Skip to content ↓

Years 10 and 11

We use the Edexcel GCSE specification in years 10 and 11.  There are 3 units that you will cover during your GCSE


  • Unit 1: Performing Music 30 %
  • Unit 2: Composing Music 30 %
  • Unit 3: Listening to and Appraising Music  40 %

Unit 1: Performing Music 30%

This is a COURSEWORK unit.  You will do this in school and will be assessed by your teachers. Your performance will be recorded and sent off to be moderated. The total duration of the combined performances must be at least 4 minutes.

In this unit you must complete:

  • One solo performance (15%)
  • One ensemble performance (15%)

You must be practicing regularly on your chosen instrument so that you are developing all the skills needed to achieve a high mark on this unit.  You will not be spending much lesson time on this, so it is important that you speak to your vocal/instrumental teacher about this unit (if applicable). 

Unit 2:  Composing Music 30%

This is a COURSEWORK unit where CONTROLLED CONDITIONS apply.  Your work will be assessed by your music teachers.  You will produce a score and a recording which will be sent off to be moderated. The total combined duration of your compositions should be at least 3 minutes.

In this unit you must complete:

Two compositions, both worth 15% each  

  • One composition based on a set brief (there are four to choose from, one from each area of study)
  • One free composition

Unit 3:  Listening and Appraising Music (40%) 1 hour and 45 minutes (80 marks)

This is the SUMMER EXAMINATION and is assessed externally.  The listening paper is based on 4 AREAS of STUDY.  For each Area of Study you will learn several set works – this means that you will study specific pieces which you may be asked about in the exam. The listening exam is divided into 2 sections: the first will ask you questions about any of the set works. Section B is an extended piece of writing comparing an extract of one of the set works with an extract from an unfamiliar piece of music.

Set Works

Area of Study 1  Area of Study 2 Area of Study 3 Area of Study 4 
Instrumental Music 1700 -1820 Vocal Music Music for Stage and Screen Fusions
Set works: Set works: Set works: Set works:
J.S. Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, 3rd movement Purcell: ‘Music for a While’ Schwartz: ‘Defying Gravity’ from Wicked Afro Celt Sound System: ‘Release’ from the album Volume 2: Release

Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Pathétique, 1st movement

Queen: ‘Killer Queen’ from the album Sheer Heart Attack

Williams: ‘Main Title/Rebel Blockade Runner’, from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

Spalding: ‘Samba Em Prelúdio’ from the album Esperanza