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St Peter's 13-18


MusicThe Course

The two-year course is structured as follows:

Component 1 is Listening, Analysis and Contextual Understanding, which will be examined at the end of the course through a written paper of 2 hours 30 minutes. The pupils study a group of set works from the Western Classical Tradition 1650-1910 which is a compulsory element. The three areas for focus within this period will be the Baroque Concerto, Mozart Operas and Piano music by Grieg, Brahms and Chopin. They answer unfamiliar listening questions on music drawn from these three areas and then place the set works in the wider context of their composition, commenting on stylistic and historical elements that affect the sound and nature of the music (for example it may be a baroque concerto with harpsichord and string textures written for a particular court or patron of the time). They also study two other areas of music for this component, focusing on particular artists and
compositions. These will be Jazz and Art music since 1910. There are short listening and contextual questions on these two areas in the examination and one essay to write from a choice of questions on both areas.

Component 2 is Performance. There are a range of options but our pupils normally perform a solo recital with accompaniment on an acoustic instrument/voice with a level of demand of Grade 8. This allows their instrumental/vocal learning to be integrated into the qualification. The performance is required to last a minimum of 10 minutes and the repertoire will therefore be carefully chosen and timed to produce an effective, contrasting programme of around 12-15 minutes and this is taught in their individual music lessons.

Component 3 is Composition. This is in two parts- composition to a set brief and free composition. We teach chorale writing in the style of JS Bach during the course and this is offered as one of the set briefs in this new specification but it is not compulsory. The free composition allows students to write in any style, which is a wonderful opportunity to explore a particular genre or style that may be of interest to them as an individual. The combined composition time has been set at 4.5 minutes and no longer than 6 minutes.


  • Component 1
    Listening, Analysis and Contextual Understanding Performance - 40%
  • Component 2
    Composition 1 - 35%
  • Component 3
    Composition 2 - 25%

Examination Board: AQA