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Music at Bay House School and Sixth Form

Course description

Students will analyse a wide range of music spanning the last 500 years from many different genres and styles, such as Western classical music, popular music, film music, jazz and even fusion. Students will develop their analytical skills and music theory, and get inside the heads of the composers to work out why their music sounds the way it does.

Opportunities are also provided for students to develop their performing skills on their chosen instrument (approximately Grade 5 standard for AS Level and Grade 6  standard for A2), by putting together and performing a selection of pieces.

Students are encouraged to develop their composing skills by producing two compositions, one from a set brief and one free composition in any style. It also develops students’ knowledge and understanding of harmony and choral writing by  completing a Bach Chorale exercise.

Course content

AS Level modules

Performing  

This unit provides students with opportunities to perform as a soloist and/or in ensembles.  Teachers and students are free to choose music in any style.  Any instrument(s) and/or voice(s) are acceptable as part of a 5-6 minute assessed performance.  Notated and/or improvised performances may be submitted.

Composing 

This unit encourages students to develop their composition skills leading to the creation of a three-minute piece to a chosen brief.  Students also write a CD sleeve note to describe aspects of their final composition and explain how other pieces of music have influenced it. 

Developing Musical Understanding  

This unit concerns listening to music and understanding how it works.  Set works from the anthology provide the focus for the first two sections, through listening and studying scores.  In the third section, students use a score to identify harmonic and tonal features, and then apply this knowledge for themselves in the completion of a short and simple passage for SATB. 

 

A2 Level modules Extended Performance     This unit provides students with opportunities to extend their performance skills as a soloist and/or as part of an ensemble.  Teachers and students are free to choose music in any style.  Any instrument(s) and/or voices(s) are acceptable as part of a 12-15 minute assessed performance of a balanced programme of music.  Notated and/or improvised performances may be submitted.

Composition and Technical Study 

This unit has two sections: Composition and Technical Study.  The Composition section further develops students’ composition skills, leading to the creation of a final three-minute piece to a chosen brief.  The Technical Study section builds on the knowledge and awareness of harmony gained in Unit 3 Section C through the medium of pastiche studies.  Students must complete two tasks in this unit choosing from either one composition and one technical study or two compositions or two technical studies.

Further Musical Understanding    

This unit concerns listening to music, familiar and unfamiliar, and understanding how it works.  Set works from the anthology – different selections from those in Unit 3 – provide the focus for much of the unit.  Students should also listen to a wide range of unfamiliar music related to the unit’s two compulsory areas of study.  They should learn how to compare and contrast pairs of excerpts, contextualise music, and identify harmonic and tonal features.

Entry requirements

  • English Language - C
  • Music - B and/or ABRSM Grade 5 theory

Assessment

  • Performing: 30% weighting at AS, 15% at A2
  • Composing: 30% weighting at AS, 15% at A2

  • Developing Musical Understanding: 40% weighting at AS, 20% at A2

  • Extended Performance: 15% weighting at A2

  • Composition and Technical Study: 15% weighting at A2

  • Further Musical Understanding: 20% weighting at A2

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Bay House School and Sixth Form directly.

Last updated date: 23 March 2016

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