Composition is worth 30% of the Edexcel GCSE course in total.


Composition is sub-divided into 2 with students having to submit 2 compositions from different styles of music.

The styles of music chosen should be inspired by those which are studied for the listening exam as part of the Listening and Appraising section of the course (please see the Listening and Appraising page for further details).  However, an example could be that a student composed:

  • composition 1 in a classical style and composition 2 in a folk style OR
  • composition 1 in a blues styles and composition 2 in a pop style etc…

Students may write compositions for 1 or more instruments based on their interests and capabilities.


Both compositions are marked according to 3 compulsory criteria:

  • Use & development of ideas
  • Exploitation of the medium (instrument)
  • Structure and Form

and 3 out of the following optional criteria:

  • Melody
  • Harmony / accompaniment
  • Texture
  • Tempo / Rhythm
  • Dynamic contrasts
  • Use of technology


Work on composition 1 will begin in the latter end of Year 10 with the aim of producing of a finished piece no later than Christmas of Year 11

Work on composition 2 will begin Christmas of Year 11 and must be complete no later than Easter of Year 11.

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