Music Rules


All General Rules apply to the Music Classes. Click here to view


‘Own Choice’ titles do not need to be notified on the entry form. ‘Own Choice’ pieces must conform to the standard of tests set at the Festival and the Committee reserves the right to refuse a piece, in the class, that is not of the required standard.  Titles of ‘Own Choice’ music must be announced.


An original score of music, not a photocopy, of an own choice piece must be in the room. A copy of own choice music must be handed to the adjudicator at the beginning of the class, and in the ‘Set Piece’ classes, the prescribed edition and key, where specified, must be used. Failure to do either of these will mean that the Performer will receive an adjudication but no mark. See also copyright rules on the following page.


Entrants are advised that the Festival no longer engages official accompanists. 


Performers in ‘Own Choice’ classes may not offer items with which they have already won prizes in Cheltenham Festivals in the past 3 years, nor may they enter the same piece in more than one class.


Backing Tracks whether CD, Tape or other media are not permitted except where specified.


Songs from the Shows:  Performers are reminded that, due to Performing Rights, no costume or scenery may be used. Movement is, however, allowed.


Coaching: No instructions, mouthing of words or gestures by a teacher, tutor, or parent is allowed during a performance.  This, and/or any other off-stage direction, may result in a loss of marks.


Performers: The Festival cannot legally allow anyone to play/perform from photocopied music.

A person performing a work at the Festival in front of an adjudicator may make one copy for the adjudicator provided that the performer has an original copy and the copy made is retained and destroyed by the adjudicator immediately after the performance.

The copy must be marked with the following: “Adjudicator copy – destroy after use”

IMPORTANT: This permission only applies to the Adjudicator copy. All other copies used for the performance (e.g. by the performer and/or accompanist), including any copy made by electronic means, must be legally purchased originals.

The Festival hereby gives notice that these copyright regulations will be strictly applied.