I just started a primephonic subscription and saw that the service has a built-in playlist named "Listening for GCSE" with the following description:

The classical component of GCSE music brings a rich listening experience, broad and varied, from Handel's oratorios to Copland's Hoe Down to composers of our day like Steve Reich and John Adams.

There is no additional info on the playlist I can find that gives any clues as to the meaning.

Web searches for GCSE all point to "General Certificate of Secondary Education". Is this the same "GCSE"? What else could the playlist be referring to, or what does the music from Handel, Copland, and Reich have to do with the GCSE test?

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is a Music Fans question (it is solely about listening not performing/composing) – Dave Oct 31 '17 at 13:31

GCSE is the general name for the national school exams at age 16 (i.e. just before the minimum school leaving age) in the UK.

There are separate exams covering all subjects in the national education curriculum.

The music exam has three main components: "Understanding music" (which includes the "listening" section,) "Performing music" and "Composing music".

See http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/music/specifications/AQA-8271-SP-2016.PDF for the syllabus of one of the examination boards - the others will be similar.

The composers you mention are given as examples of some of the different musical genres included in the listening section.

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