Music

Exam Board: AQA
Syllabus Number: 8271

What will I be studying?

Component 1: Understanding music

What’s assessed?

  • Listening
  • Contextual understanding

How it’s assessed

Exam paper with listening exercises using excerpts of music.

Questions:

Section A: Listening (68 marks). Section B: Contextual understanding (28 marks). The exam is 1 hour and 30 minutes. This component is worth 40% of GCSE marks (96 marks in total).

Component 2: Performing music

What’s assessed? Music performance

How it’s assessed

As an instrumentalist and/or vocalist and/or via technology:

Performance 1: Solo performance (36 marks)
Performance 2: Ensemble performance (36 marks). A minimum of four minutes and a maximum of seven minutes of performance in total is required, of which a minimum of one minute must be the ensemble performance. This component is 30% of GCSE marks.

Non-exam assessment (NEA) will be internally marked by teachers and externally moderated by AQA. Performances must be completed in the year of certification. 

Component 3: Composing music

What’s assessed? Composition 

How it’s assessed

Composition 1: Composition to a brief (36 marks)
Composition 2: Free composition (36 marks)

A minimum of three minutes and a maximum of four and a half minutes of music in total is required. This component is 30% of GCSE marks. Non-exam assessment (NEA) will be internally marked by teachers and externally moderated by AQA.

Examinations

Written exam 40%. Coursework 60%

Is there anything else I need to know about this subject course?

This is a new syllabus with completely new areas of study that are appealing and reflect developments in 21st Century music, whilst retaining essential subject content. There is a greater practical approach and weighting given to performance and more options including rapping, turntablism and music technology. This is to allow the pupils to demonstrate their full ability with maximum flexibility. 

Throughout the course there will be the opportunity to see and hear live music both within the School day and by visiting venues in and around Bristol.