Monday 5 December 2016

Beatles tracks in new music GCSE

Published 13/05/2015 | 11:37

Tracks from the Beatles will be studied for exams
Tracks from the Beatles will be studied for exams

Teenagers could study the Beatles and learn to DJ as part of a new music GCSE, it has been announced.

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The Fab Four's famous album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is part of a new course expected to be introduced next year, with pupils asked to examine three tracks - Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds, With A Little Help From My Friends and Within You, Without You.

Seb Ross of AQA, the exam board that has developed the qualification, said that there was no better band to study for contemporary music, as it had helped to "define popular music".

Youngsters will also be able to show their DJing abilities instead of playing an instrument or singing under the performance part of the GCSE.

AQA said students would be asked to demonstrate a combination of technical skills and methods required for a DJ set, including "scratching", a technique which is associated with hip hop music and produces sounds by moving a vinyl record on a turntable.

Students will still be able to sing or play an instrument for their performance, the exam board said, adding that this could be anything from Luciano Pavarotti to Beyonce.

The GCSE revamp comes after a major overhaul of exams by the previous government which was designed to toughen up qualifications.

AQA's music GCSE is split into three sections - understanding music, performing and composing.

The Beatles album is a unit in the first section, with students looking at topics such as melody, harmony, structure, rhythm and the meaning behind the music and lyrics.

Guitarist Carlos Santana's Supernatural is also included in the course as well as works by composers Haydn and Copland.

Mr Ross said: "Pop music began in this country with The Beatles in the swinging sixties, so what better band to look to for the study of contemporary music than the Fab Four. We've chosen The Beatles because John, Paul, Ringo and George helped to define popular music and the iconic Sgt. Pepper album has taken on a life of its own, so it's an exciting addition to AQA's Music GCSE."

AQA said it has submitted the qualification to exams regulator Ofqual for accreditation.

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