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GCE

AS and A Level Specication

Music
For exams from June 2014 onwards
For certification from June 2014 onwards

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

Contents
1

Introduction

1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4

Why choose AQA?


Why choose Music?
How do I start using this specification?
How can I find out more?

2
2
3
3

Specification at a Glance

Subject Content and Assessment Criteria

3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4
3.5
3.6

Unit 1 MUSC1 Influences on Music


Unit 2 MUSC2 Creating Musical Ideas
Unit 3 MUSC3 Interpreting Musical Ideas
Unit 4 MUSC4 Music in Context
Unit 5 MUSC5 Developing Musical Ideas
Unit 6 MUSC6 A Musical Performance

6
8
12
19
21
25

Scheme of Assessment

31

4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4
4.5
4.6

Aims
Assessment Objectives
National Criteria
Prior Learning
Synoptic Assessment and Stretch and Challenge
Access to Assessment for Disabled Students

31
31
32
32
32
33

Administration

34

5.1
5.2
5.3
5.4
5.5
5.6
5.7
5.8

Availability of Assessment Units and Certification


Entries
Private Candidates
Access Arrangements and Special Consideration
Language of Examinations
Qualification Titles
Awarding Grades and Reporting Results
Re-sits and Shelf-life of Unit Results

34
34
34
35
35
35
35
35

Coursework Administration

36

6.1
6.2
6.3
6.4
6.5
6.6
6.7
6.8

Supervision and Authentication of Coursework


Malpractice
Teacher Standardisation
Internal Standardisation of Marking
Annotation of Coursework
Submitting Marks and Sample Work for Moderation
Factors Affecting Individual Candidates
Retaining Evidence and Re-using Marks

36
37
37
37
38
38
38
38

Moderation

39

7.1
7.2

Moderation Procedures
Post-moderation Procedures

39
39

Appendices

40

A
Performance Descriptions
40
B
Spiritual, Moral, Ethical, Social and other Issues
42
C
Overlaps with other Qualifications
43
D
Key Skills
44


Vertical black lines indicate a significant change or addition to the previous version of this specification.
1

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

1Introduction
1.1 Why choose AQA?
1

Its a fact that AQA is the UKs favourite exam board


and more students receive their academic
qualifications from AQA than from any other board.
But why does AQA continue to be so popular?

Specifications
Ours are designed to the highest standards, so
teachers, students and their parents can be
confident that an AQA award provides an
accurate measure of a students achievements.
And the assessment structures have been
designed to achieve a balance between rigour,
reliability and demands on candidates.

Support
AQA runs the most extensive programme of
support meetings; free of charge in the first years
of a new specification and at a very reasonable
cost thereafter. These support meetings explain
the specification and suggest practical teaching
strategies and approaches that really work.

Service
We are committed to providing an efficient and
effective service and we are at the end of the
phone when you need to speak to a person about
an important issue. We will always try to resolve
issues the first time you contact us but, should
that not be possible, we will always come back
to you (by telephone, email or letter) and keep
working with you to find the solution.

Ethics
AQA is a registered charity. We have no
shareholders to pay. We exist solely for the good
of education in the UK. Any surplus income is
ploughed back into educational research and our
service to you, our customers. We dont profit
from education, you do.
If you are an existing customer then we thank you for
your support. If you are thinking of moving to AQA
then we look forward to welcoming you.

1.2 Why choose Music?


Our specification will provide candidates with the
knowledge and experience required for all forms
of further and higher education. It will give them
understanding, and encourage appreciation, of all
music genres in all contexts.

GCSE

We believe you will find the revised GCE Music


specification is:

Units 2 and 5 (composing units) offer opportunities for


candidates to:

Appealing
Areas of Study chosen for their

interest to all candidates and

with much scope to use music
technology

use music technology

Accessible

acquire music techniques of the Western Classical


Tradition.

easy to follow, with a choice of


Areas of Study

Approachable only one centre-assessed unit.


In producing this specification we have conformed to
specified Subject Criteria and responded to teachers
suggestions and requests by:
increasing choices in composing submissions
increasing choices in performing submissions
reducing the assessment burden on teachers
five of the six units are externally assessed.
Units 1 and 4 (written units) are similar in structure
and format to those in our former GCE Music
specification. They aim to build on the knowledge
and skills candidates have gained through:

performance qualifications from other


organisations
their own experience.

improvise
present conventional submissions in staff notation

Units 3 and 6 (performance units) enable candidates


to demonstrate their skills:
as soloists
in ensembles
by performing on a second instrument
by using music technology.
We believe our revised GCE Music specification
enables candidates to choose a path best suited to
their needs. This could be within the music industry,
academic study or for interest. It will give them a
life-long enjoyment and understanding of music as a
listener or performer, at any level.

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

1.3 How do I start using this specification?


Already using the existing AQA Music
specification?

Not using the AQA specification


currently?

Register to receive further information, such as


mark schemes, past question papers, details of
teacher support meetings, etc, at
http://www.aqa.org.uk/rn/askaqa.php
Information will be available electronically or in
print, for your convenience.

Almost all centres in England and Wales use AQA


or have used AQA in the past and are approved
AQA centres. A small minority are not. If your
centre is new to AQA, please contact our centre
approval team at
centreapproval@aqa.org.uk

Tell us that you intend to enter candidates. Then


we can make sure that you receive all the material
you need for the examinations. This is particularly
important where examination material is issued
before the final entry deadline. You can let us
know by completing the appropriate Intention to
Enter and Estimated Entry forms. We will send
copies to your Exams Officer and they are also
available on our website
http://www.aqa.org.uk/admin/p_entries.html

1.4 How can I find out more?


Ask AQA

Teacher Support

You have 24-hour access to useful information and


answers to the most commonly-asked questions at
http://www.aqa.org.uk/rn/askaqa.php

Details of the full range of current Teacher Support


meetings are available on our website at
http://www.aqa.org.uk/support/teachers.html

If the answer to your question is not available,


you can submit a query for our team. Our target
response time is one day.

There is also a link to our fast and convenient online


booking system for Teacher Support meetings at
http://events.aqa.org.uk/ebooking
If you need to contact the Teacher Support team,
you can call us on 01483 477860 or email us at
teachersupport@aqa.org.uk

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

2 Specification at a Glance
AS Examinations

AS
Award
1271

Unit 1 MUSC1
Influences on Music
30% of AS, 15% of A Level
1 hour 45 minutes written examination
80 marks
Available in June only

Unit 2 MUSC2
Composing: Creating Musical Ideas
30% of AS, 15% of A Level
Externally Assessed Coursework
60 marks
Available in June only
Unit 3 MUSC3
Performing: Interpreting Musical Ideas
40% of AS, 20% of A Level
1016 minutes Internally Assessed
80 marks
Available in June only

A2 Examinations

A Level
Award
2271

Unit 4 MUSC4
Music in Context
20% of A Level
2 hours 15 minutes written examination
100 marks
Available in June only
Unit 5 MUSC5
Composing: Developing Musical Ideas
15% of A Level
Externally Assessed Coursework
60 marks
Available in June only
Unit 6 MUSC6
Performing: A Musical Performance
15% of A Level
1015 minutes Externally Assessed
60 marks
Available in June only

AS
4

A2

A Level

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

3 Subject Content and Assessment Criteria


Musical Language/Content
The musical references made below form the basis
for the exploration of all Areas of Study within AS and
A2. The whole musical experience of the course
both teaching and learning should be centred on
them. Not all elements will apply universally and their
selection and coverage will depend on the composers,
contexts, traditions and works being studied.

Rhythm and Metre

The organisation of sounds

tempo, rubato, accentuation

Form

Texture

binary, ternary, fugue, passacaglia, ritornello

harmonic/homophonic, contrapuntal, polyphonic,


heterophonic

rondo, arch-form, variations, minuet and trio


sonata, sonata-rondo, scherzo and trio

pulse
regular, irregular, additive, free rhythm, isorhythm,
polyrhythms
augmentation, diminution, hemiola, cross-rhythm,
dotted rhythm

imitative, fugal, canonic, layered

da capo aria, strophic, through-composed, cyclic

unison, octaves, single melody line, melody with


accompaniment, antiphonal

Harmony

Tonality

diatonic, chromatic, functional, non-functional,


harmonic rhythm

tonal, atonal, bitonal

consonant, dissonant
essential/unessential notes, passing notes,
auxiliary notes, acciaccaturas, appoggiaturas
suspensions, false relation, pedal, drone
cadences, tierce da Picardie
identification of chords using Roman numerals
(I, IVb, etc) or chord symbols, inversions,
seventh chords, added note chords, diatonic and
chromatic discords, note clusters, circle of fifths
Instrumentation and Timbre

major, minor, modal, use and identification of key


modulation

The context of music


Composer, Performer and Audience
intention, use, purpose, stimulus
patronage, commission
technical/emotional demands
amateur/professional, performance practice,
interactive media

instruments singly and in combinations, as found


in concertos, symphonies, chamber groups, in
jazz and pop music

interpretation, improvisation

timbre, including the use of technology,


synthesised and computer-generated sounds,
sampling

sacred/secular

dynamics

performing conventions and resources

instrumental techniques including pizzicato, con


arco, con sordino, staccato, spiccato, col legno,
double-stopping

opportunities for hearing the music then and now,


why is this piece a product of its time?

Melody

Musical styles and genres

intervals, conjunct, disjunct, triadic, blue notes

Styles

diatonic, chromatic, pentatonic, whole tone, note


row

for example Baroque, Classical, Early and Late


Romantic, Nationalism, Impressionism,
Neo-classicism, Serialism

augmentation, diminution, fragmentation,


inversion, retrograde, sequence, motivic
development
slide/glissando/portamento, ornamentation
ostinato, riff

Occasion, Time and Place


private/public, media, concert, live/recorded,
internet

Genres
for example oratorio, concerto grosso, opera, aria,
chorus, concerto, symphony, chamber groupings,
lied

phrasing and articulation


5

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

3.1 Unit 1 MUSC1 Influences on Music


Candidates should acquire, explore and apply
musical language and context by the consideration of
two Areas of Study (AoS) from:

AoS1 The Western Classical Tradition


(compulsory)

AoS2a Choral Music in the Baroque Period

AoS2b Music Theatre: a study of the Musical



from 1940 to 1980

AoS2c British Popular Music from 1960 to the



present day.

These AoS will be set by AQA. The focus of AoS1,


and AoS 2ac, may change every three years.

Through their exploration of two AoS and a set work,


candidates will develop an understanding of:
the organisation of sounds (form, harmony,
instrumentation and timbre, melody, rhythm and
metre, texture and tonality)
the context of music (composer, performer and
audience, occasion, time and place)
musical styles and genres.
Study will involve listening to music from within the
two AoS, study of scores and gaining an awareness
of the context in which the music was composed.

symphony orchestra and in jazz and pop music,


instrumental techniques including pizzicato, arco
texture harmonic/homophonic, contrapuntal/
polyphonic, imitative, unison, single melody line
ornamentation trill, turn, mordent
time signatures
intervals major, minor and perfect
melodic/rhythmic devices sequence, ostinato
pattern, riff, passing note.
The music used in this section can be drawn from
any period of musical history and will be used
to assess listening skills rather than historical
knowledge.
Section B: Historical Study: The Western Classical
Tradition compulsory Area of Study (AoS1)
The AoS The Western Classical Tradition is the
compulsory AoS for this specification. Both the focus
and the set work may change every three years.
Set work for 2015 and until further notice:
Haydn, Symphony No.104 in D major London, 1st
and 3rd movements.
Study will focus on these two movements from the
set work.

Assessment will be by written paper with some


questions using a CD of musical excerpts. The
examination paper will last 1 hour 45 minutes and be
marked by AQA examiners.

Candidates will be able to take an unmarked copy of


the set work score into the examination room.

The question paper will have three sections.

AoS1 The Western Classical Tradition will be carried


forward to A2, Unit 4.

Section A: Listening approximately 30 minutes

Candidates answer one essay question from a


choice of two.

This section will consist of structured listening


questions with or without a score and will require
responses covering some of the following:

Section C: Historical Study Areas of Study 2ac

cadences perfect, plagal, imperfect, interrupted

AoS2a

Choral Music in the Baroque Period

chord identification tonic, dominant,


subdominant, dominant seventh in root position
and 1st/2nd inversions, cadential 6/4

AoS2b

Music Theatre: a study of the Musical


from 1940 to 1980

AoS2c

British Popular Music from 1960 to the


present day.

compositional techniques, e.g. sequence, pedal,


imitation, canon, ostinato, riff
technical terms, e.g. appoggiatura, passing note,
note of anticipation
completion of a diatonic melody
tonality modulations to the dominant,
subdominant, relative minor
instrumentation those found in the standard

Centres will choose a second AoS from three set by


AQA as follows:

Two essay questions will be set on each of the AoS


2ac. Candidates will answer one question on the
selected AoS.

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

In each AoS 2ac, the list of Composers of the genre


is intended as a guide, not as an indication that all
composers listed must be studied or that this list
excludes study of other composers within the period
and genre specified.

OR
AoS2c British Popular Music from 1960 to the
present day

EITHER

Candidates study the development of British Popular


Music within these dates including consideration of
the:

AoS2a Choral Music in the Baroque Period

use of voices and instruments

Candidates study settings for choir and soloists:

use of melody, harmony and texture

the cantata

move from a traditional instrumental backing


group (i.e. lead, rhythm and bass guitars plus
drum kit) to the use of synthesised sounds and
other instrumental effects

the oratorio
anthems and masses.
Composers of the genre might include: J S Bach,
Charpentier, Handel, Vivaldi.
OR
AoS2b Music Theatre: a study of the Musical
from 1940 to 1980
Candidates should look at significant musicals from
within this period, with reference to:

increase in the use of popular music for social


comment
use of multi-tracking, mixing and other studio
techniques to enhance recording.

Singers/groups of the genre might include:


The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Oasis,
Blur.

solo songs
ensembles
music for the chorus
music for dance.
Composers of the genre might include: Rodgers and
Hammerstein, Bernstein, Lloyd Webber.

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

3.2 Unit 2 MUSC2 Creating Musical Ideas


Candidates demonstrate their ability to create and
develop musical ideas with technical control and
expressive understanding, making creative use
of musical devices, conventions and resources in
response to one of three briefs as follows:

Brief A

Compositional techniques

Brief B

Free composition or pastiche in


response to a given genre

Brief C

Arranging.

use of counterpoint
imitation.
Submissions must be made as a score in staff
notation with a recording on either CD or mini-disc.
Recordings can be made using acoustic instruments/
voices and/or ICT technology.

OR MUS2B
Brief B: Free composition or pastiche in
response to a given genre

The briefs will be released on 1 November in the


examination year and compositions will be externally
assessed by AQA. Candidates should be offered a
maximum of 20 hours, supervised in the centre, in
which to complete their compositions.

Candidates will respond to one of four given musical


genres:

Vocal music

Small ensemble

For supervision of the controlled time in MUSC2 see


section 6.1.

Electronic music

Keyboard music.

EITHER MUS2A

These four genres will remain the same each year.


The composition should last 36 minutes. Within
each genre, candidates can choose to compose in
an appropriate diatonic style.

Brief A: Compositional techniques


Candidates must respond to both questions in this
brief.
Question 1
Harmonisation of a 16 bar diatonic melody
Candidates are given a traditional 16 bar diatonic
melody in a major or minor key and will harmonise
this using four-part harmony. Candidates may
compose for a group of any four melodic instruments/
voices.
Candidates will show understanding of and the ability
to handle:
perfect, plagal, imperfect and interrupted
cadences
root position, 1st and 2nd inversion chords
passing notes
modulation to the dominant, subdominant and
relative minor/major

Candidates should demonstrate understanding of


and the ability to handle:
structure and development
appropriate tonality
use of melody
harmony and rhythm
texture, timbre and expression.
The composition will also demonstrate the ability to
handle:
perfect, plagal, imperfect and interrupted
cadences
harmony in root position, 1st and 2nd inversion
chords

conventional progressions such as cadential 6/4

modulation to an appropriate related key including


dominant, sub-dominant, relative minor/major

use of the dominant 7th.

use of the dominant 7th chord.

Question 2
Controlling Texture

1 Vocal Music

Candidates are given up to 24 bars of keyboard


accompaniment and should show their ability to
control texture by creating a piece of music using the
given chords in two parts in a style of the candidates
choice for two melodic instruments/voices.

This can include music for unaccompanied voices or


can include a piece for voice(s) with any appropriate
instrumental backing. Where unaccompanied voices
are used, there is no upper limit to the number but
the minimum number must be two.

Any instrument or group of instruments or selection of


electronic sound sources may be used.

2 Small Ensemble

Candidates should demonstrate understanding of


and the ability to handle techniques such as:
melodic writing

Any small ensemble of instruments is permissible.


This can include traditional ensembles such as string/
wind/brass quartet or mixed ensembles. The minimum
number of instruments in the ensemble must be two.

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

3 Electronic Music
This can include any electronic sound source
including loops and samples. Where samples are
used, it is expected that there will also be a significant
amount of original material composed by the
candidate.

4 Keyboard Music
This can include music for a single keyboard or up
to four keyboards of the same or different types.
In this context, tuned percussion instruments such
as xylophone, vibraphone or marimba can also be
included, and also electronically produced keyboard
sounds through the use of ICT.
Submissions must be made as a recording on either
CD or mini-disc and include an appropriate score
and/or chart and/or annotation.
An annotation is defined as a substantial piece of
writing which may include diagrams and/or sections
of notation that will accurately describe the process
of composition referring to elements such as:
form and structure
tonality
rhythm
melody and harmony
timbre and texture
performance detail
the process of realisation.
Recordings can be made using acoustic instruments/
voices and/or ICT technology.

Candidates should demonstrate understanding of


and the ability to handle:
harmony appropriate to the melody
development of musical ideas within the structure
use of countermelody
control of texture
appropriate use of vocal and/or instrumental
timbres and/or ICT sound sources.
The composition will also demonstrate the ability to
handle:
perfect, plagal, imperfect and interrupted
cadences
harmony in root position, first and second
inversion chords
modulation to an appropriate related key including
dominant, sub-dominant, relative minor/major
use of the dominant 7th chord.
Submissions must be made as a recording on either
CD or mini-disc and must include an appropriate
score and/or chart and/or annotation.
An annotation is defined as a substantial piece of
writing which may include diagrams and/or sections
of notation that will accurately describe the process
of composition referring to elements such as:
form and structure
tonality
rhythm
melody and harmony

OR MUS2C

timbre and texture

Brief C: Arranging

performance detail

Candidates show their ability to arrange music in


response to a brief.

the process of realisation.

Candidates will be given a folk song melody and


text, consisting of verse and chorus which may
be arranged vocally and/or instrumentally for any
appropriate group of voices and/or instruments/ and/
or ICT sound sources. The arrangement will last 36
minutes and the folk song may consist of more than
one verse. The arrangement may be done in any
musical style appropriate to the setting.

Recordings can be made using acoustic instruments/


voices and/or ICT technology.

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

Assessment Criteria for Unit 2 (max 60 marks)


Brief A (for each question)
The marks for compositional techniques will be
awarded according to the following criteria. There
are 30 marks for each question.
3026 marks:

106 marks:

The piece will be stimulating, inventive and


imaginative.

The piece will lack effectiveness and will


demonstrate a basic understanding of some of
the more rudimentary aspects of the compositional
techniques leading to sections of incoherence.

The candidate will demonstrate a firm grasp of,


and secure handling of, compositional techniques
with a clear understanding of the chosen style.
The writing for the chosen instruments/voices/
electronic sound sources will be highly idiomatic.

There will be some inaccuracies in the notation


in relation to pitch and rhythm, and performance
detail, though present, may not be wholly
appropriate.

The expressive features of the music will be


immediately apparent to the listener.
Notation will be accurate in relation to pitch
and rhythm and contain detailed performance
directions appropriate to the music.
2521 marks:
The piece will be musically interesting and satisfying.
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding
of most of the compositional techniques within the
context of the style of the music.
The writing for instruments/voices/electronic
sound sources will be appropriate in relation to
the expressive qualities of the music.
Notation will be mostly accurate in relation to pitch
and rhythm and contain performance directions
appropriate to the music.

There will be some areas that are incomplete and


the writing for instruments/voices/electronic sound
sources will demonstrate a lack of understanding
in relation to the expressive qualities of the music.
Frequent miscalculations in notation will be
evident in relation to pitch and rhythm and
performance detail will be sparse and often
inappropriate to the music.
51 marks:
The piece will demonstrate a very limited and
rudimentary understanding of the compositional
techniques.
There will be significant areas that are incomplete
and much of the piece will lack coherence.
The writing for instruments/voices and electronic
sound sources will demonstrate significant
weaknesses that will inhibit the expressive
qualities of the music.

2016 marks:

Substantial miscalculations in notation will be


evident in relation to pitch and rhythm and
performance detail will be lacking, or if present,
wholly inappropriate to the music.

The piece will be effective.

Briefs B and C

The candidate will demonstrate an understanding


of some of the compositional techniques in
relation to the selected task.

6051 marks:

The writing for instruments/voices/electronic


sound sources will be mostly competent and
there will be an attempt to convey some of the
expressive features of the music.
There may be some inaccuracies in the notation
in relation to pitch and rhythm, but the intentions
will be largely clear with some attempt to include
appropriate performance detail.
1511 marks:
The piece will be partially effective and complete
but will demonstrate limited understanding in
relation to the compositional techniques.
The writing for instruments/voices/electronic
sound sources will be partially successful and
the expressive qualities of the music will be
unconvincing and tend to be contrived.
10

The piece will be stimulating, inventive and


imaginative.
The candidate will demonstrate a firm grasp of,
and secure handling of, structure, development,
tonality, use of melody, harmony and rhythm,
texture, timbre, and a clear understanding of the
chosen style.
The writing for the chosen instrument(s)/voices/
electronic sound sources will be highly idiomatic.
The expressive features of the music will be
immediately apparent to the listener.
The score/chart/annotation will be accurate and
detailed, accurately reflecting the music in the
recording in relation to pitch, rhythm, form and
structure, timbre, texture and performance detail.

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

5041 marks:
The piece will be musically interesting and satisfying.
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding
of structure, development, tonality, use of melody,
harmony and rhythm, texture and timbre, within
the context of the style of the music.

The score/chart/annotation will contain limited


detail relating to the music in the recording in
relation to pitch, rhythm, form and structure,
timbre, texture and performance detail.
2011 marks:

The writing for instrument(s)/voices/electronic


sound sources will be appropriate in relation to
the expressive qualities of the music.

The piece will lack effectiveness and will


demonstrate a basic understanding of structure,
development, tonality, use of melody, harmony
and rhythm, texture and timbre leading to sections
of incoherence.

The score/chart/annotation will be largely accurate


and detailed bearing a close resemblance to
the music in the recording in relation to pitch,
rhythm, form and structure, timbre, texture and
performance detail.

There will be some areas that are incomplete


and the writing for instrument(s)/voices/
electronic sound sources will demonstrate a lack
of understanding in relation to the expressive
qualities of the music.

4031 marks:
The piece will be effective.
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding
of some aspects of structure, development,
tonality, use of melody, harmony and rhythm,
texture and timbre, in relation to the selected task.

The score/chart/annotation will contain


inaccuracies and/or inconsistencies relating to
the music in the recording in relation to pitch,
rhythm, form and structure, timbre, texture and
performance detail.

101 marks:

The writing for instrument(s)/voices/electronic


sound sources will be mostly competent and
there will be an attempt to convey some of the
expressive features of the music.

The piece will demonstrate a very limited


and rudimentary understanding of structure,
development, tonality, use of melody, harmony
and rhythm, texture and timbre.

The score/chart/annotation will contain some


detail relating to the music in the recording in
relation to pitch, rhythm, form and structure,
timbre, texture and performance detail.

There will be significant areas that are incomplete


and much of the piece will lack coherence.

3021 marks:
The piece will be partially effective and complete
but will demonstrate limited understanding in
relation to structure, development, tonality, use of
melody, harmony and rhythm, texture and timbre.
The writing for instrument(s)/voices/electronic
sound sources will be partially successful and
the expressive qualities of the music will be
unconvincing and tend to be contrived.

The writing for instrument(s)/voices/electronic


sound sources will demonstrate significant
weaknesses that will inhibit the expressive
qualities of the music.
The score/chart/annotation will be largely
inaccurate and will contain only rudimentary detail
relating to the music in the recording in relation to
pitch, rhythm, form and structure, timbre, texture
and performance detail.

11

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

3.3 Unit 3 MUSC3 Interpreting Musical Ideas


Candidates offer two performances chosen from the
following:
(a) a solo performance on an instrument
(b) a solo performance on voice

(e) a technology-based performance 1 Sequencing

The ensemble performance may include


improvisation. In such cases, the candidate must
make clear the basis of the improvisation: e.g. a
melodic fragment, a scale, a chord progression, a
rhythmic idea.

(f) a technology-based performance 2


Multi-track/close microphone recording.

Other members of the ensemble need not be


examination candidates.

Each acoustic performance should last 58 minutes.

Technology 1: Sequencing

(c) a solo performance on a second instrument


(d) an ensemble performance

This unit will be internally assessed and externally


moderated.

An ensemble performance will enable the candidate


to demonstrate technical, expressive, interpretative
and communicative skills appropriate to ensemble
performance.

For each performance, candidates may submit a


single piece or a programme of shorter pieces.
Candidates may perform their own composition if this
makes sufficient technical and expressive demands
on the candidate.
Candidates must submit a score or lead sheet/
detailed guide or recording of the original work with
the recording of their performance and a Candidate
Record Form (CRF).
A solo is defined as a performance where the
candidates part is:
a single unaccompanied part
a part which is accompanied by piano, guitar (or
similar), a backing track or a small unit of other
players.

Candidates will use a combination of sequencing


and multi-tracking/close microphone recording to
create one or more pieces of music. The music
can be in any style but must include at least four
vocal/ instrumental parts. Candidates will submit a
combination of recorded audio and MIDI sequenced
tracks, the number of each track being at the
discretion of the candidate.
The minimum requirement is for four independent
parts, the piece must be 32 bars or more in length,
some tempo control for classical music or some use
of drum kit for pop and jazz plus a moderate level of
dynamic variation.
Candidates must provide a recording on CD/minidisc and details of the equipment used, including the
use made of the various facilities available within the
hardware and software, should be provided.
Credit will be given for:

The accompaniment must not detract from the


candidates performance or double the part to be
assessed.

accuracy of pitch and rhythm

The solo performances should enable the candidate


to demonstrate technical, expressive, interpretative
and communicative skills appropriate to solo
performance.

evidence of close attention to performing and


expressive detail

The solo performance may include improvisation. In


such cases, the candidate must make clear the basis
of the improvisation e.g. a melodic fragment, a scale,
a chord progression, a rhythmic idea.
An ensemble is defined as a performance where the
candidate will normally play within a group of three or
more performers where the demands of the parts are
of roughly equal difficulty. It is accepted that duets at
an appropriate standard for, e.g. pianists, will enable
them to demonstrate the necessary ensemble skills
if the part chosen contains passages where the
candidate fulfils the roles of both melody player and
accompanist in the course of the piece. Additionally,
the candidate may demonstrate ensemble skills by
accompanying one or more other performers.
The candidates part must not be doubled.

12

a well-balanced recording

awareness of style required


ability to make use of the various facilities available
within the hardware and software to produce a
valid result.

Technology 2: multi-track/close
microphone recording
Candidates will submit a multi-tracked/close
microphone recording based on an initial recording of
four or more independent vocal and/or instrumental
parts. The candidate may be one of the performers
or may perform all the vocal/instrumental parts.
The submission must include the candidates initial
recording and the final mix.
The minimum requirement is for four independent
parts, the piece must be 32 bars or more in length,
and candidates must demonstrate some appropriate

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

use of effects and some use of the stereo


field/panning at mixdown.
Candidates must provide a recording on CD/minidisc and details about the equipment used and the
recording process should be provided.
Credit will be given for evidence of:
care taken to ensure good balance

use of panning to obtain a clear recording and,


where necessary, to separate sounds that utilise
similar frequency ranges
use of effects where appropriate, such as reverb,
delay.
quality of recording across a wide range of
frequencies.

use of an appropriate dynamic range

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GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

Assessment Criteria for Unit 3 (max 80 marks)


The Solo Performance is assessed on:
Level of Demand
Accuracy of pitch and rhythm plus observance
of expressive and performance directions as
indicated on the score/lead sheet
Communication and projection of the
performance
Interpretation of the music, showing awareness of
its style and character.

Level of Demand
4 marks:

The chosen programme will make high demands of


the candidate. The standard expected will equate to
Grade 5 or its equivalent.
3 marks:
The chosen programme will make a substantial range
of technical demands upon the candidate though
these will be within more limited parameters than
those expected for the top mark. The standard
expected will combine elements of both Grade 5 and
Grade 4 or their equivalent.
2 marks:
The chosen programme will make a narrower range
of demands upon the candidate while still requiring
a degree of technical expertise and command of the
instrument/voice across a variety of performance
techniques. The standard expected will equate to
Grade 4 or its equivalent.
1 mark:
The chosen programme will make few demands
of the candidate. The part(s) will be technically
straightforward. The standard expected will combine
the elements of Grade 4 or its equivalent and just
below.

Accuracy
1210 marks:
At the top of the band, there will be no discernible
flaws. Otherwise, inaccuracies will be limited to a
very occasional slip; at the lower end, there may
be occasional slips but these will not affect the
overall fluency of the performance. Intonation will be
virtually secure. The candidate will have observed the
composers expressive and performance directions.
97 marks:
At the top of this band, the performance should be
largely accurate and slips or inaccuracies will not
affect the overall fluency. At the lower end, there may
be more slips and intonation, rhythm and/or tempo
may become more problematic, leading to the
14

occasional hesitation or loss of fluency. The majority


of the composers expressive and performance
directions will have been observed.
64 marks:
A performance which achieves consistency in most
elements but which may lack variety, technical
competence or fluency. There may be more frequent
slips and/or more consistent misreading of the
notation or performance detail. The basic outline of
the music should be appreciable to the listener. In
general, the composers expressive and performance
directions will have been observed.
31 marks:
A performance which attempts to convey some
features of the music accurately but achieves only
limited consistency and fluency. There will be little
or no application of the composers directions for
expression or performance detail. At the lower marks,
the music may be scarcely recognisable.

Communication
1210 marks:
A committed, assured, convincing and well-projected
performance. The candidate will demonstrate total
involvement in the music.
97 marks:
The candidate will demonstrate some level of
commitment and the performance will be generally
assured. There will still be an overall sense of
conviction in the performance and the candidate will
show awareness of the occasion and the audience.
64 marks:
The performance will lack conviction and commitment
on occasions and, towards the lower end of this
band, the candidate may show little awareness of
occasion or audience.
31 marks:
The performance will have only limited conviction and
the candidate may fail to impose him/herself upon the
performance, leading to an anxious experience for
performer and listener.

Interpretation
1210 marks:
The candidate will show a mature understanding of
both period and style. The tempo will be appropriate
and mastery of the techniques demanded by the
music will be evident.
97 marks:
The performance will have style and tempo
appropriate to the music. At the lower end of the
band, the performance will retain a sense of the

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

character of the music. In general, the techniques


demanded by the music will be met though with
some loss of integrity at times.
64 marks:
At the upper end of this band, the candidate will
show a general understanding of the style and
character of the music. Towards the lower end, there
will be limited sensitivity to the interpretative demands
of the music. Technical demands may compromise
the tempo.
31 marks:
There will be only a rudimentary sensitivity to the
interpretative demands of the music.

The Ensemble Performance is


assessed on:
Level of Demand
Sense of Ensemble
Accuracy of pitch and rhythm plus observance
of expressive and performance directions as
indicated on the score/lead sheet
Communication and projection of the performance
Interpretation of the music, showing awareness of
its style and character.

Level of Demand
4 marks:
The chosen programme will make high demands of
the candidate. This will result partly from the technical
difficulty of the part(s) the candidate plays and partly
from the role(s) of the part(s) within the ensemble.
The standard expected will equate to Grade 5 or its
equivalent.
3 marks:
The candidate is likely to play a more consistent role
within the ensemble. The chosen programme will still
make a substantial range of technical demands upon
the candidate though these will be within more limited
parameters than those expected for the top mark.
The standard expected will combine elements of both
Grade 5 and Grade 4 or their equivalent.
2 marks:
The chosen programme will make a narrower range
of demands upon the candidate while still requiring
a degree of technical expertise and command of the
instrument/voice across a variety of performance
techniques. Overall, the candidates role within the
ensemble will be more straightforward. The standard
expected will equate to Grade 4 or its equivalent.
1 mark:
The chosen programme will make few demands of
the candidate. The part(s) will be technically

straightforward and the candidates role within the


ensemble will present few challenges. The standard
expected will combine the elements of Grade 4
standard or its equivalent and just below.

Sense of Ensemble
97 marks:
A performance showing complete unity of purpose
in all aspects of ensemble playing, including balance,
timing, intonation and responsiveness to others,
including, if necessary, the ability to react positively
to any difficulties which may occur. Marks towards
the bottom of this band will reflect success in most of
these areas.
65 marks:
A performance showing a generally high level of
responsiveness to the other performers, showing
a good understanding of the nature of ensemble
playing, demonstrated in timing, intonation, dynamics
and responsiveness to other performers.
43 marks:
A performance showing a good level of responsiveness
to the other performers and generally achieving good
ensemble in timing, intonation and dynamics for the
majority of the performance. For the lower mark, the
level of responsiveness will be present inconsistently.
21 marks:
A performance showing some awareness of other
performers but where the response to the ensemble
demands is uneven and where responsiveness
is generally less secure. For the lower mark, the
performance will show little or no responsiveness
to the other performers and demonstrate limited
understanding of ensemble playing. Performances at
this level will include those where the candidate tends
to concentrate on his/her own part to the exclusion of
other ensemble considerations.

Accuracy
97 marks:
At the top of the band, there will be no discernible
flaws. Otherwise, inaccuracies will be limited to a
very occasional slip; at the lower end, there may
be occasional slips but these will not affect the
overall fluency of the performance. Intonation will be
virtually secure. The candidate will have observed the
composers expressive and performance directions.
65 marks:
At the top of this band, the performance should be
largely accurate and slips or inaccuracies will not
affect the overall fluency. At the lower mark, there
may be more slips and intonation, rhythm and/or
tempo may become more problematic, leading to the
occasional hesitation or loss of fluency. The majority
of the composers expressive and performance
directions will have been observed.
15

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

43 marks:
A performance which achieves consistency in most
elements but which may lack variety, technical
competence or fluency. There may be more frequent
slips and/or more consistent misreading of the
notation or performance detail. The basic outline of
the music should be appreciable to the listener. In
general, the composers expressive and performance
directions will have been observed.

music. Technical demands may compromise the


tempo.
21 marks:
There will be only a rudimentary sensitivity to the
interpretative demands of the music.

The Technology-based performance 1


Sequencing is assessed on:

21 marks:

Accuracy of pitch and rhythm

A performance which attempts to convey some


features of the music accurately but achieves only
limited consistency and fluency. There will be little
or no application of the composers directions for
expression or performance detail. At the lower mark,
the music may be scarcely recognisable.

Use of timbres, balance and panning techniques

Communication
97 marks:
A committed, assured, convincing and well-projected
performance. The candidate will demonstrate total
involvement in the music.

Evidence of close attention to performing and


expressive detail
Awareness of style required
Ability to use the facilities available within the
software and hardware to produce a valid result.
Candidates will be expected to give details of
equipment used during the sequencing process
and the facilities available within the hardware and
software.

65 marks:

Accuracy of pitch and rhythm

The candidate will demonstrate some level of


commitment and the performance will be generally
assured. There will still be an overall sense of
conviction in the performance and the candidate will
show awareness of the occasion and the audience.

87 marks:

43 marks:

A few minor slips which do not inhibit the overall


musicality or fluency of the recording.

The performance will lack conviction and commitment


on occasions and, for the lower mark, the candidate
may show little awareness of occasion or audience.
21 marks:
The performance will have only limited conviction and
the candidate may fail to impose him/herself upon the
performance, leading to an anxious experience for
performer and listener.

Interpretation
97 marks:
The candidate will show a mature understanding of
both period and style. The tempo will be appropriate
and mastery of the techniques demanded by the
music will be evident.
65 marks:
The performance will have style and tempo appropriate
to the music. For the lower mark, the performance will
retain a sense of the character of the music. In general,
the techniques demanded by the music will be met
though with some loss of integrity at times.

Excellent accuracy of pitch and control of all rhythmic


elements to produce a musically satisfying recording.
65 marks:

43 marks:
More significant errors, affecting the overall sense of
ensemble.
21 marks:
Significant lapses, resulting in an unmusical
performance.

Use of timbre, balance and panning


techniques
87 marks:
Judiciously chosen timbres set within a well-balanced
and effective recording.
65 marks:
Appropriate timbres, mostly well-balanced and with
some evidence of use of panning.
43 marks:
A recording where most timbres are well-chosen but
where there are inconsistencies in the balance and
only limited use of panning.

43 marks:

21 marks:

For the upper mark, the candidate will show a


general understanding of the style and character of
the music. For the lower mark, there will be limited
sensitivity to the interpretative demands of the

Mostly inappropriate choice of timbres and little sense


of balance or evidence of use of panning.

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GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

Evidence of close attention to


performing and expressive detail
87 marks:
Comprehensive evidence of close attention to all
aspects of performing and expressive detail to create
a musical performance.
65 marks:
Effective use of performing and expressive detail, with
broadly successful articulation, phrasing and use of
shading.
43 marks:
Some attempts, not always successful, to use
performing and expressive detail to produce a
musical performance. There may be inconsistencies
in the application of dynamics, articulation, phrasing
and tempo.
21 marks:
Limited or no attention to performing and expressive
detail, resulting in a recording characterised by a
lack of dynamic contrast and inconsistencies in
articulation, phrasing, shading and tempo.

Awareness of style required


87 marks:
Complete awareness of the stylistic requirements of
the music and the ability to achieve this through the
careful editing of data.
65 marks:
Broadly successful creation of required style.
43 marks:
Some sense of the required style but achieved
inconsistently.
21 marks:
A basic transcription of the music with limited or no
sense of the required style.

Ability to use the facilities available


within the software and hardware to
produce a valid result
87 marks:
Complete understanding of measures needed to
use the facilities available within the software and/or
hardware to produce an authentic recording.
65 marks:
Broad understanding of the measures needed to
use the facilities available within the software and/
or hardware to produce an authentic recording and
mostly successful application of these facilities.
43 marks:
Some understanding of the measures needed to
use the facilities available within the software and/or

hardware to produce an authentic recording but only


partial success in their implementation.
21 marks:
Limited understanding of the measures needed to
use the facilities available within the software and/or
hardware to produce an authentic recording and little
or no evidence of success in their implementation.

The Technology-based performance 2


multi-track/close microphone recording
is assessed on:
Balance
Dynamic range, including use of compression
Manipulation of mixing desk
Use of effects, such as reverb, delay, etc.

Quality of recording across a wide range of


frequencies.
Candidates will be expected to give details of the
equipment used and the recording process.

Balance
87 marks:
Excellent sense of balance throughout the recording.
65 marks:
Occasional miscalculations as to balance, increasing
where a mark of 5 is awarded.
43 marks:
Sections of poor balance; areas where important
features are unclear.
21 marks:
Generally poorly balanced; much of the detail of the
music is obscured.

Dynamic Range, including use of


compression
87 marks:
Excellent management of dynamics in ways
completely appropriate to the music.
65 marks:
Occasional miscalculations of dynamic and/or a more
limited dynamic range.
43 marks:
Sections where the dynamic range is miscalculated
and/or very limited.
21 marks:
Mostly inappropriate choice/use of dynamics/
dynamics which adversely affect the impact of large
sections of the performance.

17

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

Manipulation of mixing desk

43 marks:

87 marks:

Sections where effects are misjudged or lacking.

Excellent use of mixing desk which enables all


aspects of the recording to be appreciated.

21 marks:

65 marks:
Occasional miscalculations in the use of the mixing
desk, to the extent that there are restrictions on its
effectiveness in separating parts.
43 marks:
Sections where the use of the mixing desk is
misjudged, inappropriate or very limited.
21 marks:
Generally little use of the mixing desk with little or no
alterations from the original mix achieved.

Use of effects such as reverb, delay, etc


87 marks:
Judicious and appropriate use of effects throughout
the piece.
65 marks:
Occasional miscalculations as to the use of effects.

18

Little or inappropriate use of effects.

Quality of the recording across a wide


range of frequencies
87 marks:
An excellent recording with clear use of a wide range
of frequencies.
65 marks:
Occasional miscalculations as to the use of a wide
frequency range.
43 marks:
Sections where the level of care and attention to
matters of equalisation are misjudged or lacking.
21 marks:
Little or inappropriate use of equalisation for
significant sections of the recording.

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

3.4 Unit 4 MUSC4 Music in Context


Candidates should acquire, explore and apply
musical language and context by the consideration of
two Areas of Study (AoS) from:

AoS1
The Western Classical Tradition
(compulsory)

AoS3a English Choral Music in the 20th


century

AoS3b

Chamber Music from Mendelssohn


to Debussy

AoS3c

Four decades of Jazz and Blues


19101950.

These AoS will be set by AQA. The focus of AoS1,


and AoS 3ac, may change every three years.
Through their exploration of two AoS and a set work,
candidates will develop an understanding of:
the organisation of sounds (form, harmony,
instrumentation and timbre, melody, rhythm and
metre, texture and tonality)
the context of music (composer, performer and
audience, occasion, time and place)
musical styles and genres.
Study will involve listening to music from within the
two AoS, study of scores and gaining an awareness
of the context in which the music was composed.
Assessment will be by written paper with some
questions using a CD of musical excerpts.

instrumentation those found in the standard


symphony orchestra and in jazz and pop music,
instrumental techniques including pizzicato, arco,
con sordino, double stopping
texture harmonic/homophonic, contrapuntal/
polyphonic, imitative, unison, single melody line,
octaves
ornamentation trill, turn, mordent, portamento
harmonic devices tonic and dominant pedals,
cycle of fifths, suspension, sequence
time signatures, including compound time and 5/7
beats in a bar
intervals major, minor, perfect, augmented,
diminished

Section B: Historical Study: The Western Classical


Tradition compulsory Area of Study (AoS1)
The AoS The Western Classical Tradition is the
compulsory AoS for this specification. Both the focus
and the set works may change every three years.
Set works 2014 and until further notice:
Elgar Symphony No. 1

The examination paper will last 2 hours 15 minutes


and be marked by AQA examiners.

or

The question paper will have three sections.

Study will focus on one of the two set works.

Section A: Listening approximately 45 minutes


This section will consist of structured listening
questions with or without a score and will require
responses covering some of the following:
cadences perfect, plagal, imperfect, interrupted
in the tonic and related keys
chord identification tonic, dominant,
subdominant, dominant seventh in root position
and 1st/2nd inversions, cadential 6/4, diminished
7th, augmented 6th, secondary 7ths, dominant
7th in 3rd inversion

melodic/rhythmic devices sequence,


ostinato, riff, passing note, accented passing
note, appoggiatura, chromatic appoggiatura,
augmentation, diminution, polyrhythms,
portamento, hemiola, suspension.

Shostakovich Symphony No. 5


Candidates will be able to take an unmarked copy
of their chosen set work score into the examination
room.
Candidates answer one essay question from a
choice of two.
Section C: Historical Study Areas of Study 3ac
Centres will choose a second AoS from three set by
AQA as follows:

AoS3a
century

compositional techniques, e.g. sequence, pedal,


imitation, canon, ostinato, riff

AoS3b Chamber Music from Mendelssohn


to Debussy

technical terms, e.g. appoggiatura, passing note,


note of anticipation

AoS3c Four decades of Jazz and Blues


910 1950.
1

completion of a melody containing some


chromatic notes

Two essay questions will be set on each of the AoS


3ac. Candidates will answer one question on the
selected AoS.

tonality modulations to the dominant major,


dominant minor, subdominant, relative minor,
major of the relative minor, tonic minor, modality,
atonal and 12-note music, whole tone scale,
bitonality

English Choral Music in the 20th

19

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

In each AoS 3ac, the list of Composers of the genre


is intended as a guide, not as an indication that all
composers listed must be studied or that this list
excludes study of other composers within the period
and genre specified.

OR

EITHER

twelve-bar blues

AoS3a English Choral Music in the 20th century

Swing

Candidates study the development of English choral


music in the 20th century with reference to:

Bebop

anthems and mass settings


oratorios and other orchestral settings of words.
Composers of the genre might include: Elgar, Walton,
Britten, Howells, Vaughan Williams.
OR

AoS3b Chamber Music from Mendelssohn to


Debussy
Candidates study a range of Chamber Music written
in this period. This includes:
trios, quartets, quintets, etc
timbre and texture
structure
melody and harmony.
Composers of the genre might include: Mendelssohn,
Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Dvork, Debussy
v

20

AoS3c Four decades of Jazz and Blues


1910 to 1950
From Dixieland to the culmination of the Swing era:

music for Big Band


orchestral/instrumental music drawing on Jazz
and Blues influences.
Composers/artists of the genre might include:
Jelly-Roll Morton, Ravel, Gershwin, Duke Ellington,
Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Charlie
Parker, Louis Armstrong.

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

3.5 Unit 5 MUSC5 Developing Musical Ideas


Candidates demonstrate their ability to create and
develop musical ideas with technical control and
expressive understanding, making creative use
of musical devices, conventions and resources in
response to one of three briefs as follows:

Submissions must be made as a score in staff


notation with an accompanying review and a
recording on either CD or mini-disc. Recordings can
be made using acoustic instruments/voices and/or
ICT technology.

Brief A

Compositional techniques

Brief B

Free composition or pastiche in


response to a chosen brief

The review (500 words max) should be an evaluation


of the success of the final submission in relation to
the brief and to appropriate stylistic conventions and
contextual influences of the period.

Brief C

Arranging.

The briefs will be released on 1 November in the


examination year and compositions will be externally
assessed by AQA. Candidates should be offered a
maximum of 20 hours, supervised in the centre, in
which to complete their compositions.
For supervision of the controlled time in MUSC5 see
section 6.1.
EITHER MUS5A
Brief A: Compositional techniques
Candidates must respond to both questions in this
brief.
Question 1
Harmonisation of a Bach chorale melody
Candidates will be given a Bach chorale melody to
harmonise stylistically.

OR MUS5B
Brief B: Free Composition or pastiche
Candidates compose a substantial, single, piece
in any style or genre, for any voice/instrument or
combination of voices and/or instruments using
acoustic and/or electronic sound sources. The piece
should last 58 minutes. It can consist of a single
movement or may consist of up to three separate,
related sections, but the total playing time should not
exceed 8 minutes. The candidates intention should
be made clear.
Candidates should show their understanding of and
ability to handle, as appropriate:
structure and development
modulation
tonality

In addition to the techniques studied for Unit 2,


the melody should allow candidates to show
understanding of and the ability to handle as
appropriate:

melody, harmony and rhythm

accented passing notes and suspensions

Within the composition there will be evidence of:

notes of anticipation

accented passing notes and/or suspensions

chromatic harmony

chromatic harmony

diminished 7th

diminished 7th

major and minor 7th

major and minor 7th

3rd inversion chords

3rd inversion chords

characteristic treatment of cadences.

appropriate treatment of cadences.

Question 2

Submissions must be made as a recording on


either CD or mini-disc and include an appropriate
score and/or chart and/or annotation and a
review. Recordings can be made using traditional
instruments/voices and/or ICT technology.

The Classical String Quartet


Candidates are expected to complete part of
a movement of a string quartet. This will allow
candidates to demonstrate their understanding of,
and the ability to handle as appropriate:
the development of thematic ideas through
the use of sequence, imitation, inversion,
augmentation and diminution
modulation
variety in texture.

texture, timbre and expression


characteristics of the chosen style/genre.

An annotation is defined as a substantial piece of


writing which may include diagrams and/or sections
of notation that will accurately describe the process
of composition referring to elements such as:
form and structure
tonality
rhythm
melody and harmony
21

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

timbre and texture

3rd inversion chords

performance detail

appropriate treatment of cadences.

the process of realisation.

Submissions must be made as a recording on


either CD or mini-disc and include an appropriate
score and/or chart and/or annotation and a
review. Recordings can be made using traditional
instruments/voices and/or ICT technology.

The review (500 words max) should be an evaluation


of the success of the final submission in relation to
the brief and with reference to the contextual aspect
of the composition.
OR MUS5C
Brief C: Arranging
Candidates demonstrate their arranging skills in
response to a brief given by AQA.

The brief will consist of arranging a piece of popular


classical music selected by AQA from any musical
period from the baroque onwards. The arrangement
should be in a recognised pop, rock or jazz style and
should last 58 minutes. The arrangement can be
for any group of instruments and may include voices,
but must include parts for a rhythm section consisting
of drum kit and/or percussion, double bass or bass
guitar and guitar and/or keyboard. These can be
either acoustic instruments or electronic sound
sources or a combination of both.
Candidates should demonstrate their ability to handle:
rhythmic development of the original thematic
ideas including metre change

An annotation is defined as a substantial piece of


writing which may include diagrams and/or sections
of notation that will accurately describe the process
of composition referring to elements such as:
form and structure
tonality
rhythm
melody and harmony
timbre and texture
performance detail
the process of realisation.
The review (500 words max) should be an evaluation
of the success of the final submission in relation to
the brief and with reference to the contextual aspect
of the composition.
Examples of study works:

development of melodic and harmonic ideas


within the structure

Brahms: Symphony No 3 in F. 3rd Movement, Poco


Allegretto

solo passages and improvisation

Santana: Love of my Life from the album


Supernatural, Arista Records, 1999

appropriate use of vocal and/or instrumental


timbres and/or ICT sound sources.

Bach: Prelude no. 1 from The Well Tempered Clavier

Within the arrangement, there should be evidence of:

Jacques Loussier: Prelude no. 1. Focus on Jacques


Loussier, Decca FOS R 5/6, 1967

accented passing notes and/or suspensions

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition

chromatic harmony

Emerson Lake and Palmer: Pictures at an Exhibition,


Island Records, 1971

diminished 7th
major and minor 7th

22

Johann Pachelbel: Canon in D major


The Farm: Altogether Now, 1990

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

Text
Assessment Criteria for Unit 5 (max 60 marks)
Brief A (for each question)
The marks for compositional techniques for Unit 5 will
be awarded to show achievement in a more complex
task than is required by the same mark band of Unit
2 assessment criteria. There are 30 marks for each
question.
3026 marks:
The piece will be stimulating, inventive and
imaginative.
The candidate will demonstrate a firm grasp of,
and secure handling of, compositional techniques
with a clear understanding of the chosen style.
The writing for the chosen instruments/voices/
electronic sound sources will be highly idiomatic.
The expressive features of the music will be
immediately apparent to the listener.
Notation will be accurate in relation to pitch
and rhythm and contain detailed performance
directions appropriate to the music.
The review provides a detailed and accurate
evaluation of the process with an extensive use of
technical language.
2521 marks:
The piece will be musically interesting and satisfying.
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding
of most of the compositional techniques within the
context of the style of the music.
The writing for instruments/voices/electronic
sound sources will be appropriate in relation to
the expressive qualities of the music.
Notation will be mostly accurate in relation to pitch
and rhythm and contain performance directions
appropriate to the music.
The review provides an evaluation of the process
which is mostly detailed and accurate with a good
use of technical language.
2016 marks:
The piece will be effective.
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding
of some of the compositional techniques in
relation to the selected task.
The writing for instruments/voices/electronic
sound sources will be mostly competent, and
there will be an attempt to convey some of the
expressive features of the music.
There may be some inaccuracies in the notation
in relation to pitch and rhythm, but the intentions
will be largely clear with some attempt to include
appropriate performance detail.

The review provides an evaluation of the process


with some detail and accuracy, with a sound use
of technical language.
1511 marks:
The piece will be partially effective and complete
but will demonstrate limited understanding in
relation to the compositional techniques.
The writing for instruments/voices/electronic
sound sources will be partially successful and
the expressive qualities of the music will be
unconvincing and tend to be contrived.
There will be some inaccuracies in the notation
in relation to pitch and rhythm, and performance
detail, though present, may not be wholly
appropriate.

The review provides an evaluation of the process


which lacks detail and is not always accurate, with
some use of technical language.
106 marks:
The piece will lack effectiveness and will
demonstrate a basic understanding of some
of the more rudimentary aspects of the
compositional techniques leading to sections of
incoherence.
There will be some areas that are incomplete and
the writing for instruments/voices/electronic sound
sources will demonstrate a lack of understanding
in relation to the expressive qualities of the music.
Frequent miscalculations in notation will be
evident in relation to pitch and rhythm, and
performance detail will be sparse and often
inappropriate to the music.
The review provides a limited evaluation of the
process which is mainly descriptive, with some
use of technical language.
51 marks:
The piece will demonstrate a very limited and
rudimentary understanding of the compositional
techniques.
There will be significant areas that are incomplete
and much of the piece will lack coherence.
The writing for instruments/voices/electronic
sound sources will demonstrate significant
weaknesses that will inhibit the expressive
qualities of the music.
Substantial miscalculations in notation will be
evident in relation to pitch and rhythm and
performance detail will be lacking, or, if present,
wholly inappropriate to the music.
The review is a description of the process with a
limited use of technical language.
23

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

Briefs B and C
The marks for the composition/arrangement for Unit
5 will be awarded to show achievement in a more
complex task than is required by the same mark
band of Unit 2 assessment criteria:

6051 marks:
The piece will be stimulating, inventive and
imaginative.
The candidate will demonstrate a firm grasp of,
and secure handling of, structure, development,
tonality, use of melody, harmony and rhythm,
texture, timbre, and a clear understanding of the
chosen style.
The writing for the chosen instrument(s)/voice(s)/
electronic sound source(s) will be highly idiomatic.
The expressive features of the music will be
immediately apparent to the listener.
The score/chart/annotation will be accurate and
detailed, accurately reflecting the music in the
recording in relation to pitch, rhythm, form and
structure, timbre, texture and performance detail.
The review provides a detailed and accurate
evaluation of the process with an extensive use of
technical language.
5041 marks:
The piece will be musically interesting and
satisfying.
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding
of structure, development, tonality, use of melody,
harmony and rhythm, texture and timbre, within
the context of the style of the music.
The writing for instrument(s)/voice(s)/electronic
sound source(s) will be appropriate in relation to
the expressive qualities of the music.
The score/chart/annotation will be largely accurate
and detailed, bearing a close resemblance to
the music in the recording in relation to pitch,
rhythm, form and structure, timbre, texture and
performance detail.
The review provides an evaluation of the process
which is mostly detailed and accurate with a good
use of technical language.
4031 marks:
The piece will be effective.
The candidate will demonstrate an understanding
of some aspects of structure, development,
tonality, use of melody, harmony and rhythm,
texture and timbre, in relation to the selected task.
The writing for instrument(s)/voice(s)/electronic
sound source(s) will be mostly competent and
there will be an attempt to convey some of the
expressive features of the music.
The score/chart/annotation will contain some
detail relating to the music in the recording in
relation to pitch, rhythm, form and structure,
timbre, texture and performance detail.
24

The review provides an evaluation of the process


with some detail and accuracy, with a sound use
of technical language.
3021 marks:
The piece will be partially effective and complete
but will demonstrate limited understanding in
relation to structure, development, tonality, use of
melody, harmony and rhythm, texture and timbre.
The writing for instrument(s)/voice(s)/electronic
sound source(s) will be partially successful and
the expressive qualities of the music will be
unconvincing and tend to be contrived.
The score/chart/annotation will contain limited
detail relating to the music in the recording in
relation to pitch, rhythm, form and structure,
timbre, texture and performance detail.
The review provides an evaluation of the process
which lacks detail and is not always accurate with
some use of technical language.
2011 marks:
The piece will lack effectiveness and will
demonstrate a basic understanding of structure,
development, tonality, use of melody, harmony
and rhythm, texture and timbre leading to sections
of incoherence.
There will be some areas that are incomplete
and the writing for instrument(s)/voice(s)/
electronic sound source(s) will demonstrate a
lack of understanding in relation to the expressive
qualities of the music.
The score/chart/annotation will contain
inaccuracies and/or inconsistencies relating to
the music in the recording in relation to pitch,
rhythm, form and structure, timbre, texture and
performance detail.
The review provides a limited evaluation of the
process which is mainly descriptive, with some
use of technical language.
101 marks:
The piece will demonstrate a very limited and
rudimentary understanding of the compositional
techniques.
There will be significant areas that are incomplete
and much of the piece will lack coherence.
The writing for instrument(s)/voice(s)/electronic
sound source(s) will demonstrate significant
weaknesses that will inhibit the expressive
qualities of the music.
The score/chart/annotation will be largely
inaccurate and will contain only rudimentary detail
relating to the music in the recording in relation to
pitch, rhythm, form and structure, timbre, texture
and performance detail.
The review is a description of the process with a
limited use of technical language.

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

3.6 Unit 6 MUSC6 A Musical Performance


Candidates offer two (or more) contrasting pieces
to form a short programme for either acoustic
performance and/or performance via music
technology chosen from:
(a) solo acoustic performances lasting 1015
minutes
(b) technology-based performances
(c) one solo performance and one technology-based
performance the solo performance to be at least
5 minutes.
The pieces will be chosen to show variety of style,
technique, period and/or approach.
Candidates may perform their own compositions
if these make sufficient technical and expressive
demands on them.
Candidates must submit a score or lead sheet/
detailed guide or recording of the original work with
the recording of their performance and a Candidate
Record Form (CRF). The recorded performances will
be externally assessed.

Solo acoustic performances


A solo is defined as a performance where the
candidates part is:
a single unaccompanied part
a part which is accompanied by piano, guitar (or
similar), a backing track or a small unit of other
players.
The accompaniment must not detract from the
candidates performance or double the part to be
assessed.
The solo performances should enable the candidate
to demonstrate appropriate technical, expressive,
interpretative and communicative skills. Solo
performances may include improvisation. In such
cases, the candidate must make clear the basis of
the improvisation: e.g. a melodic fragment, a scale, a
chord progression, a rhythmic idea.

of recorded audio and MIDI sequenced tracks, the


number of each track being at the discretion of the
candidate.
The minimum requirement is for six independent
parts, the piece must be 48 bars or more in length,
classical style submissions will feature a solo part,
pop/jazz submissions will feature a vocal line,
evidence of use of sound sources other than GM (e.g.
plug-ins or sound module), plus at least one VSTi.
Candidates must provide a recording on CD/minidisc and details of the equipment used, including the
use made of the various facilities available within the
hardware and the software.
Credit will be given for:
accuracy of pitch and rhythm
evidence of close attention to performing and
expressive detail
awareness of style required
ability to make use of the various facilities available
within the hardware and software to produce a
valid result.
Technology 2: multi-track/close microphone
recording
Candidates will use multi-tracking/close microphone
recording to produce one or more recordings based
on initial recordings of six parts which must include
independent vocal and instrumental lines. The
candidate may be one of the performers or may
alternatively perform all the vocal/instrumental parts.
The submission will include the candidates initial
recording and the final mix.
The minimum requirement is for six independent
instruments, one of which must be a vocalist,
the piece must be 48 bars or more in length, and
candidates must demonstrate some appropriate use
of both time-based and dynamic effects, and use of
the stereo field/panning at mixdown.

The recording of each piece or movement must be a


complete performance (i.e. a single take).

Candidates must provide a recording on CD/minidisc and details of the equipment used and the
recording process.

Technology-based performances

Credit will be given for evidence of:

Where a candidates submission consists of


Technology 1 only or Technology 2 only, there must
be two performances in order to demonstrate the
required variety.
Technology 1: Sequencing
Candidates will use a combination of sequencing and
multi-tracking/close microphone recording to create
one or more recordings. At least one recording
should be of a pop/rock/jazz ensemble with at least
six vocal/instrumental parts, with the inclusion of
a drum kit. Candidates will submit a combination

a well-balanced recording

care taken to ensure good balance


use of an appropriate dynamic range
use of panning to obtain a clear recording and,
where necessary, to separate sounds that utilise
similar frequency ranges
use of effects where appropriate, such as
reverberation, delay.
quality of recording across a wide range of
frequencies.
25

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

Where a candidate presents a performance which


contains both acoustic and technology-based
elements, they may choose either Technology
Performance 1 or Technology Performance 2.
The programme of solo acoustic performances is
externally marked holistically out of 60 using the
relevant assessment criteria.
The programme of technology-based performances
is, when all the pieces are the same type, externally
marked holistically out of 60 using the relevant
assessment criteria.

26

When a programme comprises mixed types, ie one


solo performance and one technology-based or
two different technology types, then each type is
externally assessed and marked out of 60 using the
relevant criteria on the next pages. These marks are
added together and divided by two to give the final
overall mark.

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

Assessment Criteria for Unit 6 (max 60 marks)


The Solo Performance is assessed on:

Accuracy

Level of Demand

18 14 marks:

Accuracy of pitch and rhythm plus observance


of expressive and performance directions as
indicated on the score/lead sheet

At the top of the band, there will be no discernible


flaws. Otherwise, inaccuracies will be limited to a
very occasional slip; at the lower end, there may
be occasional slips but these will not affect the
overall fluency of the performance. Intonation will be
virtually secure. The candidate will have observed the
composers expressive and performance directions.

Communication and projection of the


performance
Interpretation of the music, showing awareness of
its style and character.

Level of Demand
6 marks:
The chosen programme will make high demands of
the candidate. The standard expected will be greater
than Grade 7 or its equivalent.
5 marks:
The chosen programme will make a substantial range
of technical demands upon the candidate although
these will be within more limited parameters than
those expected for the top mark. The standard
expected will equate to Grade 7 or its equivalent.
4 marks:
The chosen programme will make a reasonable
range of technical demands upon the candidate.
The standard expected will equate to Grade 6 or its
equivalent.
3 marks:
The chosen programme will make a narrower range
of demands upon the candidate while still requiring
a degree of technical expertise and command of the
instrument/voice across a variety of performance
techniques. The standard expected will combine
elements of Grades 6 and 5 or their equivalent.
2 marks:
The chosen programme will make some demands
upon the candidate while requiring a more limited
degree of technical expertise and command of the
instrument/voice across a variety of performance
techniques. The standard expected will equate to
Grade 5 or its equivalent.
1 mark:
The chosen programme will make few demands
of the candidate. The part(s) will be technically
straightforward. The standard expected will be less
than Grade 5 or its equivalent.

139 marks:
At the top of this band, the performance should be
largely accurate and slips or inaccuracies will not
affect the overall fluency. At the lower end, there
may be more slips and intonation, rhythm and/or
tempo may become more problematic, leading to the
occasional hesitation or loss of fluency. The majority
of the composers expressive and performance
directions will have been observed.
85 marks:
A performance which achieves consistency in most
elements but which may lack variety, technical
competence or fluency. There may be more frequent
slips and/or more consistent misreading of the
notation or performance detail. The basic outline of
the music should be appreciable to the listener. In
general, the composers expressive and performance
directions will have been observed.
41 marks:
A performance which attempts to convey some
features of the music accurately but achieves only
limited consistency and fluency. There will be little
or no application of the composers directions for
expression or performance detail. At the lower marks,
the music may be scarcely recognisable.

Communication
1814 marks:
A committed, assured, convincing and well-projected
performance. The candidate will demonstrate total
involvement in the music.
139 marks:
The candidate will demonstrate some level of
commitment and the performance will be generally
assured. There will still be an overall sense of
conviction in the performance.
85 marks:
The performance will lack conviction and commitment
on occasions.
41 marks:
The performance will have only limited conviction and
the candidate may fail to impose him/herself upon the
performance, leading to an anxious experience for
performer and listener.

27

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

Interpretation
1814 marks:
The candidate will show a mature understanding of
both period and style. The tempo will be appropriate
and mastery of the techniques demanded by the
music will be evident.
13 9 marks:
The performance will have style and tempo
appropriate to the music. At the lower end of the
band, the performance will retain a sense of the
character of the music. In general, the techniques
demanded by the music will be met though with
some loss of integrity at times.

Use of timbre, balance and panning


techniques
1210 marks:
Judiciously chosen timbres set within a well-balanced
and effective recording
97 marks:
Appropriate timbres, mostly well-balanced and with
some evidence of use of panning
64 marks:
A recording where most timbres are well-chosen but
where there are inconsistencies in the balance and
only limited use of panning

85 marks:

31 marks:

At the upper end of this band, the candidate will


show a general understanding of the style and
character of the music. Towards the lower end, there
will be limited sensitivity to the interpretative demands
of the music. Technical demands may compromise
the tempo.

Mostly inappropriate choice of timbres and little sense


of balance or evidence of use of panning

41 marks:
There will be only a rudimentary sensitivity to the
interpretative demands of the music.

The Technology-based performance 1


Sequencing is assessed on:
Accuracy of pitch and rhythm
A well-balanced recording with the use of
appropriate timbres
Evidence of close attention to performing and
expressive detail
Awareness of style required
Ability to adapt software and hardware as
necessary to effect a valid result.

Evidence of close attention to


performing and expressive detail
1210 marks:
Comprehensive evidence of close attention to all
aspects of performing and expressive detail to create
a musical performance
97 marks:
Effective use of performing and expressive detail, with
broadly successful articulation, phrasing and use of
shading
64 marks:
Some attempts, not always successful, to use
performing and expressive detail to produce a
musical performance. There may be inconsistencies
in the application of dynamics, articulation, phrasing
and tempo
31 marks:

Candidates will be expected to give details of


equipment used during the sequencing process
and the facilities available within the hardware and
software.

Limited or no attention to performing and expressive


detail, resulting in a recording characterised by a
lack of dynamic contrast and inconsistencies in
articulation, phrasing, shading and tempo

Accuracy of pitch and rhythm

Awareness of style required

1210 marks:

1210 marks:

Excellent accuracy of pitch and control of all rhythmic


elements to produce a musically satisfying recording
97 marks:

Complete awareness of the stylistic requirements of


the music and the ability to achieve this through the
careful editing of data

A few minor slips which do not inhibit the overall


musicality or fluency of the recording

97 marks:
Broadly successful creation of required style

64 marks:

64 marks:

More significant errors, affecting the overall sense of


ensemble

Some sense of the required style but achieved


inconsistently

31 marks:

31 marks:

Significant lapses, resulting in an unmusical


performance

A basic transcription of the music with limited or no


sense of the required style

28

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

Ability to use the facilities available


within the software and hardware to
produce a valid result

Dynamic Range, including use of


compression

1210 marks:

Excellent management of dynamics in ways


completely appropriate to the music.

Complete understanding of measures needed to


use the facilities available within the software and/or
hardware to produce an authentic recording
97 marks:
Broad understanding of the measures needed to
use the facilities available within the software and/
or hardware to produce an authentic recording and
mostly successful application of these facilities
64 marks:
Some understanding of the measures needed to
use the facilities available within the software and/or
hardware to produce an authentic recording but only
partial success in their implementation
31:
Limited understanding of the measures needed to
use the facilities available within the software and/or
hardware to produce an authentic recording and little
or no evidence of success in their implementation.

The Technology-based performance 2


multi-track close microphone recording
is assessed on:
Balance
Dynamic range, including use of compression
Manipulation of mixing desk
Use of effects, such as reverb., delay, etc.
Quality of the recording across a wide range of
frequencies.
Candidates will submit a multi-tracked/close
microphone recording based on an initial recording
of six or more independent vocal and/or instrumental
parts. The candidate may be one of the performers.
The submission will include the initial recording and
the final mix. Candidates must additionally provide
information about the equipment used and the
recording process.

1210 marks:

97 marks:
Occasional miscalculations of dynamic and/or a more
limited dynamic range.
64 marks:
Sections where the dynamic range is miscalculated
and/or very limited.
31 marks:
Mostly inappropriate choice/use of dynamics/
dynamics which adversely affect the impact of large
sections of the performance.

Manipulation of mixing desk


1210 marks:
Excellent use of mixing desk which enables all
aspects of the recording to be appreciated.
97 marks:
Occasional miscalculations in the use of the mixing
desk, to the extent that there are restrictions on its
effectiveness in separating parts.
64 marks:
Sections where the use of the mixing desk is
misjudged, inappropriate or very limited.
31 marks:
Generally little use of the mixing desk with few or no
alterations from the original mix achieved.

Use of effects such as reverb., delay, etc


1210 marks:
Judicious and appropriate use of effects throughout
the piece.
97 marks:
Occasional miscalculations as to the use of effects.
64 marks:
Sections where effects are misjudged or lacking.

Balance

31 marks:

1210 marks:

Little or inappropriate use of effects.

Excellent sense of balance throughout the recording.


97 marks:
Occasional miscalculations as to balance, increasing
where a mark of 7 is awarded.
64 marks:
Sections of poor balance; areas where important
features are unclear.
31 marks:
Generally poorly balanced; much of the detail of the
music is obscured.
29

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

Quality of the recording across a wide


range of frequencies
1210 marks:
An excellent recording with clear use of a wide range
of frequencies.
97 marks:
Occasional miscalculations as to the use of a wide
frequency range.
64 marks:
Sections where the level of care and attention to
matters of equalisation are misjudged or lacking.
31:
Little or inappropriate use of equalisation for
significant sections of the recording.

30

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

4 Scheme of Assessment
4.1 Aims
AS and A Level courses based on this specification
should encourage candidates to:

develop particular strengths and interests


encouraging lifelong learning and providing
access to music-related and other careers

extend the skills, knowledge and understanding


needed to communicate through music and to
take part in making music
engage in and extend their appreciation of the
diverse and dynamic heritage of music, promoting
spiritual and cultural development

recognise the interdependence of musical skills,


knowledge and understanding and the links
between the activities of performing/realising,
composing and appraising.

4.2 Assessment Objectives (AOs)


The Assessment Objectives are common to AS and
A Level. The assessment units will assess the following
Assessment Objectives in the context of the content
and skills set out in Section 3 (Subject Content).
AO1 Interpret musical ideas with technical and
expressive control and a sense of style and
awareness of occasion and/or ensemble
(performing/realising)

Quality of Written Communication (QWC)


In GCE specifications which require candidates to
produce written material in English, candidates must:
ensure that text is legible and that spelling,
punctuation and grammar are accurate so that
meaning is clear
select and use a form and style of writing
appropriate to purpose and to complex subject
matter

AO2 Create and develop musical ideas


with technical control and expressive
understanding making creative use of
musical devices, conventions and resources
(composing/arranging).

organise information clearly and coherently, using


specialist vocabulary when appropriate.
In this specification QWC will be assessed in Units 1
and 4 by means of extended writing.

AO3 Demonstrate understanding of, and comment


perceptively on, the structural, expressive and
contextual aspects of music (appraising).

Weighting of Assessment Objectives for AS


The table below shows the approximate weighting of each of the Assessment Objectives in the AS units.

Assessment Objectives

Unit Weightings (%)


Unit 1

Unit 2

Overall weighting of AOs (%)

Unit 3

AO1 40

40

AO2 30

30

AO3

30

30

Overall weighting of units (%)

30

100

30

40

31

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

Weighting of Assessment Objectives for A Level


The table below shows the approximate weighting of each of the Assessment Objectives in the AS and A2 units.
Assessment Objectives

Unit Weightings (%)

Overall weighting of AOs (%)

Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3 Unit 4 Unit 5 Unit 6

AO1 20 15

35

AO2 15 15

30

AO3

15 20

35

Overall weighting of units (%)

15

100

15

20

20

15

15

4.3 National Criteria


This specification complies with the following.

The GCE AS and A Level Qualification Criteria

The Subject Criteria for Music

The Arrangements for the Statutory Regulation


of External Qualifications in England, Wales and
Northern Ireland: Common Criteria

The Code of Practice for GCE

4.4 Prior Learning


We recommend that candidates should have
acquired the skills and knowledge associated with a
GCSE Music course or equivalent.

4.5 Synoptic Assessment and Stretch and Challenge


Synoptic assessment requires candidates to:
make connections between different aspects of
musical activities
apply the skills, knowledge and understanding
described in the assessment objectives to
unfamiliar music
demonstrate aural perception and aural
discrimination.
The synoptic assessment in this specification and the
requirements for Stretch and Challenge are met in
both the practical and written units of A2, drawing on
all Assessment Objectives.
In Unit 4, candidates will be required to apply their
knowledge and understanding to unfamiliar music by
relating a selection of previously unheard music to
styles, genres and traditions experienced in a range
of different activities, making judgements based on
the identification of musical characteristics.

32

They will also be required to demonstrate aural


perception and aural discrimination by comparing and
contrasting different musical excerpts.
Candidates are required to apply their increasing
breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding,
in extended written form, through critical comment,
discussion or evaluation of two different and
contrasting areas of study.
In Unit 5, candidates create a composition including a
log within a clearly defined brief that refers to the use
and selection of resources, structural and expressive
features and contextual influences.
In Unit 6, candidates offer a performance of music
which shows an awareness of stylistic conventions
and contextual influences with technical and
expressive control.

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

4.6 Access to Assessment for Disabled Students


AS/A Levels often require assessment of a broader
range of competences. This is because they
are general qualifications and, as such, prepare
candidates for a wide range of occupations and
higher level courses.
The revised AS/A Level qualification and subject
criteria were reviewed to identify whether any of the
competences required by the subject presented a
potential barrier to any disabled candidates. If this
was the case, the situation was reviewed again to
ensure that such competences were included only
where essential to the subject. The findings of this
process were discussed with disability groups and
with disabled people.
Reasonable adjustments are made for disabled
candidates in order to enable them to access the
assessments. For this reason, very few candidates
will have a complete barrier to any part of the
assessment.
Candidates who are still unable to access a
significant part of the assessment, even after

exploring all possibilities through reasonable


adjustments, may still be able to receive an award.
They would be given a grade on the parts of the
assessment they have taken and there would be
an indication on their certificate that not all the
competences had been addressed.
Candidates with hearing impairments may be
restricted when required to demonstrate aural
perception skills. Candidates with a hearing
impairment may show aural perception by
interpretation of a musical score rather than actually
listening to the music but would not be able to assess
performance of the music.
Performing has been broadened to become
performing/realising. This means that candidates with
a physical impairment may do a performance using
computer-generated sounds.
This will be kept under review and may be amended
in the future.

33

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

5Administration
5.1 Availability of Assessment Units and Certification
After June 2013, examinations and certification for
this specification are available in June only.

5.2 Entries
Please refer to the current version of Entry
Procedures and Codes for up to date entry
procedures. You should use the following entry
codes for the units and for certification.

Unit 1 MUSC1
Unit 2 MUS2A or MUS2B or MUS2C
Unit 3 MUSC3
Unit 4 MUSC4
Unit 5 MUS5A or MUS5B or MUS5C
Unit 6 MUSC6
AS certification 1271
A Level certification 2271

5.3 Private Candidates


This specification is not available to private
candidates.

5.4 Access Arrangements and Special Consideration


5

We have taken note of equality and discrimination


legislation and the interests of minority groups in
developing and administering this specification.
We follow the guidelines in the Joint Council
for Qualifications (JCQ) document: Access
Arrangements, Reasonable Adjustments and
Special Consideration: General and Vocational
Qualifications. This is published on the JCQ website
(http://www.jcq.org.uk) or you can follow the link
from our website (http://www.aqa.org.uk).

Access Arrangements
We can make arrangements so that candidates with
disabilities can access the assessment. These
arrangements must be made before the
examination. For example, we can produce a Braille
paper for a candidate with a visual impairment.

Special Consideration
We can give special consideration to candidates who
have had a temporary illness, injury or indisposition at
the time of the examination. Where we do this, it is
given after the examination.
Applications for access arrangements and special
consideration should be submitted to AQA by the
Examinations Officer at the centre.

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GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

5.5 Language of Examinations


We will provide units in English only.

5.6 Qualification Titles


Qualifications based on this specification are:
AQA Advanced Subsidiary GCE in Music, and
AQA Advanced Level GCE in Music.

5.7 Awarding Grades and Reporting Results


The AS qualification will be graded on a five-point
scale: A, B, C, D and E. The full A Level qualification
will be graded on a six-point scale: A*, A, B, C, D
and E. To be awarded an A* candidates will need to
achieve a grade A on the full A Level qualification and
an A* on the aggregate of the A2 units.

For AS and A Level, candidates who fail to reach


the minimum standard for grade E will be recorded
as U (unclassified) and will not receive a qualification
certificate. Individual assessment unit results will be
certificated.

5.8 Re-sits and Shelf-life of Unit Results


Unit results remain available to count towards
certification, whether or not they have already been
used, as long as the specification is still valid.
Each unit is available in June only. Candidates may
re-sit a unit any number of times within the shelf-life
of the specification. The best result for each unit
will count towards the final qualification. Candidates

who wish to repeat a qualification may do so by retaking one or more units. The appropriate subject
award entry, as well as the unit entry/entries, must
be submitted in order to be awarded a new subject
grade.
Candidates will be graded on the basis of the work
submitted for assessment.

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GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

6 Coursework Administration
The Head of Centre is responsible to AQA for ensuring that coursework/portfolio work is conducted in
accordance with AQAs instructions and JCQ instructions.

6.1 Supervision and Authentication of Coursework


In order to meet the regulators Code of Practice for
GCE, AQA requires:

they may not have access to their work other


than during the 20 hours of controlled time

candidates to sign the Candidate Record Form


(CRF) to confirm that the work submitted is their
own, and

work may not be removed from the centre

teachers/assessors to confirm on the CRF that


the work assessed is solely that of the candidate
concerned and was conducted under the
conditions laid down by the specification.

Supervision of the controlled time in


MUSC2 and MUSC5
During the course of study for Units 2 and 5
candidates will perform tasks which give them
opportunities to practise composition and arranging.
Candidates ongoing development and improvement
in these tasks will be under the guidance of their
teachers. However, the guidance candidates receive
from teachers must be of a general nature if the work
is to be authenticated as the candidates own, or it
must be declared where the guidance becomes more
specific.
The following points should be noted.
1. Throughout the course of study candidates should
carry out research and practice compositional and
arranging tasks.
2. Unseen briefs for Units 2 and 5 will be released to
centres on 1 November. Work submitted for both
Units is externally assessed by AQA.
3. Candidates have a maximum of 20 hours of
controlled time to complete their composition in
response to the chosen AQA brief.

4. The whole of the controlled time must be


supervised by a teacher.
5. Any research, compositional and arranging
practice in response to the brief must be carried
out during the 20 hours of controlled time and
should be the candidates own unaided work.
6. In addition, candidates must be told that:
work produced during the 20 hours of
controlled time must be their own
work for submission must not be downloaded
from the internet

36

they will be required to sign a declaration


authenticating work as their own.
7. Teachers are required to:
supervise candidates at all times during the 20
hours of controlled time
verify that all candidates work has been
completed under supervised and controlled
conditions
confirm that all material submitted for
assessment is the candidates own work.
The completed CRF for each candidate must be
attached to his/her work. All teachers who have
assessed the work of any candidate entered for
each component must sign the declaration of
authentication. Failure to sign the authentication
statement may delay the processing of the
candidates results.
The teacher should be sufficiently aware of the
candidates standard and level of work to appreciate
if the coursework submitted is beyond the talents of
the candidate.
In most centres teachers are familiar with candidates
work through class and homework assignments.
Where this is not the case, teachers should make
sure that all coursework is completed under direct
supervision.
In all cases, some direct supervision is necessary
to ensure that the coursework submitted can be
confidently authenticated as the candidates own.
If it is believed that a candidate has received
additional assistance and this is acceptable within
the guidelines for the relevant specification, the
teacher/assessor should award a mark which
represents the candidates unaided achievement.
The authentication statement should be signed
and information given on the relevant form.
If the teacher/assessor is unable to sign the
authentication statement for a particular
candidate, then the candidates work cannot be
accepted for assessment.

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

6.2 Malpractice
Teachers should inform candidates of the AQA
Regulations concerning malpractice.
Candidates must not:
submit work which is not their own;
lend work to other candidates;
allow other candidates access to, or the use of,
their own independently-sourced source material
(this does not mean that candidates may not lend
their books to another candidate, but candidates
should be prevented from plagiarising other
candidates research);
include work copied directly from books,
the internet or other sources without
acknowledgement or an attribution;
submit work typed or word-processed by a third
person without acknowledgement.
These actions constitute malpractice, for which a
penalty (eg disqualification from the examination) will
be applied.

If malpractice is suspected, the Examinations Officer


should be consulted about the procedure to be
followed.
Where suspected malpractice in coursework/
portfolios is identified by a centre after the candidate
has signed the declaration of authentication, the
Head of Centre must submit full details of the case to
AQA at the earliest opportunity. The form JCQ/M1
should be used. Copies of the form can be found on
the JCQ website (http://www.jcq.org.uk/).
Malpractice in coursework/portfolios discovered
prior to the candidate signing the declaration of
authentication need not be reported to AQA, but
should be dealt with in accordance with the centres
internal procedures. AQA would expect centres to
treat such cases very seriously. Details of any work
which is not the candidates own must be recorded
on the coursework/portfolio cover sheet or other
appropriate place.

6.3 Teacher Standardisation


We will hold annual standardising meetings for
teachers, usually in the autumn term, for the
coursework units. At these meetings we will provide
support in developing appropriate coursework tasks
and using the marking criteria.
If your centre is new to this specification, you must
send a representative to one of the meetings. If
you have told us you are a new centre, either by
submitting an estimate of entry or by contacting the
subject team, we will contact you to invite you to a
meeting.

We will also contact centres if


the moderation of coursework from the previous
year has identified a serious misinterpretation of
the coursework requirements,
inappropriate tasks have been set, or
a significant adjustment has been made to a
centres marks.
In these cases, centres will be expected to send a
representative to one of the meetings. For all other
centres, attendance is optional. If you are unable to
attend and would like a copy of the materials used
at the meeting, please contact the subject team at
music@aqa.org.uk.

6.4 Internal Standardisation of Marking


Centres must standardise marking within the centre
to make sure that all candidates at the centre have
been marked to the same standard. One person
must be responsible for internal standardisation. This
person should sign the Centre Declaration Sheet to
confirm that internal standardisation has taken place.

discussing any differences in marking at a


training meeting for all teachers involved in the
assessment;

Internal standardisation may involve:

but other valid approaches are permissible.

all teachers marking some trial pieces of work and


identifying differences in marking standards;

referring to reference and archive material such as


previous work or examples from AQAs teacher
standardising meetings;

37

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

6.5 Annotation of Coursework


The Code of Practice for GCE states that the
awarding body must require internal assessors to
show clearly how the marks have been awarded
in relation to the marking criteria defined in the
specification and that the awarding body must
provide guidance on how this is to be done.
The annotation will help the moderator to see as
precisely as possible where the teacher considers
that the candidates have met the criteria in the
specification.

Work could be annotated by either of the following


methods:
key pieces of evidence flagged throughout the
work by annotation either in the margin or in the
text;
summative comments on the work, referencing
precise sections in the work.

6.6 Submitting Marks and Sample Work for Moderation


The total mark for each candidate must be submitted
to AQA and the moderator on the mark forms
provided or by Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) by

the specified date. Centres will be informed which


candidates work is required in the samples to be
submitted to the moderator.

6.7 Factors Affecting Individual Candidates


Teachers should be able to accommodate the
occasional absence of candidates by ensuring that
the opportunity is given for them to make up missed
assessments.
If work is lost, AQA should be notified immediately of
the date of the loss, how it occurred, and who was
responsible for the loss. Centres should use the JCQ
form JCQ/LCW to inform AQA Candidate Services
of the circumstances. Where special help which
goes beyond normal learning support is given, AQA
must be informed through comments on the CRF
so that such help can be taken into account when
moderation takes place (see Section 6.1).

Candidates who move from one centre to another


during the course sometimes present a problem for a
scheme of internal assessment. Possible courses of
action depend on the stage at which the move takes
place. If the move occurs early in the course the new
centre should take responsibility for assessment. If
it occurs late in the course it may be possible to
arrange for the moderator to assess the work through
the Educated Elsewhere procedure. Centres should
contact AQA at the earliest possible stage for advice
about appropriate arrangements in individual cases.

6.8 Retaining Evidence and Re-using Marks


The centre must retain the work of all candidates,
with CRFs attached, under secure conditions, from
the time it is assessed, to allow for the possibility of
an enquiry about results. The work may be returned

38

to candidates after the deadline for enquiries about


results. If an enquiry about a result has been made,
the work must remain under secure conditions in
case it is required by AQA.

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

7Moderation
7.1 Moderation Procedures
Moderation of the coursework is by inspection of a
sample of candidates work, sent by post from the
centre to a moderator appointed by AQA. The centre
marks must be submitted to AQA and to the
moderator by the specified deadline (see http://
www.aqa.org.uk/deadlines.php). We will let
centres know which candidates work will be required
in the sample to be submitted for moderation.
Following the re-marking of the sample work, the
moderators marks are compared with the centre
marks to determine whether any adjustment is

needed in order to bring the centres assessments


into line with standards generally. In some cases
it may be necessary for the moderator to call for
the work of other candidates in the centre. In
order to meet this possible request, centres must
retain under secure conditions and have available
the coursework and the CRF of every candidate
entered for the examination and be prepared to
submit it on demand. Mark adjustments will normally
preserve the centres order of merit, but where major
discrepancies are found, we reserve the right to alter
the order of merit.

7.2 Post-moderation Procedures


On publication of the AS/A Level results, we will
provide centres with details of the final marks for the
coursework unit.

appropriateness of the tasks set, the accuracy of


the assessments made, and the reasons for any
adjustments to the marks.

The candidates work will be returned to the centre


after moderation has taken place. The centre will
receive a report with, or soon after, the despatch
of published results giving feedback on the

We reserve the right to retain some candidates work


for archive or standardising purposes.

39

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

Appendices
A

Performance Descriptions

These performance descriptions show the level of


attainment characteristic of the grade boundaries at
A Level. They give a general indication of the required
learning outcomes at the A/B and E/U boundies at
AS and A2. The descriptions should be interpreted in
relation to the content outlined in the specification;
they are not designed to define that content.

The grade awarded will depend in practice upon


the extent to which the candidate has met the
Assessment Objectives (see Section 4) overall.
Shortcomings in some aspects of the examination
may be balanced by better performances in others.

AS Performance Descriptions Music



Assessment Assessment Assessment


Objective 1
Objective 2
Objective 3

Assessment
Interpret musical ideas
Objectives
with technical and

expressive control and a

sense of style and

awareness of occasion

and/or ensemble

(performing/realising).


Create and develop


musical ideas with
technical control and
expressive understanding
making creative use of
musical devices,
conventions and
resources (composing/
arranging).

Demonstrate
understanding of, and
comment perceptively
on, the structural,
expressive and contextual
aspects of music
(appraising).

A/B
Candidates Candidates Candidates
boundary
characteristically:
characteristically:
characteristically:
performance
present musically
produce coherent
make critical judgements
descriptions
convincing and generally compositions that show about music heard and

fluent performances that
an ability to manipulate
show a breadth of

show musical
musical ideas, and make understanding across

understanding.
use of musical devices
the genres, styles and

and conventions in
traditions studied.

relation to the chosen

genre, style and tradition.
E/U
Candidates Candidates Candidates
boundary
characteristically:
characteristically:
characteristically:
performance
perform with a sense
produce compositions
comment on music
descriptions
of continuity using
that make some use
heard showing some

appropriate tempi and
of musical ideas and
understanding across

showing some
show some understanding the genres, styles

understanding of the
of musical devices
and traditions studied.

music chosen.
and conventions in

relation to the chosen

genre, style and tradition.

40

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

A2 Performance Descriptions Music



Assessment Assessment Assessment


Objective 1
Objective 2
Objective 3

Assessment
Interpret musical ideas
Objectives
with technical and

expressive control and a

sense of style and

awareness of occasion

and/or ensemble

(performing/realising).


Create and develop


musical ideas with
technical control and
expressive understanding
making creative use of
musical devices,
conventions and
resources (composing/
arranging).

Demonstrate
understanding of, and
comment perceptively
on, the structural,
expressive and contextual
aspects of music
(appraising).

A/B
Candidates Candidates Candidates
boundary
characteristically:
characteristically:
characteristically:
performance
present musically
produce musically
make and justify personal
descriptions
convincing and fluent
convincing compositions judgements on music

performances that show
that show musical
heard and show some

musical understanding
imagination, and make
depth of understanding

and personal interpretation. effective use of musical
within the genres, styles

devices and conventions and traditions studied


in relation to the chosen making connections

genre, style and tradition. between the structural,

expressive and contextual

aspects of music.
E/U
Candidates Candidates Candidates
boundary
characteristically:
characteristically:
characteristically:
performance
present generally fluent
produce compositions
comment in some detail
descriptions
performances showing
that make creative use
on music heard, showing

some understanding of
of musical ideas and
some understanding

the overall shape,
show understanding
across the genres,

direction and style of the of musical devices and
styles and traditions

music chosen.
conventions in relation to studied.

the chosen genre, style

and tradition.

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GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

Spiritual, Moral, Ethical, Social and other Issues

The study of music outlined in this specification aims


to extend candidates understanding of the diverse
and dynamic heritage of music and of the essential
role it has played and continues to play in the
spiritual, moral, social and cultural lives of people
from around the world, both in the past and in the
present. This understanding will enhance their
ability to appreciate music through listening and
performing and to create music through composing
and performing which reflects knowledge of cultural
and spiritual contexts and sensitivity to the values and
conventions of others.

European Dimension
AQA has taken account of the 1988 Resolution of the
Council of the European Community in preparing this
specification and associated specimen units.

42

Environmental Education
AQA has taken account of the 1988 Resolution of
the Council of the European Community and the
Report Environmental Responsibility: An Agenda for
Further and Higher Education 1993 in preparing this
specification and associated specimen units.

Avoidance of Bias
AQA has taken great care in the preparation of this
specification and specimen units to avoid bias of any
kind.

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

Overlaps with other Qualifications

Candidates entered for AQA AS GCE in Music and/


or AQA Advanced Level GCE in Music may not
be entered at the same sitting for any other GCE
examination having the title Music.

43

GCE Music for exams from June 2014 onwards (version 2.8)

Key Skills

Key Skills qualifications have been phased out and


replaced by Functional Skills qualifications in English,
Mathematics and ICT from September 2010.

44

GCE Music (2270) For exams from June 2014 onwards


Qualification Accreditation Number: AS 500/2449/8 - A Level 500/2452/8
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for performance measure purposes.
The discount codes for this specification are:
AS LF1
A Level 7010
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