Music by The Beatles seems set to feature in the revised syllabus for the GCSE music exam, as set out by the AQA, Britain's largest examinations board. The move is part of an attempt to breathe fresh life into the exam that is available to Students across England, Northern Ireland and Wales. There are additional plans to broaden the course's scope, in a further move to incorporate more modern musical pastimes and occupations. That should enable students to test their abilities as a 'DJ' for the first time for instance, within the existing performance section that forms part of the qualification.

The AQA (formerly known as the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance) are intending for all GCSE music students to study three songs from the iconic "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album. The album may have been released way back in 1965, but clearly the board believe that it still has relevance to today's students. It will not be the first time that The Beatles' music will have featured in music lessons, as teachers have incorporated songs by the 'Fab Four' in the past in recognition of their undeniable impact on modern sounds.

Students will be required to consider the melody, rhythm and harmonies that have been utilised within particular tracks on the album. "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", "Within You, Without You" and "With A Little Bit Of Help From My Friends" are believed to be the tracks that pupils will pay particular attention to.

As with the study of literary works, the changes are set to open up debate as to the meaning and intention of the lyrics that The Beatles wrote. "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" has an almost hypnotic or hallucinogenic effect to it according to many listeners, with some suggesting that it is a blatant reference to 'LSD' as the letters even feature in the title.

Part of the study will no doubt include consideration of whether this seems likely or whether John Lennon's alternative suggestion is true. He affirmed that it was a reference to a real person called Lucy that was known to his family.

The music exam requires pupils to:

  • Complete an exam paper that includes listening and writing

  • Do two performances

  • Compose two pieces of music

It is expected that the new syllabus will be followed from September 2016, assuming that it gains accreditation from Ofqual, the exams regulator.