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Music A Level at St Leonard's Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Comprehensive School

Course description

THE AS COURSE.

At AS, this specification will enable candidates to develop an understanding of the organisation of sounds, the context of music, and musical styles and genres. Candidates will create musical ideas with technical control and expressive understanding, making creative use of musical devices, conventions and resources. Candidates offer two performances which may be solo, ensemble and/or technology-based. Each performance may be one longer piece or several shorter ones. Candidates may perform their own composition(s).

UNIT 1: Influences on Music
The Western Classical Tradition (compulsory) including analysis of Haydn’s Symphony 104 in D major movements 1 and 3. Assessment is by written paper (1 hour 45 minutes). Its weighting is 30% of the total AS and 15% of the total A Level marks. Candidates are given structured listening questions using a CD of musical excerpts. Candidates then answer two essay questions, one question from a choice of two based on the compulsory Areas of Study and one question from a choice of two based on a second Area of Study (music theatre: study of the musicals from 1940 to 1980)

Unit 2: Composing: Creating Musical Ideas
Compositional techniques Composition is externally marked. Its weighting is 30% of the total AS and 15% of the total A Level marks. Candidates respond to one brief from a choice of three. Briefs will be released to candidates on 1 November in the examination year

Unit 3: Performing: Interpreting Musical Ideas
Solo and/or ensemble performances
- Technology-based performances: Assessment is by performance (10-16 minutes internally assessed) Its weighting is 40% of the total AS and 20% of the total A Level marks. Candidates offer two performances (each 5-8 minutes) from a choice of six, including opportunities for using music technology.

THE A2 COURSE

At A2, the specification enables candidates to acquire, explore and apply musical language and context. Candidates will create and develop musical ideas with greater technical control and expressive understanding making increased use of musical devices, conventions and resources. Candidates will offer two (or more) contrasting pieces to form a short programme for either acoustic performance and/or performance via music technology. The A2 specification has 3 units.

Unit 4: Music in Context
The Western Classical Tradition (compulsory).- including analysis of Shostakovich’s 5 th Symphony. Assessment is by written paper (2 hour 15 minutes) Its weighting is 20% of the total A Level marks. Candidates are given structured listening questions using a CD of excerpts. Candidates then answer two essay questions, one question from a choice of two based on the compulsory Areas of Study and one question from a choice of two based on a new Area of Study (four decades of Jazz and Blues 1910-1950)

Unit 5: Composing: Creating Musical Ideas
Compositional techniques. Compositions are externally marked. Its weighting is 15% of the total A Level marks. Candidates respond to one brief from a choice of three. Briefs will be released to centres on 1 November in the examination year. Controlled assessment will take place in March.

Unit 6: Performing: A Musical Performance
A choice of solo, acoustic and/or technology-based performances: Assessment is by performance (15 minutes externally assessed). Its weighting is 15% of the total A Level marks. Candidates will offer two contrasting performances, as a soloist or using music technology or a combination of these.

Future opportunities

Students of music are in high demand by employers. They can demonstrate a wide variety of skills: tremendous self-discipline, practising their instruments; great team skills, rehearsing in bands, orchestras and choirs; time management and working under pressure, preparing concerts; ICT capability, sequencing and notating and recording music; sensitivity and intuition, interpreting music.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Leonard's Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Comprehensive School directly.

Last updated date: 06 July 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years

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