A wide range
of activities to
stretch body
and mind

GCSE Music

Music GCSE – AQA 8271

Why Choose GCSE Music?

This course offers:

  • Flexibility and the choices that enable students to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding in a way that suits them bes,t
  • A broad content with areas of study that are the building blocks of music across musical genres,
  • The opportunity for students to choose from a wide range of genres in their composing, catering for all interests and abilities.

Students will like:

  • The practical approach with equal weighting given to performance,
  • More choice in performing, including the use of music technology, which allows students to demonstrate their ability while engaging in the music which they enjoy the most,
  • An accessible approach to the formal listening skills, using a wide variety of music.

Knowledge/skills gained:

  • How to grow as musician,s
  • How to listen to and appraise different musical styles and genres,
  • The importance of evaluating, writing, analysing and refining ideas,
  • How to create and perform music as individuals and in groups,
  • The importance of continuous evaluation and refinement in any process,
  • A solid foundation for progression to music related courses, including A –level Music through to degree level, leading to a music – based profession.

Core content

  1. Understanding music.
  2. Performing music.
  3. Composing music.

Component 1: Understanding music

What’s assessed
Listening and Contextual understanding

Areas of Study:

  1. Western classical tradition 1650–1910.
  2.  Popular music.
  3. Traditional music.
  4. Western classical tradition since 1910.

How it’s assessed

Exam paper with listening exercises using excerpts of music.
Section A: Listening (68 marks)
Section B: Contextual understanding (28 marks )
The exam is one hour and thirty minutes.
This component is worth 40% of GCSE marks (96 marks in total).

Component 2: Performing music

What’s assessed
Music performance

  • Performance 1: Solo performance (36 marks).
  • Performance 2: Ensemble performance (36 marks).

How it’s assessed
As an instrumentalist and/or vocalist and/or via technology:
A minimum of four minutes and a maximum of seven minutes of performance in total is required, of which a minimum of one minute must be the ensemble performance.
This component is 30% of GCSE marks.

Component 3: Composing music

What’s assessed

  • Composition 1: Composition to a brief (36 marks).
  • Composition 2: Free composition (36 marks).

How it’s assessed
A minimum of three minutes and a maximum of four and a half minutes of music in total is required.
This component is 30% of GCSE marks.