Music - Key Stage 4

Course Outline

  • 60% of the GCSE music examination is based on controlled assessed Coursework
  • 40% of the Music examination is based on an ‘appraising’ written paper that is centred around the four ‘areas of study’ that are covered in class

Unit 1 – Performance (30%)

  • Students perform for at least four minutes' combined duration. Each performance will be out of 30 marks.
  • Solo Performance (15%): the solo performance must be at least one minute in duration and may comprise one or more pieces.
  • Ensemble Performance (15%): the ensemble performance must be at least one minute in duration and may comprise one or more pieces.

Unit 2 – Composition (30%)

  • Students must complete two compositions of at least three minutes combined duration. Each composition will be out of 30 marks.
  • Composition 1 (15%): one composition must be completed to a brief set by the exam board, of at least one minute in duration.
  • Composition 2 (15%): the second composition must be a ‘free’ composition set by the student, of at least one minute in duration.

Unit 3 – Appraising (40%)

The following topics and set works are covered and assessed through a 1 hour and 45 minute written paper:

Instrumental Music (1700 – 1820)

  • J S Bach: 3rd Movement from Brandenburg Concerto No.5 in D major
  • Beethoven: 1 st Movement from Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor ‘Pathetique’

Vocal Music

  • Purcell: Music for a While
  • Queen: Killer Queen (from the album ‘Sheer Heart Attack’)

Music for Stage and Screen

  • S Schwartz: Defying Gravity (from the album of the cast recording of Wicked)
  • J Williams: Main title/ rebel blockade runner (from the soundtrack to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope)

Fusions

  • Afro Celt Sound System: Release (from the album ‘Volume 2: Releaase)
  • Esperanza Spalding: Samba Em Preludio (from the album ‘Esperanza’)

The written paper is made up of two sections and is out of a total of 80 marks.