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The purpose of the music syllabus is to allow students, through performing, composing and appraising, to develop skills in the listening and understanding of music.

There are 5 Areas of Study:

  • 1. Rhythm and Metre
  • 2. Harmony and Tonality
  • 3. Texture and Melody
  • 4. Timbre and Dynamics
  • 5. Structure and Form

The Areas of Study are studied through 3 strands:

  • a) The Western Classical Tradition
  • b) Popular Music of the 20th and 21st Centuries
  • c) World Music

The Units

Unit 1: Listening to and Appraising Music

1 hour examination with questions based on short musical excerpts drawing on all 5 Areas of Study.

Unit 2: Composition and Appraisal

Students compose one piece of music incorporating two or more of the 5 Areas of Study, with a link to one of the 3 strands.

Unit 3: Performing

Students perform 2 pieces, one solo, and one ensemble.

Unit 4: Composing Skills

Students compose one piece of music which explores two or more of the 5 Areas of Study. This may be in any style or genre of the student's choosing.

Each Area of Study is explored and studied individually and students have the opportunity to compose music using each area of study. The areas of study are also the focus for listening exercises which will assist in accessing the listening and appraising exam. The three strands of learning are studied through research, composing and listening tasks.

Performance is encouraged during lessons to enable students to perform together but also to aid composition tasks both individually and in groups. Performance is encouraged as a continuous homework task. Regular 'in class' performances provide showcase for this homework.

Composition is studied every week by using the areas of study as a basis. The three strands are used to provide a style for the composition. Students are encouraged to compose in their own style as preparation for the final composition.