A-Level Music

What Will I learn?

This course allows learners to pursue their own musical interests. You will develop skills in performance, composition and appraising, whilst choosing to specialise in either performing or composing. The fascinating, broad range of study will cover both popular and classical music, including the symphony, twentieth-century music and a choice of Rock and Pop, Musical Theatre or Jazz. In addition to such skills of musicianship, the course develops imagination, fosters creativity and you will develop as an effective, independent learner and as a critical and reflective thinker.

How Am I Assessed?

Learners choose Option A or Option B for both component 1 and 2 to make up 60% of the marks).

Component 1 – Performing Non-exam assessment
Option A (35%): 3+ performances (total duration: 10-12 minutes) with at least 1 performance as a
soloist and with 2 performances in contrasting styles
Option B (25%): 2+ performances (total duration: 6-8 minutes)

Component 2 – Composing Non-exam assessment
Option A (25%): 2 compositions (total duration: 4-6 minutes):
1 in response to a set brief, reflecting the musical techniques of the Western Classical Tradition
1 free composition
Option B (35%): 3 compositions (total duration: 8-10 minutes):
1 in response to a set brief, reflecting the musical techniques of the Western Classical Tradition
1 reflecting stylistic characteristics of your choice of rock, pop, musical theatre, jazz or twentieth- or twenty-first-century music
1 free composition

Component 3 – Appraising 2h15 40%

Three areas of study:
A: The Western Classical Tradition (The Development of the Symphony 1750-1900)
Two set works – one for detailed analysis and one for general study Haydn – Symphony No. 104 in D major, ‘London’ Mendelssohn – Symphony No. 4 in A major, ‘Italian’

A choice of one from:
B: Rock and Pop: Pop, rock, soul, funk, disco, folk, country, heavy metal, punk, folk-rock and progressive rock
C: Musical Theatre: Richard Rodgers; Leonard Bernstein; Stephen Sondheim; Claude-Michel Schönberg; Andrew Lloyd Webber; Stephen Schwartz. A study of six composers whose work includes Les Misérables, Wicked, Into the
Woods, Sweeney Todd, The Phantom of the Opera, Joseph and The Sound of Music.
D: Jazz: Ragtime, Dixieland, early jazz, big band, swing, be-bop and cool jazz

A choice of one from:
E: Into the Twentieth Century: Poulenc – Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, Movement II Debussy – Three Nocturnes, Number 1, Nuages
F: Into the Twenty-First Century: Thomas Adès – Asyla, Movement 3, Ecstasio Sally Beamish – String Quartet No. 2 (Opus California) Movements 1 (Boardwalk) and 4 (Natural Bridges)

What Career Options Do I Have?

A level Music is a highly-regarded subject, either alongside other creative courses or in demonstrating a broader range of skills next to Science, Maths or other non-creative subjects. Whilst Music can be a useful subject for Arts and Media courses at university, it is also an excellent way of proving you are a learner with a diverse range of skills and understanding for any university degree. Of course, the most obvious degree pathway is going on to a degree in Music, which can lead to a range of exciting career options, including becoming a professional musician, composer, sound technician, music therapist, a teacher, or a private tutor. Jobs that are less directly related a Music degree, but where a Music degree would be very valuable include Arts Administration, and work in radio, theatre, music
technology and events management.

Examination Board: Eduqas