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What is Music?

Music is both a practical and an academic subject. Students studying music will be expected to have the skills to analyse a range of musical pieces drawn from different time periods and written for different purposes and audiences. Within this context, students will develop an ability to assess pitch, tonality, structure, sonority, tempo and metre and rhythm.

They will also develop their skills in music notation and the language of analysis of music. These skills will then be applied to composing and performing music: students will be encouraged to explore their practical and artistic abilities through analysing other composers and performers.

How is it studied?

Music is taught in a mixture of ways. Musical analysis can be taught in small groups, as students will develop the ability to listen critically to music. The skills of composition can also be taught in a group. However, assessment of individual compositions and performance will be on a one-to-one basis, as students need critical but supportive feedback on these aspects of the course. The exact nature of teaching will depend upon a student’s existing level of understanding of music theory and their practical skills.

How is A Level Music assessed?

Unit Modules Weighting Format
1 Performing 30% A recital of one or more pieces
2 Composing 30% Two compositions: one free composition and one to a set brief
3 Appraising 40% External Exam: 2 hours

What do I need to study it?

Students need to have a high level of theoretical and practical ability in music as they are expected to reach a high level of analysis, performance and composition over the two years of the course. To succeed, students need to have existing practical and theoretical skills.

What should I study with Music?

Music can be combined with every subject, as its practical and theoretical nature will broaden any combination of subjects.

What can I do with A Level Music?

Many students continue to study music at university level or move into some form of performance. Others, however, are content to study other subjects at university and to enjoy music for itself or in a more amateur context.

Questions about the course

Should I have studied Music before?

You need to have a high level of skill in composition, performance and musical understanding to succeed at A Level.