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Music: Key Stage 4

OCR GCSE Music (Level 2)

Students must complete three components (01 or 02, 03 or 04, and 05) to be awarded the OCR GCSE (9-1) in Music.

Content Overview

There are five areas of study:

  • Area of study 1: My Music
  • Area of study 2: The Concerto through Time
  • Area of study 3: Rhythms of the World
  • Area of study 4: Film Music
  • Area of study 5: Conventions of Pop


Component 01/02: Integrated portfolio

Students develop their understanding of performance and composition through exploration of their own instrument / computer software within styles and genres of their choosing.

They demonstrate their playing skills and abilities by practising and performing a piece musically, accurately and with appropriate interpretation. In the composition element of this component, they demonstrate knowledge of composition techniques, use of musical elements and resources, including specific instrumental and technology techniques.

Component 03/04: Practical component

Students develop their skills and understanding of performance and composition. The focus of the performance aspect of this component is on the demands of performing with an ensemble. Students are also required to compose a piece of music appropriate for one of the areas of study in response to a set brief.

Component 05: Listening and appraising

This component focuses on areas of study 2, 3, 4, and 5. Students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of musical elements, contexts and language.


Future Pathways

Upon completion of the GCSE Level 2 course, learners can study 'A' Level Music Technology in the 6th Form or study BTEC Music Technology at Level 3 in readiness for University entrance, apply for training courses at the BBC or other similar organisations or apply for jobs at music production companies that specialise in writing music for the media including computer games and the moving image.

Specification Aims

OCR’s GCSE (9–1) in Music will encourage learners to:

  • engage actively in the process of music study.
  • develop performing skills individually and in groups to communicate musically with fluency and control of the resources used.
  • develop composing skills to organise musical ideas and make use of appropriate resources.
  • recognise links between the integrated activities of performing, composing and appraising and how this informs the development of music.
  • broaden musical experience and interests, develop imagination and foster creativity.
  • develop knowledge, understanding and skills needed to communicate effectively as musicians.
  • develop awareness of a variety of instruments, styles and approaches to performing and composing.
  • develop awareness of music technologies and their use in the creation and presentation of music.
  • recognise contrasting genres, styles and traditions of music, and develop some awareness of musical chronology.
  • develop as effective and independent learners with enquiring minds.
  • reflect upon and evaluate their own and others’ music.
  • engage with and appreciate the diverse heritage of music, in order to promote personal, social, intellectual and cultural development.