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Music (at SWGS and BWS) at South Wilts Grammar School for Girls

Course description

The units taken at AS and A2 are broadly similar. Performance to a good standard is examined by way of a recital. Composition – both original and stylistic – is examined as coursework, and musical analysis is examined by way of an aural paper, and a series of essay questions on set works (taken from contrasting musical styles, including popular)

Course content

How will you learn?
Composition is taught in stages with detailed preparation work leading to a final controlled conditions copy up of the finished piece. In order to study the set works and aural tests, you will develop your listening skills and your essay writing skills. There is a harmony element in two of the units, and there will be a progression of graded assignments to help you build up to the exam question.

Entry requirements

A grade B in GCSE Music. It may be possible to take A Level without having studied music at GCSE, as long as you are a good performer – please ask for guidance. It is hugely beneficial to have passed Grade 5 Theory before starting the course. You should also be at least Grade 5 standard on your instrument or voice at the time you start the AS course.


Examination Board: Edexcel

What exams and coursework are involved?
At AS level you will perform a 5 minute recital (30%), write a three minute long composition (30%), and sit one end of unit written exam in harmony, aural analysis and set works (40%).


At A2 the recital is 12 minutes long (30%). In the composition unit, you will focus on original and stylistic writing (30%), and at the end of the course you will sit an examination in aural skills with essay questions on the set works (40%).

Future opportunities

A level Music leads to a variety of opportunities at university or music college. It is a very highly respected subject for university entry in many fields, and it combines well with almost any other subject. If you are a good instrumentalist or singer, it is worth considering taking this subject to help you with your entry requirements for university - even if you intend to study another subject. A degree in Music can lead to a great variety of music-related and non-music-related careers.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 10 June 2015
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