Head of Department: Miss F Squire -

Music has a power of forming the character and should therefore be introduced into the education of the young.  (Aristotle)

The Government describes Music ‘…as an enriching and valuable academic subject with important areas of knowledge that need be learnt, including how to play an instrument and sing.  Secondary benefits of music education are those of increased self-esteem and aspirations; improved behaviour and social skills; and improved academic attainment in areas such as numeracy, literacy and language…’

Exam Course Title: GCSE Music Level 1/Level 2 (9-1)  Full Exam Specification  (PDF)
Exam board and Code: Edexcel 1MU0


Component 1: 30% (60 marks) - Performing (assessment)
Component 2: 30% (60 marks) - Composing  (assessment)
Component 3: 40% (80 marks) - Appraisal (written exam, 1 hour 45 min)

Examination Breakdown

Component 1: Performing

Content overview:

  • Solo performing
  • Ensemble performing
  • Approaches to performing

Assessment overview:

  • Students perform for at least four minutes’ combined duration
  • Solo performance: this must be of at least one minute in duration, and may comprise one or more pieces (30 marks)
  • Ensemble performance: this must be of at least one minute in duration, and may comprise one or more pieces (30 marks)

Component 2: Composing

Content overview:

  • Developing musical ideas
  • Compositional techniques and strategies
  • Ensuring technical control and coherence
  • Methods of notating composition scores

Assessment overview:

  • Students compose two compositions, of at least three minutes’ combined duration
  • One composition to a set brief, of at least one minute in duration. (30 marks)
  • One free composition set by the student, of at least one minute in duration. (30 marks)

Component 3: Appraising

Content overview:

  • Musical elements, musical contexts and musical language
  • Areas of study:
    • Instrumental Music 1700–1820
    • Vocal Music Music for Stage and Screen
    • Fusions.

Assessment overview

Section A (68 marks)

  • Six questions related to six of the eight set works.
  • One short melody/rhythm completion exercise.
  • One question on an unfamiliar piece (skeleton score provided) with questions on it's musical elements, contexts and language.

Section B (12 marks)

  • One question that asks students to compare and/or evaluate the musical elements, contexts and language of one set work with one unfamiliar piece of music. (A CD with the music extracts will be played to all students at the same time and will repeat the extracts a set number of times).

GCSE Course Study Breakdown (Key Stage 4)

Full details available shortly

Key Stage 3 (Years 7 and 8)

Full details available shortly