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Newstead Wood School

Newstead Wood School

Music (GCSE)

Course Title: Music
Exam Board: Edexcel (2016 spec)
Qualification: GCSE

About the course
The GCSE Music course

  • encourages students to be inspired, moved and changed by following a broad, coherent satisfying and worthwhile course of study
  • helps students to develop broader life skills and attributes, including critical and creative thinking, aesthetic sensitivity, emotional awareness, cultural understanding, self-discipline, self-confidence and self-motivation
  • enables students to engage actively in the study of music
  • develops musical skills and interests, including the ability to make music individually and in groups
  • enables students to understand and appreciate a range of different kinds of music.

How is it assessed?

Component 1: Performing Music (30%)

  • One solo performance
  • One ensemble performance

Assessment: Students will perform for a minimum of four minutes.

Component 2: Composing Music (30%)

  • One composition to a brief set by Edexcel of at least one minute in duration
  • One free composition set by the student, of at least one minute in duration

Assessment: A notated score (using Sibelius software) and a recording created under controlled assessment. Together a total minimum of 3 minutes.

Component 3: Appraising (40%)

  • A written paper lasting 1 hour 45 minutes

Section A:

  • Questions relating to the 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:

  • 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.

Areas of study and the set works

1) Instrumental Music 1700–1820

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

2) Vocal Music

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

3) 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)

4) Fusions

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