British teens are set to study The Beatles as part of a refreshed music GCSE that includes several tracks from the band’s iconic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Students will get the chance to discuss three tracks from The Beatles’ biggest album, according to the Telegraph, including Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, With a Little Help from My Friends and Within You, Without You. The students will examine not only the melody, harmony, structure, and rhythm of The Beatles’ work, but also the meaning behind the music and lyrics.
Paul McCartney John lennon the #Beatles pic.twitter.com/EwJSIhS1cy
— The Beatles Photos (@FabsFans9) May 13, 2015
The refreshed course has been designed by exam board AQA and also includes work by composers Copland and Haydn. According to Seb Ross, the Head of AQA’s music department, The Beatles were a natural fit for the course, given their worldwide cultural significance.
“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,” he noted. “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.”
— The Independent (@Independent) May 13, 2015
The inclusion of the Beatles comes amid an attempt to revamp the course, according to the Independent, to include more contemporary material. As part of the performance section, students will also be able to employ their DJ-ing abilities for the first time. They will be asked to not only demonstrate the required technical skills, but also the efforts needed to prepare for for a DJ-ing set at a club.
Ernie Sutton, Treasurer of the British Beatles Fan Club, lauded the decision to include the legendary group in the course, pointing to their influence on countless contemporary artists, which the Inquisitr has previously noted.
“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.”
The Beatles’ Final Photoshoot, 1969. pic.twitter.com/lpGNKWOuhg
— Classic Pics (@ClassicPixs) May 13, 2015
The Beatles aren’t the only pop act that has been integrated into the course, however, as the GCSE also includes songs from Carlos Santana’s Supernatural album.
[Photos by Capitol Records and Michael Webb / Getty Images]