUSIC COMPOSITION is the process of creating a new piece of music. The composer (student submitting entry) is a person who expresses their own thoughts and ideas through the use of sound. The student composer may submit an entry performed by an individual or group and/or make use of a sound library generated performance of a composed score. Student composers are not required to perform their composition. Middle and high school grade divisions require music score/tablature/notation, either traditional or tablature.

Reflect on the 2022-2023 Theme:  SHOW YOUR VOICE!

Consider the following musical styles and instruments to portray your original composition: A Cappella, Blues, Choral, Country, Electronic, Hip hop, Jazz, Latin, Musical, Orchestral, Pop, R&B, Religious, Rock, Symphonic/Concert Band and Traditional.

All instruments, sounds, styles and combinations are accepted. Software may be used to produce an audio recording that does not include commercially pre-programmed imported MIDI or other source files. Entries containing algorithmic composition techniques are not accepted. An explanation of the origin of the music and/or the significance of the music style might be a useful addition to the artist statement when submitting a music composition that involves traditional, cultural or regional instruments. Whether an entry displays formal composition technique or a simple approach, it will be judged primarily on how well the student uses his or her artistic vision to portray the theme, originality and creativity.

Suggestions for Audio Quality:

  • Do not place the recording device on top of an instrument(s) or speakers.
  • Turn off all noise-making devices in the room (air conditioners, fans, telephones, etc.).
  • Record a short test and listen to it. If needed, change the record volume or microphone location.
  • Make sure the music is audible on the recording.
  • Allow for two seconds of silence at the beginning and end of your recording.
  • Music score/tablature/notation required for middle school and high school divisions. Accepted file types include PDF.
  • Notation software may be used to create a score.
  • Whether the score is handwritten or computer-generated, appropriate instrumentation and voicing are required for the performance.

Copyright: Use of copyrighted material is prohibited. Plagiarized entries will be disqualified.

Submission Requirements:

  • Only new pieces of artwork inspired by the theme may be submitted.
  • Each entry must be the original work of one student only.
  • Audio recording must not exceed 5 minutes in length and 1,000 MB (1,000 megabyte) in file size.
  • Accepted audio file formats include: MP3 and WAV.
  • If necessary, label CD/DVD/flash drive with title of artwork, arts category and division.