The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Composition Prize is a biennial award given to deserving composers for each category.  Initiated in 2016, it is a competition on concert hall music, which calls for extended works that go beyond popular or traditional music-writing or improvisation, and thus can be better judged or evaluated if codified with acceptable standard notation that may be published and recreated later through a performance.

The NCCA, in line with its mission to “encourage the continuing development of a pluralistic culture by the people themselves,” will be creating the opportunity to have a direct hand in the development and enrichment of the genres in Philippine music literature.


The award is open to all Filipino composers, of legal age as prescribed by the law at the time of the submission, except to the officers and members of the NCCA Secretariat and the incumbent Executive Council (ExeCon) Members of the NCCA Committee on Music (NCM).  Compositions that may be submitted must be unpublished and unperformed until the award is given.  Likewise, these compositions should not have been awarded a prize from any award-giving body.


For the NCCA Composition Prize competition, the following are the requirements in the submission of entries:

Composers must submit an accomplished application form, which is available at the NCCA Plan/Policy Formulation and Programming Division (P/PFPD) or may be downloaded from the NCCA website: together with the following: 

– composer’s curriculum vitae;
– two (2) copies of the complete full score in PDF format
    1. PDF #1 – File Name: Composer’s Last Name-Title of Work- Category (the composer’s full name must appear on the score itself)
    2. PDF #2 – File Name: Title of Work-Category (the composer’s name will not appear anywhere on the score);
– two (2) mp3 files (320kbps) of the complete work
    1. MP3 #1 – File Name: Composer’s Last Name-Title of Work-Category
    2. MP3 #2 – File Name: Title of Work-Category;
– composer’s notes on the submitted composition;
– one (1) 2×2 recent picture of the composer.
All applications shall be e-mailed to: E-MAIL SUBJECT: SURNAME_2020 Composition Prize






  • Voice and accompaniment
  • At least five (5) songs
  • A combined minimum of 12 minutes 



  • Minimum of two, maximum of nine instruments with or without voice, may include Philippine indigenous instruments
  • At least three (3) pieces/movements**
  • A combined minimum of 12 minutes 



  • At least three (3) pieces/movements**
  • A combined minimum of 10 minutes



  • Including solo rondalla instruments, and Philippine indigenous instruments
  • At least three (3) pieces/movements**
  • A combined minimum duration of 8 minutes

**An extended single-movement work may be submitted provided that the composer adheres to the designated combined minimum duration of that particular category.

Compositions that utilize texts must be authored by a Philippine poet/writer in any Philippine language though other non-Philippine language may still be accepted.  If the composer is not the writer of the text, then the composer is solely responsible for securing copyright clearance especially for texts that are not in the public domain.

Compositions that include electronics shall be at the composer’s expense.  NCCA shall not assume responsibility for procuring neither the equipment nor software/program necessary for the composition.

All submitted compositions shall use standard conventional notation.  Non-conventional notation may be employed but accompanied with convincing explanation.  The manuscript must not bear the name of the applicant in any of the pages.  All manuscripts received with identifying marks shall be disqualified.

Manuscripts must preferably be computer-generated.  Handwritten scores may also be accepted but composers must be prepared to submit a computer-generated notation at their own expense if such scores are selected by the jury.

Deadline for submission of application together with the curriculum vitae of the applicant and other requirements shall be on or before August 31, 2020. If there are any inquiries regarding any component of the prize, please send an email to

Download the guidelines and entry form.