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Music A-Level builds firmly on the three areas of discipline studied at GCSE:
On the A level course candidates perform a short recital of pieces (minimum of 8 minutes) which can be in any style and for any instrument or voice. Pieces performed can be either notated or improvised, and candidates can play as part of an ensemble if they prefer. The standard required is approximately Grade 6, although performance grades will be scaled up for more difficult pieces
30% of A level
Candidates must complete two original compositions on the course. One of these compositions can be either chosen from a list of briefs related to the areas of study, or a free composition. The other will be a composition which assesses compositional technique in a given style (to a brief set by Edexcel) and can be either a four part chorale, two-part counterpoint, arrangement or remix.
There will be the opportunity to compose in a variety of different styles, depending on the preferences of the candidate. The total minimum composition time must be at least 6 minutes.
30% of A level
Listening, History and Analysis
Students on the A level course explore set works across a range of Areas of Study:
A level students study three set works per Area of Study. Listening skills are also tested in an exam in a variety of ways including recognition of styles and structures, and analysing short melodies and chord progressions by ear. Candidates are encouraged to listen to a wide range of unfamiliar music in order to help them in an exam.
40% of A level
Is A Level Music for me?
If you enjoyed GCSE Music, most definitely! Some knowledge of notation will be helpful, but if you play confidently by ear, or you can improvise well, then you will enjoy the course. You will also be stretched, and you will learn to do some things you never thought possible. The successful A Level Musician is enthusiastic, has initiative and imagination, and enjoys a challenge. However, the most important quality is that he or she loves music.
A Level Music can be studied with almost any other combination of subjects. The qualification is highly regarded by university admissions tutors as it demonstrates the student possesses a wide variety of skills, both academic and practical.
The A-level Music course is designed to be co-teachable with the AS Music course, so it will be possible for pupils to take an AS qualification at the end of the first year of the A-level course, should they choose to do so.
Music Technology A-level is an exciting course, introducing candidates to the world of Sound Recording, Audio Technology and Production.
Areas of Study
There are three main areas of study which students will learn about over the course of the two year course.
Area of Study 1: Recording and production techniques for both corrective and creative purposes
Area of Study 2: Principles of sound and audio technology
Area of Study 3: The development of recording and production technology
There are 4 main assessed components
Component 1: Recording (coursework: 20% of A level)
Students will use production tools and techniques to capture, edit, process and mix an audio recording.
Component 2: Technology-based composition (coursework: 20% of A level)
Students will produce a technology-based composition through creating, editing, manipulating and structuring sounds.
Component 3: Listening and analysing (exam: 25% of A level)
Students will sit a written exam in which their knowledge and understanding of recording and production techniques and principles will be tested.
Component 4: Producing and analysing (exam: 35% of A level)
Students will apply their knowledge and understanding of editing, mixing and production techniques in a practical exam.
Is A Level Music Technology for me?
If you enjoy Popular Music and want to learn more about the way in which it has developed technologically, most definitely! Some knowledge of notation will be helpful, but if you play confidently by ear, or you can improvise well, then you will enjoy the course. You will be stretched, and you will learn to do things with sound you never thought possible! The successful A Level Music Technologist is enthusiastic, has initiative and imagination, and enjoys a challenge. However, the most important quality is that he or she loves music and wants to learn more about the way in which it is recorded and produced.
A Level Music Technology can be studied with any other combination of subjects, and can be used as a route into a range of Music Technology-based university courses.