Music

Music Staff

Mr S Gordon

Music, ICT

Mr M McDonald

Music, ICT

Key Stage 3 - Yrs 7 - 9

At key stage 3 we use a variety of performing, composing and appraising tasks to learn about World Music, including African Drumming and Samba; Classical Music, including ‘Programme Music’ and ‘Marches and Waltzes’; and Popular Music, including The Blues and Rock ‘n’ Roll.  A lot of our work is done in groups, including the opportunity to form a band in year 9.

Key Stage 4 - GCSE

At GCSE we follow the AQA specification, this consists of 4 units:

UNIT 1: LISTENING TO AND APPRAISING MUSIC (20% of overall mark)

  • 1 hour listening exam at the end of Year 11
  • Based around the Areas of Study (Elements of Music) within the three Strands (Classical Music / Popular Music of the 20th and 21st Centuries / World Music)

UNIT 2: COMPOSING AND APPRAISING MUSIC (20% of overall mark)

  • 1 Composition using 2 or more Areas of Study, based on one of the three Strands, which will chosen by the exam board (50% of the unit / 10% of overall mark)
  • Appraisal of compositional process and final outcome (50% of the unit / 10% of overall mark)
  • Usually done in year 11
  • This work is sent away to be marked

UNIT 3: PERFORMING MUSIC (40% of overall mark)

  • 1 individual, or technology-based, performance (50% of the unit / 20% of overall mark)
  • 1 group performance (50% of the unit / 20% of overall mark)
  • Students have as many attempts as they like to achieve their best possible performance
  • Marked in school by GCSE music staff

UNIT 4: COMPOSING MUSIC (20% of overall mark)

  • 1 Composition based on 2 or more Areas of Study
  • NO appraisal (unlike unit 2)
  • Usually done in year 10
  • Marked in school by GCSE music staff

Key Stage 5 - 'A' Level

At A level we follow the AQA specification, this consists of 6 units; units 1-3 form the AS level and units 4-6 are the A2 course.

AS Music

UNIT 1: INFLUENCES ON MUSIC (30% of AS / 15% of A level)

  • Split into 3 separate area:
    • Listening – developing the skills learned at GCSE
    • An in-depth study Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 (op. 21) movements 1 & 2
    • One historical study: either:
      • Choral Music in the Baroque Period, or
      • Music Theatre: a study of the Musical from 1940 to1980, or
      • British Popular Music from 1960 to the present day
        • We usually study British Popular Music, but leave the final choice to the students
  • This work is then tested in a 1 ¾ hour listening and writing exam

UNIT 2: CREATING MUSICAL IDEAS (30% of AS / 15% of A level)

  • Composing
  • A maximum of 20 hours controlled assessment
  • choosing one brief (released on November 1st in the year of the exam) from either:-
    • Compositional Techniques – harmonization of a given 16 bar melody and creating a 24 bar piece of music for two melodic instruments or voices or
    • Free Composition lasting between 3 and 6 minutes  or
    • Arranging a given folk song melody and text, in any musical style to last between 3 and 6 minutes.
  • This work is sent away to be marked

 

UNIT 3: INTERPRETING MUSICAL IDEAS (40% of AS / 20% of A level)

  • Two performances, each lasting 5 – 8 minutes (consisting of one or more pieces) chosen from the following options:-
    • Solo performance on one instrument
    • Solo performance on voice
    • Solo performance on a second instrument
    • Ensemble performance
    • Technology based performance involving sequencing
    • Technology based performance using multi-track/close microphone recording.
  • If students choose a ‘live’ music option, they will have as many attempts as the need to produce the best possible performance
  • This work is marked in school by Mr Gordon

 

 

A 2 Level Music

UNIT 4: MUSIC IN CONTEXT (20% of A level)

  • Builds on the work done in Unit 1 in Year 12, and split into three seperate areas:-
    • Listening – developing critical listening skills further still
    • An in-depth study of Elgar’s Symphony No. 1 (op. 55)
    • One historical study, either:-
      • English Choral Music in the 20th Century, or
      • Chamber Music from Mendelssohn to Debussy, or
      • Four Decades of Jazz and Blues 1910 – 1950
        • We usually study Jazz, but leave the choice to the students
  • This work is then tested in a 2 ¼ hour Listening and Writing Paper that is marked externally

UNIT 5: DEVELOPING MUSICAL IDEAS (15% of A level)

  • Composing
  • A maximum of 20 hours controlled assessment
  • choosing one brief (released on November 1st in the year of the exam) from either:-
    • Compositional Techniques involving the harmonization of a given Bach Chorale and the completion of a movement of a given string quartet, or
    • Free composition, lasting between 5 and 8 minutes
    • Arranging a given piece of popular ‘classical’ music, from any musical period, into any recognized musical style
  • This work is then sent away to be marked

 

UNIT 6: A MUSICAL PERFORMANCE (15% of A level)

  • Choose from either:
    • A solo acoustic performance of 10 – 15 minutes or
    • Two Performances via Music Technology, each lasting at least 48 bars, in which students can choose
      • Sequencing or
      • Live ‘Close Mic’ recording
    • A combination of the two
  • This work is then sent away to be marked