Listening and Appraising is the part of the course that is examined in the form of a listening exam. The exam is 1 hour 30 minutes long and is worth 40% of the Edexcel GCSE course in total.
Students will study the Set Works below in lesson time through a mixture of practical and listening and analysis activities. The set works are from a variety of musical styles and are as follows (these are the styles which are intended to inspire students’ composition work):
Western Classical Music 1600-1988
- Handel – Chorus ‘And the Glory of the Lord’ from the oratorio Messiah
- Mozart – 1st movement from Symphony No.40 in G minor
- Chopin – Piano Prelude No.15 in D flat major, Op.28
Music in the 20th Century
- Schoenberg – ‘Peripetie’ from Five Orchestral Pieces, Op.16
- Bernstein – ‘Something’s Coming’ from West Side Story
- Reich – 3rd movement (fast) from Electric Counterpoint
Popular Music in Context
- Miles Davis – ‘All Blues’ from Kind of Blue
- Buckley – ‘Grace’ from Grace
- Moby – ‘Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?’ from Play
- Capercaillie – ‘Skye Waulking Song’ from Nadurra (Folk)
- Rag Desh (Indian Classical)
- Koko – Yiri (African)
The exam is consists of 8 listening questions each taking one side of A4 and each on a different set work, as listed above. The exam finishes with a short essay question asking students to describe the use of certain musical elements in a particular set work and is worth 10 marks. There will be a choice of two essay questions each on a set work that has not featured within the listening questions in the first part of the exam.
A much recommended revision guide is: Edexcel; GCSE Revision Guide; Rhinegold Education – Alan Charlton (available on Amazon).