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A Level Music at The John of Gaunt School

Course description

Any instruments and/or voices are acceptable as part of a 5-6 minute assessment performance. It encourages the development of compositional skills leading to the creation of a 3 minute piece from a chosen brief. A CD sleeve note will be created to explain how other pieces of music have influenced this final piece of work. The course involves listening to music and understanding how it works through the study of set pieces. Students use a score to identify harmonic and tonal features and apply this to the completion of a short and simple passage for SATB voices.

In A2 students extend their performance skills during a 12 – 15 minute assessed performance which can be as a soloist or as part of an ensemble. The students develop their compositional skills, culminating in a 3-minute composition chosen from a brief. They then study a harmonic pastiche and complete a passage in this genre. Different pieces from The Anthology of Music are studied, looking at specific elements of music. They learn how to compare and contrast excerpts, contextualize music and identify harmonic and tonal features.

Course content

Unit 1
Provides opportunities to perform as a soloist and/or in ensembles.  Any instruments and/or voices are acceptable as part of a 5 – 6 minute assessment performance.

Unit 2
Encourages the development of compositional skills leading to the creation of a 3 minute piece from a chosen brief.  A CD sleeve note will be created explaining how other pieces of music have influenced this final piece of work.

Unit 3
Listening to music and understanding how it works through studying set pieces of The Anthology of Music.  Students use a score to identify harmonic and tonal features and apply this to the completion of a short and simple passage for SATB voices.

Unit 4
Students extend their performance skills during a 12 – 15 minute assessed performance.  This can be as a soloist or as part of an ensemble.

Unit 5
Section 1 – students develop their compositional skills, culminating in a 3 minute composition chosen from a brief   ORSection 2 – students study a harmonic pastiche (a set style of harmonic writing) and complete a passage in this genre.

Unit 6
Students study different pieces from The Anthology of Music looking at specific elements of music.  They learn how to compare and contrast unstudied excerpts, contextualise music and identify harmonic and tonal features.

Entry requirements

5 A*-C to C GCSE to gain entry to the Sixth Form.  To study Music A level it is preferable to have GCSE Music at grade C or above, Grade 4 Practical and Grade 5 Theory in an instrument. A good understanding of music harmony, composition and performance is vital.

Future opportunities

Music is useful for anyone entering teaching as a career and particularly as a subsidiary subject for those working in primary and middle schools. It is virtually essential for anybody seeking any sort of musical career and it proves valuable for work in broadcasting and the media in general.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The John of Gaunt School directly.

Last updated date: 05 June 2015

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