Welcome to Musical Contexts

MUSICAL CONTEXTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS - Resources written and compiled and website designed and maintained by Rob Blythe with invaluable assistance with imaging and layout advice from Angela Blythe.  Supported Self Study Audio narrations by Lesley Blythe.  Huge thanks to Kevin Griffin and to Seamus and Felix for unending support.

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What is Musical Contexts?​

Musical Contexts is a website providing teachers with a bank of quality, "ready to use", tried and tested and professionally presented resources for use in the Primary and Secondary music classroom.

​The Primary/Key Stage 2 Musical Contexts resources aim to combine music with established popular Primary class Topics/Themes adding a cross-curricular approach to learning.  ​Each of the Primary/Key Stage 2 Musical Contexts units draws inspiration from either History-themed topics/units e.g. Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, The Victorians or Science, Geography, Technology & Nature-themed topics/units e.g. Machine Music, Water Music, Weather & Seasons.


What kind of resources does Musical Contexts offer?

Musical Contexts contains a wide variety of different teaching and learning resources.  At Primary/Key Stage 2 and Secondary/Key Stage 3, these include Teacher Schemes of Work with Lesson Overviews, Knowledge Organisers, Learning, Listening, Composing and Evaluating Worksheets, Performing Activities including Songs and Scores, 5-Minute Reading Tasks, supporting Cover and Homework activities  and Audio and MIDI files .

























An example of “Lesson Pathways” from the Secondary/Key Stage 3 - Hooks and Riffs - Scheme of Work

An example of a Knowledge Organiser from the Secondary/Key Stage 3 Building Bricks unit.

An example of a Performing Task from the Secondary/Key Stage 3 Soundtracks unit.

An example of a Listening Task from the Primary/Key Stage 2 Ancient Egypt unit.

An example page from the Rhythms of the World GCSE Music Study & Revision Guide

An example page from the Conventions of Pop GCSE Music Knowledge Organiser

An example GCSE-style Listening Question from the Film Music Area of Study

Examples from the Musical Contexts Cover Bank

Contacting Musical Contexts

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The Secondary/Key Stage 3 Musical Contexts resources aim to build on traditionally popular units frequently taught by secondary music specialists and to prepare pupils for GCSE Music specifications e.g. Building Bricks (Exploring the Elements of Music), I’ve Got Rhythm (Exploring Rhythm and Pulse), Sonority City (Exploring Instruments of the Orchestra) and include a range and variety of resources, together with Schemes of Work and a range of “Lesson Pathways”. 

At GCSE Music level, Musical Contexts offers Study & Revision Guides, Knowledge Organisers, sample GCSE-style Listening Questions to support the OCR GCSE (9-1) Music Areas of Study.

There are also a range of other areas within the site providing ‘instant’ resources: the Musical Contexts Music Cover Bank, 2 ‘Warm-Up Compendia’, SQUILT Listening Exercises, World Music Resources and Music History and Theory Resources. 

From time to time, Musical Contexts will also add Seasonal Topic Packs covering areas such as Christmas, Halloween, Bonfire Night, Microsoft and Google Forms Quiz Bundles and End of Term Music Quizzes.  These are not included within the “full-site subscription” due to costs in obtaining copyright permissions to use songs, scores and audio materials contained within them.  These can be purchase as “add-on” items (normally at £12.50 per pack) via the Musical Contexts Shop.

The ever-popular Musical Contexts Music Cover Bank, provides teachers with a wealth of ready to use music resources for cover, many of which do not require ICT for those last-minute moments!

Please feel free to copy, modify, customise, personalise and use Musical Contexts resources for your own use, with your students and pupils, within your own school or college and on internal Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs). 

​Please use the resources responsibly and ethically, as continued irresponsible free sharing and poaching of paid published resources (particularly “free sharing” to Facebook groups and the current trend of setting up “free” music resource websites using Musical Contexts and other published resources) is not only a breach of copyright, but the implications of making these publicly available on websites, even if only for a short period of time, are that other schools and teachers can freely access them meaning a loss of earnings for authors and publishers, jeopardising future resource development for YOUR subject specification and will only sadly see the demise of sites such as Musical Contexts which rely on the support (and honesty) of schools and teachers for future development. 

Musical Contexts is unitedly working with a range of publishers together to monitor Facebook groups for such “free sharing” and regular checks to the web are made using a program which scours the web for PDFs using automated code (scrapers).  Any subscriber found freely sharing Musical Contexts resources online will have their log-in cancelled with immediate effect and no refund given in respect of this.

At GCSE level, Musical Contexts offers Study and Revision Guides, Knowledge Organisers and sample GCSE-style Listening Questions to support the new 2016 OCR GCSE (9-1) Music Areas of Study. ​

As part of Musical Contexts’ drive to cut down on printables and reduce copying costs, all “Starter and Plenary Activities” within the Primary/Key Stage 2 and Secondary/Key Stage 3 units are being combined into a “DOITNOW” and “Plenary” PowerPoint Presentations, complete with embedded audio and video files.  The range and content of each presentation varies according to the topic/unit, but DOITNOW activities include: What do you see? Key Word Definitions, Sort them out!, Mix and Match, Silent Debate, Musical Anagrams, Connect Fours, Connections, Compare and Contrast and What do you hear? 

Examples of DOITNOW activities from the Musical Contexts Secondary/Key Stage 3 units

Warm-ups, including vocal warm-ups, tongue twisters, body percussion and rhythm games, are a popular way to start music lessons or as an introduction to practical activities.  The Musical Contexts Complete “Warm-Ups Compendiums” contains a wealth of short activities - old and new - supported by teaching notes, scores and audio and video files all contained within two  (very large!) Presentations and suitable for the Primary and Secondary music classrooms.

Examples from the Musical Contexts Complete “Warm-Ups Compendiums” Volumes 1 & 2

AS & A-Level Music Resources Shop


About Musical Contexts

Subscribe to Musical Contexts

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)/Help

Musical Contexts Year 7 Baseline Assessment

2016 GCSE (9-1) Music

Resources Index

Musical Contexts Music Cover Bank

Musical Contexts Shop &

Seasonal Topic Packs

Musical Contexts Topic Exploration Packs

Musical Contexts “Warm-Ups” Compendiums

Musical Contexts World Music Resources

Musical Contexts Music History & Theory Resources

Primary/Key Stage 2 Music Resources Index

Secondary/Key Stage 3

Music Resources Index

Musical Contexts


Examples from the Musical Contexts Year 7 Baseline Assessment Listening Test

The Musical Contexts Baseline Assessment Listening Test  provides a vital way of measuring pupil's understanding in music at the start of Year 7.

The Musical Contexts Plenary Review presentations focus on a brief review of learning from the lesson.


Examples of Plenary Review Activities from the Musical Contexts Secondary/Key Stage 3 units

The Musical Contexts SQUILT Listening Exercises  provide a bank of general listening tasks on a variety of music from different times and places - great for homework or home learning!

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Musical Contexts Music Theory Microsoft/Google Forms Bundle


Available via the Musical Contexts Shop as an ‘add-on extra’, these 10 ready-made online music theory quizzes are available in either Microsoft or Google Forms formats and provide an excellent way of assessing pupil’s knowledge and understanding of music theory.  All 10 quizzes are worth 20 marks and include:


Treble and Bass Clef Staff Notation; Note Values and Rests; Dots, Ties and Triplets; Time Signatures; Tempo and Dynamics, Sharps and Flats, Tones and Semitones; Major and Minor Scales; Key Signatures; Intervals.






Contact Musical Contexts to obtain further details on how to set up your own username and password for full access to all of the resources or any other general enquiries or feedback



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(also see the Frequently Asked Questions page)



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Musical Contexts Office Hours

Monday - Thursday: 8am-8pm

Friday - Sunday: 8am-12noon