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GCSE Edexcel Music Study Piece Analysis

Student-friendly analysis resources to ensure your class are completely confident with their GCSE set works, and ready to excel in the exam. Build listening skills and encourage evaluation and reflection with a mix of guided analysis and independent tasks.

Excellent. Pitched at an appropriate level for KS4 students... very clear. Very useful discussion, performance and dictation exercises inviting active learning. T Murphy, Music Teacher and Independent Reviewer (Beethoven)

Each pack sets the scene with essential context before working through the set work bar by bar. Students are fully supported with detailed notes, annotated score extracts and key term definitions – then encouraged to reinforce and apply their knowledge with regular consolidation questions and activities.

Following the analysis, a wealth of exam preparation:

  • Concise revision summary structured by musical element to aid recall of key points
  • Musical dictation exercises using extracts from the piece, for vital transcription training
  • Section A and Section B exam-style questions with mark schemes – perfect practice for the listening paper

Totally flexible – integrate into your class teaching or use for independent learning.


GCSE Edexcel Set Work Analysis AoS1: Beethoven’s ‘Pathétique’ Sonata Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor ‘Pathétique’: 1st Movement

Beethoven’s beautiful sonata provides a fantastic opportunity to explore Classical forms and features. This guide analyses the first movement in depth to give students a solid understanding of every musical element.

GCSE Edexcel Set Work Analysis AoS2: Purcell: ‘Music for a While’ H Purcell: ‘Music for a While’

One of Purcell’s most popular and best remembered pieces, ‘Music for a While’ reflects the dark drama of Dryden’s tragic play. Build a firm understanding of the piece’s Baroque texture with essential analysis and engaging activities, from listening tasks to composition activities.

GCSE Edexcel Set Work Analysis AoS3: Wicked 'Defying Gravity' S Schwartz: ‘Defying Gravity’ (from the album of the cast recording of Wicked)

Written against a historical backdrop of socialism, capitalism and globalisation, Wicked is a musical which promotes tolerance and empowerment. Explore the musical’s defining song with detailed analysis, consolidation questions, plus vital exam practice.

GCSE Edexcel Set Work Analysis AoS3: J Williams: Star Wars Episode IV J Williams: ‘Main Title / Rebel Blockade Runner’ (from the soundtrack to Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope)

One of the most recognisable and memorable pieces of music in film history, J Williams’ masterpiece symbolises drama, adventure and heroism. Illuminate the music’s simplicity, rhythm, leaps and repetition with student-friendly analysis that covers everything from the main theme to the transition passages, and the final fanfare.

GCSE Edexcel Set Work Analysis AoS4: Afro Celt Sound System ‘Release’ Afro Celt Sound System: ‘Release’ from the album Volume 2: Release

The haunting music of ‘Release’ is an example of fusion music at its finest. Ensure your students get to grips with the band’s innovative instrumentation and style with clear commentary and activities. Plus: awealth of practice exam questions provide essential listening practice for all elements of the piece.