GCSE Music – 2 hours a week

AQA

Students taking this course should have a reasonable understanding of notation and be either an instrumentalist or a good singer.

There are 5 main Areas of Study based upon the musical elements:

  1. Rhythm and Metre
  2. Harmony and Tonality
  3. Melody and Texture
  4. Timbre and Dynamics
  5. Structure and Form

And these will be explored through 3 different strands:

  • The Western Classical Tradition
  • Popular Music of the 20th and 21st Centuries
  • World Music

There are 4 Units:

Unit 1 – Listen to and Appraising Music – 80 marks, worth 20% of total marks

  • A final listening and written exam lasting one hour.
  • Questions will cover all 5 areas of study, through the three main strands listed below.

Unit 2 – Composing and Appraising – 40 marks, worth 20% of total marks

  • Compose a piece of music linked to TWO OR MORE of the areas of study and also ONE of the three strands (which will be decided by AQA Board).
  • Students must submit a recording (CD) and a score of the composition.
  • Students MUST complete their composition work INSIDE school, and are allowed 20 hours supervised time.
  • In addition pupils will also complete an Appraisal Booklet to accompany their composition within lesson time, under teacher supervision over 2 hours.

Unit 3 – Performing Music – 60 marks, worth 40% of total marks

  • Performance of TWO pieces: a SOLO and ENSEMBLE piece.
  • The highest expected standard is Grade 5.
  • The performer must make sure that the piece performed is STYLISTICALLY correct.
  • Both pieces will be recorded and assessed.

Unit 4 – Composing Music – 30 marks, 20% of total marks

  • Compose a piece of music linked to TWO OR MORE of the areas of study, this exercise is a FREESTYLE composition, but it must be DIFFERENT to the Unit 1 composition.
  • Students MUST complete their composition work INSIDE school, and are allowed 25 hours of supervised time.