Year 9 Music Exam

The Music exam will test students knowledge and understanding of musical terms and techniques. The paper will consist of a set of listening questions that are taken from a past GCSE Music paper. It will ask the students to identify instruments (and their families – brass, strings, percussion, woodwind), melodic shapes, tonality (major or minor) and other compositional and performance techniques.

To help prepare for this, students should learn the words on the ‘Year 9 exam prep words’ list. It would be useful to prepare revision resources such as flash cards from these words as they are grouped in categories. It would also be useful to listen to a range of pieces in different styles and genres to help identify some of key musical techniques.

Examples for listening:

  • Oboe Melody – Gabriel’s oboe – clear melodic phrases & sound of the oboe
  • Plucked string (pizzicato strings) – pizzicato polka – strings being plucked
  • Clarinet – Mozart clarinet concerto - Clarinet
  • UB40 – Red Red Wine – use of chords on off beat/weak beats of the bar
  • Superstar from Jesus Christ Superstar – Use of a pedal in opening
  • Blue Danube - example of music in 3
  • Marriage of Figaro Overture – example of music in 4

Another excellent resource to use is the GCSE Bitesize website - The sections under Music Theory would be most beneficial when sitting this exam and will build on topics discussed in the classroom.