Judging Criteria 2023

The Production Music Awards recognise the highest standards in composition, production, recording and synchronisation of production music. These criteria are set out to ensure consistency and clarity in assessment of all entries.  The Production Music Awards’ panel of judges specialise in many different areas of the industry, but are all considered to be a respected opinion on music in media.


Composition entries will be marked on three key attributes: composition, originality & production standard.

Music will be presented blind to the judges. Each track will be assigned an identifying code. When a judge recognises a work as belonging to a library or composer, or becomes aware of a conflict of interest in judging an entry, they are asked simply not mark the piece.

Each track will be marked on the three key attributes by the judge. This mark will be taken as the score for this piece of music. Once all judges have submitted their scores for a track, an average will be taken as the sum of all scores divided by the number of judges.

Judging Guidelines

Composition (out of 50)

Special attention should be paid to the crafting of the piece of music. To what degree can the composition be considered to have achieved excellence? Focus should be on melody, harmony and structure (where relevant).

Originality (out of 25)

To what degree has the composer achieved originality in the composition? Can the piece be easily compared to others in the style? Does the writing feel in any way generic?

Production standard (out of 25)

Special attention should be paid to the overall balance of the mix. To what degree has the mix achieved dynamic range, clarity and cohesion? Has the piece been mixed to the correct levels, without unintended distortion or over compression?


Sync entries will be judged in the context of their placement. Judges are marking sync entries in their own area of knowledge and experience. For example, judges working in television advertising have been assigned the category ‘Best use of Production Music in Television Advertising’.

Each judge will be presented with the entries in their sync category and be asked to mark them out of ten based on the overall quality of the music, on originality and on how well the piece works together with the visuals.

The final judgments in all categories will be made by the appointed Production Music Awards judges. The final decision regarding all aspects of the Production Music Awards including the interpretation of these criteria lies with the organisers.

A downloadable PDF version of the judging criteria is available here.