GCSE Music

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Exam Board and Specification Code: AQA (8271)

The Course
The College has chosen the AQA Music GCSE programme: a comprehensive syllabus, giving the student a broad knowledge of the rudimentaries of Music. The various components develop pupils’ musical strengths and
introduce them to new aspects of musical styles and techniques.

The course is academic as well as creative,  leading smoothly into the AQA Music A Level and preparing the student for the Edexcel Music Technology A Level. 

The Music courses demonstrate the creative and academic capabilities of the student, something that is held in great esteem by top Colleges and Universities.

Students will be required to submit two compositions. The first must respond to an externally set brief; the piece is a free composition of the pupils’ choosing.

What skills do I need?
This course is accessible to anyone with an instrument, including voice, and a basic understanding of Music.

How is the course assessed?
Component 1: Understanding music (40%)

Students will study and investigate a wide variety of music, including Western classical between 1650-1910; Pop Music; Traditional and World Music and Western music since 1910. Pupils will take a listening paper at the end of the course in which they have to respond to questions of extracts played on a CD. There will also be
questions on a variety of set works by composers such as Haydn and Mozart; extracts from Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and The Little Shop of Horrors; studying pieces by Santana and Paul Simon; listening to
music incl: African/Caribean/Latin/Blues.

Component 2: Performing music (30%)

Students will be required to perform a solo piece and an ensemble piece (minimum of two players). This can be singing, accompanied by piano, drums, violin, guitar, etc. These are assessed internally at any time during the course. The piece must be 4 minutes long, of which at least 1 minute must be the ensemble piece. Students may repeat a piece for assessment should they wish to do so. The performances are marked
internally and moderated by AQA.

Component 3: Composing music (30%)

Students will be required to submit two compositions. The second piece is a free composition of the pupils’ choosing. Compositions can be in variety of styles using either notation (Sibelius) or sequencing (LogicPro)
software. The compositions are marked internally and moderated by AQA.

The GCSE course will be condensed into 1 year but follow the 2 year programme.

On this course, you will benefit from:

· Receive 1-1 or small group tuition to work on performance and composition

· Be given opportunities to perform in and around the College

· Learn critical analysis, evaluation skills and essay writing

· Attend concerts/gigs throughout the academic year


AQA GCSE Music Study Guide: Andrew S Coxon (Rhinegold Education: ISBN 978-1785581526)

AQA GCSE Anthology of Music: ed. Chris Fish (https://www.amazon.co.uk/GCSE-Anthology-Music-Chris-Fish/dp/0571541135)


AQA GCSE Music Revision Guide Paperback: David Ventura (https://www.amazon.co.uk/AQA-GCSE-Music-Revision-Guide/dp/1785581546)


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