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GCSE Music

[Exam Board: Edexcel]


Why study this course?

GCSE Music is part of the new suite of GCSEs starting in September 2016.

GCSE Music aims to engage students in music-making and project-planning, providing a real focus for
creativity and performance skills. The course will also widen students’ understanding of the world of Music through interesting studies of particular genres and in-depth studies of special pieces.

Students who opt for Music are expected to play an instrument or sing. You do not have to be able to read music notation to take this option, however students who can will be stretched and challenged further on this course.


What content is covered?

To enable the improvement of knowledge, skills and use of musical language, the subject is structured into four areas of study:

  1. Instrumental Music: 1700 to 1810
  2. Vocal Music
  3. Music for stage and screen (Musical Theatre and Film Music)
  4. Fusions (World Music)


How will I be assessed?


Skills in performing, composing and listening/appraising will be assessed.

Performing (30% - non-examined content): Students must perform at least one solo and one ensemble piece lasting for a total of 4 minutes (minimum). This can be on any instrument (or voice) in any genre.

This part of the course is entirely practical and students can use their rehearsal time to work on their performance skills independently or to collaborate with each other to make bands/ensembles of any genre.

Composing (30% - non-examined content): Students must compose two pieces of music. One composition is in response to a set brief (choice of 4) and the other is a free composition. Both compositions can involve any instrument or voice and the combined time is 3 minutes (minimum).

Appraising (40% - examined content): Throughout the course, students will study set works on the four areas of study listed above including Queen, “Defying Gravity”, Bach and Beethoven as well as music from Star Wars. Knowledge of set pieces will be tested in a listening examination lasting for 1 hour and 45 minutes. This involves a mixture of multiple choice and extended writing questions.


Curriculum Maps

More information on what is taught at GCSE, together with the termly assessment can be found by clicking on the following links:

   Year 10 & 11 Curriculum Map

For more information, please contact Miss Fishleigh at the school.


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