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Music A-Level at Polam Hall School

Course description

The AS and A Level Music specifications offer an opportunity for those students who studied music at GCSE to increase their knowledge and understanding of the subject. Candidates will study composition as a specific topic and set works are studied in depth. Throughout the course students’ performance skills are developed and supported by practical tuition from the peripatetic staff.

Course content

AS Units

Unit One: Performing Music 1

Externally assessed recital involving:

  • Section A: Solo Recital of 8 minutes maximum
  • Section B: Viva Voce discussion of the preparation and performance of the music presented
  • Section C: Extended performing choosing one of:
  1. performance on a second instrument (maximum 4 minutes)
  2. ensemble / duet / accompaniment on the recital instrument (maximum 4 minutes)
  3. performing own composition (maximum 4 minutes)
  4. improvisation ( maximum 2 minutes with 10 minutes preparation time)

Unit Two: Composing 1

Teacher assessed. Two areas of study:

  • Section A: The Language of Western Tonal Harmony (exercises maximum seven)
  • Section B: Instrumental Composition (maximum length three minutes)

Unit Three: Introduction to Historical Study in Music (1 ¾ hours + 15 minutes preparation time)

Section A: Aural Extract: one of

  • Solo instrumental chamber or orchestral repertoire from the period 1700 to 1830
  • Popular instrumental music from 1900 to the present day

Section B: Prescribed Works: two extracts

  • 18th / early 19th century orchestra
  • Jazz 1920 to 1960

Section C: Contextual study: one question from three

A2 Units

Unit 4: Performing Music 2: Interpretation

Externally assessed recital involving:

  • Section A: Solo, ensemble or accompaniment recital (maximum 15 minutes)
  • Section B: Viva Voce regarding the candidate’s interpretive understanding of the pieces chosen

Unit 5: Composing 2

Teacher assessed.

Section A: Stylistic Techniques: exercises (maximum of eight) based on one of:

  • Two-part counterpoint of 16th century
  • Keyboard accompaniments in early romantic style
  • Two-part baroque counterpoint
  • Popular song
  • Chorale harmonisations in style of Bach
  • Serialism
  • String quartets in the classical style
  • Minimalism

Section B: Composition. One of

  • Vocal setting of text
  • Instrumental interpretation for four or more instruments of a text, character, or visual image
  • Music for film / TV

Unit 6: Historical and Analytical Studies in Music (1 ¾ hours + 15 minutes preparation time)

Section A: Aural extract. Accompanied vocal music from 1900 to 1945

Section B: Prescribed topics. Two questions from three on one of six topics:

  • Song Music for Screen
  • Music and Belief
  • Programme Music
  • Music for the Stage
  • Post-1945 Popular Music

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement for Advanced Level study is 6 A* - C grades. Students’ GCSEs must include Mathematics and English at least at Grade C. 4/3 subjects at AS level are usually studied in the first year.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 22 April 2015
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