Home Past Papers Set Works History of Music Genres Glossary

Teachers - do you need some help with the BGCSE?

There is alot of useful information for you and your students on these pages. There are several past papers which you can print off and the audio for the papers is here also.

Information on the Set Works for this year is also available, including videos, composer bios and analyses of the music.

Later on I will add some revision quizes.




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The Periods of Musical History

Medieval (pre 1500)

      • Very simple musical structures
      • Very little music was written down
      • Most music was performed by troubadours
      • Mostly monophonic
      • Simple rhythms based on speech

Renaissance (1500-1650)

      • Contrapuntal music was introduced
      • Lots of imitation· Use of modes
      • Mainly polyphonic
      • Usually performed by instruments of the same family

Baroque (1650-1750)

      • Full of ornaments and decoration
      • Use of antiphonal effects
      • Use of terraced dynamics
      • Often accompanied by a harpsichord
      • The birth period of the modern orchestra

Classical (1750-1810)

      • Music in regular length phrases
      • Harmony concentrates around the tonic and dominant
      • Famous composers include Mozart, Beethoven and Hadyn
      • Genres of the period include symphony, concerto, string quartet and opera

Romantic (1810-1900)

      • More instruments used and larger orchestra
      • Variety in harmonics including discords
      • Some music used to tell stories or create emotions
      • Famous composers include Tchaikovsky, Schubert and Verdi
      • Contrasts in dynamics, instruments and pitch

Modern (1900-present)

      • Complete dissolution of harmony
      • The combinations of instruments became more varied
      • Composers became more aware of their national heritage
      • Composers include Elgar, Schöenberg and Stravinsky




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