Outline of Syllabus
The specification for the GCSE Music course is based upon three aspects of music: performing, composing and appraising. The course is a natural extension of the work studied in first to third form. All pupils receive subsidised instrumental lessons on one instrument. The principal instrument study is a crucial part of the course and pupils are expected to attend all lessons and to practise and prepare thoroughly between lessons. Pupils are required to be a member of one or more school ensembles and will be expected to attend a number of concerts, both in and out of school.
The course in designed to:
- develop the understanding and appreciation of a range of different kinds of music;
- extend current musical interests and increase the ability to make judgements about musical quality;
- develop broader life-skills and attributes including critical and creative thinking, aesthetic sensitivity and emotional and cultural development.
There are four areas of study, with two set works in each area:
- Instrumental Music 1700–1820
- Vocal Music
- Music for Stage and Screen
Scheme of Assessment
Unit 1 Performance (30%)
Pupils perform for at least four minutes’ combined duration (each out of 30 marks).
- Solo performance: this must be at least one minute in duration
- Ensemble performance: this must be of at least one minute in duration
Unit 2 Composition (30%)
Pupils compose two compositions, of at least three minutes’ combined duration (each out of 30 marks).
- One composition to a brief set by exam board: this must be at least one minute in duration.
- One free composition agreed with the course teacher: this must be at least one minute in duration.
- Each composition will be out of 30 marks.
Unit 3 Written examination (40%)
Section A: Areas of study, dictation, and unfamiliar pieces (68 marks)
- Six questions related to six of the eight set works.
- One short melody/rhythm completion exercise.
- One question on an unfamiliar piece (skeleton score provided) with questions on
the musical elements, context and musical language.
Section B: Comparison between a set work and one unfamiliar piece (12 marks)
- One question that asks pupils to compare and/or evaluate the musical elements, musical contexts and musical language of one set work with one unfamiliar piece of music.
Awarding Body: Edexcel Specification: GCSE (9-1) 1MU0