New York State School Music Association
Music Composition/Improvisation Committee

Criteria for the Evaluation of Compositions

The Committee evaluates the submitted compositions based on three broad criteria:
Compositional Technique includes the following elements, where applicable:
Overall Musical Appeal includes the following aspects:
Originality refers to aspects of the piece that reveal the composer's individual "voice," and distinguish the piece from a musical exercise or a direct imitation of another piece.

If some of these terms are unfamiliar to you, please discuss them with your teacher or contact the committee chairperson at [email protected]

Although compositional quality is the primary consideration for inclusion in the Young Composer honors Concert, the committee also attempts to select pieces in a variety of styles and genres representing all three age categories (K-5, 6-8, 9-11).

The criteria for evaluation listed on this page are not intended as a "checklist" that each student should go through as they compose a piece.  Each piece is unique, and the committee attempts to assess each composition on its own terms.