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GCSE 2009- Delivering the new specification in September 2009 Music Aim of Event Learn about the changes to the specification Learn about the Edexcel GCSE Music package and how it will help you achieve better results

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Aim of Event 2009

  • Learn about the changes to the specification

  • Learn about the Edexcel GCSE Music package and how it will help you achieve better results

  • Develop a full understanding of Controlled Assessment and the impact it will have on your teaching

  • Explore delivery strategies for the new specification

  • Understand the assessment implications of the new specification



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Changes to the specification 2009– Unit 1

No link required between performing and composing

Introduction of realisation option for solo performing

Performances marked out of a total of 30 (instead of 25)

Introduction of Controlled Assessment for coursework


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Unit 1 Overview 2009

Performing music

1 solo and 1 ensemble performance

Any instrument/voice or music technology

Free choice of performance pieces – any style of music

Eight performance approaches, including Realisation


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Unit 1 2009– Solo performing

“A solo performance is considered to be a piece in which the student’s part is undoubled and plays a significant or leading role.”

  • Traditional solo

  • Solo improvisation

  • Sequenced performance

  • Realisation


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Unit 1 2009– Solo performing - Realisation

“A realisation is a performance where it is not appropriate to assess accuracy using the standard accuracy descriptors.”

  • Sequenced compositions

  • Performances of compositions where it has been inappropriate to produce a score with sufficient performance detail to assess accuracy of pitch and rhythm

  • DJ Performances

  • Live electro-acoustic sound diffusions

  • Oral tradition


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Unit 1 2009– Solo performing

Opportunity for questions relating to solo performing or any of the solo performing options.

There will be an opportunity to ask any questions relating to ensemble performing or units 2 and 3 later in the presentation.


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Unit 1 2009– Ensemble performing

“An ensemble performance must consist of two or more people performing undoubled, simultaneously sounding, independent parts, with or without additional backing or accompaniment as appropriate.”

  • Traditional ensemble

  • Ensemble improvisation

  • Rehearsing and directing

  • Multi-track recording

Any style of ensemble performance may be combined with any style of solo performance.


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Unit 1 2009– Rehearsing and directing

Rehearsing and directing is assessed on the student’s preparation of the score, interaction with and direction of the ensemble. It would be inadvisable for the student to be playing one of the instruments in the ensemble in addition to their directing activities.

A DVD containing approximately 5 minutes of the rehearsal time and a full performance of the piece must be submitted along with a full score of the piece.

It is best for the student to start a completely fresh piece of music with the ensemble rather than revisiting one they have already rehearsed.


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Unit 1 2009– Multi-track recording

This is the ensemble option for music technology. It is not necessary for candidates to submit a solo sequence if they wish to take this option.

The three multi-track recording options are:

  • Where the candidate has not performed any of the live tracks (acted purely as the engineer)

  • Where the candidate has performed one or more of the live tracks

  • Where the candidate has combined sequencing with audio recording

The candidate must be in sole charge of the recording process from setting up the microphones to the final mix.

If the candidate submits the third option (combined sequence and audio recording) they must have inputted and edited all aspects of the sequence themselves.


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Unit 1 2009– Ensemble performing

Opportunity for questions relating to ensemble performing or any of the ensemble performing options.

There will be an opportunity to ask any questions relating to units 2 and 3 later in the presentation.


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Changes to the specification 2009– Unit 2

No link required between performing and composing

No ‘Understanding the Brief’ criterion

3 compulsory criteria

3 optional criteria

Introduction of Controlled Assessment for coursework


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Unit 2 Overview 2009

Composing music

2 compositionsor 2 arrangements or 1 of each

Each composition to be linked to a different AoS

No requirement to write about compositions

The total duration of the Unit 2 submission should be 2 – 4 mins (i.e. the combined length of both compositions)


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Unit 2 2009– Links to Areas of Study

All compositions must relate to an Area of Study

AoS 1: Compositions may be in a form closely associated with baroque, classical or romantic music. They do not have to be a pastiche from these eras. It is acceptable to produce a pop song in rondo form and relate it to AoS 1.

AoS 2: Compositions may be in any of the styles associated with 20th or 21st Century art music. ‘Songs from musicals’ may now relate to AoS 2.

AoS 3: Any style of popular music from blues, jazz and ragtime through to styles of the present day are acceptable for this AoS.

AoS 4: Any world music style is acceptable for this AoS. Any fusion of music from different cultures will also relate to AoS 4.


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Unit 2 2009– Composing

Opportunity for questions relating to Unit 2 - Composing

There will be an opportunity to ask any questions relating to Unit 3 – Listening and Appraising later in the presentation.

Controlled assessment will be discussed next…


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Unit 1 2009

Unit 2

Controlled Assessment

All recordings must be made in the presence of the teacher. Each recording must be completed within 10 hours of supervised time.

All recordings and scores must be made in the presence of the teacher. The score and final recording for each composition must be completed within 10 hours of supervised time.


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Controlled Assessment 2009

Controlled assessment can be split into ‘preparation time’ and ‘writing time’.

Preparation time

Anything that does not make it to the final artifact that will be submitted to the moderator falls under preparation time, and does not have to be completed within the 10 hours time limit for each piece of work. Any preparation work must be completed under ‘limited supervision’.

Writing time

Any work that will make it onto the final recording or score to be submitted to the moderator falls under ‘writing time’ and must be completed within the 10 hour time limit and under teacher supervision.


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Support for Controlled Assessment Issues 2009

  • A dedicated support line for controlled assessment issues

  • Controlled assessment training days

  • Updates and bulletins on the Edexcel website


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Controlled Assessment 2009

Opportunity for questions relating to controlled assessment.

There will be an opportunity to ask any questions relating to Unit 3 – Listening and Appraising later in the presentation.


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Changes to the specification 2009– Unit 3

Introduction of set works instead of topics

Exam paper split into 2 sections – Section A and Section B

Section A contains 8 questions and relates to extracts on CD

Section B contains a choice of questions

QWC will be assessed in section B


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Unit 3 2009– Rationale for Changes

We have listened to what teachers have been telling us about the listening and appraising examination…

All the questions have a reduced number of subsections so that students do not depend so heavily on exam technique for success.

Almost all the context-related content has been moved to section B to avoid ‘changes of gear’ during the examination.

The total number of marks is less for the overall paper, and all marks are clearly attributed.

Students will always know what music they are going to hear in the examination itself – extracts will always be taken from the set works.

The extended writing question includes an element of choice.


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Resources 2009

  • Specification

  • Teacher’s guide

  • Sample assessment material (including specimen paper with CD)

  • Student book (including analysis of all 12 set works)

  • Teacher’s resource file (including photocopiable resources)

  • Anthology of the set works

  • Music anthology on CD

  • Practise papers


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Unit 3 2009– Delivery of the Specification

Integrate composing tasks where possible

Decide on notation or aural approach

Avoid going through set works in order from 1 - 12

Cross reference where appropriate

Record performances throughout the course

Ask musical elements-based questions on each set work


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Set works - Schoenberg 2009

  • Teach from an elements of music perspective

    • Extremes of pitch and dynamics etc.

    • Concentrating on combinations of timbre and texture rather than structures based on tonality and harmonic progressions

  • Buzzwords

    • Atonal

    • Klangfarbenmelodie

    • Hexachord

    • Principal/secondary voice

  • Play it loud!

  • Include a composition exercise


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Set works - Schoenberg 2009

  • Codes – personalise the work

    • S C H Ö N B E R G = S C H B E G

    • S = Es = E flat (bit of a cheat!), H = B natural

    • Eb – C – B – Bb – E – G = Schoenberg’s signature hexachord

  • Personalise a rhythmic motif as well – e.g. using morse code


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Set works 2009– Jeff Buckley

  • Teach from the perspective of a guitarist – don’t try to analyse the chords in a theoretical way because they don’t make sense!

  • Although the structure sounds rather complex on first hearing, it breaks down into clearly defined parts. It is more involved than a standard song structure, so this may inspire students to be a little more daring with their own song structures.

  • There is a tragic tale of how Buckley drowned while taking a swim just as the plane carrying his band landed to record his second album. This may resonate with students and bring some meaning to the lyrics.


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The chords used are power chords – root, 5 2009th and root an octave higher. In drop-D tuning this chord can be formed by placing a finger across the bottom three strings.

The top three strings are left open and are occasionally sounded, forming an Em chord above whatever power chord is being sounded. This causes a deliberate dissonance.


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Further questions 2009

Opportunity for any further questions.


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