Teenagers are to be taught about the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album for the first time as part of a refreshed Music GCSE.
Pupils will discuss three tracks from one of The Beatles’ most critically acclaimed records: Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, With a Little Help from My Friends and Within You, Without You.
Students will discuss their melody, harmony, structure, rhythm and the meaning behind the music and lyrics as part of the new GCSE, designed by exam board AQA.
The course will also include classical music by renowned composers Copland and Haydn, and songs from legendary guitarist Carlos Santana’s Supernatural album, AQA said.
Seb Ross, who leads AQA’s music department, 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.”
Ernie Sutton, treasurer of the British Beatles Fan Club, said: “It’s a great tribute to The Beatles that their music is being studied for the new AQA Music GCSE.
“The Beatles changed the face of popular music and song writing in a very short space of time, which future musicians benefited from. It is fantastic that young people can study their ground breaking and influential Sgt. Pepper album, which changed recording techniques forever.”
Youngster will also prove their DJing credentials as part of the performance section of the qualification. They will practice their ‘scratching’, a technique associated with hip-hop music, which produces different sounds by moving a vinyl record back and forth on a turntable. Pupils will use either vinyl, CDs or a laptop.
Separately, AQA unveiled plans for a new Dance GCSE, in which pupils will learn to create and perform in styles that interest them. However, they will also study ballet, contemporary, urban and dance from other cultures.
The plans for both GCSEs, which will be available to teach from September 2016, are being submitted to the regulator Ofqual for accreditation.
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