The A Level is made up of 3 units.
Unit 1 - Appraising Music:
There are seven Areas of Study, as follows:
1. Western Classical Tradition 1650-1910 (compulsory);
2. Pop Music;
3. Music for Media;
4. Music for Theatre;
6. Contemporary Traditional Music;
7. Art Music since 1910.
Students must study Area of Study 1: Western Classical Tradition 1650-1910 and a choice of two from Areas of Study 2-7.
Area of Study 1 includes:
Unit 2 - Performance:
Students must be able to perform music using one or both of the following ways:
Unit 3 - Composition:
Students must learn how to develop musical ideas and compose music that is musically convincing through two compositions. One must be in response to an externally set Brief (Composition 1) and the other a Free Composition (Composition 2). The combined duration of the compositions must be a minimum of four and half minutes, and a maximum of six minutes. Students must be able to compose music for one or both of the following:
Unit 1 - 40%
Examination paper with listening and written questions, using excerpts of music.
Questions focus on:
Unit 2 - 35%
Solo and/or ensemble performing as an instrumentalist, or vocalist and/or music production (via technology). A minimum of ten minutes and maximum 12 minutes of performance in total is required. (50 marks).
Unit 3 - 25%
All music scores will be provided. However, if you are expecting to go on to study Music in Higher Education, you may find it useful to purchase your own copy of scores. You will be expected to buy your own music for the purposes of performances.
Higher Education Music courses at Music Conservatoires or University Departments. Ultimately this could lead to careers as a performer with orchestras and choirs, teaching, studio work, music retail, music therapy, music media and much more.
At least a grade 6 in Music (or Grade 5 Theory/instrument) and four other GCSEs at grade 4 or above.
Good ICT skills will be necessary if you wish to use music technology for performance or composition. Students must be able to read music.