Ocr A2 Music Essays

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GCSE Music and A level Music – new for 2016.

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We have been publishing resources for GCSE Music and A level Music since 1999 and they are now used in over 2500 school and colleges both in the UK and overseas.

All of our Practice Papers use the specific formats and layouts used by the four exam boards and we aim to provide students with a realistic idea of what to expect in the final exam.

We have been progressively moving over to online digital downloads over the last three years to enable our customers to have easy and instant access to resources. We provide full email support and have several `backup` systems to ensure that any problems are quickly rectified.

GCSE Music and A level Music 2016 new specifications

Our download facility has been extended to cover all of our publications for the new GCSE Music and A level Music specifications coming up for first teaching in 2016. From October 2017, these will be available only as digital downloads. Thank you.

Schools: please click HERE for a publications list and ordering information. 

Useful links for the new specifications:

Edexcel `A` and `AS` level 2016:


Edexcel GCSE 2016:


AQA `A` and `AS` level 2016:


AQA GCSE 2016:


OCR `A` and `AS` level 2016:


OCR GCSE 2016:


WJEC (Eduqas) `A` and `AS` level 2016:


WJEC (Eduqas) GCSE 2016:



Useful links for audio file players:

For PC users:

iTunes – http://www.apple.com/uk/itunes/download/

Windows Media Player 12 – http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/windows-media-player-12

Quicktime for Windows – http://support.apple.com/kb/DL837

VLC (Plays .mov, .mp4, .wmv and more) – http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-windows.html

For Mac users:

iTunes – http://www.apple.com/uk/itunes/download/

Quicktime X  http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download

Quicktime 7 – http://support.apple.com/kb/DL923

VLC (Plays .mov, .mp4, .wmv and more) – http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-macosx.html

Schools: click HERE to download an Order Form.


A strong A-Level music essay should mainly contain the identification and analysis of some of the key musical features within the given piece, and should also provide some information about the musical period in which it was written and how the period links to those features.

A helpful way to begin finding points for a music essay is to remember the mnemonic "MRS HITT". This stands for all the important musical features that you will want to address within your essay; M- melody, R - rhythm, S - structure, H- harmony, I- instrumentation, T- texture, T- tonality. Identify features of the given piece of music using these headings to guide you; for example, in Debussy's Sarabande, this might include commenting on the fact that the texture of the piece is largely homophonic, or the harmony is non-functional. To make this a coherent and flowing piece of work, you will want to expand on these basic points and give some examples of them in the work using bar numbers.

After outlining each point, providing a comment linking to the historical and musical context will help to strengthen your answer. This will require learning about the different musical periods and being able to identify the features of each. To use Debussy's Sarabande as an example, you might choose to comment on the fact that the harmony is non-functional, and then go on to say that this is characteristic of the 20th Century/Impressionist style in which Debussy was writing, as they aimed to use chords for colour and expression, rather than having a specific harmonic function, as in the Classical period.


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