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The Exam and Revision

Section A - 68 marks

8 listening questions, two from each AoS.

Section B - 12 marks

Two short 1-mark questions, followed by a 10-mark answer. You choose one question from two.

Total for the exam - 80

Remember the exam is worth 40% of your grade.

Click here for an example of a GCSE Music paper, produced by EDEXCEL for pupils to look at.

Revising for Section A - the listening questions

There are two things that you have to get right in preparation for the exam:

  1. Know which technical term matches which element of music in each Set Work.
  2. Be able to hear specific examples of each technique in the Set Works.

Using the checklist documents that are at the bottom of each Set Work page is the best way to achieve this. Remember, these sheets have three elements to them:

  • Know the basics (C) - title, composer, key, time signature, instrumentation etc. This needs learning to start with.
  • Understand the detail (B/A) - the technical details of the piece, and how they relate to DR G SMITH. This needs you to have written up all the detail onto your score. Listening to the piece lots whilst following through the score is what is needed here.
  • Hear the detail (A/A*) - being able to recognise the sound of all the technical language in the pieces, with no score in front of you. Listening to the piece without the score is what you need to do here.
Checklist Documents

Here are all the checklist documents together in one handy place [they are being added as a matter of urgency]:

Handel Download

Mozart Download

Chopin Download

Schoenberg Download

Bernstein Download

Reich Download

Davis Download

Buckley Download

Moby Download

Capercaillie Download

Rag Desh Download

Koko Download

Please use them and fill them in carefully. We will check them in class.

Set Works

Here are all the pieces together, so you don't have to go looking for them elsewhere! The reason for there being many more than 12 tracks is because the versions of Rag Desh have been further split up here.

And the Glory of the Lord from 'Messiah' by Georg Friedrich Händel on Grooveshark Symphony No 40 in G Minor KV550 (1st Movement) by Mozart by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on Grooveshark Prelude No 15 ('Raindrop') Op 28 by Chopin by Frédéric Chopin on Grooveshark Peripetie from Five Orchestral Pieces, Op. 16 by A Schoenberg on Grooveshark
Something's Coming from West Side Story by L Bernstein on Grooveshark Fast by Steve Reich on Grooveshark All Blues from Kind of Blue by M Davis on Grooveshark Grace from Grace by J Buckley on Grooveshark Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? by Moby on Grooveshark Skye Waulking Song by Capercaillie on Grooveshark Raga Desh by Anoushka Shankar, sitar on Grooveshark
Rag Desh from Mewar Re Mira by S D Dhandhada and H Dhandhada on Grooveshark Rag Desh Part 1 from Priyagitah: The Nightingale by B Wertheimer and S Gorn on Grooveshark Rag Desh Part 2 from Priyagitah: The Nightingale by B Wertheimer and S Gorn on Grooveshark Rag Desh Part 3 from Priyagitah: The Nightingale by B Wertheimer and S Gorn on Grooveshark Yiri from Burkina Faso: Balfonos et tambours d'Afrique by by Madou Kone on Grooveshark
Practising your listening and revising
  • Listen to the Set Works over-and-over, in addition to filling in the checklist sheets. Have them on whilst revising other subjects. Get them on your mp3 players and phones so you can listen to them frequently. Annoy your family by playing them in the car!
  • Test your understanding of all the pieces in the following way: get someone else (Mum, Dad, brother, sister etc!) to pick one of the tracks and play one minute from part of it. Your job is to try and identify the piece (this should be easy), and then:
  1. Describe the different musical features you can hear.
  2. Then, crucially, link the musical feature to one of the elements of music.
  • Ask each other for help.
  • Make revision notes, record cards, mind maps etc.
  • Write essay plans - see the page here for more information about essay revision.
  • Think about trying Coggle for your mind maps. It's free and easy to use, but you do need a gmail address and password, and it won't work in school. Its brilliant though and worth exploring. It would work for most subjects too.

Whatever you do, practising listening to the music and identifying features and which element of music they are linked to is by far the most important thing that you can do.

Remember, you can always email the Music Department for help and advice, and you'll get a response within 24 hours, and often much sooner. Good luck and work hard!

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