Music GCSE - New Spec

Music GCSE

Delivery: From:   September 2016  To:  2018

Exam Board and Code: AQA 8271

QAN code: 601/8361/5

Assessment Overview:

Developing and applying the musical knowledge, understanding and skills set out in the AQA GCSE specification can ensure your students form a personal and meaningful relationship with music. They 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.

The Subject content is divided into the three components: Understanding music, Performing music, Composing music.

  • Exam – 40%, 1 hour 30 minutes – in two sections. The first section is unfamiliar music. It tests general music knowledge based on the four areas of study – Western Classical Tradition (1650-1910), Popular Music, Traditional Music and Western Classical Tradition since 1910.
  • The remaining 60% of the GCSE is split equally between performance and composition. Candidates will need to submit 2 compositions of their own, a solo performance and a group performance.

Other notes:

  • KS4 enrichment – there will be opportunities throughout the year to take part in school performances. There will also be a trip to a musical/theatre at least twice a year. Preparation for this will happen throughout the course, typically using part of all of one lesson per week in the first year, increasing in the second year once coursework is complete.
  • Mock will be at the end of term 2, before Christmas. Another mock will be put in at the end of term 4 and may be used as a walking/talking mock which students will complete collaboratively as a class.
  • Each term will have a main focus – either listening, composing or performing

Topic Planner (2016-17)

Term                          Topic

1                                 General theory/composition – the basics – how to develop an idea (theme and variations, cover versions)

2                                 Performance – what makes a successful performance? Listening – set works

3                                 Composition – Ground Bass – study the form and create an original composition.

4                                 Performance – working as an ensemble – what skills do you need to be an ensemble performer? How is the ensemble performance marked?

5                                 Composition and listening – Form and Structure – outlining all of the different formal structures coupled with practical composition task using a chosen form.

6                                 Solo performance – looking at the marking criteria – how to produce an effective, engaging and confident performance.

Topic Planner (2017-2018)

Term                            Topic

1                                   Performance – public performance preparation (Remembrance/Christmas)

2                                   Listening – set works and exam preparation – Mock Exam

3                                   Performance – recordings of Solo and Ensemble performance complete

4                                   Compositions – completed and recorded/Final exam prep

5                                    Final exam preparation – set works, elements of music, areas of study

For Further information contact:

Ms Chambers -