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Music A Level
Miss L Brennan
About the subject
‘It’s not just that music is everywhere, but that all music is everywhere.’
- Simon Frith, University of Edinburgh, 2003
Music is an increasingly potent agent in the modern world. It is no-longer restricted to audiences in concert halls or listeners on the radio, but surrounds us and influences us in many ways we are not even aware of. The study of music enables us to gain an insight to the ways in which music can induce excitement, happiness, calm, romance, fear, anger and even control in people’s daily lives. Furthermore, the opportunity to develop advanced skills as a performer and composer can provide a unique and creative tool for self-expression and communication, building on this understanding.
A-level music is essential for students wishing to study music at university, and is highly relevant for any career in the creative industries. However, it is also highly respected more generally as a qualification which combines academic rigour with practical skill. It can develop transferrable skills such as analysis, creative thought, and independent learning which are relevant to any career. Many students of A-level music go on to study other subjects at university, such as architecture, law, medicine, or economics.
Year 12 Overview
The AS Level Music course provides pupils with an introduction to advanced music theory, performance, and composition. Pupils study a total of twelve set works. Students study two works from six musical styles- vocal music, instrumental music, film music, popular music and jazz, fusions and new directions. Pupils will record one six minute solo recital on their instrument, write two compositions using advanced compositional techniques, and sit one listening examination based on the twelve set works they have studied. For the composition and performance coursework, pupils may choose any style of music. Lessons are largely integrated, developing pupils understanding of the set works through composing and performing, and improving pupils’ performing and composing ability through the study of the set works. The minimum standard of performances is equivalent to ABRSM Grade 6. The AS Music course is designed to stand as an independent qualification as well as prepare pupils for the higher demands of A2 Music.
Year 13 Overview (old Spec)
In A-Level Music, pupils are able to build on their understanding of advanced musical techniques by writing a more advanced composition, preparing an eight minute solo recital and studying a further six set works along with the previous twelve from AS. The minimum expected standard of performance for A-level recitals is equivalent to ABRSM Grade 6.
Exam board used for A Level or BTEC
Robert Clack School Music Department uses the Edexcel A-level Music specification as it provides pupils with a balanced and varied introduction to advanced musical study.
The AS Level course code is: 8MU0
The A Level course code is: 9MU0
Link to the specification from the exam board