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GCSE Music (Edexcel) Revision and Preparation Advice

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  • GCSE Music (Edexcel)

    Revision and Preparation Advice

  • Performance

    By February half term you should have chosen your

    SOLO and your ENSEMBLE piece share it with your teacher to enable them

    give you feedback on the appropriateness of the

    piece.

    SOLO = a piece that you perform on your own you may have an accompaniment

    OR backing track playing IF the pieces is written with that

    requirement.

    REQUIRED = A Copy of the notation that you have learnt

    BOTH your SOLO and ENSEMBLE piece from.

    IF you do not have notation YOU MUST have a professionally

    recorded version of the same piece that you are playing.

    IF you play different to the music OR the recording you will loose

    marks!

    ENSEMBLE = A piece played by you and two other live

    performers Only YOU are allowed to play the part that

    you have NOONEELSE!I recommend having

    teachers play the other parts

    You should be practising your music as a homework task at

    LEAST three times per week for up to half an hour each time.

    Your FINAL EXAM will be during the month of APRIL.

  • Composition

    Once you have been given the knowledge and skills to compose in the required style you will be required to spend a

    significant amount of your own time working out ideas for your compositions using SIBELIUS software.

    You should be attending MODAY LUNCH sessions and any other available times if you do not have this software at home.

    You must do composition as a homework task for at least one hour before each controlled session you sit in school. Most

    preparation will be acting on the advice the teacher has given to you personally about your piece.

    You can take your note book into the controlled session with brief notes about what you want to achieve- nothing else is

    allowed during the controlled time

    2 original compositions will be completed a total of 10 hours controlled time each.

    Piece 1 = Traditional melody and chords.Piece 2 Minimalist composition and techniques

  • ListeningYou must use ALL knowledge based

    information that you have been given in

    lessons to revise from.(Scores and

    PowerPoint sheets as well as the CD of

    PowerPoint presentations which

    includes audio samples.

    You should use the school VLE/ Music section where there are many resources which will help you revise many of which are internet based meaning you can revise anywhere at any point in time with an internet connection!

  • What do you know?Print out the course content from the syllabus specification You need to be clear on what you know and what you dont. The best way to do this is to find the

    syllabus specification for each exam you are sitting. These documents are made freely available by the exam boards. Search online for these keywords:

    Board, Level, Course name & code, and the word Specification.eg AQA GCSE science 4405 specification.

    Download the appropriate pages of course content and print them. What you will find is a clear distillation of all the information that you are expected to know no waffle, just clear instructions:

    Candidates should recall x (memorise this!); Candidates should understand y (do you?)

    Mark your printed syllabus with traffic light colours Go line by line, and in a matter of minutes, you will have a priority task list: Green says, I know this! Im confident with this be clear on what you already know so you dont

    waste time on it unnecessarily. Orange says, I should practise this to make sure its solid this is the material for which you might

    look through your textbook and do a few exam-style questions.

  • I suggest starting to revise each of the 12 set pieces using the following

    table: SETWORK

    TEMPO ( speed)

    TIMESIGNATURE (BEAT) & RHYTHM

    INSTRUMENTS & VOICES (TIMBRE)

    STRUCTURE

    MELODY

    TONALITY (KEY) & HARMONY

    DYNAMICS

    TYPE OF PIECE

    DATE

    TEXTURE

    Handel And the Glory of the Lord

    allegro

    3 beats in bar Hemiola rhythm used which gives rhythm a pushed feel

    SATB choir Baroque orchestra Including basso continuo

    4 main themes

    Use of sequence Ostinato

    A major Pedal notes Final cadence is plagal

    None written but louder when texture builds up

    Chorus from oratorio

    1741

    Homophonic & polyphonic

    A blank table is enclosed on the next page:

  • SETWORK

    TEMPO

    ( speed)

    TIMESIGNAT

    URE (BEAT)

    & RHYTHM

    INSTRUMENTS & VOICES

    (TIMBRE)

    STRUCTURE

    MELODY

    TONALITY

    (KEY) & HARMONY

    DYNAMICS

    TYPE OF

    PIECE

    DATE

    TEXTURE

  • create basic information cards on each set work:

    Name of Set Work

    Composer

    Area of Study

    Date of composition

    Type of Piece

    And the Glory of the Lord

    Why Does my Heart

    1st Movement in G minor

    Somethings Coming

    All Blues

    Raindrop Prelude

    Peripetie

    Electric Counterpoint

    Grace

  • Create a revision card for each of the set works

  • Title ofWork:

    Features of pitch key changes etc

    Features of Timbre

    Features of texture

    Features of structure:

    Features of Harmony:

    Features of melody:

    Other features

  • Or try this type of card:Date 1838 Genre Piano prelude (no. 15 of

    24) Era Romantic period Where performed Home/ small concert hall /

    recital room Structure Ternary ABA (+ coda) Tonality and Harmony Section A Db major

    Section B C# minor (tonic minor) Section A Db major

    Melody and Rhythm and Tempo

    A section RH (right hand) cantabile melody, dotted rhythms, syncopation, chromaticism, ornamentation. LH steady quavers (pedal note). 4-bar phrases, repeated with small variation. B section RH steady quavers (pedal note). LH has melody, crotchets and longer notes. Narrow range. 4- and 8-bar phrases.

    Instruments/Timbre Piano. Middle range used in A section. Bass register used in B section. Cantabile tone (in a singing style), wide dynamic range, repeated pedal notes, octave doubling in B section, much use of sustain (right) pedal, not virtuosic (its not too difficult)

    Dynamics Wide dynamic range. Section A is p (quiet) throughout. Section B starts soft, crescendos (gets louder), builds to ff (very loud)

    Texture Homophonic throughout A section is tune and accompaniment, thin texture, 2-note chords with repeated pedal note support

  • This list has been compiled after looking through previous papers if you do not know this information you are limiting

    your chances of achieving your best in this examination.

    Know the instruments that play the key themes in all set works. Know what the melodies of each section sound like in ALL set works be able to

    identify them and which instrument plays them. Know about musical devices and where they are used in ALL set works see sheet. Know the structures of ALL set works. In name e.g. sonata form/using ABA terms

    or even specific sections like Gat Learn how to write down the key melodies of the three Classical set works. If you are asked to compare and contrast/ talk about differences always refer to

    SIC MAD PET TTM to make sure you are talking about something relevant. Know the key words that are mentioned in ALL your notes and analysis. Know context for ALL set works when they were composed etc. Know the chord patterns/Keys for those set works that use them If you are asked to say why you like a piece of music try and be positive rather

    than negative whatever you say, ALWAYS refer to one of the musical elements of SIC MAD PET TTM to justify your answer.

  • Section B questions

    Remember every section B needs extensive detail written into the essay if you want to achieve the

    best marks.

    The more detail you give the better your mark will be.

    = A factual point of credit not one mark!

    Where?Where does the feature appear in the piece?(Instruments?)

    When?

    When in the piece does the feature happen?Intro/Outro/Verse/Chorus/Exposi

    tion/Development/Recap/A or B/Coda/Bridge/ALAP etc

    Why?

    Why has the composer used this effect and what effect does it have on the music?Creates/enhances mood.

  • What skills do you require to complete a section B listening question successfully?

    Being able to hear

    the music in your head!

    Subject specific

    vocabulary

    Ability to understand

    the question

    Set workknowledge

    How the elements of music

    work in the music.

  • What constitutes good listening for section B at GCSE level?

    Good knowledge of the piece of

    music.

    Knowing where the features happen in the music.

    Being able to relate the feature to the

    question.

    Writing up the information in prose.

  • Key elements of the paper: B

    Understanding of the periods of music that each piece comes from the style and key features of the music.

    Understanding the key features of the set works you have studied. (Revise and learn them all.)

    Give musical reasons why you like or dislike a piece. Comment on how the composer uses: THE

    ELEMENTS OF MUSIC in that piece.

  • What are the elements of music and what do they mean? Relate to ALL set pieces.

    Element What it meansTempoTimbreTexturePitchDynamicsDurationStructure

  • Element What it meansHarmonyOther features specific to set work

    What are the elements of music and what do they mean? Relate to ALL set pieces.

  • USE:SIC MAD PET TTM to help you write in detail about set pieces:

    For every letter listen to the music and make a relevant comment. Structure Instruments Chords- major/minor Melodic movement whether the tunes move in step or leap Accompaniment what does the accompaniment play, when and how. Dynamics. Pitch where is the pitch generally high or low. Effects change according to different instruments. Texture How thick or thin how many instruments or few instruments are playing.

    (Polyphonic many sounds, monophonic sounds one sound, unison all players playing the same, Homophonic where all players play different notes but they move together in chords.

    Timbre comment on the differences in the sound of instruments. Tempo the speed of the music. Mood Major or minor.

  • A detailed answer looks like this:

    This is about Mozart Symphony 40 You should practise writing your own section B

    answers on as many of the set works as is possible.

  • The mood is exciting, serious and dramatic. The piece of music starts at a fast tempo, it is marked molto

    allegro, meaning much fast giving it an feel of excitement. The tonality of the movement is minor and therefore gives a

    very serious feel to the mood. The main opening melody starts piano and ascends mainly in

    step followed by a leap of a 6th after which it then descends through a pattern of stepwise movement and repeated notes. The melody is purposeful through the rise and fall. It is then developed by using it in sequence.

    The second subject idea starts piano but is in the related major key of Bb major. The duration of the notes are much longer giving a brighter and more reflective contrast to the piece.

    It should be notice that there are some sharp contrasts of dynamics in both the 1st and 2nd subjects giving yet more dramatic effect.

  • The mood is exciting, serious and dramatic. The piece of music starts at a fast tempo, it is marked molto

    allegro, meaning much fast giving it an feel of excitement. The tonality of the movement is minor and therefore gives a

    very serious feel to the mood. The main opening melody starts piano and ascends mainly in

    step followed by a leap of a 6th after which it then descends through a pattern of stepwise movement and repeated notes. The melody is purposeful through the rise and fall. It is then developed by using it in sequence.

    The second subject idea starts piano but is in the related major key of Bb major. The duration of the notes are much longer giving a brighter and more reflective contrast to the piece.

    It should be notice that there are some sharp contrasts of dynamics in both the 1st and 2nd subjects giving yet more dramatic effect.

    Fact

    Element

    Extra detailElement Fact

    Extra detailElement

    Extra detail

    ElementFact

    Element

    GCSE Music (Edexcel) PerformanceCompositionListeningWhat do you know?I suggest starting to revise each of the 12 set pieces using the following table:Slide Number 7create basic information cards on each set work:Create a revision card for each of the set worksSlide Number 10Or try this type of card:This list has been compiled after looking through previous papers if you do not know this information you are limiting your chances of achieving your best in this examination.Section B questionsWhat skills do you require to complete a section B listening question successfully?What constitutes good listening for section B at GCSE level?Key elements of the paper: BWhat are the elements of music and what do they mean? Relate to ALL set pieces.Slide Number 18USE:SIC MAD PET TTM to help you write in detail about set pieces:A detailed answer looks like this:Slide Number 21Slide Number 22