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Music AS Level *Fees Payable* at Benenden School *Fees Payable*

Course description

Music combines practical application with intellectual study and gives you an insight into the world’s greatest art form. You will be studying music from a broad spectrum of culture and tradition, learning about techniques of composition, musical analysis and styles of performance.

Students relish the fact that the working pattern and coursework deadlines offer a contrast from their other subjects, and simply that a love of listening to music can be applied in an academic context. Music sits well alongside any combination of subjects and is excellent preparation for any degree. The world’s top universities have long recognised that it requires self-discipline, imagination and intellectual rigour. If you want to take Music to degree level or on to a musical career, this A Level specification establishes a platform for performing, composing, academia or the wider music industry

Entry requirements

A good pass at GCSE would be a good indication of suitability for AS Music. However, an able performer (Grade 6/7 standard or higher) with a keen interest in music may well be suitable for AS Level without having done GCSE.


Consistent work across the three components creates a platform for success, but underpinning the whole process should be an aim for full marks in Component 1. Component 2 requires a boldness to try new ideas as well as respond imaginatively to a set task. Finally, for Component 3, students need to listen to and read about unfamiliar music as well as closely analysing the set works.  

Component 1: Performing (8MU0 / 01)

Non-examined – marked externally - 30% of the qualification - 60 marks

  • Performance of one or more pieces – solo, in an ensemble, improvising or realizing music through musical technology
  • Total performance time of 6 minutes minimum, recorded between 1 March and 1 May

Component 2: Composing (8MU0 / 02)

Non-examined – marked externally - 30% of the qualification - 60 marks

  • Total of two compositions, one to a brief set by the Board, and either one free composition or a further one to a brief. Each composition carries 50% of the marks for this component
  • Each composition must be at least 2 minutes long; total time of at least 4 and a half minutes 

Component 3: Appraising (8MU0 / 03)

Written examination: 90 minutes - 40% of the qualification – 80 marks

Content overview

  • Knowledge and understanding of musical elements, contexts and language
  • Application of knowledge through six areas of study, each with two set works (vocal music, instrumental music, film music, pop and jazz, musical fusions, new directions)
  • Application of knowledge to unfamiliar works 

Assessment overview

  • One written paper of 90 minutes, with a total of 80 marks
  • One audio CD with extracts to accompany exam questions issued to each student
  • Section A: three questions related to set works; one short dictation exercise
  • Section B: two essay questions: Essay one (15 marks) asks students to draw links from their study of the set works to music heard as an unfamiliar extract.  Essay two (20 marks) gives a choice of three questions from different areas of study that ask students to evaluate the musical elements, context and language of one set work. 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Benenden School *Fees Payable* directly.

Last updated date: 05 December 2016
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