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Music Technology A Level at Tytherington School

Course description

Music Technology has become an integral part of the popular music industry.

Understanding and using technology effectively and tastefully is a fundamental feature of this specification. AS/ A2 level Music Technology will give you the scope to develop your individual strengths in a supportive environment which allows you to explore new areas and skills. The ability to learn independently and be selfmotivated are essential attributes for the course.

The Edexcel specification in Music Technology provides a balanced course which gives scope for the development of individual interests and attitudes. It develops new skills through sequencing, arranging, listening and recording. It also develops knowledge and understanding of how recording processes have changed. It is flexible in terms of the style of music in which you can record and perform.

Teaching and learning operate in a variety of styles. Some parts of the course are teacher-led whereas others require candidates to research and work independently whilst the teacher acts as mentor to guide the work. There is a good balance between academic and creative inputs.

Course content

The AS course comprises four main areas:

Task 1A – Sequenced Realised Performance:
A commercial piece provided by the exam board will need to be sequenced to sound like the track provided.

Task 1B – Multi-track Recording:
You will select a piece of music between 2-4 minutes from Area of Study 2 - Popular Music since 1910 - and record it.

Task 1C – Creative Sequenced Arrangement:
The exam board will provide the stimulus for the arrangement. Students will recreate the stimulus into a new genre or style.
(A log book must also be submitted detailing the equipment used.)

These three tasks make up 70% of the total AS grade

Unit 2—Listening Exam in May (30%)
The exam board compile a listening paper which has questions on the history of recording and two set focus styles of music which change every year. Students must also be able to recognize certain effects that have been put on to music.

Entry requirements

Students will require a grade C or above at GCSE in Music or will be able to demonstrate a strong interest in the subject area with evidence of prior work completed. The ability to play an instrument and read music is desirable but not compulsory as long as a student is willing to commit additional time outside study in order to catch up.


All candidates will do the AS qualification in Year 12 and take examinations at the end of this period. The marks from AS are carried into Year 13 for the full qualification and written examinations are again taken at the end of this period. All work completed is externally marked.

The A2 course comprises four main areas:

Task 3A – Sequenced Integrated Performance
The sequenced integrated performance will be based on a recording of a piece of music selected from a choice of two specified by Edexcel. Neither a skeleton score nor a recording will be provided by Edexcel. Both midi and audio recordings are required.

Task 3B – Multi-track Recording
You will select a piece of music between 2-4 minutes from Area of Study 3 - The Development of Music Technology - and record it.

Task 3C – Composing using Music Technology
The task will be based on one of three prescribed briefs set by Edexcel. Students will compose a piece lasting between three and four minutes as specified in their chosen brief.
(A log book must also be submitted detailing the equipment used.)

These three tasks make up 60% of the total A2 grade

Unit 4—Analysing and Producing (40%)
This assessment will take the form of a 2-hour examination.
There are two sections in the examination paper and students must complete both.

Section A
Questions 1-4 will test students’ musical understanding, their ability to manipulate and correct recorded music and their ability to write commentaries on technological processes.

Section B
Question 5 will be a practical test involving the production of a balanced stereo mix.

Coursework portfolio: 60 hours controlled assessment (marked externally)

Listening Exam – 1hr 45 mins

Future opportunities

Music Technology will provide you with the ability to critically analyse work and carry out individual study methodically, both of which are highly transferable skills.

Potential careers include: Broadcasting, Record Industry, Publishing, Arts Administration, Composing/arranging in the Media, Sound Engineering, Teaching and Performing along with Research.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 29 June 2015

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