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Report Thread starter 7 years ago
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I would really appreciate any help in regards to getting an A* in Music GCSE. It's really important for me and I'm particularly concerned about the exam. I wish it was based on the theoretical aspect of music, but we have to learn 12 areas of study and I just want to know, if there's a particular exam technique I need to grasp for the listening exam...as well as being thorough with the pieces of course. I'm not worried about the practical or composing coursework side of things, just need help and advice about the exam.
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alicefogg
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Hey :')

I did Edexcel GSCE Music last year and got an A* so you can ask me anything!

So yeah, there are three pieces in each of the four areas of study and in the listening section of the exam you get questions on two of the pieces from each area of study and a choice of one of the other pieces to write an essay on at the end.
So yeah, here are my tips:

1. Get the copies for of the audio for each piece and play them! Stick them all in a playlist and listen to them as much as you can. Try following the score while listening to them and annotate the score with information from the textbook.

2. There are key facts about every piece that you MUST know:
- Composer
- Key
- Tonality
- Structure
- Texture
- Harmony
- Melody
- Orchestration
- Dynamics
- When it was written
(Okay so in some pieces, some of these things aren't relevant etc. but it's a good guide to go by- as it'll mean that the essay at the end is no problem)

3. Look at past papers- there aren't many but the questions they can ask are incredibly limited so it's worth looking through the mark schemes and remembering how they word answers etc.

4. CPG revision guide? If you're into that kind of thing!!

I hope this helped a bit! If you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer! :')
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Your are an angel..I'm so glad I found you!! I do have some questions though..

Did you revise all the set pieces?

If you used the CGP revision guide, how did you use it...as I've got it- which hopefully will be of more use to me with your help..

Lastly, did you get an A* in the exam, practical coursework and compositions....as I have a feeling I may get an A in one of my compositions...which is worrying me....
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alicefogg
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Ahah, thanks
Yeah, I revised all of them because you don't know which ones will come up or which one you'll do an essay on!
I just looked through it and did little record cards with the key facts on!
Yeah, I got an A* in the exam, performance and composition- actually I think I got full marks in the performance and I lost two marks in the composition!
Have you done your final compositions yet? What areas of study are you basing them on? There's a few that are easier than others. If you look on the specification, I'm pretty sure you can find a markscheme for composition with the things they look for... It's like dynamics, melody, harmony etc. Just make sure your composition fits a few of the categories really well. I did a classical composition for flute and piano and then a minimalist one for like four clarinets and two bass clarinets I think ahaha :')
What do you play? It often helps if you know about the instruments that you are writing for!
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Thanks for the advice and replying so quickly!

I will endeavor to revise all the set pieces as it's the safest option...

I'm not worried about the practical aspect of Music GCSE, as doing it for GCSE is much easier than an official exam!

We are actually in the process of writing our compositions out in controlled conditions, to be submitted. I've been referring to the markscheme, but composing is hard!

I play the piano so I've based my two pieces on the piano, of course!
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