Key Stage 3 Music

Music is studied as part of the National Curriculum in Years 7 & 8.  The content of each unit draws on music from a wide range of traditions, through the interrelated skills of performing, composing, listening and appraising.  The titles of each project are listed below, in the order which they take place during the academic year, followed by a breakdown of the main topic areas and headings specifying the nature of the linked summative assessments.  (The core skills being assessed are given in bold.)

  • “My musical experience”
  • Elements of music 
  • Instruments of the orchestra; the piano and the organ
  • Rhythm and pitch notation
  • Working as a group
  • Graphic notation
  • The musical keyboard
  • Performing from simple notation
IPM Assessment 1: Notating rhythms
IPM Assessment 2: Performing from stave-notation
  • What makes a good melody
  • Working independently and as a pair
  • Experimenting with melodic ideas at the keyboard
  • Refining and notating melodic ideas
  • Basic Sibelius functions
  • Practising ideas at the keyboard
  • Extending musical ideas: motifs and phrases
  • Organising music/structure
IPM Assessment 3: Constructing melodies (composing)
IPM Assessment 4: Analysing notated music
  • Listening to music from India, Africa and Indonesia
  • Improvising with rag pitches over a drone
  • Performing African drumming rhythms as an ensemble
  • Performing Gamelan melodic patterns as an ensemble
  • World music booklets (homework)
  • End-of-year exam (week before Activities Week 1)
  • Tones and semitones/ patterns in major and minor scales
  • Sharps and flats: notation and location on the keyboard
  • Aural recognition of major and minor
  • Composing using major and minor contrasts
IPM Assessment 5: Independent research (extended writing
IPM Assessment 6: Cultural context (listening & appraising)
Important technical terminology and understanding for the Year 7 curriculum:
  • Musical elements: pitch, dynamics, tempo, structure, timbre, rhythm, duration
  • Notation: clef, treble, bass, time signature, key signature, stave, bar, barline
  • Rhythmic values: semibreve, minim, crotchet, quaver, semiquaver
  • Instrumentation: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, tuba, French horn, violin, viola, (violon)cello, double bass, piano, organ, harpsichord, timpani, snare drum, cymbals, bass drum, wood block, triangle, tam-tam, xylophone, glockenspiel
  • Melody: contour, step, leap, interval, motif, phrase, angular, improvisation
  • Accompaniment: ostinato, drone, chord
  • Indonesian music: gamelan, kempul, kethuk, saron, kendang, kenong, slendro, pelog, balungan
  • Indian music: Carnatic tradition, raga, sitar, tambura, alap, gat, tal
  • African music: djembe, balafon, chant, call-and-response, master drummer
  • Scales: tone, semitone, sharp, flat, natural, chromatic, pentatonic, whole-tone, major, minor, keys, octave, tonic, dominant
  • Blues: history, context, listening and appraising
  • 12-bar blues chords
  • Blues scale (notation and performing at the keyboard)
  • Performing “Jackass Blues” over 12-bar blues chord sequence
  • Improvising using the blues scale
  • Primary and secondary triads, including perfect and imperfect cadences
  • Revise basic Sibelius notation and functions
  • Word-setting
  • Composing melodies with suitable chords
  • Accompaniment styles
IPM Assessment 1: Improvising within fixed structures
IPM Assessment 2: Composing with triads
  • Listening to and appraising music across history
  • Features of Baroque style
  • Ground bass
  • Performing Pachelbel’s Canon
  • Performing with stylistic awareness
  • Relating music to film and television: listening and appraising
  • Development of music for the screen
  • Controlling the elements of music to create an effect
  • Minimalism: listening and composing
  • Early intermediate Sibelius notation and functions
IPM Assessment 3: Performing with stylistic awareness
IPM Assessment 4: Composing to a brief
  • Arrangements and cover versions
  • Awareness of stylistic differences
  • Further intermediate Sibelius notation and functions
  • Drum notation and patterns
  • Chords with added 7ths
  • Basslines
  • Inputting lyrics in Sibelius
  • End-of-year exam (week before Activities Week 1)
  • Samba percussion workshops (Activities Week 1): context and class performance
  • Samba competition (Summer Fun Day)
IPM Assessment 5: Evaluating contrast (listening & appraising)
IPM Assessment 6: Reinterpreting music (arranging/composing)
Important technical terminology and understanding, in addition to that which was covered in Year 7:
  • Blues: syncopation, chord, question and answer, blues scale/blue notes, 12-bar blues, primary triads, AAB form, work songs, spirituals, ragtime, fill, walking bass
  • Accompaniment: triads, pedal, bassline, block chords, broken chords, secondary triads, chord sequence
  • Harmony: major, minor, diminished, augmented, added 7th, consonance, dissonance
  • Melody: auxiliary notes, passing notes
  • Style: renaissance, baroque, classical, romantic, jazz, minimalist, experimental, rock, pop
  • Genre: dance, film, abstract, programme, absolute, underscore, ballet, opera
  • Samba: repinique, chocolo, reco-reco, agogo, apito, tamborim, surdo, caixa de guerro, sambista, polyrhythm
  • Texture: monophony, unison, homophony, heterophony, polyphony, contrapuntal, antiphony
  • Structure: form, ternary, AABA, rondo, theme, ground bass, verse & chorus, introduction, bridge, middle-eight