Learning Together For The Future

Music - Key Stage 4 (Edexcel)

Key Stage 3 Key Stage 4 Key Stage 5

Course Overview

GCSE Music offers a practical look at music making and helps develop understanding of a wide variety of music genres and styles. Building on skills of Performing, Composing and Theory from Key Stage 3, the GCSE Music course helps develop students as musicians and helps further appreciation of this creative subject.

The areas of study include:

  • Vocal Music
  • Instrumental Music (1700-1820)
  • Music for Stage and Screen
  • Fusions

An open mind and a love for music are essential for this course. Similarly, an ability to play an instrument to a good standard is important for you to fully access and enjoy this course.

Assessment Criteria

Component 1 – Performing (30%)

In this component, students will perform one Solo piece, lasting at least 2 minutes in length. Students will also perform one ensemble piece with at least one other person, also lasting 2 minutes in length.

Component 2 – Composition (30%)

In this component, students will have to compose 2 pieces lasting 1 and a half minutes each. One will be a free composition, allowing students to explore any genre or style they wish. The other will be in response to a brief set by the exam board.

Component 3 – Appraising (40%)

For this component, students will learn about 8 different pieces of music across a range of musical genres. Within each piece, students will uncover contextual factors surrounding the creation of the pieces as well as key elements within the works themselves. The examination for this component will then test their retention of the set works as well as listening to unfamiliar pieces of music.

Where next?

Students who have chosen to study GCSE Music can then take it further to an A Level qualification or explore other areas within the music industry such as Music Technology, BTECs or Performance and Composition diplomas and degrees.

If you have any questions or queries relating to the Music curriculum please email for more information.