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Music AS A2 at Guilsborough School

Course description


AS and A2 level Music extends the GCSE skills of Performing, Composing and Appraising in ways which emphasise their interdependence. There are no limits on the instruments (or voices) and types of repertoire which may be presented in performance and the study of the widest possible range of music, including folk, popular and classical traditions of non-Western origin as well as those of jazz and Western classical and popular traditions, is encouraged.

Course content

There are three AS units and three A2 units representing the three major activities involved in this qualification: Performing, Composing and Listening/Analysing.

AS Music


Music 1

Candidates perform solo (on any instrument or voice) a programme of pieces which demonstrate representative features of the repertoire for the instrument or voice presented. If it is appropriate to the repertoire being performed, candidates may improvise. Candidates then demonstrate an extension to their ability by either performing on a second instrument, as a member of a small ensemble, as an accompanist, perform their own composition, or improvise a given stimulus.

40% of the total AS GCE marks

Composing 1

Candidates are required to submit a portfolio representative of work undertaken throughout the course. This should demonstrate their developing compositional skills through a series of set exercises and through a composition or arrangement of their own choice. Candidates should demonstrate their ability to communicate clearly and accurately using staff notation and detailed performance directions.

30% of the total AS GCE marks

Introduction to

Historical Study in


In this unit, candidates must demonstrate skills of aural perception that will allow them to recognise, describe and compare techniques and effects within selected extracts of music. By comparing similarities and differences in the contextual background to each of the prescribed works candidates should begin to develop an awareness of musical history as an exploration of continuity and change over time.

30% of the total AS GCE marks

A2 Music



Candidates are required to demonstrate interpretative skills and understanding through performing and in discussion with the examiner. The performance will

be a focussed recital, performed as a soloist, a member of an ensemble, or as an accompanist, but not a mixture of these rles. Candidates are required to have listened to, and compared, at least two interpretations of music relevant to the style or genre that is the focus of their Recital in and to have supported their study by appropriate research.

20% of the total Advanced GCE marks

Composing 2

Candidates are required to submit a portfolio representative of work undertaken throughout the course. Candidates are expected to show the development and extension of their compositional skills from Unit G352 through a series of set exercises and a single composition, chosen from vocal music, programme music or music for film or TV. Compositions can be for any medium.

15% of the total Advanced GCE marks


and Analytical

Studies in Music

Candidates should develop their knowledge and understanding of the two Areas of Study, Tonality and Interpretation. They should become familiar with the

expressive features found in music that interpret text or other subject matter, and with the ways in which this interpretation can create dramatic tension, characterisation, mood or feeling as appropriate to the genre, within the structural integrity of the whole. Candidates should also study the expressive use of tonality in response to words or other stimulus.

15% of the total Advanced GCE marks

Entry requirements

Students must be able to perform to a grade 4 standard on any instrument or voice.

Further information

For further information please contact the Music Department

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 16 November 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Unknown
  • Duration: AS Level - 1 year, A2 Level - 2 years