Music GCSE


Music’s value as a subject lies in its breadth, and universities and employers recognise the unique benefits it offers. It encourages academic rigour through analysis of socio-historical issues relating to music’s place in history and right up to the present day. In addition, it recognises creative talent and personal organisation and discipline in its composition and performance modules, requiring both a musically satisfying final outcome, as well as demonstrating perseverance in private practice in order to reach that goal

Units of study

Pupils will study three units:

Unit 1 (30%)

Comprises of a recorded performance of at least four minutes’ duration (which must include at least one minute of ensemble playing). Recordings must be completed between 1 April and 15 May of 5th Form.

Unit 2 (30%)

This unit consists of two compositions which together must total three minutes’ duration. Compositions must be written between 1 September and 15 February of 5th Form

Unit 3 (40%)

Assessment is via a 1 hour and 45 minute appraising exam, in which candidates must demonstrate and apply musical knowledge relating to eight pieces they have studied during the course, as well as using appraising skills to make evaluative and critical judgements relating to an unfamiliar piece not previously encountered.