Students at Launceston College study the Edexcel specification. This can be found here:

Exams: (not to be taken in 2021)

Students in Year 11 will sit one exam (the rest of the marks coming from coursework submissions i.e. components 1 and 2)

·     Component 1: Performing.  Students must choose, rehearse and record 2 performances – one solo and one as part of an ensemble. The combined length must be at least 4 minutes and each individual piece must be at least 1 minute.

·     Component 2: Composing. Students must submit 2 compositions. One, the free composition and the second is in response to a brief set by Edexcel

·     Component 3: Listening and appraising- this the only element which externally examined with a summer exam.

Revision resources:
CGP revision guide and Edexcel revision guide:

How to use these resource: Students are advised to purchase either the CGP revision guide or the Edexcel revision guide (we have some copies of the latter in school which can be loaned to students but must be signed for). They can be used to create mind maps or quizzes. These can then be used to check subject knowledge and understanding. There are also some exam questions and quiz questions given at the end of every unit. These is particularly useful for checking and revising subject knowledge. The included CDs provides practice listening material.

Set musical pieces

How to use this resource: In the exam, students will be asked a range of questions – some will be multiple choice, some will involve commenting on similarities and differences between extracts of music, some will involve extended writing, some will ask students to comment on an unfamiliar piece of music – the unfamiliar piece will always be a further example from each of the areas of study e.g. they might get an unfamiliar piece of film music and will be asked to comment on that piece based on their understanding of the features and techniques of film music that they have understood through their study of the Star Wars theme tune.


It is important to be able to recognise which of the set works an extract might be taken from and also to be able to put it into context i.e. to identify where in the set work the extract is taken from. Students should aim to listen and familiarise themselves with every element of each set work i.e. melody, harmony, texture, instrumentation, rhythm, structure, tempo and dynamic contrast

The set pieces of music are:

1: Instrumental music:

·         Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D – 3rd Movement J.S .Bach

·         Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor (“Pathétique”) – 1st Movement, Beethoven

2: Vocal music:

·         Music for a While, Henry Purcell

·         Killer Queen (album version), Queen/Freddie Mercury

3: Music for stage & screen:

·         Defying Gravity (from Wicked), Stephen Schwartz

·         Main Title/Rebel Blockade Runner from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, John Williams

4: Fusions:

·         Release, Afro Celt Sound System

·         Samba Em Prelúdio, Vinicius de Moraes and Baden Powell de Aquino, perf. Esperanza Spalding


How to use this resource: YouTube features a wealth of recordings of all of the set works and also a range of revision materials for them

Recordings of set works

Revision guides and other useful content

Further revision help

There are more available if you search for “Edexcel GCSE music 9-1 (2016)”

BBC Bitesize:

How to use this resource: The BBC bitesize is useful for getting an overview of the analyses of the set works. The information is broken down into really useful, easy to digest ‘chunks’. Try and use the material here to help to put the set work in context and also to focus on particular distinct elements of the pieces – it should help clarify the specifics of each piece as mentioned above i.e. the elements of melody, harmony, texture. You could use it write revision notes or flash card or as the starting points for a mind map.

Past papers

How to use this resource:  Students can practice and answer these questions. Mr Strike can read these and provide feedback. This is particularly useful to check understanding and application of subject knowledge. The link above gives a range of past paper. Please note that you will also need to look at the document relating to the timings of the extracts used in order to match up the required extract with each question. Try and use the examiners report and the mark scheme to see what examiners are really looking for and get clear advice on the common reason’s candidates drop marks unnecessarily. If in any doubt, speak to Mr Strike.

Study guides and extended written responses

There are also study guides to each set work, some coursework exemplars and model answers for the extended written responses: