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Music Technology - A Level at Canon Slade CofE School

Course description

What does the course aim to do?

It is primarily vocational, it teaches you practical skills. It gives you a chance to:

1. learn how to record music, and make it sound professional

2. learn how to arrange music using MIDI

3. produce a finished pop song

4. compose music for film, T.V. and adverts

5. learn about music history and the development of music technology.

How will I study?

• Practical work in class using recording equipment, computers, software and piano keyboard interfaces.

• Listening, note-taking and written analysis of music.

• Up to 60 hours of controlled coursework time per year.

Music technology is not an easy subject but is very rewarding. You will learn new and challenging skills and to make the most of these it is important that you retain and develop your interest in playing/composing music throughout the course.

Course content

There are three areas of study:

AoS 1: The Principles and Practice of Music Technology.

AoS 2: Popular Music Styles since 1910.

AoS 3: The Development of Technology-based Music

Area of Study 1: The Principles and Practice of Music Technology.

Music technology knowledge and skills that underpin the practical activities and some of the written work in this specification. It involves principally study and practice of MIDI sequencing, audio sequencing and recording. Each of these activities demands use of appropriate equipment and software including Cubase and technical processes to capture sounds and manipulate them to produce musical results.

Area of Study 2: Popular Music Styles since 1910

‘Popular Music’ is taken to include jazz as well as pop and rock. Students are not expected to study every type of popular music in detail, but to learn something of the main musical and cultural characteristics of the major styles and trends of the past 100 years. In studying the various genres and styles, students are expected to have (in addition to technological terms and concepts) an understanding of relevant musical theory and terminology.

Area of Study 3: The Development of Technology-based Music

Instruments involving music technology: notably the electric guitar and keyboard synthesiser.

Entry requirements

Grade 5 in English and Mathematics plus 3 A*-C grades at GCSE with a points score of 5.5+ (which equals roughly 4xB/6 and 4xC/5), from the top 8 GCSEs taken in the first sitting.



Portfolio 1: 70%

Listening and Analysing Paper: 30%

Portfolio 2: 60%

Listening and Producing Paper: 40%

Future opportunities

Music Technology can lead to many areas of further study. If you are a musician, then the benefits of being able to record, compose and understand your own personal instrument on a more technical level is an invaluable skill in the modern music industry. If you are from a science background it may develop your interests in the science of sound, such as acoustics and psycho acoustics. Potential study/employment options are as follows:

• Music Technology focussed degree programs, both BA and BSc.

• Theatre and events employment as a sound professional.

• Writing and arranging music for a variety of mediums (stage, screen etc).

• Working in the music industry at recording studios or touring with artists.

Further information

Am I suited to this subject?

Music Technology is a wide and relatively new subject area. It combines both artistic music skills (eg listening, analysis, composition, arranging, mixing) and more scientific disciplines (eg human auditory system, basic audio synthesis, audio recording theory, microphone technique). This course is suitable for those who are interested in popular styles of music, and the techniques and developments that have occurred over the past 100 years. It is an excellent subject in it’s own right but also a good complementary subject to the music A-level, as technology is becoming an increasingly important part of the working musicians life. A practical working knowledge of computer operation is essential as this course involves a lot of controlled coursework time (~120 hours over the two years) all of which involves use of the computer to compose/arrange, record and manipulate music and audio.

Why study Music Technology at Canon Slade?

• We have an excellent recording studio and modern computer suite facilities.

• A resource and talent rich music department.

• Specialist technical support staff.

• The facilities are constantly being improved and updated to keep up with the fast development of music technology.

Additional information from Mr A Pettitt  

To find out more about this qualification, contact us, ask your Connexions Personal Adviser or school/college careers staff.

For more information about this course contact us directly on 01204 333343

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 01 November 2016
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