GCSE Music

At Haslingden High School we follow the Eduqas (WJEC) specification for both GCSE and A-Level Music.

The WJEC Eduqas specification encourages an integrated approach to the three distinct disciplines of performing, composing and appraising through four interrelated areas of study.

The four areas of study are designed to develop knowledge and understanding of music through the study of a variety of genres and styles in a wider context. The Western Classical Tradition forms the basis of Musical Forms and Devices (area of study 1), and learners should take the opportunity to explore these forms and devices further in the other three areas of study. Music for Ensemble (area of study 2) allows learners to look more closely at texture and sonority. Film Music (area of study 3) and Popular Music (area of study 4) provide an opportunity to look at contrasting styles and genres of music.

 

Component 1: Performing

Total duration of performances: 4-6 minutes

Internally assessed

30% of qualification

A minimum of two pieces, one of which must be an ensemble performance of at least one minute duration. The other piece(s) may be either solo and/or ensemble. One of the pieces performed must link to an area of study of the learner’s choice.

Component 2: Composing

Total duration of compositions: 3-6 minutes

Internally assessed

30% of qualification

Two compositions, one of which must be in response to a brief set by WJEC.

Learners will choose one brief from a choice of four, each one linked to a different area of study. The briefs will be released during the first week of September in the academic year in which the assessment is to be taken. The second composition is a free composition for which learners set their own brief.

Component 3: Appraising

Written examination: 1 hour 15 minutes

Externally assessed

40% of qualification

This component is assessed via a listening exam. Eight questions in total, two on each of the four areas of study.
- Musical Forms and Devices
- Music for Ensemble
- Film Music
- Popular Music
Two of the eight questions are based on extracts set by WJEC.

The 9-1 Grading System

From 2017, reformed GCSEs in England will be graded 9 to 1, and will ultimately replace the current A*–G grading scale.

Why has the grading system changed?

The 9 to 1 grading system has been put in place to accurately reflect the differentiation of students’ abilities and achievements in each subject compared to the previous A* to G scale. The system will provide more differentiation, especially among higher achieving students.

When will students first receive the 9 to 1 grade?

The grades will be awarded for the first time in summer 2017 exam results, for specifications that first started teaching in September 2015. The only subjects to be awarded 9 to 1 in summer 2017 are English Language, English Literature and Mathematics. By 2019, all reformed GCSEs in England will be using the new system.

Grade 8

To achieve Grade 8 candidates will be able to:

  • perform challenging music with a high degree of fluency and sensitivity
  • compose using a wide range of musical elements with sophistication, creating effective musical ideas and sustaining interest through their development
  • demonstrate, through aural identification, accurate knowledge of a wide range of musical elements, contexts and language
  • evaluate music to make convincing judgements using musical terminology accurately and effectively

 

Grade 5

To achieve Grade 5 candidates will be able to:

  • perform music with some technical challenges broadly fluently with some sensitivity
  • compose using a range of musical elements with coherence, creating musical ideas and developing interest with some success
  • demonstrate, through aural identification, mostly accurate knowledge of a range of musical elements, contexts and language
  • evaluate music to make clear judgements using musical terminology appropriately

Grade 2

To achieve Grade 2 candidates will be able to:

  • perform simple pieces with limited fluency and sensitivity
  • compose using a range of musical elements, creating musical ideas with some appeal and limited development
  • demonstrate, through aural identification, some knowledge of musical elements, contexts and language
  • evaluate music to produce simple reflections with inconsistent use of musical terminology

 

The WJEC Eduqas GCSE in Music offers a broad and coherent course of study which encourages learners to:

  • engage actively in the process of music study
  • develop performing skills individually and in groups to communicate musically with fluency and control of the resources used
  • develop composing skills to organise musical ideas and make use of appropriate resources
  • recognise links between the integrated activities of performing, composing and appraising and how this informs the development of music
  • broaden musical experience and interests, develop imagination and foster creativity
  • develop knowledge, understanding and skills needed to communicate effectively as musicians
  • develop awareness of a variety of instruments, styles and approaches to performing and composing
  • develop awareness of music technologies and their use in the creation and presentation of music
  • recognise contrasting genres, styles and traditions of music, and develop some awareness of musical chronology
  • develop as effective and independent learners with enquiring minds
  • reflect upon and evaluate their own and others’ music
  • engage with and appreciate the diverse heritage of music, in order to promote personal, social, intellectual and cultural development.