A level music from september 2016 Exam Board – Edexcel Component 1: Performing Externally assessed

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Exam Board – Edexcel
Component 1: Performing

Externally assessed

30% of the qualification - 60 marks

● A public performance of one or more pieces, performed as a recital or extended performance in the Spring Chamber Concert

● Performance can be playing or singing solo, in an ensemble, improvising, or using music technology.

● The total performance time across all pieces must be a minimum of 8 minutes.

● Performances must be recorded after 1 March in the year of certification and all recordings and scores submitted to arrive by 15 May in the year of certification.

Component 2: Composing

Externally assessed

30% of the qualification - 60 marks

● Total of two compositions, one to a brief set by the Exam Board and one other composition

in a free style or to a brief.

● One composition must be from either a list of briefs related to the areas of study (see under unit 3), or a free composition worth 40 marks. This composition must be at least 4 minutes in duration.

● One composition must be from a list of briefs assessing compositional technique (either on Harmonising a melody using 4 part chords, writing in 2 part Baroque style, arranging a popular melody using chords and bass or remixing a track)

These carry 20 marks for this unit. This composition must be at least 1 minute in

duration, unless the brief specifies a longer minimum duration.

● Total time across both submissions must be a minimum of 6 minutes.

Component 3: Appraising

Written examination: 2 hours - 40% of the qualification - 100 marks


● Knowledge and understanding of musical elements, contexts and language.

● Application of knowledge through the context of six areas of study, each with three set


o Vocal Music (A Cantata by Bach, Mozart’s Queen of the night aria and a piece by Vaughan Williams)

o Instrumental Music (A Vivaldi Concerto, Brahms Clarinet quintet 1st Mvt, Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique 1st Mvt)

o Music for Film (Bernard Hermann Psycho soundtrack, Pirates of the Caribbean, Batman Begins)

o Popular Music and Jazz (The Beatles ‘Revolver’ album, Courtney Pine, David Bowie ‘Low’ album)

o Fusions (Music by Debussy, Astrud Gilberto’s ‘Girl from Ipanema’ and Indian fusion by A.R Rahman)

o New Directions (20th century pieces by John Cage, Schoenberg and Britten’s War Requiem)

● Application of knowledge to unfamiliar works.

Assessment overview:

● One written paper of 2 hours, with a total of 100 marks.

● One audio CD with the extracts to accompany questions on the paper will be provided per student.

● This paper comprises two sections: A and B.

Section A: Areas of study and dictation (50 marks)

● Three questions related to the set works (audio and skeleton score provided).

● One short melody/rhythm completion exercise.

Section B: Extended response

● Two essay questions – essay one (20 marks) and essay two (30 marks)

● Essay one asks students to draw links from their study of the set works to the music heard as an unfamiliar extract.

● Essay two gives a choice of three questions that ask students to evaluate the musical elements, context and language of one set work. Each option will be from a different area of study.

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