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Music A Level at Harris City Academy Crystal Palace

Course description

All coursework submission is made in the second year of the course and there is one exam at the end of the two years.


The appraising music section of the A Level is assessed via an exam paper at the end of the two year cycle. This is broken down into three sections. Section A focuses on Aural skills and is a listening portion of the exam. Section B asks the candidate to provide analysis and musical insight based on areas of study. Section C is an essay question.
The areas of study that will be studied over the two years are:

  • Western Classical Tradition 1650-1910
  • Pop Music
  • Jazz

Each of the above are studied in great detail and there are a number of set works within each AOS. Students are required to be able to place music in context as well as understanding the compositional techniques that go into each piece. Every AOS will be studied so that pupils can provide critical analysis of its musical elements.


Candidates are required to provide a 10-12 minute performance (either solo or ensemble) at the end of the two year cycle. This is externally assessed. Students can choose music in any style. Scores must be submitted. Students are assessed on their technical control and their expressive control. Students will perform throughout the course and will have opportunities throughout the year to record their recitals. 


Candidates are required to submit two compositions that last between 4-6 minutes (length of both compositions added together). One of these is a free composition. The second is a composition to a brief. Both compositions are submitted at the end of the two year cycle and are externally assessed. Students will be required to compose for instrument or voice and must produce notated scores to accompany their work.

Entry requirements

Students are require to around grade 5 standard in their chosen instrument and a B grade is required at GCSE music. Please see the Generic Entry Requirement Document for more details.

Future opportunities

Progression to Higher Level courses in Music or Music Technology is normally through application to a degree course in a specialist area. Studying Music  develops transferable skills which can take you into employment. These include using creativity, using technology to produce and synthesise music and sounds, and developing performing skills.  Success at this level requires determination and dedication.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Harris City Academy Crystal Palace directly.

Last updated date: 07 April 2017

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