A Level Music (Reformed 2016)

What is Media?

The study of Music as a subject explores the history, function, performance and creation of an art form so integral to the world we live in. It seeks to understand the contextual and technical aspects of a range of different musical traditions and genres as well developing the key skills of performing and composing required to be a successful musician.

What sort of student does it suit and what will you get out of the course?

Potential Music students will already have a broad interest in a range of music and will have a relatively sound level of technical skill on their first instrument (roughly equivalent to grade 5 ABRSM/Trinity or another respected examination board). Students with a real interest in practical music-making and a desire to learn more about a range of musical styles and genres as well as about the mechanisms of music will benefit greatly from studying Music to A Level. Although a study of Music seeks to broaden your appreciation and understanding of music, the emphasis is on practical music-making. Students will be challenged and inspired to gain greater technical facility on their instrument and will learn to compose and perform music across a variety of styles – and enjoy the freedom to focus on a style or genre of particular interest to them. A highly respected academic subject, Music is wellrecognised amongst top higher education establishments for the transferable skills learners gain from a study of Music at A Level. Students will gain the skills required for further study or a musical career and develop self-confidence, creativity, communication skills and critical analysis and evaluation skills. Music students can access a variety of careers including law and medicine.

AS Level

MPW approach to AS study

A study of AS Level Music at MPW aims to give students a personalised course of study tailored to their individual interests and aesthetic. Students study with professional practitioners and are given the opportunity to study a wide range of musical styles, genres and traditions. Listening, analysis, performance and composition are studied in an engaging practical way. There is a focus on independence of learning and students are encourage to listen and read widely forming links with the world around us. All of this is backed up with regular homework and weekly, exam-focused timed assignments.

AS Specification Number
AQA 7271

 

Component 1: Appraising Music
There are six areas of study:

  1. Western classical tradition 1650–1910 (compulsory)
  2. Pop music
  3. Music for media
  4. Music for theatre
  5. Jazz
  6. Contemporary traditional music.

Students must study Area 1 and choose one from Areas of study 2–6. There are two strands of music represented in this Area of study which cover two key genres:

  • Baroque: the solo concerto
  • Classical: the operas of Mozart.

Students will analyse and study the context of set works as well as selected works from the chosen Areas of Study. They will also be required to listen to unfamiliar music from the above Areas of Study.

Component 2: Performance
Students must be able to perform music using one or both of the following ways:

  • instrumental/vocal: as a soloist, and/or as part of an ensemble
  • production via technology.

Students must perform for a minimum of six minutes.

Component 3: Composition
Students must learn how to develop musical ideas, including extending and manipulating musical ideas, and compose music that is musically convincing through two compositions. One must be in response to an externally set brief (Composition 1) and the other a free composition (Composition 2).

The combined duration of the compositions must be a minimum of four and a half minutes.

Assessment

Component 1

  • Assessed by Exam paper with listening and written questions using excerpts of music.
  • 40% of the total AS marks
  • 2 hours
  • 3 sections: Listening, analysis and essay. Each section is linked to the Areas of Study

Component 2

  • Assessed by a recording of six minutes duration
  • 30% of the total AS marks
  • Externally assessed
  • Performance can be on any instrument (including production via technology) and of any genre/style

Component 3

  • Assessed by composing two works (one in response to an externally set brief)
  • Must include a score, recording and programme note
  • Compositions must be a minimum of 4 and half minutes duration and the programme note must be approximately 150 words
  • Externally assessed
  • 30% of the total AS marks

Listening list

Strand A: Baroque solo concerto

  • Purcell Sonata for Trumpet and Strings in D major (complete)
  • Vivaldi Flute Concerto in D Il Gardellino op.10 no.3 RV428, movt. 1
  • Bach Violin Concerto in A minor BWV1041, movt. 1

Strand B: The operas of Mozart
Le Nozze di Figaro k.492: Act 1, focusing on:

  • No.1 Duettino (Figaro and Susanna, including following recitative)
  • No.3 Cavatina (Figaro, including the previous recitative)
  • No.4 Aria (Bartolo)
  • No.5 Duettino (Susanna and Marcellina)
  • No.6 Aria (Cherubino).

A Level

MPW approach to A level study

A study of A Level Music at MPW still provides students a personalised course of study tailored to their individual interests and aesthetic but with a greater emphasis on higher-level technical and evaluative skills. Students study a wide range of musical styles, genres and traditions and are encouraged to hone their practical skills to a higher level. A Level Music still focuses on Listening, analysis, performance and composition and these are studied in an engaging practical way. There is a focus on independence of learning and students are encouraged to listen and read widely forming links with the world around us.

A-level Specification Number
AQA 7272

 

Component 1: Appraising Music
There are seven areas of study:

  1. Western classical tradition 1650–1910 (compulsory)
  2. Pop music
  3. Music for media
  4. Music for theatre
  5. Jazz
  6. Contemporary traditional music
  7. Art music since 1910.

Students must study Area of study 1: Western classical tradition1650 – 1910 and choose two from Areas of study 2–7. There are three strands of music represented which cover three key genres:

  • Baroque: the solo concerto
  • Classical: the operas of Mozart.
  • Romantic: the piano music of Chopin, Brahms and Grieg

Students will analyse and study the context of set works as well as selected works from the chosen Areas of Study. They will also be required to listen to unfamiliar music from the above Areas of Study.

Component 2: Performance
Students must be able to perform music using one or both of the following ways:

  • instrumental/vocal: as a soloist, and/or as part of an ensemble
  • production via technology.

Students must perform for a minimum of ten minutes.

Component 3: Composition
Students must learn how to develop musical ideas, including extending and manipulating musical ideas, and compose music that is musically convincing through two compositions. One must be in response to an externally set brief (Composition 1) and the other a
free composition (Composition 2).

The combined duration of the compositions must be a minimum of four and a half minutes.

Assessment

Component 1

  • Assessed by Exam paper with listening and written questions using excerpts of music.
  • 40% of the total A-level marks
  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 3 sections: Listening, analysis and essay. Each section is linked to the Areas of Study

Component 2

  • Assessed by a recording of ten minutes duration
  • 35% of the total A-level marks
  • Externally assessed
  • Performance can be on any instrument (including production via technology) and of any genre/style

Component 3

  • Assessed by composing two works (one in response to one of seven externally set briefs)
  • Must include a score, recording and programme note
  • Compositions must be a minimum of 4 and half minutes duration and the programme note must be approximately 150 words
  • Externally assessed
  • 25% of the total A-level marks

Listening list

In addition to the AS Music listening list:

Strand C: The piano music of Chopin, Brahms and Grieg

  • Chopin Ballade no.2 in F major op.38
    • Nocturne in E minor op.72 no.1
  • Brahms Intermezzo in A major op.118. no.2
    • Ballade in G minor op.118 no.3
  • Grieg Norwegian march op.54 no.2
    • Notturno op.54 no.4