A Level Music
Studying Music at A-level is both a challenging and hugely enjoyable thing. Students will develop their skills as composers and performers as well as learning how to analyse and interpret Music, developing their aural skills, constructing harmony using specific methods and formulae and learning about the historical contexts of different pieces of Music and the composers who created them.
There will be opportunities for students to perform regularly, and for students to see live concerts. To study Music, you should have at least an A grade at GCSE Music and be able to play an instrument to around grade 5 standard and above (athough you don’t have to have taken the exams).
Why choose music?
Music can be enjoyed whatever path you choose. Many students who take A Level music go on to university to study Music, Music Technology or some combined music course. Every university has several orchestras, groups and choirs that you may wish to be part of.
You may wish to continue your musical pursuits alongside your future career and what you studied at A-level will help you understand music that you would be playing in any high standard orchestra or as part of solo work.
What if I don’t want to continue with Music after A-levels?
Music A-level shows any employer or university that you are dedicated and committed because you have to be both these things in order to prepare for, rehearse and perform an instrumental recital. It also shows that you have effective time management when composing music within a set time frame and to a specific brief. The appraising test shows that you have good analytical skills and that you pay attention and listen.
For those students who want to study Music at university degree level and it is essential that you have Music A-level in order to do this. Above all, music is a great way to express yourself where words fail, it is a universal language that all cultures understand.
Eduqas Music A-level.
Eduqas A Level Music
Component 1: Performing
Non-exam assessment: Externally assessed by a visiting examiner.
Performing Option A: Total duration of performances: 10-12 minutes Option A: 35% of qualification.
Option A: A performance consisting of a minimum of three pieces. At least one of these pieces must be as a soloist. The other pieces may be either as a soloist or as part of an ensemble or a combination of both. One piece must reflect the musical characteristics of one area of study. At least one other piece must reflect the musical characteristics of one other, different area of study.
Performing Option B: Total duration of performances: 6-8 minutes Option B: 25% of qualification.
Option B: A performance consisting of a minimum of two pieces either as a soloist or as part of an ensemble or a combination of both. One piece must reflect the musical characteristics of one area of study.
Component 2: Composing
Non-exam assessment: externally assessed by Eduqas
Composing Option A: Total duration of compositions: 4-6 minutes Option A: 25% of qualification.
Two compositions, one of which must reflect the musical techniques and conventions associated with the Western Classical Tradition and be in response to a brief set by Eduqas.
Learners will have a choice of four set briefs, released during the first week of September in the academic year in which the assessment is to be taken.
The second composition is a free composition.
Composing Option B: Total duration of compositions: 8-10 minutes Option B: 35% of qualification.
Three compositions, one of which must reflect the musical techniques and conventions associated with the Western Classical Tradition and be in response to a brief set by Eduqas. Learners will have a choice of four set briefs, released during the first week of September in the academic year in which the assessment is to be taken. The second composition must reflect the musical characteristics of one different area of study (i.e. not the Western Classical Tradition) while the third composition is a free composition.
Component 3: Appraising Written Examination
Appraising Written examination: 2 hours 15 minutes 40% of qualification.
Three areas of study:
Area of study A: The Western Classical Tradition (The Development of the Symphony 1750-1900) which includes two set works.
One set work for detailed analysis:
- Symphony No. 104 in D major, 'London': Haydn.
The other for general analysis:
- Symphony No. 4 in A major: 'Italian': Mendelssohn.
A choice of one area of study from:
Area of study B: Rock and Pop
Area of study C: Musical Theatre
Area of study D: Jazz
A choice of one area of study from:
Area of study E: Into the Twentieth Century including two set works:
Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, Movement II: Poulenc,
Three Nocturnes, Number 1, Nuages: Debussy.
Area of study F: Into the Twenty-first Century including two set works:
Asyla, Movement 3, Ecstasio:
Thomas Adès String Quartet No. 2 (Opus California) Movements 1 (Boardwalk) and 4 (Natural Bridges): Sally Beamish.
1. Set work analysis with a score
2. Extended responses on wider context
3. Unprepared extracts of music with and without a score
4. Comparison questions; this component includes a listening examination.