Soham Village College

GCSE Music

GCSE Music

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Exam Board Qualification Specification Coursework
OCR Exam Board - GCSE Music (J535) GCSE Music (9-1) J536 60%

 The table below is a breakdown of the units studied at GCSE and the format of the assessments.


 Year 10

Year 11




AOS 1 (My Music)Building Performance Skills
During this term, students will be introduced to the GCSE course and will learn how to rehearse and perform a solo piece of music to a small audience. 

“An Introduction to Composing”
Melodic and Harmonic Composition Skills using Sibelius and Garageband
Techniques of Composing: tune and accompaniment, link with AOS 2 (The Concerto) though Time
Solo instrument and Accompaniment
Solo Instrument and Orchestra
Piano and guitar accompaniment styles (link with Pop Music)
October Class Showcase – video, programme notes and appraisals.
Performance development over time.  
Listening and composition activities.
Set Brief Composition – Students will work on their second piece of composition coursework, the ‘set brief’ composition. They will choose a stimulus and area of study then compose a piece of music that develops the stimulus in a particular style, e.g. film music, concerto, pop song etc. Composition submitted by December 2018 in a recorded form and accompanied by a score, lead sheet or written commentary (15%)
- (2 hours a fortnight)
Ensemble Performance
SATB Vocal Music – voices in harmony
Listening to Choral Music and performing as a whole class: focus on texture, harmony, dynamics, articulation and performance skills within a group.
Christmas Ely Cathedral Performance – Dec 2016. Area of Study 1 (My Music) - Preparation and Recording of two performances (these are done in September 2018) One MUST be an ensemble performance and the other can be a solo/ensemble. The two performances should add up to at least 4 minutes it total. Performances are recorded in September 2018 (30%) 
- By December 2018 - All performing and composition coursework complete, recorded and handed in.
- (2 hours a fortnight)
Area of Study 3 (Rhythms of the World) - Students study the traditional rhythmic roots from four geographical regions of the world: •  India and Punjab •  Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East •  Africa •  Central and South America Listening tests, short composition exercises
- (2 hours a fortnight)
Spring    AOS 5 (Conventions of Pop)·        
Rock ‘n’ Roll of the 1950s and 1960s·        
Rock Anthems of the 1970s and 1980s·        
Pop Ballads of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s·        
Solo Artists from 1990 to the present day
Group compositions – pop song writing in the style of a chosen genre.
Listening Tests.
AoS 2 & 3 Revision – Concerto through Time, and Rhythms of the World. Assessment – regular exam-style listening exercises and practice questions.
- (2 hours a fortnight)
FREE COMPOSITION – Coursework 1 
Students compose a piece of music to their own set brief. This is completely free and can be in any style, for any instrument.Students are expected to use and develop their knowledge and understanding of rhythm, melody, harmony and compositional techniques.
Composition submitted in a recorded form and accompanied by a score, lead sheet or written commentary (15%) Aos 4 & 5 Revision – Film Music, and Conventions of Pop Assessment – regular exam-style listening exercises and practice questions.
- (2 hours a fortnight)
Music Theory, dictation and exam technique development Regular exam-style listening exercises and practice questions.
- (2 hours a fortnight)
Summer    AOS 4 (Film Music)
Students study a range of music used for films including:
• music that has been composed specifically for a film
• music from the Western Classical tradition that has been used within a film
• music that has been composed as a soundtrack for a video game
Short composition exercises in groups and individually – composing music to support action on screen. Exam practice papers and revision. June 2018 = Listening examination (40%)
AOS 2 (The Concerto through Time)
Baroque Concerto – solo and grosso.
A study of the Baroque concerto with a focus on orchestra, instrumentation and typical musical features.
Listening Tests
Short composition exercises.