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Music (Music & Orchestral Music Prorgamme) AS & A Level at The Camden School for Girls

Course description

The A level Music course at CSG is challenging and rewarding. The students who choose it are committed to their musical studies and with our excellent facilities, our partnerships and the numerous high-level performing ensembles, students often say that it is one of their most enjoyable A levels.

The aim of this course is to develop your abilities as an intelligent musician. It is structured around 3 units each year which are linked together by four Areas of Study.

Course content

UNIT 1: Performing 

(externally assessed via recording)
option A 25% / option B 35%)

This takes the form of a recital, either as a soloist, ensemble player or accompanist. You will present at least two contrasting pieces on your instrument.
For option B you will need to perform an additional third piece that demonstrates an in-depth understanding of the repertoire for your instrument.

UNIT 2: Composing
(externally assessed coursework)
option A 35% / option B 25%)

This takes the form of two compositions. Composition 1 is written to a brief set by the exam board. Composition 2 is written to a brief set by the teacher in discussion with the student.
For option A you will also need to compose some short additional technical exercises that demonstrate your ability to develop musical ideas within a specific musical tradition.

UNIT 3: Listening & Appraising
(exam paper) 40%

Section A (30 marks) - Aural analysis of unfamiliar music taken from:

  • Area of Study 1: Instrumental Music of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven
  • Area of Study 2: Popular Song – Blues, Jazz, Swing and Big Band

This section consists of short answer questions, multiple choice and melodic/rhythmic dictation

Section B (40 marks) - Analysis of extracts from set works.

These set works are from Areas of Study 1 & 2 and for the first exam in 2018 will be:

  • Area of Study 1: Beethoven: Symphony no. 3 in E flat, Op. 55, ‘Eroica’, 1st Movement
  • Area of Study 2: Ella Fitzgerald: The Cole Porter Songbook (selections)

Section C (50 marks) - Essay questions based upon two additional areas of study

The additional areas of study are yet to be confirmed. They will be from:

  • Area of Study 3: Developments in Instrumental Jazz from 1910 to the present day
  • Area of Study 4: Religious Music of the Baroque Period
  • Area of Study 5: Programme Music 1820 – 1910
  • Area of Study 6: Innovations in Music from 1900 to the present day

Entry requirements

All applicants must have an academic reference from their current school stating their predicted grades. These must in all cases include GCSEs at level 6 or above in English language and maths, and 3 other GCSEs at or above grade B.

In terms of performing, students should be at least Associated Board Grade 5 standard or equivalent at the start of the course. They should also have a grade B or above in GCSE Music (or grade 5 music theory) and be fluent in reading staff notation.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Camden School for Girls directly.

Last updated date: 20 October 2016
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