Examination Board: Eduqas

Course Code: A660QS

Entry Requirements: GCSE Grade 6 in Music (or performing to at least a strong Instrumental/Vocal Grade 5 standard if you haven’t studied GCSE Music)

Why study Music?

Music A-Level is a study in the language of sound, looking at why and how composers have used particular sounds and combinations of sounds for particular effects. It is exciting and diverse as we study music from across the spectrum of styles from Classical music to Popular music from the present day, looking at which techniques the composer has used and the historical context that has led them to make these choices.

Music combines academic study with performance and composition to create a varied A-Level which demonstrates a vast range of skills and knowledge. Music A-Level develops your understanding of how music works and develops your critical analytical skills, your evaluative skills, your ability to develop and argument, your performance skills and your skills in creating new music.

What will I study?

A-Level musicians will study a range of music set into three areas of study: The ‘Western Classical Tradition’, ‘Rock and Pop’, and ‘Into the Twentieth Century’. In addition to this, students will study composition and performance. The course is designed to allow students to choose whether they want more weighting to composition or performance towards their final grade.

What will my lessons be like?

Music lessons will be very varied – we maybe looking at the development of the Classical Symphony during the turbulent times of unrest in 18th and 19th Century Europe, or the extensive changes to pop music in the 1960s leading to an explosion of genres and styles. Some lessons will be looking at applying musical techniques to compositions, or looking at how a particular technique can inform our own performance.

How will my work be assessed?

The course is assessed through three elements: performance, compositions, and a written examination.

Students will decide with their teacher which assessment option would be suitable for them:

  • Option A
    • Composing (25%)
      • Two Compositions, one following a set brief.
    • Performing (35%)
      • 10-12 minute recital.
    • Examination (40%)
  • Option B
    • Composing (35%)
      • Three Compositions, one following a set brief.
    • Performing (25%)
      • 6-8 minute recital.
    • Examination (40%)


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