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Music A Level at Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth

Course description

Why study Music?

  • extend the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to communicate through music and to take part in making music and extend their appreciation of the diverse and dynamic heritage of music, promoting spiritual and cultural development.
  • develop particular strengths and interests encouraging life-long learning and providing access to music- related and other careers.
  • recognise the interdependence of musical skills, knowledge and understanding and the links between the activities of performing / realising, composing and appraising.

Course content

  • contrasting areas of study: Orchestral music (Western Classical Tradition) and Musical Theatre
  • the use of musical elements including harmonic progressions and relationships
  • musical structures including established forms
  • the relationship between music and its context, including an awareness of the influences which maintain continuity and cause change.

Year 12

Unit 1: Performing

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.

Unit 2: Composing

Two compositions:

  1. A piece of at least 1 minute duration which uses the techniques associated with the Western Classical Tradition, in response to a brief set by WJEC. Learners will have a choice of four set briefs.
  2. A free composition of at least 2 minutes duration.

Unit 3: Appraising

Two areas of study:

Area of study A: The Western Classical Tradition (Part 1)

Either:

  • The Symphony 1760-1830 including one set work, Symphony Number 103, Drum Roll, Haydn, Movements 1 and 2.

Or:

  • Religious Choral Music 1730-1800 including one set work, Requiem, Mozart (Requiem, Dies Irae, Tuba Mirum and Rex Tremendae).

A choice of one area of study from:

Area of study B: Rock and Pop 1965-1990
Area of study C: Musical Theatre, Porter, Rodgers, Schönberg and Lloyd-Webber
Area of study D: Jazz 1940-1965.

Year 13

Unit 4: Performing

Option A: Performing

  • 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.

Or:

Option B: Performing

  • 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.

Unit 5: Composing

Option A: Composing

Two compositions:

1. A piece of at least 1 minute duration which uses the techniques associated with the Western Classical Tradition, in response to a brief set by WJEC. Learners will have a choice of four set briefs, released during the first week of September in the academic year in which the unit is to be assessed.

2. A free composition of at least 2 minutes duration.

Or:

Option B: Composing

Three compositions - as above with one extra composition:

3. A free composition reflecting one other different area of study of at least 2 minutes duration.

Unit 6: Appraising

Two areas of study:

Area of study E: The Western Classical Tradition (Part 2)

Either:

The Symphony 1830-1910 including one set work, Symphony Number 1, Movement 4, Brahms

Or:

Religious Choral Music 1800-1890 including one set work, Requiem, Verdi (Dies Irae)

Area of study F: Music of the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries

Learners choose one strand from list A and one strand from list B.

List A

Either:

Strand 1: Impressionism including one set work, Reflets Dans L’eau, Debussy and two subsidiary pieces Colloque Sentimental, Debussy and Mother Goose (Ballet) (Prelude), Ravel

Or:

Strand 2: Chamber Music in Wales including one set work, Night Dances, Plowman and two subsidiary pieces: Ariel, Samuel and Tango Passacaglia, Wilson-Dickson

List B

Either:

Strand 3: Popular Music in Wales, Gruff Rhys, Super Furry Animals, The Manic Street Preachers and Kizzy Crawford

Or:

Strand 4: American Musical Theatre, Stephen Sondheim and Stephen Schwartz

Or:

Strand 5: Jazz Legends, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis

Assessment

Unit 1:

  • 12% of A Level
  • Performance 6-8 minutes

Unit 2:

  • 12% of A Level
  • Compositions 3-6 minutes

Unit 3:

  • 16% of A Level
  • Written Examination 1 hour 30 mins
  • Assessed externally in May.

Unit 4:

Option A

  • 22% of A Level
  • Total duration of performances: 10-12 minutes

Option B

  • 14% of A Level
  • Total duration of performances: 6-8 minutes

Unit 5:

Option A

  • 14% of A Level
  • Total duration of compositions: 3-6 minutes

Option B

  • 22% of A Level
  • Total duration of compositions: 5-9 minutes

Unit 6:

  • 24% of A Level
  • Written examination: 2 hours 15 minutes

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth directly.

Last updated date: 12 December 2016
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