GCSE Music

Course Overview 

This course is open to anyone with a keen interest in music. A reasonable level of ability on any musical instrument is essential. It would be a great advantage if a musical instrument and/or piano/keyboard were available at home.

The course content is defined by four Areas of Study:

  • Western Classical Music (1600–1899)
  • Music in the 20th Century
  • Popular music in context
  • World music

Assessment 

You are assessed on three skills – Performing, Composing and Listening.

Performing – You can perform/realise one solo performance of your own choice in any style or genre. The performance may be:

  • A solo performance on any instrument or voice
  • A solo improvisation on any instrument
  • A sequenced performance
  • A realisation such as a performance with DJ decks/turntables or a live sound diffusion of electro-acoustic music

Students will perform a piece in any genre or style as part of an ensemble performance. The performance may be:

  • Performing an undoubled part within an ensemble
  • Improvising as part of an ensemble
  • Rehearsing and directing an ensemble
  • Presenting a multi-track recording

Composing – In this unit students develop musical ideas in the form of compositions and/or arrangements.

They may choose to submit either:

  • Two compositions, or
  • Two arrangements, or
  • One composition and one arrangement

Each piece must be based on a different Area of Study. The overall length of the submission, i.e. both pieces, should total between two and four minutes.

Composing – In this unit students develop musical ideas in the form of compositions and/or arrangements.

They may choose to submit either:

  • Two compositions, or
  • Two arrangements, or
  • One composition and one arrangement

Each piece must be based on a different Area of Study. The overall length of the submission, i.e. both pieces, should total between two and four minutes.

Listening – In this unit students develop their listening and appraising skills through the study of music across a variety of styles and genres. The content for the unit is grouped into four Areas of Study each of which contains three set works.

This will be assessed in a written exam at the end of Year 11.