GCSE Music

EDEXCEL: GCSE                                                                                                                                                                                 OPTION SUBJECT


Is this the right subject for me?

If you enjoy performing music in your own time and are learning an instrument, having singing lessons or enjoy creating music on computers or in a recording studio, then this is a good subject to choose. If you would like to create music of your own, then composing will give you the opportunity. If you want to broaden your knowledge of all types of music, including classical, popular and world, then this exciting course will give you an appreciation of the diversity of musical styles that exist today.

What will I learn?

You will learn how to improve your performing skills, and through your work in composing, you will gain an insight into how music is constructed from initial ideas through to the finished product. You will also learn how to analyse music in a variety of styles and discover the social and historical context in which music has been composed over the last 400 years.

Members of the Music GCSE course have opportunities to participate in musical events, both in and out of school. Each member of the GCSE Music course is expected to receive weekly instrumental lessons at Royal Russell and demonstrate good progress on their chosen instrument during the course.





You will need to play one solo piece and one ensemble piece.



You will need to compose two pieces, one of which is a choice from four briefs set.



Listening and Appraising

This component is assessed through a written paper with questions on your
prescribed set works. The questions will relate to musical elements, musical context and musical language. There will also be one question relating to an unfamiliar work.

1½ hours


Areas of Study

Set Works By

  • Instrumental music 1700 - 1820
  • Vocal Music
  • Music for stage and scree
  • Fusions
  • Bach
  • Beethoven
  • Purcell                        
  • Queeen
  • Schwartz
  • Williams
  • Afro Celt Sound System
  • Esperanza


A level Music encourages students to draw on their experiences at GCSE and recognise the interdependence of musical skills, knowledge and understanding and the links between the activities of performing/realising, composing and appraising whilst providing creative and practical opportunities. Music builds motivation, self-discipline, confidence and self-esteem whilst developing problem-solving skills, thinking skills and the ability to work co-operatively. It is these transferrable skills that make Music at any level such a recognised and valued qualification by employers and university admissions tutors. Music combines well with many other A level subjects both Arts and Science based.