The Beatles' masterpiece is to be included in an overhaul of the Music GCSE, starting in 2016.
It’s been 48 years since Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play, and now it appears that he’ll be helping a whole new generation about music too, with the news that The Beatles’ era-defining album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is to be taught to Music GCSE students.
The Independent reported on Wednesday that British exam board AQA is shaking up its Music curriculum for 13 to 16 year olds, and is set to make the iconic 1967 album one of the central themes of its course, which will be implemented for the start of the 2016 academic year.
The Beatles in 1967 circa 'Sgt. Pepper'
Included in its plans are a study of three individual songs from the album: ‘Within You Without You’, ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ and ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’, with a view to analysing structure, harmony, melody and rhythm. The last of these songs is a tad controversial, with many Beatles fans convinced that it refers to LSD.
The inclusion of the classic album, which opened up the potential of the studio as another instrument in the creation of pop music, is an attempt to freshen up the Music GCSE syllabus. “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,” said Seb Ross, the head of AQA’s music department.
Other new features of the course will be an option for students to prove DJ-ing skills, such as how to prepare for a club night and how to “scratch” records in the time-honoured hip-hop style. Students will be allowed to use CDs, laptops or traditional vinyl decks for this performance.
The performance aspect of the course will require students to sing or play a musical instrument, but it is an unrestricted choice of any song they like, from Beethoven to Beyonce. To reassure traditionalists, classical music will not be cast aside, with a number of composers included too.
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