Top Menu

Unit 2 Composing

AS Composition TaskAS Composition AssessmentSleeve noteComposition Practice 1

Click on 2015 6MU02 Composition Task to find the details of the 2014-2015 AS Composition task.

Every year, the task is based on the following principles:

  • One piece, 3 minutes long
  • Either AoS 1 – Instrumental music – two composition briefs: Film Music and Instrumental Writing
  • Or AoS 2 – Vocal music – two composition briefs: Pop Song and Choral/Vocal Piece
  • You may compose in any appropriate style to the brief
  • You can compose for any combination of appropriate instruments and voices
  • You have a maximum of 15 hours of controlled conditions time to compose the piece
  • You have to hand in a detailed score of your piece, with a recording

The level of detail expected is a big jump up from GCSE music

The composition is worth 40 marks and the CD sleeve note 20 marks. The total of both forms 30% of your AS grade.

As with performance, your composition is marked is marked using a holistic mark scheme (out of 40) and a detailed mark scheme, which has the following criteria, each marked out of 8:

Compulsory (1-3) and Optional Categories (two of 4-6 used)

  1. Quality of ideas and outcome
  2. Coherence
  3. Forces and textures
  4. Harmony
  5. Melody
  6. Rhythm

The work is marked by Edexcel, and not by your teacher.

Sleeve note assessment – 20 marks

The sleeve note is designed to make you think about how your composition has been written, and influenced by other pieces that you have listened to.

Writing up the sleeve note takes place at the end of the composition task, and is completed during one hour of exam conditions. However, you are allowed to take notes/scores with you, and can effectively copy up a pre-prepared answer.

There are three questions which are repeated every year

1. Form and structure (4)
 2. Discussion of four features of your piece (4)
 3. Refering to how pieces have influenced your composition (12)

Some quick tips

  • Keep a diary of pieces that you’ve listened to, and which features you admire so you can refer to them and use them to inspire you.
  • Use Sibelius to produce your score – it makes it so much easier for the examiner to mark.
  • Whatever resources you are writing for, make sure that what you are writing is playable/singable
  • Keep refering to the assessment scheme to make sure that you are writing something that can score a high mark


This website uses cookies to allow us to see how the site is used. The cookies cannot identify you. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with this. More information.