Accessibility links

Music A level at Kings Langley School

Course description

A level music has three engaging components assessed through; practical performances, compositions and one externally examined paper.

Provides a real music focus – the key content of musical elements, contents and language are taught through the Areas of Study and set work to show real examples of how these are used within different types of music

Holistic understanding of music – students investigate, analyse and evaluate music and its features. Building on this, and by using practical methods, they are encouraged to take a more holistic view of their knowledge, performance and compositional skills.

Breadth and depth – the set works enable students to conduct in depth studies into different musical styles and genres, and place these within a wider context

Diverse musical heritage – students will learn to perform, compose and appreciate different types of music, developing critical and creative thinking, cultural, aesthetic and emotional awareness, and the ability to make music individually and as part of a group.

Continuous progression - the content builds on the understanding developed at KS4, avoiding unnecessary repetition while also ensuring that learners new to the subject are appropriately supported.

Progression to Higher Education – the content allows students to develop their knowledge and skills of music, enabling them to progress into undergraduate music or music related degree courses

Course content

Performance - 30% of the Qualification

  • A public performance of one or more pieces, performed as a recital.
  • Performance can be playing or singing solo, in an ensemble, improvising, or realising music using music technology.
  • The total performance time across all pieces must be a minimum of 8 minutes.
  • Performances must be recorded after 1 March in the year of certification and all

Composition - 30% of the Qualification

  • Total of two compositions, one to a brief set by the examination board and one free composition.
  • Total time across both submissions must be a minimum of 6 minutes.

Written examination - 40% of the Qualification

A two hour examination that focuses on the application of knowledge through the context of six areas of study, each with three set works - Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Music for Film, Popular Music and Jazz, Fusions, New Directions.

This paper comprises two sections: A and B.

Section A: Areas of study and dictation (50 marks)

  • Three questions related to the set works (audio and skeleton score provided).
  • One short melody/rhythm completion exercise.

Section B: Extended response

  • Two essay questions – essay one (20 marks) and essay two (30 marks)
  • Essay one asks students to draw links from their study of the set works to the music heard as an unfamiliar extract.
  • Essay two gives a choice of three questions that ask students to evaluate the musical elements, context and language of one set work. Each option will be from a different area of study



  • Externally assessed performance – 30%
  • Externally Assessed composition – 30%
  • 2hr written examination – 40%

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 26 October 2016
Provider logo

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years