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Music

Why Music?

This specification provides students with the opportunity to study music in an integrated way where the skills of performing, composing and appraising reinforce knowledge and understanding of musical elements, contexts and language. In addition to the appraising examination, all students will be assessed in both performing and composing.

Are there any recommendations for entry to the course?

Those pupils who are interested in taking A Level Music must:

  • Be having weekly instrumental lessons on an orchestral instrument, piano or voice and to be able to reach at least grade 6 standard by year 13.
  • Be able to read music notation proficiently.
  • Be approximately grade 5 standard in theory (ABRSM).
  • Be an active and committed member of the school music activities.
  • Have a wide range of listening interests.

What will I study?

Component 1: Performing music (externally assessed by a visiting examiner)

  • Option A selects performing as a specialism over composition.
  • A recital performance lasting between 10-12 minutes (option A).
    Minimum of 3 pieces.
  • Option A = 35% of the overall qualification.
     
  • Option B selects composition as a specialism over performing.
  • A recital performance lasting between 6-8 minutes (option B).
    Minimum of 2 pieces.
  • Option B = 25% of the overall qualification.

Component 2: Composing music (externally assessed)

  • Option A selects performing as a specialism over composition.
  • 2 compositions.
  • A composition in response to a brief set by the exam board and a free composition to a brief set by the student.
  • Total duration of both compositions must be between 4-6 minutes.
  • Option A = 25% of the overall qualification.
     
  • Option B selects composition as a specialism over performing.
  • 3 compositions.
  • A composition in response to a brief set by the exam board and two free compositions to briefs set by the student.
  • Total duration of both compositions must be between 8-10 minutes.
  • Option B = 35% of the overall qualification.

Component 3: Appraising (externally assessed)

A 2 hour 15-minute written paper

All questions relate to three areas of study with set works in areas of study A and E or F.

  • The Western Classical Tradition
    (A: Development of the Symphony 1750-1900)
  • A choice between 3 areas of study
    (B: Rock and Pop, C: Musical Theatre or D: Jazz)
  • A choice between 2 areas of study
    (E: Into the 20th Century or F: Into the 21st Century)

40% of the total qualification.