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A Level Music at Bournemouth School for Girls

Course description

The Music Department is housed, with the Drama Department, within the Performing Arts Centre at BSG. We are most fortunate to have a large performance studio, two good-sized classroom/rehearsal rooms, an ICT suite with 30 PCs running Sibelius and Cubase software, as well as a professional Recording Studio and five practice rooms.

A level Music offers the keen musician the opportunity to develop aural, practical and analytical skills, and to broaden their knowledge of the subject. Many students taking Music intend to pursue their interest further – at university, music college or as part of a teacher training course. A level Music is hard work, and demands a high level of commitment – but is also challenging and highly rewarding to the committed musician.

Course content

AS Level

UNIT 1 - Performing Music Description of Subject Content

This unit gives students the opportunities to perform as soloists and/or as part of an ensemble. Any instrument(s) and/or voice(s) are acceptable as part of a 5/6 minute assessed performance.

UNIT 2 - Composing Music Description of Subject Content

This unit encourages students to develop their composition skills leading to the creation of a three-minute piece in response to a chosen brief. Students also write a CD sleeve note to describe aspects of their final composition and explain how other pieces of music have influenced it.

UNIT 3 - Developing Musical Understanding Description of Subject Content

This unit focuses on listening to familiar music and understanding how it works. Set works from the anthology provide the focus for the first two sections, through listening and studying scores. In the third section, students use a score to identify harmonic and tonal features and then apply this knowledge in the completion of a short and simple passage for SATB.

A2 Level

UNIT 4 - Extended Performance Description of Subject Content

This unit gives students with opportunities to extend their performance skills as soloists and/or as part of an ensemble. Teachers and students can choose music in any style. Any instrument(s) and/or voice(s) are acceptable as part of a 12-15 minute assessed performance of a balanced programme of music. Notated and/or improvised performances may be submitted. A 15-minute recital – solo, ensemble or accompanying on your chosen instrument (or voice), plus viva voce examination

UNIT 5 - Composition and Technical Study Description of Subject Content

This unit has two sections: composition and technical study. The composition section further develops students' composition skills, leading to the creation of a final 3-minute piece in response to a chosen brief. The technical study section builds on the knowledge and awareness of harmony gained in Unit 3 section C through the medium of pastiche studies. Students must complete two tasks in this unit choosing from either one composition and one technical study or two compositions or two technical studies.

UNIT 6 - Historical and Analytical Studies in Music Description of Subject Content

This unit focuses on listening to music, familiar and unfamiliar, and understanding how it works.
Set works from the anthology provide the focus for much of the unit. It is recommended that students familiarise themselves with each work as a whole, before concentrating on important musical features, context and/or elements of continuity and change. Between works students should also listen to a wide range of unfamiliar music which relates to the two compulsory areas of study. They should learn how to compare and contrast pairs of excerpts, contextualise music and identify harmonic and tonal features. Listening examination, followed by essay questions on prescribed topics (including Music for Screen, Post-1945 Popular Music). 

Entry requirements

Students should have achieved grade A or higher in GCSE Music and play at least one instrument (or sing) to a good standard - Associated Board Grade 5 or equivalent is a minimum requirement. Teaching assumes a knowledge of theory equivalent to Grade 5 Theory.

Further information

To find out more about this qualification, contact us, ask your Connexions Personal Adviser or school/college careers staff.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 20 April 2015
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