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Teachers Guide

Edexcel GCSE in
Music
This guide shows you how to:

Get an examiners insight into the


standards through marked student
answers

Plan your delivery quickly and easily


with the course planner and content
overviews

Recruit more students onto the course


with taster lesson plans and an enticing
student guide

Compare the content with current


specications so you can see whats
changed.
Welcome to the GCSE 2009
Music Teachers Guide
This Teachers Guide has been designed to contain all the information,
guidance and materials you need to achieve better results with our GCSE
2009 Music qualication.
Inside you will discover some fantastic content, including:

A simple overview of what is new in the GCSE in Music qualication


for a concise understanding of the course content

Useful comparisons between exam boards to clearly identify the


differences in the specications

A course planner to help you organise the academic year

Useful teaching ideas and lesson guides for practical inspiration

A customisable student guide to entice students to Music

A clear assessment summary to help make your assessment


decisions simple

Exam questions with student answers and examiners comments to


give students an examiners knowledge of the exam requirements

Detailed guidance on setting, taking and marking controlled


assessments
However, thats not all.
Consider this your personal guide through the various teaching support
services we have on offer. You will also nd useful contact information,
web addresses and much more. Our GCSE 2009 Music qualication will
be supported better than ever before.
We look forward to working with you
to achieve better results.
1 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
Contents
Working together ............................................. 2
Find out why Edexcel is your best choice for better results
Your best choice by far ............................................................................................. 2
Better results for all .................................................................................................... 3
Better support services ............................................................................................ 4
Making your decision ................................................................................................ 5
Section A: Content guide ................................... 6
A quick guide to the specifcation and how easy it is to use
Whats new? .................................................................................................................. 6
Information for Edexcel centres ............................................................................ 7
Information for AQA centres .................................................................................. 8
Information for OCR centres ................................................................................... 9
Course planner ..........................................................................................................10
Content exemplifcation ........................................................................................13
Teaching ideas ...........................................................................................................24
Student guide ............................................................................................................26
Section B: Assessment guide ............................ 28
Find out why our papers are better and our controlled assessment is simpler
Assessment overview..............................................................................................28
Examination questions ..........................................................................................30
Controlled assessment ................................................................................................ 38
2 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
Working together
Your best choice by far
Were on hand to help you
As the UKs largest awarding body, we have a network of of ces in
Birmingham, Bristol, Cardif, Leeds, and Manchester, as well as our
head of ce in London and our operations centre in Hellaby.
We also have the largest feld team of any awarding body skilled
staf who will carry out local presentations and give you the support
you need. So wherever you are, were on hand to help you.
We ofer not only GCSEs but also many other academic and
vocational qualifcations throughout the UK and worldwide.
Were part of Pearson, the worlds largest educational publisher
and draw on their resources to provide unbeatable support for
teaching, learning and assessment.
Weve become the biggest by being the best
Shared values and aims
Everything we do at Edexcel helps people to achieve their
potential. From our wide range of qualifcations, to Trident,
our work experience service, through to our professional
training courses. We aim to bring about a positive change
and great success in peoples lives through learning.
Advancing Learning Changing Lives
We value our staff, we value teachers
Everyone matters at Edexcel. Our employees are important in
enabling us to ofer an innovative and ef cient service. Many
of our staf are teachers who work for us each year as examiners
and moderators. We invest in our staf to ensure they have the
skills to deliver high levels of service. As a result, we are proud to
have held an Investor in People (IiP) Award Badge since 2004.
We invest in education and innovation
We lead the way in introducing technology to the education industry
with the aim of providing greater accessibility, delivering more ef cient
exams and cutting bureaucracy. This includes our growing online
knowledgebase Ask Edexcel, spearheading online marking with our
e-Pen system and redefning examination administration with Edexcel
Online. Additionally, our unique ResultsPlus service helps you achieve
better results for all your students.
to deliver better results for all
Over 16 000 examiners
and moderators are at
work for Edexcel each
year.
3 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
What weve learnt thanks to you
Through consultations with teachers like you, we learnt a great deal. We learnt that you
want a clear and simple structure to the specifcation and a specifcation that students can
understand as easily as you do. You want a clear mark scheme so that you and your students
can see what were looking for.
You told us what you meant by an accessible paper and why thats important in giving all
students a chance to show what they can do. You told us how important training is and
why excellent ongoing support is crucial. You told us that you wanted to be able to email
or talk to our experts and get answers to your questions, quickly and simply.
Weve listened. This specifcation and all the additional support is the result. Thanks to you.
Better results for all
A simple modular structure
so you can bank results
Most of our specifcations have a modular structure, which means you have real fexibility over
what you teach when and choice when to enter students for assessment. It allows you to chunk
the teaching and bank results. It also means that if a re-sit is needed, you can use ResultsPlus
feedback to ensure students do better the second time because you both know where
improvement is needed.
A clearer specifcation
... so you know whats needed
We understand that being clear about what you need to teach is a real help to you and your
students. Weve provided planning help and schemes of work to lighten the load and we even
give you a student version of the specifcation to help your students take more responsibility for
their learning.
More accessible papers
so everyone can show what they can do
We have put a great deal of thought and research into our new papers. They have been
redesigned to look more approachable and open and we have reworded the instructions so no
student will be fustered by them. Weve given them advice on pacing themselves so they can
achieve the best mark. Most importantly, weve made sure our questions are as accessible as
possible by using direct language and all the other factors our research shows makes for better
papers.
Better support for controlled assessment
... so you can focus on improvement not admin
Because controlled assessment is new, weve put together a support package that will help
you get started and then support you year after year. Initial training sessions give you a chance
to meet the moderator, hear whats needed and network with other local schools. Then, once
youre underway, you have online access to our teams of experts to answer your questions and
support you every step of the way.
4 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
Working together
Better support services
ResultsPlus: Look forward to better exam results
ResultsPlus is our unique performance improvement
service for you and your students. Its better than the AQA
service as it has item level data on each paper and gives
diagnostic feedback, not just summary comparisons.
ResultsPlus helps you to:
Raise attainment by giving you an in-depth analysis
of where your class did well and where they didnt.
By using this information you can identify where to
make improvements.
Spot performance trends at-a-glance by accessing one-
click reports (for example comparisons between classes
etc). You can even choose to compare your cohorts
performance against other centres throughout the UK.
Personalise your students learning by reviewing how
each student performed, question by question, paper
by paper and use the detailed analysis to shape future
teaching and learning. Meet the needs of your students
on results day by giving them immediate access to
their examination results or if you would rather have
control yourself, simply have access to the full
data as you talk to each student on the day.
The way that ResultsPlus works is very simple.
Just use the login details for Edexcel Online (if you
dont have access, your examinations of cer will
be able to help you) and log into the ResultsPlus
website. To fnd out more go to:
www.edexcel.com/resultsplus
How can you improve results year on year
and student by student?
Ask the expert
Want to be put in touch directly
with our examiners and subject
experts and get answers to all your
questions?
With our unique service you can
be in direct touch with our senior
examiners and moderators as well
as our subject experts and all through one simple
email address. They will personally answer any of your
enquiries about the content of our specifcation within
two working days. Theyre there when you need them.
Ask about controlled assessment as well
As you start to introduce controlled assessment, youll
have the same simple access to your moderator and our
experts. We want to make teaching simpler for you.
Textbooks and other resources
We know that you want resources that are fexible
and authoritative which work with the full ability
range with which you are working. And we know
that you want a real choice not just being forced
to use the of cial textbook. With us, you have that
choice.
For most specifcations, youll fnd that we publish
a textbook and other resources to support you
and your students. They are often written by our
examining team and we do everything we can
to make sure they are accurate and fully refect
the intention of the specifcation. They will often
include additional questions and commentary on
the examination so are exceptionally useful to you
and your students.
Equally, we work with a range of other publishers
and give them the same support in their eforts to
produce high quality teaching material, which
goes through our rigorous endorsement process.
With us, you have a choice
5 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
Making your decision
Help with making the right decision

Look at our new specifcation and teachers notes
we give you an at-a-glance summary of the specifcation as well as the detail
in this guide we give a quick overview of the content and benefts

Look at our accessible sample assessment materials
we understand that better papers mean more accessible papers and have completely
redesigned our papers to be more accessible
we have made sure through the detailed design of every question, that all your students
will get a fair chance of showing what they can do

Come and talk to us or invite us to come to you
we have a whole series of national meetings on this specifcation, to fnd out where the
next one is, go to www.edexcel.com/training
Preparation and planning

Planning help
we ofer complete schemes of work and lesson plans

Resources help
we ofer the widest range of resources to support your teaching
we publish our own textbooks to support the specifcation and work with a wide range of
other publishers to produce endorsed textbooks so you have a real choice in the resources
available as well as confdence in their quality

Training help
a wide range of courses will be available to help you understand the specifcation and
plan for it more efectively

Controlled assessment help
controlled assessment is new and weve made it as simple as possible
youll get face-to-face support to get you started and ongoing support from our on-hand
experts all the time
Assistance and support as you start to teach

Instant access to our subject experts
weve given you the plans and made the resources available to get you started but know there
are bound to be a few questions so you can use our Ask the Expert service to get answers

Controlled assessment workshops
well be running face-to-face workshops where you can meet your moderator and other
teachers to understand whats needed and share best practice

More sample assessment papers
as you start to prepare students for the frst exams, well make additional papers available in
the style of the exam. The papers are more accessible and there are no surprises
From January 2010 for modular specications you can start entering students
for their rst modules and looking forward to better results for all
We can help you decide, plan and implement
to get better results for all your students
We want to ensure you have all the help and information needed to make the right
decision. Of course, we hope you choose us but know that the decision is yours.
Heres how well help you make and implement your decision.
6 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
Section A: Content guide
Whats new?
All GCSE Music specifcations must follow the national subject criteria set out by QCA. The new
subject criteria have allowed us to make the changes to our specifcation that teachers have
been asking for.
Performing
In Unit 1 students can now submit performances where it would be inappropriate to provide a
score to assess the accuracy of the performance. This new feature is called Realisation and allows
MCs and DJs to access the performing element of the course and gives a more natural option for
those who learn through the oral tradition.
Teachers have told us that, although it is good to link diferent skills and tasks throughout the
course, a requirement for all students to make formal links between performing and composing
tasks can restrict musicality. It is, therefore, no longer a requirement for students to perform a
piece taken from the same Area of Study as one of their compositions.
Composing
We have listened to teachers and, in Unit 2 we have removed the requirement for students to
write about their own compositions. The Understanding the Brief criterion has been removed, so
the compositions are now assessed on composition skills alone through three core compulsory
criteria and three optional criteria.
Teachers have told us that they want to ofer students the widest possible choice of composing
topics, so we have ensured that the Areas of Study enable students to express their creativity
whilst still giving them a suitable framework to work within.
Controlled conditions
All awarding bodies now need to implement controlled conditions for the completion of
coursework. See page 38 for more details.
Listening and appraising
The introduction of set works in Unit 3 allows students to focus on specifc works within an Area
of Study. In addition, they will gain an understanding of the Area of Study as a whole by learning
about the context within which the works were composed. Studying the set works will give
students the opportunity to study pieces in more depth. This deeper study will open up the key
musical concepts within the set works, which they can then apply to their own compositions.
The set works will remain the same for the life span of the specifcation.
7 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
Information for
Edexcel centres
We have kept those features of the GCSE which we know teachers value. The focus remains on
practical music making and we allow use of a wide range of instruments, media and genres to
foster creativity.
Current Edexcel specifcation content New Edexcel specifcation content
Areas of Study
Structure in western classical music 1600-1899
Changing directions in western classical music
from 1900
Popular music in context
Indian raga, African music and fusions

Areas of Study
Western classical music 1600-1899
Music in the 20th century
Popular music in context
World music

Paper 1: Performing (30%)


Students produce both a solo and an ensemble
performance recorded at any time during the
course.
Performances may be on any instrument and in
any style, with the centre choosing the music
to be performed by each student.
One of the pieces performed must come from
the same Area of Study as Composition 1.
The unit is assessed by the teacher and
moderated by Edexcel.

Unit 1: Performing Music (30%)


Students produce both a solo and an ensemble
performance recorded at any time during the
course.
Performances may be on any instrument and in
any style, with the centre choosing the music
to be performed by each student.
No requirement to link one of the
performances to Composition 1.
Controlled assessment conditions will apply to
this unit, which is assessed by the teacher and
moderated by Edexcel.

Paper 2: Composing (30%)


Students produce:
two compositions or
two arrangements or
one arrangement and one composition.
The combined length of the two pieces should
be three minutes in total.
Students will appraise their composition by
completing the Understanding the Brief pro
forma.
The unit is assessed by the teacher and
moderated by Edexcel.

Unit 2: Composing Music (30%)


Students produce:
two compositions or
two arrangements or
one arrangement and one composition.
The combined length of the two pieces should
be between two and four minutes.
Students no longer have to write about their
compositions and are assessed on composition
skills only.
Controlled assessment conditions will apply to
this unit, which is assessed by the teacher and
moderated by Edexcel.

Paper 3: Listening and appraising (40%)


1-hour 30-minute examination externally set
and marked by Edexcel.
Students respond to questions based on
recorded extracts of unfamiliar music.
Extracts are drawn from a variety of styles and
traditions across all four Areas of Study.

Unit 3: Music Listening and Appraising (40%)


1-hour 30-minute examination externally set
and marked by Edexcel.
Students respond to questions based around
the set works for the unit.
In Section A, students respond to questions
based on recorded extracts of set works.
In Section B, students answer a more
in-depth question on a chosen set work(s)
and are assessed on Quality of Written
Communication (QWC).

8 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008


Section A: Content guide
Information for
AQA centres
One of the consequences of the QCA revisions, in particular the introduction of the same
controlled assessment across all awarding bodies, has been to narrow some of the historic
diferences. As all the specifcations are being revised, now is an ideal opportunity to look again
at the choices available. The new Edexcel specifcation ofers excellent opportunities for a wide
range of practical music making to inspire GCSE students.
Current AQA content New Edexcel specifcation
Areas of Study
Music for Film
Music for Dance
Music for Special Events
Orchestral Landmarks
The Popular Song since 1960
A body of musical language is provided to serve as
a basis for the approach to all the music within an
Area of Study.
Listening and Appraising Test (25%)
1-hour 15-minute exam
A listening and written paper drawing on music
from all fve Areas of Study. Recorded excerpts of
music will be provided on CD.
Coursework Composing (25%)
One composition which is based on Area of Study:
Music for Special Events.
Coursework Performing (25%)
One solo and one ensemble performance, of
diferent pieces of music selected by or for the
student, on one instrument/voice of the students
choosing.
Integrated Assignment (25%)
AQA will issue assignments for one composition
to be completed in the autumn term of the year
of examination. The assignments will arise from
four of the Areas of Study. The composition will be
submitted in the form of a score and/or annotation
and it must be accompanied by a recorded
realisation of the piece and an evaluation of its
success when measured alongside the demands of
the assignment.

Areas of Study
Western classical music 1600-1899
Music in the 20th century
Popular music in context
World music
Unit 1: Performing Music (30%)
Students produce both a solo and an ensemble
performance recorded at any time during the
course.
Performances may be on any instrument and in
any style, with the centre choosing the music
to be performed by each student.
No requirement to link one of the
performances to Composition 1.
Controlled assessment conditions will apply to
this unit, which is assessed by the teacher and
moderated by Edexcel.
Unit 2: Composing Music (30%)
Students produce:
two compositions or
two arrangements or
one arrangement and one composition.
The combined length of the two pieces should
be between two and four minutes.
Students no longer have to write about their
compositions and are assessed on composition
skills only.
Controlled assessment conditions will apply to
this unit, which is assessed by the teacher and
moderated by Edexcel.
Unit 3: Music Listening and Appraising (40%)
1-hour 30-minute examination externally set
and marked by Edexcel.
Students respond to questions based around
the set works for the unit.
In Section A, students respond to questions
based on recorded extracts of set works.
In Section B, students answer a more in-depth
question on a chosen set work(s) and are
assessed on QWC.

9 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008


Information for
OCR centres
One of the consequences of the QCA revisions, in particular the introduction of the same
controlled assessment across all awarding bodies, has been to narrow some of the historic
diferences. As all the specifcations are being revised, now is an ideal opportunity to look again
at the choices available. The new Edexcel specifcation ofers excellent opportunities for a wide
range of practical music making to inspire GCSE students.
Current OCR content New Edexcel specifcation
Areas of Study
1: Exploiting the Resource
2: Techniques of Melodic Composition
3: Dance Music
4: Traditions and Innovation
Terminal task
15% of total marks, 30 minutes
Students will be required to respond to one of
three externally set stimuli, under controlled
conditions, creating music based on the chosen
stimulus. They will be required to communicate
their response either through a live performance,
a performance using technology or by writing it
down.
Listening exam
25% of total marks, 1 hours
Coursework, 60% of total marks
Divided into two parts.
Part A: Integrated Coursework (linked Performing,
Composing and Appraising) 30%
The performance piece may be a solo part or piece
(either accompanied or unaccompanied) or a
signifcant individual part in an ensemble.
Part B: Further Performing (two pieces) and Further
Composing (one piece) 30%
At least one of the three performance pieces must
be a solo part or piece (either accompanied or
unaccompanied) and one must be a signifcant
individual part in an ensemble. The other piece
may be either a solo or an individual part in an
ensemble.
Areas of Study
Western classical music 1600-1899
Music in the 20th century
Popular music in context
World music
Unit 1: Performing Music (30%)
Students produce both a solo and an ensemble
performance recorded at any time during the
course.
Performances may be on any instrument and in
any style, with the centre choosing the music
to be performed by each student.
No requirement to link one of the
performances to Composition 1.
Controlled assessment conditions will apply to
this unit, which is assessed by the teacher and
moderated by Edexcel.
Unit 2: Composing Music (30%)
Students produce:
two compositions or
two arrangements or
one arrangement and one composition.
The combined length of the two pieces should
be between two and four minutes.
Students no longer have to write about their
compositions and are assessed on composition
skills only.
Controlled assessment conditions will apply to
this unit, which is assessed by the teacher and
moderated by Edexcel.
Unit 3: Music Listening and Appraising (40%)
1-hour 30-minute examination externally set
and marked by Edexcel.
Students respond to questions based around
the set works for the unit.
In Section A, students respond to questions
based on recorded extracts of set works.
In Section B, students answer a more in-depth
question on a chosen set work(s) and are
assessed on QWC.

10 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008


Section A: Content guide
Course planner
Delivery of the GCSE specifcation will vary from one centre to the next. The following is one
possible route through the course. However, this example course plan should be tailored to
meet individual circumstances. There are two diferent approaches that can be adapted from
the following course outline and this might be governed by the structure of the weekly music
curriculum, ie:
teaching the three elements of listening, composing and performing as separate activities, or
teaching with an integrated approach combining two (or three) of these elements in each
lesson or lessons.
Delivery in two years
Year one
Term 1
Weeks
Content
1-3 Listening: Introduction to the main periods covered by Area of Study 1 Baroque,
Classical and Romantic. Picking out the salient features of each musical style.
1-3 Composing: Introduction to the basics of notation including note names, note values,
time and key signatures.
1-3 Performing: Students to bring in instruments and play to each other. This doesnt have to
be a completed piece, but could be some work in progress.
4-6 Listening: Area of Study 1 Western classical music 1600-1899. Begin work on Handel:
Chorus: And the glory of The Lord from Messiah . Relate study of Baroque musical
features to this work. This study should also include a brief look at the composer, a
basic analysis of the set piece and the key points of the genre, placing the music in an
historical context and, if time, a look at other works by Handel.
4-6 Composing: Chords and cadences, and musical structures found in the set works from
Area of Study 1.
4-6 Performing: Set individual goals for a performance in week 12.
7-9 Listening: Mozart: 1st Movement from Symphony No. 40 in G minor. This is a large-scale
sonata form movement and will take a few weeks of lesson time to cover in detail. Study
should include a look at what constitutes the form of a classical symphony, the structure
of sonata form, the classical orchestra, and the set movement itself.
7-9 Composing: Simple melodic construction. This ties in neatly with the study of classical
music and the importance of balanced four bar phrases. Students write their own
melodies using a simple eight bar (4+4) phrase structure.
7-9 Performing: Individual work continues.
10-12 Listening: Romantic piano music and the set work of Chopin: Prelude No 15 in D fat
major. The background study should include work on Romanticism in music generally,
the development of the piano in the Romantic period and a basic analysis of the set
piece.
10-12 Composing: Writing a romantic melody. Students choose an emotion or idea, eg love,
and write an expressive melody.
10-12 Performance: Practise leading up to class performance at end of term. Aim for each
student to perform one piece.

11 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008


Year one continued
Term 2
Weeks
Content
1-4 Listening: Area of Study 2 Music in the 20th century. Begin work on Bernstein:
Somethings Coming from West Side Story. This four weeks of study needs to cover the
origins of the musical genre, the background and story of West Side Story, the composer
Leonard Bernstein and the diferent song forms found in the work. Central to this work
are the musical features of jazz that permeate the music.
1-4 Composing: Setting words to music and simple song writing exercises.
1-4 Performing: This term should include organising potential class ensembles, as students
who have no experience of group music making will need several weeks of practise.
5-8 Listening: Schoenberg: Peripetie from Five Orchestral Pieces, Op. 16. Again, some work
on the composer and this genre of music needs to be covered in addition to a basic
analysis of the set work.
5-8 Composing: Using simple chords to harmonise melodies. Students can use their song
pieces from weeks 14 and write simple accompaniments/chords for their songs.
5-11 Performing: Continue solo and ensemble work. Aim for a solo performance from each
student in the last week of term.
9-11 Listening: Reich: 3rd Movement (fast) from Electric Counterpoint. Work to include a study
of minimalism and the associated techniques and features. Analyse the set work and
study the composer.
9-11 Composing: Writing a short minimalist piece from a given opening. Using just two
melodic lines (given by the teacher), students try out some of the techniques inherent in
the minimalist style, such as note addition (subtraction), phasing, counterpoint and cross
rhythms.
Term 3
Weeks
Content
1-4 Listening: Area of Study 3 Popular music in context. Miles Davis: All Blues from the
album Kind of Blue. Work should include a general study of the main landmarks in jazz,
including, trad/Dixieland jazz, big band and swing, bop and free jazz. Look at the other
music by Miles Davis and analyse the set work.
1-4 Composing: This term is the time to start Composition 1. Having covered seven diferent
set works so far, students can choose one as the stimulus for their own composition or
compose in a style that falls under the broad headings of the Areas of Study covered so
far.
1-4 Performing: Preparation for end-of-year assessment. One solo piece and one ensemble
piece.
5-8 Listening: Moby: Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? from the album Play. The work should
include an analysis of the song and a look at how Moby uses technology.
5-8 Composing: Work on Composition 1.
5-11 Performing: Continue both solo and ensemble work. Assist as necessary.
9-11 Listening: Revision weeks on Areas of Study 1 and 2 for an end-of-year Listening and
Appraising examination.
9-11 Composing: Work on Composition 1.
12 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
Section A: Content guide
Year two
Term 4
Weeks
Content
1-4 Listening: Area of Study 4 World music. The featured work is Capercaillie: Skye Waulking Song from the
album Ndurra. Study the background to this folk song and work through a basic analysis of the music.
1-4 Composing: Aim to complete Composition 1 by half-term. Composition 2 (based on a topic from a
diferent Area of Study) will be started after half-term.
1-4 Performing: This term the emphasis will be on selecting the actual GCSE solo and ensemble performance
pieces that will be recorded and assessed.
5-8 Listening: A study of the Indian raga Rag Desh. In addition to the analysis of performances of the rag,
students should study the Indian instruments and elements of a raga performance (alap, jor, jhalla and
gat and listen to the suggested listening in the specifcation).
5-8 Composing: Start work on Composition 2.
5-11 Performing: Continue solo and ensemble work. Assist as necessary.
9-11 Listening: Revision weeks on Areas of Study 3 and 4 for an end-of-term mock Listening and Appraising
examination. This might be next term depending on centre practice for mock GCSE examinations.
9-11 Composing: Work on Composition 2.
Term 5
Weeks
Content
1-4 Listening: Having now completed the prescribed Unit 3 set works, this term is ideal for practice questions
to improve examination technique.
1-4 Composing: This term is the time to complete Composition 2. The set deadline should be the end of term.
1-4 Performing: Preparation for internal assessment. One solo piece and one ensemble piece to be recorded
in the last two weeks of this term.
5-8 Listening: Attention should now be focused on the Section B extended-writing task from the Listening
and Appraising paper.
5-8 Composing: Work on Composition 2.
5-11 Performing: Continue both solo and ensemble work. Assist as necessary. In fnal two weeks of term,
record solo and ensemble pieces.
9-11 Listening: Revision weeks on all four Areas of Study. Draw up key fact cards on each of the set works.
9-11 Composing: Completion of Composition 2.
Term 6
Weeks
Content
1-6 Listening: Intensive revision period for Unit 3.
1-6 Composing: The fnal touches to both compositions can be made in the frst three weeks of term or
so. Recordings of the compositions and the accompanying scores or written commentaries should be
fnalised. All students should be assessed by the teacher-examiner. Aim to send of the requested sample
of students compositions to the moderator by May 1st.
1-6 Performing: Complete recordings of all performances. All students should be assessed by the teacher-
examiner. Aim to send of the requested sample of students compositions to the moderator by May 1st.
6-10 GCSE examination period.
13 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
Content
exemplifcation
Unit 1 Performing Music
By the end of the course each student is expected to have completed:
one solo performance
one ensemble performance.
Solo and ensemble performing
A solo performance is one in which the student plays a signifcant or leading role.
A solo performance can be accompanied or unaccompanied, as appropriate to the piece.
An accompaniment should be provided if it is normally expected for the chosen piece. A
performance will not receive a fxed penalty if an accompaniment is not provided, but the
student may be disadvantaged under the interpretation criterion. A backing track is an
acceptable accompaniment to a solo performance.
The accompaniment may occasionally double the solo line and, where excessive doubling
occurs, the Level of Difculty will be reduced (you should refer to the Levels of Difculty grids in
the specifcation to ensure that a suitable performance piece has been chosen). Where a backing
track has been used as an accompaniment, it is important to ensure that the part to be assessed
(for example the vocal line) is not audible in the accompaniment itself or it will be penalised for
excessive doubling of the lead part. An example of this is where a student chooses to sing over
the original CD when the original vocal line is still audible.
Students who play instruments for which traditional solo music is difcult to obtain, may play
as part of a group provided they clearly play a leading or signifcant role within the group.
However, a group performance cannot be submitted as a solo if the student to be assessed
cannot easily be shown to have taken a lead role. For example, it would be acceptable for a
drummer to submit a group performance if the piece contained a drum solo, many drum flls or
a particularly dominant drum part which is clearly leading the rest of the group, but it would not
be acceptable if the drummer is playing a straightforward rock beat without complex flls or a
solo. Similarly, it may be more appropriate for a beginner level bass player to fnd a backing track
to play along to as it would be unlikely that a predominately root-note oriented bass line could
be argued to be playing a leading or signifcant role. Students in a steel pan ensemble would be
able to submit only the melody part as a solo (or a particularly dominant counter-melody part),
unless one of the other parts is a particular feature in the arrangement.
An ensemble performance must consist of two or more people performing undoubled,
simultaneously sounding, independent parts with or without additional backing or
accompaniment as appropriate. An ensemble performance can be a reduction of a larger-scale
ensemble, for example reducing a concert band to one instrument playing each part to avoid
doubling. Excessive doubling of parts is penalised in the same way for ensembles as for solo
performances. Presenting an orchestral recording where the part to be assessed is one of eight
violinists in a section would be unacceptable.

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Section A: Content guide
Solo plus accompaniment submissions are acceptable as ensemble performances for the
accompanist only. The solo part will always be considered as a solo performance. If two solo
performances are submitted (ie no ensemble performance is submitted) only the highest scoring
performance will be credited; the second solo will attract no marks.
Ensemble performances may use backing tracks, in addition to the two or more live performers,
as long as the backing does not double the parts to be assessed.
Choice of instrument
Solo and ensemble performances may be submitted on any instrument. It is not necessary
to present both performances on the same instrument. It is also possible to submit either
performance using music technology. A combination of traditional performing for either the solo
or ensemble and a music technology performance for the other is permissible.
Choice of pieces
The choice of piece is probably the most important factor in determining the success of a
performance. The three most signifcant factors to consider are: the difculty of the piece relative
to the students ability, the length of the piece and the genre.
Students should avoid selecting pieces which are at the limit of their technical ability. If they
need to channel considerable efort into ensuring they are playing the correct notes then it is
unlikely that they will be able to give enough attention to the interpretative detail required in the
piece. However, if the student is selecting a piece at the beginning of the frst year of the course
they will need to pick something which will stimulate and challenge them. A balance needs to
be struck between a piece being motivating and challenging whilst also being achievable in the
time available to the student.
There is no minimum time limit for either a solo or ensemble performance. Some very short
pieces will give a student ample opportunity to show their ability, but others will not. Professional
judgement needs to be applied to ensure that the student can access the full range of marks,
especially in the interpretation criteria.
Each performance should not exceed fve minutes. There is no fxed penalty for exceeding the
time limit, but a student may be disadvantaged by having to maintain concentration for an
unnecessarily extended duration.
Ideally, pieces should not be truncated, but it could be appropriate in cases where this may
actually improve the sense of proportion. For example when a guitarist is performing a song
to a backing track but without the vocal part it may be appropriate to leave out a repeat of a
verse and chorus. It is not necessary for an accompanist to play the frst 32 bars of an orchestral
reduction when a student is being assessed for performing the solo line in a concerto.
Students may choose to perform a piece in any genre or style. The piece should be suitable
for submission to the moderator, so should not include any obscenities or other inappropriate
language.
Diferent genres allow for diferent levels of dynamic contrast, variety of articulation etc, so, for
certain genres, care should be taken when selecting pieces that the full range of marks can be
accessed in the interpretation criteria.
15 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
Areas of Study
There is no longer a requirement for either performance piece to link to the compositions
submitted for Unit 2.
Scores
All pieces submitted for moderation must be accompanied by a score containing all the pitch
and rhythm detail necessary to assess the accuracy of the performance. A commentary can be
submitted in lieu of a score, but it must contain enough performance information to allow the
accuracy of the performance to be assessed. Lyric sheets, screenshots or vague commentaries
describing the story behind the piece are unacceptable as scores because they do not contain
enough performance detail to allow accurate assessment. Guitar TAB is acceptable as long
as it contains rhythmic detail in addition to pitch information. Any tablature appropriate to
instruments from diferent cultures is acceptable as long as it is accompanied by a clear key.
Where a student has deliberately performed elements of the piece diferently from what is
written on the score, the teacher-examiner must annotate the score or make sufciently detailed
comments to highlight any discrepancies. Failure to do so may disadvantage the student.
Often it is more appropriate for students to submit a copy of the professional recording in lieu of
a score. Where students have learned a track from the original recording they should probably
submit the original recording as the stimulus instead of the piano/vocal score as the score will
often be simplifed by necessity.
In some styles there is a signifcant element of improvisation. In such cases the original stimulus
should be presented and the piece marked as solo improvisation or ensemble improvisation. If
the original stimulus is provided, or if it is via the oral tradition, then a recording of the stimulus
should be presented (and the performance assessed as a realisation).
DJ mixes and electro-acoustic difusions must be accompanied by a detailed commentary
written by the student, highlighting their intentions and detailing any stimulus material used, for
example the original tracks used in a mix.
Levels of Difculty
All performances must be assessed using the assessment grids in the specifcation in order to
arrive at a raw mark, irrespective of the difculty of the piece. Teacher-examiners must then make
a judgement on the Level of Difculty (LoD) of the piece using the Level of Difculty grids in the
specifcation. Where a LoD grid does not exist for an instrument, teacher-examiners should use
the grids which are best suited to the instrument to be assessed, justifying their decision in the
submission paperwork.
Options
Students must submit one solo and one ensemble performance, but there are several options
within each.
Solo performing Ensemble performing
Traditional solo performance Traditional ensemble performance
Solo improvisation Ensemble improvisation
Sequenced performance Multi-track recording
Realisation Rehearsing and directing
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Section A: Content guide
Any combination of one solo performing option with one ensemble performing option is
acceptable.
When assessing performances, care must be taken to ensure that the correct mark scheme is
used. Some performances may fall into more than one performing option (for example those
which contain an element of improvisation), in which case the mark scheme giving the student
the highest mark should be used and a comment justifying the choice of mark scheme should
be made on the submission paperwork.
Any students taking the Rehearsing and Directing option must submit a DVD, along with the
score, to show them directing the ensemble.
When submitting a solo performance as a realisation, students must provide a written
commentary, in lieu of a score or professional recording, outlining performance detail and
intentions. They should include as much detail as possible to allow the teacher-examiner and
moderator to make a fair and accurate judgement on the quality of the performance. Pieces
submitted without written commentaries will not be assessed. Teacher-examiners should make
more detailed comments justifying their marking than would normally be expected when a
score or professional recording is available.
DJ performers and those undertaking a live sound difusion should include a list of the original
material they have used in their commentary. Credit will be given for smooth mixing between
tracks/sound sources and for selection of the original sounds.
Use of music technology
All elements of Units 1 and 2 may be completed using music technology. A student may present
a sequence as a solo performance, a multi-track recording as an ensemble performance and
both compositions may be written and recorded using music technology. It is not compulsory
for students to submit any elements of their practical work using music technology, but all
students should be given an opportunity to use it during the course so that they can make
informed decisions on whether it will be a useful tool to help them complete their practical work.
Sequencing is considered to be a piece which has been input into a MIDI/audio sequencing
package, such as Cubase, Logic or Sonar, using a MIDI input device such as a keyboard, MIDI
drums, MIDI guitar or step-input using a computer keyboard and mouse. All the musical
information such as pitch, duration, dynamics etc, will be adjustable after input and the data will
be represented as blocks on a piano roll, staf notation or as a list of numerical data representing
each editable parameter of the MIDI information.
Notation packages such as Sibelius or Finale are acceptable for use as sequencers for the purpose
of GCSE Music, but they are primarily desktop publishing packages so will not contain as many
MIDI editing features as a dedicated sequencing package. Any software which allows the student
to input and subsequently edit MIDI data is valid as a sequencing package.
A performance entirely input as MIDI is considered a sequence (and therefore a solo
performance), irrespective of the number of tracks the student has input.
If a track is recorded as audio then the individual parameters of each note in the performance
will not be readily editable and the information will probably be represented in the software
package as a waveform. If any audio is recorded then the performance is considered a multi-track
recording not a sequence.
17 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
For the purpose of this specifcation sequences are considered as solo performances and multi-
track recordings are considered as ensemble performances. Any performances containing
signifcant amounts of pre-recorded material or loops should be submitted as a realisation.
Any Unit 1 submissions containing an element of music technology should be presented as
befts a music technology performance. The quality of the recording should allow for an accurate
assessment of the work.
Centres should be aware of the minimum equipment requirements for any performing option
they ofer to students, whether music technology, rehearsing and directing, or realisation. Any
specifc concerns regarding minimum equipment specifcations can be directed to our subject
experts at gcsemusic@edexcelexperts.com
18 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
Section A: Content guide
Unit 2 Composing Music
Overview
By the end of the course each student is expected to have completed:
two original compositions, or
one original composition and one arrangement, or
two arrangements.
Each piece of work must come from a diferent Area of Study and can either be based on a
prescribed set work, for example a minimalist composition based on the study of Electric
Counterpoint by Steve Reich, or a composition based on Area of Study 2 as a whole. This
could be in any style of music in existence during that period, for example an experimental
composition.
This specifcation encourages free choice of composition style. Area of Study 1: Western classical
music 1600-1899 and Area of Study 2: Music in the 20th century encompass the last 400 years of
music. Area of Study 3: Popular music in context covers all forms of popular music and Area of
Study 4 takes in forms of world music.
Preparatory work
The study of music at Key Stage 3 will be good preparation for embarking on composition.
However, it might be useful to spend time at the outset of the course covering the basics of
musical rudiments to provide a solid foundation for free composition.
Teaching the basics
At the beginning of the course, it would be useful to ensure that the basics of staf notation
are understood. Whilst it is impossible to give a defnitive and prescriptive course outline, the
following could provide a useful guide to topics that could be covered during the two- year
course.
Note names (treble and bass clefs)
Note values
Time signatures and key signatures
Common terms, signs and expression marks
Chords and cadences (basic harmonisation)
Melody writing (how to develop a simple melody)
Writing accompaniments
Setting words to music
Musical structures (binary, ternary, ground bass, variations, rondo, sonata form)
Musical devices (drones, sequences, pedals)
Musical textures (homophony/polyphony/monophony)
In addition to these generic musical skills and knowledge, there is also the opportunity to look
at techniques used in the set works, such as minimalism in Area of Study 2, song structure and
12 bar blues in Area of Study 3 and raga in Area of Study 4.
It might be a good idea to give students a short compositional exercise to complete following
the study of a set work. This will give students the opportunity to try out some of the techniques
studied in the listening and appraising part of the course, and will assist in reinforcing learning.

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The compositions/arrangements
The combined length of the two compositions should be between two and four minutes.
However, the following should be noted:
compositions/arrangements that are very short will not often secure high marks as students
are unable to demonstrate adequate development of musical ideas. It is important, therefore,
that compositions should be long enough for judgements to be made in terms of melodic
development, use of structure, exploitation of the chosen medium, etc
compositions/arrangements that are too long can also be disadvantaged. A three-minute
piece of a high standard can often lose impact after eight minutes or more!
As to the style and form of each piece, this is very much up to the individual student. The only
restriction is that each piece must come from a diferent Area of Study.
A note about arrangements
Arrangements are an alternative to creating original compositions.
If this is chosen as an option, it is important that the student is clear about how an arrangement
difers signifcantly from a transcription. Transcriptions are to be avoided; they will secure only
modest marks as they require a low level of original input and creativity.
A transcription is, in efect, a simple re-scoring of an existing piece for a diferent selection of
instruments and/or voices. This may include a change of key but in essence there are no new
parts added to the original.
An arrangement is just that it is essentially the creation of a new piece based on an original
source. A good arrangement includes new parts, new melodies (counter melodies), new
harmonies and new textures. The arrangement will often be for a new set of instrumental and/or
vocal forces too.
What must be produced for each composition or arrangement?
Each completed piece will comprise:
a notated score (either handwritten or printed) or a written commentary which must contain
sufcient performance directions to allow for a realisation of the piece
a recording (on CD/MD/MP3). Recordings taken directly from notation software packages
such as Sibelius are acceptable.
How are the submissions assessed?
Although you may consider the assessment only at the end of the two-year GCSE course, it
might be useful at the outset to think about what is looked for when assessing compositions and
arrangements. This can help you to advise your students wisely as they work on their pieces.
Each piece of coursework is marked out of 30, broken up into six criteria, each worth fve marks.
The frst three (Criteria A-C) are compulsory but the other three can be chosen by you and the
student from a list of six (Criteria D-I).
Compulsory criteria A B C
Both compositions and arrangements must be assessed using the following three criteria.
1) For compositions
A. Use and development of ideas. In this criterion, the emphasis is on how well the student
can develop their ideas throughout the piece of music using conventions from their chosen

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Section A: Content guide
Area of Study. Sometimes, students have too many ideas which fail to develop and are simply
repeated excessively.
B. Exploitation of the medium. This looks at how well the resources are deployed and how
their potential is realised through the music.
C. Structure and form. This is an important element in any composition and examines how the
piece is constructed and does it have both elements of repetition and contrast. Some weak pieces
are often meandering and aimless because there is little or no recognisable structure to the music.
2) For arrangements
A. Use and development of ideas. In this criterion, the emphasis is on how well the student
can develop their ideas throughout the piece of music using conventions from their chosen
Area of Study. Sometimes, students have too many ideas which fail to develop and are simply
repeated excessively.
B. Exploitation of the medium. This looks at how well the resources are deployed and how
their potential is realised through the music.
C. Choice of material/extent of change/impact: As the title suggests, this criterion looks at
the original music and how appropriate it is for arranging, how well the piece works in its new
medium and how imaginative the material is in relation to the overall efect of the music.
Optional criteria D E F G H I (and J for arrangements)
Both compositions and arrangements have a number of optional criteria and you and your
student need to choose the three most appropriate to the specifc composition. For example,
in the case of an African drumming piece it would be wise to use the optional criteria texture,
tempo/rhythm and dynamics rather than melody and harmony.
The optional criteria for compositions and arrangements.
D. Melody (and part writing for arrangements). The quality of melody lines is assessed
looking particularly at their style and character.
E. Harmony/accompaniment. The range of chords used and/or the efectiveness of the
accompaniment are assessed.
F. Texture. The use of difering textures is important in any genre of music and a good
composition or arrangement will display an awareness of this aspect of music.
G. Tempo/rhythm. Pieces with interesting and adventurous rhythms should achieve high marks
here. A serial piece, using complex, irregular rhythmic patterns could also use this as an optional
criteria.
H. Dynamic contrasts. This examines how the sensitive use of dynamics can enhance a
composition or arrangement.
I. Use of technology. This will be the obvious choice for music technology pieces, where the
technological resources and processes are paramount to the creation of the music.
J. Technical problems (arrangements only). This deals with the handling of technical problems
encountered when arranging music for a new medium.
End note
At the start of the course it might be useful to explain to students how their coursework will be
assessed, so that they can focus on these musical elements as they progress and start to develop
their own compositional skills.
21 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
Unit 3: Music Listening and Appraising
This unit encourages students to develop their listening and appraising skills through the study
of music across a variety of styles and genres.
The unit content is divided into four Areas of Study, each of which contains three set works.
Unit 3 is assessed though a 1-hour and 30-minute written examination and is divided into
Sections A and B.
Section A
Section A lasts approximately 65 minutes. It has eight questions which are divided into several
parts, and it is worth 68 marks.
It is very similar to the previous Listening and Appraising paper. An examination CD is provided
and students identify musical features from the extracts they listen to. The number of times the
extracts will be heard is announced on the CD and printed on the examination paper.
Students will be given one minutes reading time at the start of each question and three minutes
to complete their answers at the end of each question.
The key diference with the new Section A is that students listen to familiar music, as each of
the eight questions is based on an extract from a set work that they have studied. It is hoped
that this new development will enable teachers to plan this part of the course more easily and
that students will have a clearer idea of what to learn and how to prepare for this section of the
examination. It will also mean that when questions are written, examiners can be sure that all
students will have had access to broadly the same repertoire and questioning can focus more
directly on this learning.
Students will still be expected to have some broad knowledge of the Areas of Study as a whole
and may be asked questions about the wider musical, social, cultural and historical context of
both the Areas of Study and the set works as appropriate. There will also be a small number of
marks allocated to questions where students have to express and justify their musical opinions.
Teachers should also bear in mind that the subject criteria for music state that all students
must gain an understanding of staf notation. Dictation exercises and other questions that test
knowledge and understanding in this area will also form part of Section A.
Examples of the types of questions asked in the Unit 3 examination can be found in Examination
questions on page 30.
Section B
In Section B, students choose to answer one of two given questions, with each question divided
into three parts.
Parts (a) and (b) will prompt students to place the set work in a wider context through two
structured questions.
In part (c) students have the opportunity to write in more detail about the set works that
they have studied and these extended responses will be assessed for Quality of Written
Communication (QWC) as well as the quality of the musical information conveyed. Details of
how QWC will be assessed can be found in the sample assessment materials mark scheme.
Part (c) questions may concentrate on one or more set works and could ask for a comparison
between two works (within the same Area of Study or from two diferent Areas of Study).
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Section A: Content guide
Whatever the focus of the question, students should be prepared to demonstrate that they are
able to write about:
how musical elements such as pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture and
structure have been used by the composer
how the instruments and groups of instruments are used
how any other key musical features have been used in a set work.
They could also be asked to:
place the music in its musical, social and historical context
express and justify opinions on the set work(s).
Students should be encouraged to express their ideas about the set works using correct musical
vocabulary, as this is a key element of the grade descriptions in the specifcation. This is also
refected in one of the descriptors in the mark scheme for Section B.
It is important to remember that detailed analysis is not required at this level. As a guide to the
level of response expected, some sample answers for Questions 9 (c) and 10 (c) are provided in
Examination questions on page 30.
Set works
The following Areas of Study and set works provide the focus for study in Unit 3.
Area of Study 1 Western classical music 1600-1899
G F Handel: Chorus: And the Glory of the Lord from Messiah, HWV 56
W A Mozart: 1st Movement from Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K 550
F Chopin: Prelude No 15 in D fat major, Op. 28
Area of Study 2 Music in the 20th century
A Schoenberg: Peripetie from Five Orchestral Pieces, Op. 16
L Bernstein: Somethings Coming from West Side Story
S Reich: 3rd Movement (fast) from Electric Counterpoint
Area of Study 3 Popular music in context
M Davis: All Blues from the album Kind of Blue
J Buckley: Grace from the album Grace
Moby: Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? From the album Play
Area of Study 4 World music
Capercaillie: Chuir MAthair Mise Dhan Taigh Charraideach (Skye Waulking Song) from the album
Ndurra
Rag Desh suggested listening:
A Shankar: Rag Desh from the album Live at Carnegie Hall
SD & H Dhandhada: Rag Desh from the album Mewar Re Mira
B Wertheimer & S Gorn: Rag Desh Parts 1-3 from the album Priyagitah: The Nightingale
Koko: Yiri

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As these works will be assessed through a listening examination, it is recommended that
students experience the set works primarily from an aural perspective. You may wish to use
scores as an additional aid to learning, where appropriate.
Students could listen to individual set works and discuss the key musical features that they have
heard, aiming to express themselves using correct musical vocabulary even at this early stage.
Discussions could focus on the following.
Resources
What instruments, voice samples and sounds are used, and in what combinations, throughout
the piece?
Is there an accepted name for this group of instruments, for example orchestra/rock band?
Musical elements
How has the composer/artist used the musical elements of pitch, duration, dynamics,
tempo, timbre, texture and structure throughout the piece?
Have any rhythmic and melodic devices been used?
What are the main tonal and harmonic features of the music?
Do you like/dislike the piece and why?
Where possible, students should be encouraged to engage with the set works on a practical
level. For example singing a melody from a song or learning a chord progression on a keyboard
would be very useful.
Most importantly, the aim of this unit is to raise student awareness of the range of compositional
approaches adopted across these set works and, as such, practical application of the methods
used could cross over into Unit 2.

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Section A: Content guide
Teaching ideas
Integrating the diferent Assessment Objectives, where appropriate, is a great way of
contextualising learning, transforming theoretical concepts into music that is alive and real.
Including short composing tasks to back up teaching of the set works will be more appropriate
to some pieces than to others. The following ideas are a starting point, but are not intended to
be prescriptive.
Area of Study 1: Raindrop Prelude for piano by Chopin
Integrating composing and listening in the study of one of the set works F Chopin: Prelude No 15
in D fat major, Op. 28
This lesson will be a springboard for further lessons in composing based on two of the ideas
contained within the study of the set work, the ternary form structure and programmatic idea.
Introduction
Students will have already studied programme music in Key Stages 1-3, so the concept of
descriptive music will be familiar.
The aim of the lesson is to listen to pieces using the simple idea of rainfall and for students create
a composition to depict a storm. The idea at this stage is not to analyse the prescribed work in
detail but for students to pick out its simple ternary structure and use this as the structure in
their own composition. The use of ternary form will emphasise the importance of repetition and
contrast in composition.
Content
Play an excerpt from the Largo movement of Winter from The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi.
The poetry ascribed to the music describes being inside by a warm fre whilst looking out as
rain soaks everyone. Students should consider how this is achieved in the music focusing on the
simple quaver pizzicato efect in the strings which depicts the rainfall.
Then listen to the Chopin prelude. The rainfall here is represented by the constant A fat/G sharp
quavers in the middle of the texture.
Both are simple, yet efective, ideas. In the Chopin prelude there is contrast between the A and
B sections in terms of key D fat major in the frst and last sections and C sharp minor in the
middle section. The melodies are diferent too, as are the musical textures. There is a higher
pitched melody and simple left-hand accompaniment in the A sections, contrasted with a much
more dense and dark bass melody and chordal sequence in B.
Task
Over the next few lessons, students take on this idea of contrast and compose (either on their
own or in groups) a piece in ternary form depicting a storm sequence: calm before the storm
the storm calm after the storm. This could be done with tuned or untuned percussion or
other instruments as appropriate.
Further listening
Other pieces that depict a storm scene are:
Beethovens Pastoral Symphony (Movement 4) and Storm from Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes by
Benjamin Britten.
25 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
Area of Study 2: Electric Counterpoint (3rd Movement) Steve Reich
Some ideas for practical work based on the minimalist set work S Reich: 3rd Movement (fast)
from Electric Counterpoint. The teaching ideas can be adapted to either percussion, acoustic or
electronic instruments.
Introduction
As an introduction to this topic on minimalism and the set work, the following ideas are
designed to approach some of the features found in minimalist music in a practical way.
Play an extract from Electric Counterpoint and identify some of the minimalist features in the
music, for example:
hypnotic repeated rhythms
the gradual adding and taking away of instruments
the gradual adding and subtracting of melody notes
the layering of simple melodic ideas (motifs).
Once some of these basic ideas have been established, students can work on the following
practical task in order to try out some of these ideas for themselves.
Practical task: improvising in a group
Give each group of students a simple melodic motif to use (for example C, D, E, A, Bb) which
will form the basis of the melodic material. They need to think of an exciting rhythm for the
given notes and then develop the melody through note addition and subtraction. As an
accompaniment, keep it simple with one chord of C throughout.
Each group composition should have:
repetition and gradual development of melody
contrasts in instrumental textures
dynamic and expressive contrasts.
Further listening
In C by Terry Riley.
Further work
The technique of phasing needs to be explained. Time Becomes by Orbital is an ideal piece to use.

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Section A: Content guide
Student guide
Is this the right subject for me?
If you enjoy performing music in your own time and are learning an instrument, having singing
lessons or enjoy creating music on computers or in a recording studio, then this is a good subject
to choose! If you would like to create music of your own, then composing will give you the
opportunity. If you want to broaden your knowledge of all types of music, including classical,
popular and world, then this exciting course will give you an appreciation of the diversity of
musical styles that exist today!
What will I learn?
You will learn how to improve your performing skills and through your work in composing you
will gain an insight into how music is constructed from initial ideas through to the fnished
product. You will also learn how to analyse music in a variety of styles and discover the social and
historical context in which music has been composed over the last 400 years or so.
How will I be assessed?
Performing: you will need to play one solo piece and one ensemble piece.
Composing: you will need to compose two pieces.
The listening and appraising component is assessed through a 90-minute written paper
with questions on your prescribed set works.
You will be asked to, for example:
Name the instrument playing the solo.
Give two musical reasons why you like or dislike this piece of music.
What style is this piece of music written in?
What do I need to know, or be able to do, before taking this course?
You have already gained many of the basic skills needed for this course in your music lessons
over the last three years at secondary school.
You have been introduced to creating music of your own in class and this is developed
on the GCSE course as you choose two topics for composition. For example, this could be a
popular song and a dance track, a classical piece or some world music. There is a wide choice
and it can be tailored to your own musical interests and strengths.
You have already listened to a variety of music in class and these skills are developed as
you study some set pieces taken from the classical, 20th century, popular and world music
Areas of Study.
You enjoy making music, either as a soloist or in a group. The GCSE course encourages you
to perform music of your own choosing and in any style, as a soloist and also in a group. To
take this course, you must be able to ofer just one instrument/or voice.

27 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008


What can I do after Ive completed the course?
If you enjoyed the GCSE Music course then you can consider pursuing this subject at AS and A2
Level. Your listening skills will enhance the aural perception needed in language examinations.
Your performing skills will give you confdence in playing to an audience useful if you intend to
pursue, for example, drama or law. In addition, you might wish to study A Level Performing Arts
or Music Technology.
Next steps!
For further information on GCSE Music, look at the Edexcel website where you will fnd the
complete specifcation.
28 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
Section B: Assessment guide
This section provides all the information you need to understand the assessment requirements
and help your students achieve their best possible results.
Assessment overview
The following grid gives you an overview of the assessment for this course.
We recommend that you make this information available to students to help ensure they are fully
prepared and know exactly what to expect in each assessment.
Unit 1 Percentage Marks Assessment Availability
Performing 30% 60
AO1
One solo and
one ensemble
performance
Internally assessed
under controlled
conditions/externally
moderated
June
Unit 2 Percentage Marks Assessment Availability
Composing 30% 60
AO2
Two compositions
and/or arrangements
or one of each
Internally assessed
under controlled
conditions/externally
moderated
June
Unit 3 Percentage Marks Assessment Availability
Listening and
Appraising
40% 80
AO3
Written paper 1 hour
30 minutes
Externally set and
assessed
June
29 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
Description Knowledge and skills
One solo performance
One ensemble performance

This unit requires students to develop their skills


in performing both as a soloist and as part of an
ensemble.
Solo Performance Options
Traditional performance
Solo improvisation
Sequenced performance
Realisation
Ensemble Performance Options
Traditional performance
Ensemble improvisation
Rehearsing and directing
Multi-track recording

Description Knowledge and skills


Two compositions, or
Two arrangements ,or
One arrangement and one composition.
The combined length of the two pieces
should be between two and four minutes.
Each composition must be accompanied
by a score in a suitable format or written
commentary.

This unit requires students to develop their skills in


composing and/or arranging.
NB: Each composition or arrangement must be based
on a diferent Area of Study.
Description Knowledge and skills
1-hour 30-minute examination externally
set and marked by Edexcel.
In Section A students will be expected to:
answer eight short questions identifying musical
features from the extracts they listen to
demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the
musical, social and historical context within which
the music was written
express and justify opinions on the music heard
complete short musical dictation and staf
notation questions.
In Section B, students answer one set work question
in more depth. Students will be expected to use
correct musical vocabulary when completing this
section.

30 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008


Section B: Assessment guide
Examination questions
Unit 3: Music Listening and Appraising
This unit encourages students to develop their listening and appraising skills through the study
of music across a variety of styles and genres.
The content for the unit is divided into four Areas of Study, each of which contains three set
works, which are listed on page 22.
Unit 3 is assessed though a 1-hour and 30-minute written examination and is divided into
Sections A and B.
Section A
The types of questions can be divided broadly into the following four categories and each paper
will be made up of a combination of these types of questions in varying proportions year on
year. Throughout the course you should give students opportunities to practise demonstrating
their skills, knowledge and understanding through these four diferent question types.
1. Questions that ask students to identify key musical features
Examples from the sample assessment materials include:
1 (a) Is the music in this extract in a major or minor key?
(1 mark)
3 (a) How many main beats are there in each bar?
(1 mark)
6 (a) Write numbers in the boxes to indicate the order in which the following
sounds enter.
Piano
Rhythm track
Synth strings
Vocal sample
(4 marks)
7 (b) On what scale is the vocal melody based?
Major
Minor
Modal
Pentatonic
(1 mark)
31 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
8 (c) Apart from the instruments playing, state two other differences between the
two extracts.
(2 marks)
Answers
1 (a) minor or C# minor
3 (a) 3 or 6
6 (a) Piano [1]
Rhythm track [3]
Synth strings [4]
Vocal sample [2]
7 (b) pentatonic
8 (c) Any two of:
slow v faster tempo
free v more rhythmic
improvised v fxed composition
no pulse v steady pulse
Examiner comments
These questions assess the students ability to listen to an extract from a set work and comment
on the key musical feature(s) heard. Styles for this type of question vary from those that require
one-or two-word answers to the ordering of information, comparisons of extracts and multiple
choice. Answers are short and generally right or wrong with some using a tick box approach.
The questions will be based around these areas within each set work:
the musical elements (pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure)
identifying how resources are used in diferent combinations (identifying instruments and
groups of instruments)
identifying key musical features
identifying musical and melodic devices (ornamentation, ostinati, rifs, use of imitation, pedal
point and sequence)
identifying rhythmic devices (syncopation, swung rhythms, dotted rhythms and triplets)
identifying and discriminating between major, minor, modal, pentatonic, chromatic and
atonal tonalities.
Above all, these questions are primarily about testing students ability to listen perceptively and,
although knowing the works will take some of the anxiety out of the experience, it will always be
possible to answer questions of this type by just listening to the examination extract.

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Section B: Assessment guide
Ensuring that students become aurally familiar with the set works will encourage success in this
area. Listening to the music and discussing what is heard using the above bullets as a checklist,
would be a good starting point. It may even be possible for students to perform extracts and/or
arrangements of the set works to cement their aural knowledge and understanding in a practical
way.
2. Questions that ask students to place music in a wider context.
Examples from the sample assessment materials include:
1. Placing the extract in the context of the set work as a whole
2 (c) The first main section in a sonata form movement is the exposition. Name
the other two main sections.
(2 marks)
5 (e) All Blues was recorded in one take, with no score or rehearsal. What musical
information would the soloist have needed before starting to play?
(2 marks)
2. Wider musical, social and historical context
1 (d) This prelude was composed in the Romantic period of Western Classical
Music. State four key features of Romantic music.
(4 marks)
4 (c) In which decade was this music composed?
(1 mark)
7 (c) (i) This piece is based on a traditional folk song. Who would have originally
performed the folk song and what would they have been doing?
(2 marks)
Answers
2 (c) Development
Recapitulation
5 (e) Any two of:
chord sequence
which modes to play
where to improvise his solo/how long to improvise for
number of solos
basic structure of the piece.

33 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008


1 (d) Any four of:
more intense expression of emotion (than Classical era)
expressive melodic lines
richer/chromatic harmonies
more use of discords.
(See the sample assessment materials mark scheme for further details on acceptable answers.)
4 (c) 1950s
7 (c) Women (or workers) (1) completing the waulking process/working.
Examiner comments
These questions assess the students ability to put the set work extracts into an appropriate
context and require knowledge beyond what is heard on the examination CD. The answers
required are short or in response to multiple-choice prompts. They may include recalling
knowledge about how the extract relates to the set work as a whole (for example Q2(c)) or other
information about the context surrounding the works composition and/or performance (for
example Q5(e)).
Students should also be prepared to comment more broadly on the wider musical (for example
Q1(d)), social (for example Q7(c)) and historical (for example Q4 (c)) context that the piece was
composed within, understanding how diferent conventions are used at diferent times and in
diferent places. This area of the examination can be supported by wider listening within the
broader parameters of the Areas of Study as a whole.
3. Questions that ask students to express and justify opinions.
Examples from the sample assessment materials include.
3 (f ) Give two musical reasons why you like or dislike this piece of music.
(2 marks)
4 (b) How does the composer create a mood of excitement and anticipation in
the music?
(2 marks)
Answers
3 (f ) Any two reasonable musical responses.
4 (b) Any two of:
Lombardic/scotch snap rhythm (1)
half singing/half whispering/talking (1)
choice of tempo
of beat.
Or any sensible suggestion that is linked to the music of the extract.

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Section B: Assessment guide
Examiner comments
These questions assess the students ability to express and justify opinions on the musical extract
that they have heard, using musical vocabulary where appropriate. A very wide range of answers
is expected for these questions. Those that will be awarded marks, though, are clearly linked to
the music heard.
Q3 (f ) gives students free reign to express their opinions on the extract. However, they will get
the full two marks only if each of the reasons given is rooted in the music they have heard.
For example, an answer such as I dislike this music because it is boring and all the same would
not be awarded a mark. However, I dislike the music because the repetitive rhythms make it boring
would be awarded a mark.
The same principle applies to Q4 (b) and credit will be given only to those answers that give
musical reasons that can be clearly linked to the extract.
4. Musical dictation and staf notation questions.
Examiner comments
Dictation questions assess the students ability to complete short musical dictation exercises by
adding missing notes (pitch and/or rhythm) or chord symbols to a given short skeleton score.
These questions will always be based on a clearly audible part of the set work extract. Examples
from the sample assessment materials include Q2 (b), Q3 (b) and Q5 (a).
Musical dictation is a skill that needs to be taught and practised throughout the two-year
course. Questions 6 (b) and 8 (d) in the sample assessment materials are examples of questions
that assess students knowledge and understanding of staf notation. This type of question will
always be linked to the set work and often the musical extract heard. Preparation for this type of
question should arise naturally out of work covered in Units 1 and 2, although it would be wise
at the beginning of the course to ensure that all students are familiar with the rudiments of staf
notation.
Section B
In Section B, students choose to answer one of two given questions, with each question divided
into three parts.
Parts (a) and (b) will prompt students to place the set work in a wider context through two
structured questions. In part (c) students have the opportunity to demonstrate more in-depth
knowledge and understanding of one of the set works.
The following are examples of student responses to the part (c) questions in the sample
assessment materials.
35 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
Questions 9(c)
9 (c) *Comment on how Moby uses the following musical elements in Why does
my heart feel so bad?
Structure
Harmony
Texture
Samples
Technology
Remember to use correct musical vocabulary where appropriate.
(10 marks)

Sample answer 1
The song by Moby has a beginning then a verse and chorus and then is followed by another
chorus and verse and they come again at the end. It has harmony and is easy to play on the
piano. The chords are different in the chorus and the verse. C and A minor are used and others.
The texture is thin at the beginning and then more instruments join in and it is thick then
thin again with just the singer and keyboard and nothing else at the end for 32 bars. There are
samples of people singing in a gospel choir and a drum from hip hop. There is also technology
with a delay and EQ but Moby did not use many effects but he did use reverb on the vocals. He
just uses technology to create the track himself in his studio.
Examiner comments
This response has the characteristics of a Level 3 response, which falls around the middle of the
10-mark range. It is competent and the information given is relevant. The structure of the piece
is mostly conveyed correctly, as is the idea of simple harmony that changes for the verse and
chorus with some correct chords quoted. The student clearly knows some of the chords used in
the chorus but only named them, missing the opportunity to say where in the song they were
used. The description of the texture possibly slips into a more basic description but is redeemed
by the comment about the fnal 32 bars. More detail could have been given on how Moby
changes the texture throughout the piece and perhaps where these changes take place. The
comments around the samples and technology are all broadly correct if lacking a little detail.
In general the use of music vocabulary is quite broad and apart from some clumsy expression
around the term harmony and the use of beginning instead of introduction, it is generally used
correctly.
Sample answer 2
The structure of the Moby track is intro/verse/chorus/verse/chorus/verse. The piece is built
up of repeated 32 bar chunks. The verse uses Am/Em/G/D and the chorus C/Am/F/C. The
simple chord sequences are repeated again and again in the track. The texture gets thicker and
more instruments or samples are added after each 32 bars. Some of the texture drops out at the
beginning of the second chorus but all the sounds come back in again. There is only the voice
and synth at the end. There are two samples used from a 1950s gospel choir and there is lots of
noise on them and they sound old and crackly. The break beat sample from a hip-hop record was
used and the tempo made to ft at the speed that Moby liked. Moby worked on the whole of the
track himself using drum machines and a sequencer. He used reverb on the piano and voices and
delay and EQ in the verse.
36 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
Section B: Assessment guide
Examiner comments
This response has the characteristics of a Level 5 response, which is at the top of the 10-
mark range. There is excellent knowledge of the set work in question and the response is
comprehensive in the range and depth that is displayed. The student has a very wide music
vocabulary and there are no signifcant errors in how this vocabulary is used.
Question 10(c)
10 (c) *Comment on how Schoenberg uses the following musical elements
in Peripetie.
Tonality and harmony
Instruments and texture
Melody
Dynamics and tempo
Structure
Remember to use correct musical vocabulary where appropriate.
(10 marks)

Sample answer 1
At the beginning of the 20th century, lots of things were changing in classical music. Schoenberg
was fed up with all the old fashioned ways of composing music. He wanted to make his own rules
up. In normal music you usually have a key that you play in like C or G but instead he didnt
and all notes became as important as one another. There was no harmony and sounds clashed.
He used a big orchestra much bigger than Mozart as there are more instruments like clarinets,
which is more romantic. The texture is very complicated. There are no melodies that sound like
tunes and the music is broken up. It has lots of very loud sounds and very quiet sounds and the
tempo changes from fast to slow very suddenly and keeps you interested. Structure is not really
there and it does not have traditional parts to it like a piece of sonata form.
Examiner comments
This response has the characteristics of a Level 3 response, which falls around the middle of the
10-mark range. The question is answered to a competent level and almost all of the information
given is relevant. Although it is rather long winded, the description of atonality works. The
comparison to Mozarts use of the orchestra demonstrates some good understanding of how
orchestral forces developed over time but does not refer to the larger brass or give more details
about the woodwind and percussion sections. The idea of extreme contrast is covered but
could have been expanded to include some reference to the colours of instruments. This answer
generally displays a lack of sophistication with regards to how the musical ideas are expressed.
There is also key music vocabulary missing such as atonality, dynamics, timbre and melodic
fragmentation, which are so central to this set work.
Sample answer 2
Schoenbergs Peripetie is atonal. He uses hexachords to create dissonant sounds. The orchestra
that he uses is large like other composers in the last part of the romantic period. Schoenberg does
not compose tuneful melodies so the different timbres of the instruments are more important. He
uses extra woodwind instruments like a cor anglais, piccolo and bass clarinet and lots of brass
instrument, for example six horns and four trombones with cymbals, gong and bass drum as
percussion. To add more colour he often writes music for the instruments that makes them play
very high or very low.
37 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
The texture of the music is contrapuntal and he fragments the melodies and passes them around
the different instruments. The tempo changes frequently and there are lots of very extreme
dynamics. These contrasts are very interesting for the listener. The structure is not really like
anything else I know and is very free.
Examiner comments
This response has the characteristics of a Level 5 response, which is at the top of the 10-mark
range. It is certainly in line with the A grade descriptor found in the specifcation regarding using
an accurate and extensive music vocabulary. This is an excellent response.
38 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
Section B: Assessment guide
Controlled assessment
About controlled assessment for Unit 1
Controlled assessment is similar to coursework except that controls have been added to ensure
that all of the work is the students own.
The level of control for each activity in each subject is specifed by QCA. This section explains the
level required for each activity and what it means for you and your students, and the frequency
of change.
Task setting limited control
You will set the tasks for each student performance by choosing the piece of
music to be played. This ensures that the tasks set are best suited to your specifc
circumstances and students, including the availability of and access to resources.
Task taking
Students must be supervised regularly when preparing their performances. In
Unit 1, the controlled assessment applies to the recording of performances. Each
student has a maximum of 10 hours in which to complete each recording to be
submitted for Unit 1.
Where students complete the music technology options for Unit 1, teachers
should follow the guidance given for Unit 2 regarding controlled conditions and
supervision of students.
Recording performances high control
You must be present for the recording of student performances so that you can
authenticate the recording as being the students own.
Task marking medium control
This is similar to the arrangements for previous specifcations performances are
internally assessed and externally moderated.
You will mark all the performances. You then fll in a form to show all the marks
achieved. Edexcel will ask for samples to moderate, including student work
with high and low scores. Edexcel will moderate the work and you will receive a
summary report on results day. Edexcel training courses will include guidance on
how to mark performances.
39 Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008
About controlled assessment for Unit 2
Controlled assessment is similar to coursework except that controls have been added to ensure
that all of the work is the students own.
The level of control for each activity in each subject is specifed by QCA. This section explains the
level required for each activity and what it means for teachers and students, and the frequency of
change.
Task setting limited control
You will set the tasks for each student composition. This ensures that the tasks
set are best suited to your specifc circumstances and students, including the
availability of and access to resources.
Task taking
The controls for taking the task have been designed to ensure that the task is
carried out by the student and that all work is their own.
The task is split into two parts:
Research: limited
Write up and recording: high
The requirement for controlled assessment does not mean that a composition
submission has to be carried out, start to fnish, under close supervision in
the centres music department. Composition can be divided broadly into two
processes, research and write up and recording, with only the time spent on the
write up and recording part of the process counting towards the maximum 10
hours per composition stated in the specifcation.
What do the controls mean?
Research
This includes any work carried out before the writing down of the fnal version of
the composition as a score or commentary. This may involve listening to other
music, mulling over a brief, experimenting with suitable melodies or rhythmic
ideas on guitar or piano, working out rough drafts, and so on.
Research can be carried out outside the centre. There is no time limit to it. The
results can be recorded in writing or electronically, and can be taken in and out
of the centre and referred to during controlled write-up time. However, you must
inspect them, and be satisfed that they are the students own work benchmarking
them against previous work and expectations.

40Edexcel GCSE in Music Teachers Guide Edexcel Limited 2008


Section B: Assessment guide
Task taking (continued)
Write up and recording
This is when the fnal recording and score or commentary of the piece is
produced (either in handwritten form or via a score-writing package). Writing
and recording time is limited, as indicated in the specifcation.
Students have a maximum of 10 hours writing and recording time. You
must keep a written record to ensure that each students time has not been
exceeded.
Writing and recording time will take place inside the centre. It must be
supervised by you or a member of the support staf. Students can bring in any
notes they have made during the research phase. You will need to monitor the
student in the classroom to ensure the whole of the task is the students own
work. You can answer questions but cannot guide students along a particular
path or advise on how to approach the task.
This stage is not an exam and requires supervision rather than invigilation. There
is no need to set up the room like an exam or for the room to be silent. The key
requirement is that students are supervised at all times. The task must be taken
during curriculum time.
Task marking medium control
This is similar to the arrangements for previous specifcations compositions are
internally assessed and externally moderated.
You will mark all the compositions. You then fll in a form to show all the marks
achieved. Edexcel will ask for a sample of the work to moderate, including
student work with high and low scores. Edexcel will moderate the work and
you will receive a summary report on results day. Edexcel training courses will
include guidance on how to mark compositions.
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