Music - Year 13


Course Content 

  • Composition
    • Students are encouraged to develop their own composition style whilst reflecting on their understanding from studying set works.
  • Performance
    • It is expected that students regularly practice their instrument and enrich their performance through membership of ensembles either in or out of school wherever possible.
  • Appraisal
    • Students cover appraisal of set works where they consider context, influence and are able to analyse using knowledge and understanding of musical elements. It is also expected that they are able to explore other pieces by other composers that are connected to these set works. Set works covered:
      • Vocal Music: J.S. Bach: Cantata, Ein feste Burg, BWV 80:Movements 1, 2 and 8; Mozart: Die Zauberflote, act 1, Nos 4 and 5; Vaughan Williams: On Wenlock Edge
      • Instrumental Music: Vivaldi: Concerto in D minor Op.3 No.11; Clara Schumann: Piano trio in G minor mvmt 1; Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique mvmt 1
      • Film Music: Bernard Hermann: Excerpts from Psycho; Rachel Portman: Excerpts from The Duchess; Danny Elfman: Excerpts from Batman Returns
      • Popular Music and Jazz:Selected works by Courtney Pine, Kate Bush and The Beatles
      • Fusions: Debussy: Estampes: Nos. 1 and 2; Anoushka Shankar: Breathing Under Water selected tracks; Familia Valera Miranda: Caña quema selected songs
      • New Directions: Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring excerpts; Cage: Three Dances for two prepared pianos: No.1; Saariaho: Petals


Students are required to develop their composition coursework during independent study and also practice their instrument in preparation for the performance unit.

Regular harmony and appraisal homework is set to support learning in lessons and enable students to consolidate their understanding.


Understanding of Set Works are internally assessed throughout the course.

The course is examined externally at the end of Year 13. All students are required to submit a recital of 8 minutes in length, two compositions – one free choice and one which assesses composition technique. Students will also sit an appraisal exam in which their aural, appraisal and writing skills are assessed.