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Music Technology A Level at Bury St Edmunds County Upper School

Course description

GCE Music Technology combines the theory and creation of music, with technology. The course has an emphasis on practical work and will allow you to cultivate a wide range of skills, including sequencing MIDI and audio, recording live instruments, producing CDs and composing using music technology.

It is expected that students taking Music Technology will be looking to continue with an Arts, Creative or Technological course after A-Levels and there are a large number of universities which offer courses that would enable the student to continue his or her studies at degree level.

Course content

Component 1 – Recording
Production tools and techniques to capture, edit, process and mix an audio recording.
• One recording, chosen from a list of 10 songs provided by Pearson, consisting of a minimum of five compulsory instruments and two additional instruments.
• Keyboard tracks may be sequenced.
• Total time must be between 3 minutes and 3½ minutes.

Component 2 – Technology-based Composition
Creating, editing, manipulating and structuring sounds to produce a technology-based composition.
• One technology-based composition chosen from three briefs set by Pearson
• Synthesis and sampling/audio manipulation and creative effects use must be included.
• Total time must be 3 minutes.
Component 3 – Listening & Analysing
Knowledge and understanding of: recording and production techniques; principles of sound and audio technology; development of recording and production technology
• Section A: Listening and analysing (40 marks) – four questions, each based on unfamiliar commercial recordings supplied by Pearson (10 marks each).
• Section B: Extended written responses (35 marks) – two essay questions. One comparison question, which uses two unfamiliar commercial recordings from the CD (15 marks). The second essay uses the final unfamiliar commercial recording on the CD (20 marks)
Component 4 –Producing & Analysing
Knowledge and understanding of editing, mixing and production techniques,
applied to unfamiliar materials
• Each student will be provided with a set of audio/MIDI materials for the practical element of the examination, to include: audio files relating to three instrumental/vocal parts; a single MIDI file from which a fourth instrumental part will be created or synthesised.
• Students will correct and then combine the audio and MIDI materials to form a completed mix, which may include creating new tracks or parts from the materials provided.
• Section A: Producing and analysing (85 marks) – five questions related to the audio and MIDI materials
provided that include both written responses and practical tasks.
• Section B: Extended written response (20 marks) – one essay focusing on a specific mixing scenario, signal path, effect or music technology hardware unit.

Entry requirements

Students  who  wish  to  study  GCE  Advanced  level  courses  are  required  to  have  passed  at  least  five  GCSE  or  equivalent  level  two  courses  at  grades  5-9  including  a  minimum  of  grade 5 in the subjects they wish to study.  Most students attempting A level courses will have  more  than  this  minimum.  In  subjects  not  taught  at  GCSE  a  5  in  a  related  subject  is required (for example, a 5/6 in English would enable a student to study Politics).

It is expected that students considering the course should have Music at GCSE
to at least grade B standard, or, in the absence of GCSE Music, grade 5 Theory and grade 5 Practical on an instrument/voice. An ability to read music notation to a basic level is necessary.


Externally Assessed Coursework

Technology-based Composition
Externally Assessed Coursework
Listening & Analysing
1 hour 45 min. listening exam
Producing & Analysing
2 hour 15 min. written/practical exam

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Bury St Edmunds County Upper School directly.

Last updated date: 12 January 2018
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