Online & Web Resources

NOTE - as of August 2018 Quizlet requires students and everyone to sign-up. Rest assured Quizlet is still a FREE service. Students are encouraged to only supply the necessary information required to sign-up, namely date of birth, username, email and password. That's it! It is up to students if they wish to sign up for email alerts, promotions and more.

More information can be found here -

Quizlet is a resource with quick quizzes, interactive games and interactive flash cards to aid the learning of terms and definitions

Click the title header above or here to head straight to the Quizlet page for Mr Laviolette. In addition to the link above you can navigate to

For help with the notes of the stave, note lengths/values, pitch recognition and recall, and pitch dictation (plotting pitch on a stave)

Click on 'E-Zone' via the top menu bar

Notes of the stave - 'Name That Note!' game

Note Lengths/Values - 'Rhythm Bandit' and 'Weatherwise'

Pitch Recognition and Recall - 'Holy Mole'

Pitch Dictation (plotting pitch on a stave) - 'Monkey Sing, Monkey Doh!'

For video tutorials on everything from rhythm and tempo, to common notation symbols

Click on 'E-Zone' via the top menu bar

Click on the 'Music Theory' link...

...then choose any one of the videos to watch

Note - if the sites do not work try the following:

  • Enabling 'Flash' in your browser

  • Using a different browser

  • Clicking on the puzzle piece symbol in the address bar and choosing the option that will allow flash plugin to run

WebRhythms is a valuable resource for learning how to read rhythmic notation. In short, how to read the note value symbols -

semibreves/whole notes

minims/half notes

crotchets/quarter notes

quavers/eighth notes

semiquavers/sixteenth notes

The site contains a series of tutorials from real beginner to advanced and is something all GCSE students will need to do in order to answer the notation questions in the listening exam paper.

If the link above does not work, you can navigate to:

Click on 'Education' from the top menu bar

Click on 'WebRhythms'

The major scale is the basis of almost all music as we understand it - at least melodically and harmonically. Click the link above to be taken to where you will find an explanation on how the major scale works.

Please note that this site uses American terminology whereby Whole Step = Tone, and Half Step = Semitone

As well as the explanation above, Teoria also have a very simple to understand explanation of how the major scale works. You may prefer this explanation. Just click the link above.

The link above takes you to the scale constructor. You can construct the most basic scales such as major and minor, as well as more advanced scales and modes.

Use this video to help you understand what an interval is:

A very important point to remember...

... in GCSE music you do not need to know any of the MINOR INTERVALS

Next test yourself using this MusicTheory.Net resource

Here's another test from

Identifying Instruments of the Orchestra

Use this video to help you recognise the sounds of the instruments of the orchestra

Families - brass, strings, woodwind, percussion (the individual instruments portion is not very accurate FOR SOME INSTRUMENTS as it uses electronic versions for some of the examples)

Individual instruments:

This video features actual footage and is much longer

Use these two tests below to test yourself

Sporcle - sounds of musical instruments TEST - with answers at end

Individual instruments TEST - with images NO ANSWERS REVEALED! Great for a challenge

Periods of Composition

When we refer to the periods of composition in GCSE students need to know only three periods:

Baroque - circa 1600 - 1750

Classical - circa 1750 - 1820

Romantic - circa 1820 - 1900

Below is some information extracted from the Listening Exam Preparation Booklet which briefly explains the key features of the music from each period. Students ideally should use the CGP GCSE Music Revision Guide to study each period in depth.

Baroque (1600 - 1750)Check pages 81-87 CGP Book. Uses harpsichord a lot, the piano was NOT even invented. Very strict and almost mathematical in how melodies worked together with harmony using complex melody patterns making advanced use of techniques such as inversion, sequence, imitation and so forth. Lots of contrapuntal and polyphonic textures where lots of melodic lines were combined. Complex structures and forms such as the fugue were common. Lots of ornamentation such as trills and turns. Lots of organ compositions and basso continuo (continuously moving bass), and ground bass form. Concerto grosso present as well as solo concerto. Composers - JS Bach; Vivaldi; Handel

Classical (1750 - 1830)Check pages 90-96. Piano first appeared as well as the clarinet. Full orchestra created as we near enough know it today, only slightly smaller at this point. Clear cut and balanced melodies and structure, versus the more flamboyant and decorated melodies of the Baroque period. The structure for much of the music had symmetry in its design just like the classical architecture of the time – A followed by B, then back to A, for example. Clear and memorable melodies. Subtle dynamics – crescendos and diminuendos instead of sudden changes like in Baroque music. The invention of the piano contributed to this. Lots of woodwind chord support instead of harpsichord which was no longer used. The symphony was invented to really exploit the full orchestra and its four instrument families. Repetition and contrast were the basis of much of classical music. Sonata form (music in several movements) was born also. Composers - Mozart; Beethoven; Haydn

Romantic (1850 - 1900)Check pages 97-100. Very passionate and emotive. Music was linked heavily to art, literature and passion as opposed to religion. Much of today's film music is essentially still rooted in the Romantic period because of its ability to easily draw emotional responses from the listener. Richer harmonies making use of dissonance more, and thicker textures, orchestras became enormous compared to previous periods. Advances in technology and mass production meant that instruments could be refined to produce a wider range of textures, timbres and dynamics, and these could be produced easily on a large scale - hence the bigger orchestra. Brass section now had valves giving them more ability to play complex lines and therefore played more of a part. The Tuba was added. Larger string section. Composers took liberties with tempo and timing to make music even more emotive and melodramatic. German Lied form appeared. Programme music appeared (that tells a story). Advances were made to the concerto form and sonata form also. Composers - Wagner; Strauss; Chopin (though mainly piano work and sonatas); Tchaikovsky; Brahms.

The below links are also very helpful resources to help students learn about the distinct features of the music from each period.

(Ignore the 'Modern' period explanation and examples)

A cadence is a harmonic movement from one chord to another - you'll need to understand how harmony and chords work first.

Click the title above or here to find out how cadences work, including an explanation of harmony and chords first.

Notation Dictation Practice Website

The website below gives you some very basic practice with the notation dictation type of question - where you need to fill in missing notes

You should use the site below to help you practice if reading notation and filling in missing notes is COMPLETELY new to you