Accessibility links

Music AS/A2 Level at Northampton School for Boys

Course description

The course demands performing, composing, listening and analytical skills in almost equal measure. You will improve your performing and composing in a range of styles. You will listen to a wide variety of music and develop a more informed appreciation of how and why it was written and / or performed.

Course content

AS Units (Year 12)

Unit 1: Performing Music (15%)

This unit gives you the opportunity to perform as a soloist and/or as part of an ensemble. You can choose music in any style. Any instrument and/or voice are acceptable as part of a five – six minute teacher assessed performance.


Unit 2: Composing (15%)

You will develop your composition skills leading to the creation of a one three-minute piece in response to a chosen brief. It must be produced as a score and as a recording. You will also write a CD sleeve note to describe aspects of your final composition and explain how other pieces of music have influenced it.


Unit 3 Developing Musical Understanding (20%)

Set works from the Anthology provide the focus for the first two sections, focusing on listening to familiar music and understanding how it works.

  • In Section A the focus is on Listening.
  • Section B focuses on Investigating Musical Styles
  • In Section C, Understanding chords and lines, you will use a score to identify harmonic and tonal features, and then apply this knowledge in the completion of a short and simple passage for SATB.


A2 Units (Year 13)

Unit 4: Extended Performance (15%)

You will have the opportunity to extend your skills as a soloist and/or part of an ensemble. Music can be in any style. Any instrument and/or voice are acceptable as part of a 12 – 15 minute teacher assessed performance of a balanced programme of music.


Unit 5: Composition and Technical Study (15%)

Section A contains four composition briefs from which you will select one or more as the basis for a three-minute composition.

Section B contains three technical study topics from which you will choose one. It builds on the knowledge and awareness of harmony gained in Unit 3 Section C through the medium of pastiche studies.

You must complete two tasks in this unit, choosing from either one composition and one technical study or two compositions or two technical studies.


Unit 6 Further Musical Understanding (20%)

This unit focuses on listening to music, familiar and unfamiliar, and understanding how it works. Assessment is through a 2-hour examination paper in three sections – Aural analysis; Music in Context; and Continuity and change in instrumental music.

Entry requirements

Along with the School’s minimum requirements, you should have a minimum standard equivalent to Grade V on at least one instrument or voice; a minimum of grade B at GCSE in music is essential. A willingness to participate actively in the school’s musical life is also expected.

The Edexcel syllabus is designed to make a natural progression from work started at GCSE level. The course is suitable for students who wish to take music to College or University level, and for those who simply wish to extend their musical experience and knowledge


Please see contents section.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Northampton School for Boys directly.

Last updated date: 26 May 2015
Provider logo

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 - 2 Years