Option Subject - Category B

Examination Board: Edexcel

Specification Code: TBC

Why Take This Course?

The course develops candidates’ interest and understanding of how music is created using a practical approach.  You will study music history and twelve specific pieces of music composed between the 18th Century and the present day.

The course is extremely rewarding and gives students an opportunity to:

  • Go on trips to music shows and concerts;
  • Access the Performing Arts Department’s Music Technology resources;
  • Be part of ensembles both inside and outside school;
  • Take a fuller role in school concerts;
  • Foster music sensitivity, creativity and aural perception;
  • Promote cultural development;
  • Be involved in music as performers, composers and listeners;
  • Develop team work skills and self-confidence through creating and performing music with others;
  • Be prepared to study Music and Performing Arts at A Level.

Aim Of The Course

To develop an understanding and appreciation of a wide range of musical styles and traditions. To enhance one’s enjoyment of music by developing performing and creative skills.

Course Structure And Content

The new GCSE in Music has a clear structure and is designed to allow candidates to study music through the integration of performing, composing, listening and appraising with opportunities to use music technology.  The Areas of Study cover a wide range of music:

Instrumental Music 1700-1820, Vocal Music, Music for Stage and Screen and Fusions.


Component 1 Performing [30% of GCSE]

Students will have to perform a solo and an ensemble performance.  These must be different pieces of music for each performance. The pieces are recorded and marked by a Teacher Examiner and can take place anytime during the course.

Component 2 Composing [30% of GCSE]

Students compose two compositions; of at least three minutes’ combined duration.

One composition to a brief set by Pearson, of at least one minute in duration.

One free composition set by the student, of at least one minute in duration.

The compositions will be marked by the Teacher Examiner and made available for moderation.

Component 3 – Appraising [40% of GCSE]

Candidates will take a written exam at the end of the course.  It will last 1 hour 45 minutes.

Section A: Areas of study, dictation, and unfamiliar pieces (68 marks)

  • Six questions related to six of the eight set works.
  • One short melody/rhythm completion exercise.
  • One question on an unfamiliar piece (skeleton score provided) with questions on its musical elements, musical contexts and musical language.

Section B: Extended response comparison between a set work and one unfamiliar piece (12 marks)

  • One question that asks students to compare and/or evaluate the musical elements, musical contexts and musical language of one set work with one unfamiliar piece of music.

Entry Requirements

Proficiency on a musical instrument is mandatory (including voice) and having started the course students will be expected to take up (or continue) regular lessons on one or more instruments with an approved instrumental teacher, and to attend school ensembles, such as Samba Band, Choir and Orchestra on a regular basis.  Students will be expected to practice their instrument(s) on a regular, daily basis.