40667 Subject Icons Aw 17

GCSE Music engages students with a rich and rewarding musical experience, equipping learners with breadth and depth of knowledge as well as exposing them to a diverse musical heritage. Throughout the course students will:

  • learn to perform, compose and appreciate different types of music
  • develop critical and creative thinking
  • expand their cultural, aesthetic and emotional awareness
  • enhance their ability to make music individually and as part of a group

Course Content

Component 1 – Performing (30%)

Candidates must perform their own choice of at least one solo and one ensemble piece, which together must total a minimum of four minutes of music.

Component 2 – Composing (30%)

Candidates must compose two pieces which together total at least three minutes of music. One composition is to a brief set by the exam board and the other is to a brief set by the candidate themselves.

Component 3 – Appraising (40%)

Candidates follow four Areas of Study, each of which includes two set works. These pieces will engage students with stimulating music drawn from a wide palette of genres, including popular music, film music, musical theatre, music from the Western Classical tradition, African music and Latin jazz. In addition to the set works students will be expected to listen to a broad selection of music not specified by the board but related to the Areas of Study.


Key Course Details
Exam boardAQA
AssessmentPractical activities (30%)
Analysis of performance (10%)
Written examination (60%)