GCSE Music

Qualification

GCSE

Awarding Body

AQA

Course Specification

Who to contact for more information about this course

 

Queries should be directed to Mr Ferry

 

Years taught

 

Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11

 

About this course

 

GCSE Music is based on developing and applying the musical knowledge, understanding and skills to ensure students form a personal and meaningful relationship with music.

 

Students will be encouraged to engage critically and creatively with a wide range of music and musical contexts, and reflect on how music is used in the expression of personal and collective identities.

 

This is achieved through the study of music through 'Understanding Music', 'Performing Music' and 'Composing Music'.

 

Component 1: Understanding Music

Set ‘study pieces’ and generic pieces are studied from the following areas of study and genres to form the basis of, in the final year of study, an understanding music examination.

 

1. Western classical tradition 1650 to 1910

  • The coronation anthems and oratorios of Handel

  • The orchestra music of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven 

  • The piano music of Chopin and Schumann

  • The requiem of the late Romantic period

  • Study piece changes every 4 years

2. Popular music

  • Music of Broadway 1950s to 1990s

  • Rock music of 1960s and 1970s 

  • Film and computer gaming music 1990s to present

  • Pop music 1990s to present

  • Study piece changes every 4 years

3. Traditional music

  • Blues music from 1920 to 1950

  • Fusion music incorporating African music, Caribbean music, or both African and Caribbean music

  • Contemporary Latin music

  • Contemporary folk music of the British Isles

  • Study piece changes every 4 years

4. Western classical tradition since 1910

  • The orchestral music of Copland

  • British music of Arnold, Britten, Maxwell-Davies and Tavener

  • The orchestral music of Zoltán Kodály and Béla Bartók

  • Minimalist music of John Adams, Steve Reich and Terry Riley

  • Study piece changes every 4 years

Component 2: Performing Music

A solo piece and an ensemble piece on an instrument or voice are to be performed live and recorded in the final year of study. It is therefore beneficial if a student is already able to perform on an instrument or voice before starting the course. However, students can start learning an instrument from Year 9 and students can also perform through the use of music technology. Further details can be given by Mr Ferry.

Component 3: Composing Music

Students are to submit two compositions, one to a brief set by AQA in the autumn term of the awarding year and one free composition. Both are to be completed in the final year of study. Students are encouraged to compose to their strengths and musical interests. Compositions are realised through ICT through the use of music sequencing software.

Assessment objectives

Pupils must show they have covered the assessment objects below:
 
    • AO1: Perform with technical control, expression and interpretation
    • AO2: Compose and develop musical ideas with technical control and coherence
    • AO3: Demonstrate and apply musical knowledge
    • AO4: Use appraising skills to make evaluative and critical

How this course is assessed

Component 1: Understanding Music 40%

Written exam paper 1 hour and 30 minutes in length. Question paper set by AQA examination board containing a number of questions on the four areas of study. The pupils answer all questions in Section A on unfamiliar music that they hear, answer questions in Section B on the compulsory study piece western classical tradition 1650 to 1910 and then choose one further question in Section B from any of the optional study pieces.

Component 2: Performing Music 30%

A solo piece and an ensemble piece on an instrument or voice are to be performed live and recorded in the final year of study. Coursework internally assessed and externally moderated.

Component 3: Composing Music 30%

Two compositions, one to a brief set by AQA and one free composition, are to be completed in the final year of study. Coursework internally assessed and externally moderated.

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Helen Vasey

Studio West
West Denton Way
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE5 2SZ

Tel: 0191 481 3710

Email: admin@studiowest.newcastle.sch.uk

 

Paper copies of the information on this site will be provided free of charge upon request.

Please contact us to arrange for a paper copy.

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