GCSE Music2018-04-06T11:54:21+00:00

GCSE Music


The Course

The course has three parts which cover the key areas of Music; performance, composition and appraisal.

Performance (30%)

You will have opportunities to perform as a soloist and ensemble member throughout the course. Two of your performances (one as soloist and one as ensemble member) will be recorded, marked by your teacher and submitted to the exam board.

Composition (30%)

In your lessons you will be taught how to compose to a given brief. You will compose one piece to a brief set by the board and one piece to your own brief. This is coursework, which takes place in lessons over the two years of the course. Your compositions will be marked by your teacher and submitted to the exam board.

Listening and Analysis (40%)

Eight set works are chosen by the exam board for in depth study. These cover a broad range of genres from baroque music for a small ensemble to popular music and fusion. Your knowledge of the set works is tested in an exam that lasts 1 hour 45 minutes. As well as the questions on set works there will be questions on two pieces of unfamiliar music.

Why study Music?

Music GCSE is most appropriate for those pupils who are around grade 3 on their instrument or voice. You will enjoy Music GCSE if you have an enthusiasm for learning about all styles of music and developing your composing and performing skills. Studying Music allows pupils to develop skills not found in any other subject and employers value Music GCSE students highly. The Edexcel course is excellent preparation for an A Level Music course and this can lead to a wide range of jobs in many fields of employment.


The music course allows for a wealth of performance opportunities. As a Music GCSE student you will be expected to join one or more of the school’s ensembles and it is generally found that those who do not participate in an ensemble achieve at least one grade lower than those who do. Other opportunities include trips to concerts and musicals.