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There are three parts to Music GCSE:

  • Listening + Appraising: A written exam
  • Composing + Appraising: Coursework
  • Performing: Coursework
    Counts as one option - 2 hours per week
    A mixture of written exams and coursework


Listening (20%)

A written paper of 1 hour covering questions that relate to:

  • Rhythm & Metre
  • Harmony & Tonality
  • Texture & Melody
  • Timbre & Dynamics
  • Structure & Form through the study of World Music, Pop music and the Western Classical Tradition.

Performing (40%) - Two elements

Element No 1 - solo performance on either an instrument of your choice
or voice (20%)
Element No 2 - group performance, in which you perform on either an
instrument of your choice or voice (20%)
Several recordings are produced throughout the course, the
best of each element being submitted for assessment.

Composing (40%)

Two different compositions each marked against set criteria.

  • Piece No. 1 - A composition in the Western Classical Tradition (10%) completed
    in 20 hours of supervised lesson-time, with a written analysis (10%),
    completed in a 2 hr exam.
  • Piece No. 2 - A composition of your own choice (20%) but it has to link to 2 or more
    areas of study, completed in 25 hours of supervised lesson-time.

Due to the cross over of topics between GCSE and BTEC Music it is possible for students to
gain both qualifications in this single option. However, if students struggle with the demands
of GCSE Music they will complete the BTEC course only.


BTEC Music consists of 4 modules

  • Creating a Music product
  • Solo Performance
  • Ensemble performance
  • Composition

There is no final exam

As with all courses, at least one hour of homework per week is expected