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Edexcel GCSE Set Works

Discussion in 'Music' started by daisyday2006, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. Am teaching Edexcel GCSE music for the first time this year and for the study of set works I have done a great deal of score study.
    Could any more experienced Edexcel teachers share how much they use score study? About to do the World Music (AoS 4) and it seems that I could easily teach this without. Will it put them at a disadvantage?
    The study guide and past papers seem contradictory in this!
    Thanks in advance...
  2. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    When I was teaching GCSE I always started with a listening-based approach to the main elements of a piece - tonality, structure, texture etc. I only started to use scores once it came to more analytical points - melody, rhythm, harmony and so on.
    However, I wouldn't omit using scores once it comes to the detail of the set works. In particular, remember that the dictation tests in the listening paper all come from the set works, and it is quite possible that these could come from the world music pieces - there are a number of examples of this in the Rhinegold Edexcel GCSE Study Guide and the Rhinegold Edexcel GCSE Listening Tests. Students are obviously going to have to be able to use notation for these, so study of the scores at some point will be important (especially if they hope to memorise the main ideas that could come up in the exam!).
  3. Thanks, that is really helpful.
    I tend to do the contextual stuff first too and pick out the core melodies and rhythms on sererate sheets that they later mark on the score.
    The reason I queried it for the first time was the world music tradition - the aural tradition as such. But with many possible A Level students in the group the score study is worthwhile and like you say good for dictation. Thanks!
    I must say the Study Guide is hugely analytical and detailed compared to the past papers I have seen!
  4. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Yes, although nowhere as detailed as the wildly inaccurate book written by the chief examiners. I particularly love the way in which it announces that it will explain how Peripetie "is constructed through analysis of the serialism technique", seemingly oblivious to the fact that it was written long before Schoenberg turned to serialism. Somehow realising their mistake, the authors go on to give the serial matrices for Schoenberg's 4th String Quartet - a work that I guarantee will not appear on the paper!
  5. Exactly! The core content is hexachords and its pre-serialism!! The book has a couple of pages of the useless matrices!
    Not sure we stand a chance...
  6. And then in the marks analysis last year it said "And some students bizzarely identified this is serialism instead of expressionism" - well that is because some of the study material goes on about serialism to almost total exclusion of expressionism.
    On another note, I find that students learn in different ways. Some ask for a score to look at as they listen (some even borrow them to take them home to revise) because they find the visual layout helps them digest the structures and melodic shapes.
    We also have copies out and analysed key themes in the works in anticipation of the aural dictation questions.
    Remember: They will not have a score in the exam. They need to KNOW what the cadences are at each point in each work and also the keys and modulations. They bizarre F#m at the start of the development in the Gm Symphony - they need to know that.
    You are right to say that the exam does not go into a lot of depth - it really doesn't. And also that the study materials are much too detailed.

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