Music A Level at Comberton Village College & Sixth Form
Music A-level is about building skills in performance and composition and gaining a broad musical knowledge through the study of set works. Choose to study Music if you are a proficient instrumentalist or singer and/or have a strong interest in composing your own music. The ALevel Music course is a valuable qualification in its own right as it not only demonstrates academic, practical and creative skills but also highlights your qualities of self-discipline and commitment.
Music students should be accomplished instrumentalists or singers of at least Grade Five standard on at least one instrument or voice and Grade Five standard for theory.
What will I study?
The subject content for A-Level Music is divided into three components:
Component 1 – Performing - 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 between 1 March and 15 May in the year of certification.
• Free choice of instrument, styles and pieces to perform.
Non-examined assessment: externally assessed
30% of the A-level
Component 2 – Composing
2 compositions, a minimum of 6 minutes in total.
One composition must be from either a list of briefs related to the areas of study, or a free composition, carrying 2/3 marks for this component. At least 4 minutes in duration.
One composition must be from a list of briefs assessing compositional technique, carrying 1/3 marks for this component. At least 1 minute in duration.
Non-examined assessment: externally assessed
30% of the A-Level
Component 3 – Appraising
This unit focuses on listening to familiar music, understanding how it works and applying this understanding to other music. Set works from six areas of study provide the focus. Through listening and studying scores, you will familiarise yourself with each work as a whole, before learning how to identify important musical features and social and historical context. There is also a short aural melody/rhythm completion exercise.
Assessment: 2-hour examination
40% of the A-level
● J. S. Bach, Cantata, Ein feste Burg ● Mozart, The Magic Flute ● Vaughan Williams, On Wenlock Edge
● Vivaldi, Concerto in D minor, Op. 3 No. 11 ● Clara Wieck-Schumann, Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 17: movement 1 ● Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique
Music for Film
● Danny Elfman, Batman Returns ● Rachel Portman, The Duchess ● Bernard Herrmann, Psycho
Popular Music and Jazz
● Courtney Pine, Back in the Day ● Kate Bush, Hounds of Love ● Beatles, Revolver
● Debussy, Estampes ● Familia Valera Miranda, Caña Quema ● Anoushka Shankar, Breathing Under Water
● Cage, Three Dances for Two Prepared Pianos ● Kaija Saariaho, Petals for Violoncello and Live Electronics ● Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring
It is assumed that those taking ALevel will wish to contribute significantly to the many performance opportunities organised by the music department and to find time to visit live events elsewhere. Arrangements will be made for you to attend numerous professional concerts in London and Cambridge throughout the year and to participate in workshops led by Cambridge University Outreach.
You will be encouraged to participate in the well-established exchange with Modelleschule Obersberg, Bad Hersfeld, Germany, undertaking ongoing, joint online composition and research projects. There is also an opportunity to visit Vienna to undertake an investigation of the working lives of set-work composers Haydn, Mozart, Schoenberg and Webern.
Minimum Entry Requirements:
5 x 5s
4 in English and Maths
Subject Specific Entry Requirements:
6 in GCSE Music, if taken and at least one instrument/voice to Grade 5
If music is not taken at GCSE then Grade 5 or above in an instrument and theory is required.
* Please note that Level 2 vocational courses are the equivalent of 1 GCSE and only 1 will be counted towards the A-Level pathway entry requirements
What can I do with Music after sixth form?
You may wish to study music in higher education either on an academic degree course or on a more practically-based course for performers. The full A-level provides a sound basis for students wishing to proceed to degree courses in Music or Performing Arts. It can lead to careers in teaching, performing, and composition as well as related areas in publishing and media. It combines well with most other subjects but complements in particular Theatre Studies and Music Technology.
How to apply
You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.