Exam board: Edexcel
Qualification type: GCSE
Course code: 601/8204/0
Contact: Mrs Edmunds –

GCSE music is a study of several aspects of music including performing, composing, and listening and appraising. The course focuses on eight set works from fusion, music for stage and screen, vocal music and instrumental music.

What will be studied?

GCSE music is split into three units.

Unit 1: performing (30%)

This unit is internally assessed throughout the course and requires you to complete two performances:
• One solo performance
• One ensemble performance

In order to complete this to a high standard you will be required to have instrumental lessons either at school or privately at home and be prepared to perform in front of the GCSE music class.

Unit 2: composing (30%)

This unit is internally assessed throughout the course and requires you to complete two compositions. These can either be your own work, or an arrangement of  something that already exists.

Unit 3: listening and appraising (40%)

This unit is externally assessed with a 1 hour, 45 minutes written exam at the end of the course.

All questions are related to the eight set works that fall under the following headings:
• Instrumental music 1700-1820
• Vocal music
• Music for stage and screen
• Fusion

Why study music?

Music is an interesting course for anyone already able to play an instrument (voice included), which looks at a broad range of musical styles. It helps improve academic performance whilst increasing cultural and social skills, brain and memory development, co-ordination, concentration and creative thinking. It is excellent for improving listening skills while giving students the opportunity to express themselves and relieve stress.

Assessment structure

Assessment is both coursework and a final exam at the end of year 11.
• One solo performance worth 15% (coursework)
• One ensemble performance worth 15% (coursework)
• Two compositions worth 15% each (coursework)
• One written exam (1 hour, 45 minutes) worth 40%

Career opportunities

• Professional performer
• Composer
• Music production