GCSE Music is an ideal course for anyone interested in the subject and who has already started to develop practical skills as an instrumentalist or singer, or has particularly enjoyed the Film Score course in the 3rd Form. It is not, however, essential to take GCSE Music if you wish to be considered for Music or Music Technology in the Sixth Form. The course is built around four 'Areas of Study' and allows study of a huge range of music from Mozart to Moby. The areas of study are:
- Western classical music (1600-1899)
- Music in the 20th century
- Popular music in context
- World music
The course is divided into three components:
Paper 1: Performing (30%) You will offer one solo performance and one as part of an ensemble.
Paper 2: Composing (30%) You will compose two pieces, each relating to one of the Areas of Study. The discovery of your own creative abilities in this field can be the most rewarding aspect of the subject.
Paper 3: Listening and Appraising (40%) This involves the study of twelve set works, three from each Area of Study. It is assessed in a 1-hour and 30-minute written paper which includes questions in response to recorded extracts from the set works.
GCSE Music is a necessary foundation for further study of Music at AS/A2 level and will prove invaluable if you are considering Music Technology at AS/A2 level.
Examination Board: OCR
If you enjoy music-making, song writing, film music, composing and learning about music, this course gives you the opportunity to pursue these interests in developing particular musical strengths whilst broadening your musical experience and outlook.
The course is designed to allow students the opportunity to perform, compose and to study various different types of music.
- A flexible specification with different options to suit different types of musicians, whether you are classical, jazz or rock minded
- The opportunity to spend time on solo or group performances
- The opportunity to use new facilities in the Music School for composing (including the Studio)
- Most of the final mark for both AS and A2 is based on coursework and this is unlikely to change
An opportunity to perform live as a soloist and/or as part of an ensemble like the Choir, the Swing Band or a RocSoc band. The music may be in any style, including improvisation which need not be notated. Any instruments and/or voices are acceptable as part of a five to six minute externally assessed performance. As part of the recital there is a two minute conversation (viva) with the visiting assessor, discussing why the programme was chosen and what pieces presented the most interesting technical and musical challenges.
The creationof a three-minute piece of music for four or more instruments. A written log should contain details of the composition process from beginning to end, mentioning any influential music and/or artists. Six choral/harmony exercises need to be submitted at the same time.
Analytical Studies/history of music
A study of three pieces of jazz and three pieces of classical music, setting them in an historical context, and answering questions based upon listening tests and two essays. Some additional aural questions cover a broad period of musical styles and periods.
A2 - Extended Performance
A further opportunity to perform live, with a viva and CD sleeve style programme notes being ready for the day when an external assessor visits.
Composition and Technical Study
The creation of a three-minute vocal piece or song. A written log should contain details of the composition process from the beginning to end, and mention any influential music and/or artists.
Analytical Studies/history of music
Further studies to include a choice of topics ranging from Baroque & Classical music, through Film and TV scores and jazz, to Rock & Pop music. Listening tests, essay questions and further aural are included in a two hour exam paper.
This course involves the composition of rock/pop scores and/or a film score, some sequencing and extensive recording work in the new Recording Studio. Key Features:
- Flexible specification with different options to suit different types of musicians, be you classical, jazz or rock minded
- An opportunity to get to know your way around the state-of-the-art recording facilities within the Music Studio
- An opportunity to get to know film scores as part of the process of writing your own
- An opportunity to study pop music from 1967 onwards
The creation of a midi track which needs to sound as close to the original [supplied] song as possible. This task takes 20 hours and is supervised from beginning to end.
Multi track recordings
An opportunity to record a band or an ensemble and then mix it down and, using best production techniques, to produce a recording of the highest quality. This task is also allocated 20 hours of supervised.
An opportunity to arrange a piece of music or a song for different instruments and voices, using the facilities within the Music Studio.