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Music AS/A2 at Trinity School

Course description

Studying A-Level music will give students the opportunity to learn to perform, compose and appreciate different types of music, developing critical and creative thinking, cultural, aesthetic and emotional awareness, and the ability to make music individually and as part of a group. Through studying set works students are able to conduct in depth studies into different musical styles and genres, and place these within a wider context.

Course content

Year 1 (Year 12) - Set Works:

Vocal Music

● J. S. Bach, Cantata, Ein feste Burg, BWV 80: Movements 1, 2, 8

● Mozart, The Magic Flute: Excerpts from Act I no. 4 (Queen of the Night), 5 (Quintet)

● Vaughan Williams, On Wenlock Edge: Nos. 1, 3 and 5 (‘On Wenlock Edge’, ‘Is my team ploughing?’ and ‘Bredon Hill’)

Instrumental Music

● Vivaldi, Concerto in D minor, Op. 3 No. 11

● Brahms, Clarinet Quintet, Op. 115: Movement 1

● Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique: Movement I

Music for Film

● Bernard Herrmann, Psycho: Prelude, The City, Marion, The Murder (Shower Scene), The Toys, The Cellar, Discovery, Finale

● Klaus Badelt and Hans Zimmer, Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl: Fog bound, The medallion calls/black pearl, Swords crossed, To the pirates’ cave

● Danny Elfman, Batman Returns: Main theme (Birth of a Penguin Part II), Birth of a Penguin Part I, Rise and fall from grace, Batman vs the Circus

Popular Music and Jazz

● Beatles – Revolver: Eleanor Rigby, I’m only sleeping, Here, there and everywhere, I want to tell you, Tomorrow never knows

● Courtney Pine – Back in the Day: Inner state (of mind), Lady Day and (John Coltrane), Love and affection

● David Bowie – Low: Sound and vision, Be my wife , Warszawa, Weeping wall


● Debussy, ‘Estampes’: Nos. 1 and 2 (‘Pagodes’ and ‘La soirée dans Grenade’)

● Cubanismo: ‘Descargo de Hoy’ and Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz: The Girl from Ipanema

● A. R. Rahman, ‘Jai ho’ (‘You are my destiny’), Panjabi MC, ‘Mundian to Bach Ke’

New Directions

● Cage – Three Dances for two prepared pianos: No. 1

● Britten, War Requiem: Nos. 15 ‒ 17 (Sanctus, ‘After the blast’, Agnus Dei)

● Schoenberg, Two Piano Pieces: Op. 33a and 33b

Composition techniques

Performance techniques

Listening techniques

Extended writing skills


Entry requirements

GCSE Music grade C. Grade 5 or equivalent instrumental performance. Grade 5 Music theory is preferable.


One written paper of 2 hours

Section A: Areas of study and dictation (50 marks)

● Three questions related to the set works (audio and skeleton score provided).

● One short melody/rhythm completion exercise.


Section B: Extended response

● Two essay questions – essay one (20 marks) and essay two (30 marks)

● Essay one asks students to draw links from their study of the set works to the music heard as an unfamiliar extract.

● Essay two gives a choice of three questions that ask students to evaluate the musical elements, context and language of one set work. Each option will be from a different area of study.

Further information

The content allows students to develop their knowledge and skills of music, enabling them to progress into undergraduate music or music related degree courses. The skills developed throughout the course are also transferable for further studies in other areas and the job market.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 03 November 2016
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