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Music Technology A level at Luton Sixth Form College

Course description

This course explores the use of technology as a practical tool to develop creative modern musicianship. Through a focus on computer-based sequencing, production and recording studio skills, students gain an advanced understanding of the techniques, practices and scientific principles of music technologies. Listening and analysis skills are developed through the detailed study of a wide range of popular and contemporary music. Students investigate the history of music technology and its influence on diverse musical genres over time.

Course content

AS Modules

Module 1: Music Technology Portfolio 1 - Students develop core computing, recording and musical skills through production of a ‘portfolio’ consisting of a sequencer-realised performance, a multitrack studio recording and a creative sequenced arrangement. Students also complete a logbook on the resources and processes employed.

Module 2: Listening and Analysis - Students explore the history and stylistic conventions of popular music from 1910 to the present day. They learn to identify musical and technological features through detailed aural analysis and historical research. Two ‘special focus’ genres are selected each year for more in depth study.

A2 Modules

Module 3: Music Technology Portfolio 2 - A second portfolio of coursework develops students’ skills to an advanced level. They complete a sequenced/live audio ‘integrated’ performance, a more technically ambitious multitrack recording and an original, technology-facilitated composition. Again, a log book will provide detailed information on the approach taken to each of these tasks.

Module 4: Analysing and Producing - Students demonstrate their knowledge of music and the principles of music technology through short-answer questions, a short essay, written commentaries and practical audio production tasks. Previously-unheard audio data is imported into music software for processing, editing and mixing. The exam will also expect students to handle musical/audio material in the form of conventional staff notation, editing grids and numerical data.

Entry requirements

To start any AS levels you need to meet the general college entry requirements, including grade C in English.

In addition, you must have GCSE Music Grade C, NCFE Music Level 2 Certificate in Music Technology, or an equilvalent level of general music or music technology experience (to be assessed by a member of the music teaching team at interview/enrolment). You will require a working knowledge of basic music theory (including keys, chords and cadences) and the ability to read basic staff notation (both treble and bass clefs, not tab). You will also be expected to be able to analyse and produce music ‘by ear’ (i.e. working from recorded music without notation). This course is designed to be accessible to those who do not play a traditional instrument. However, some basic music keyboard skills are extremely useful.

Assessment

Exam Board - Edexcel

Future opportunities

There is a very wide variety of music technology-based degree courses. Career opportunities can include sound engineering, sound design, sound for new media, theatre sound, teaching, academic research, commercial composition, and music publishing. A Level Music Technology can also very occasionally provide more direct access to music related employment, usually after additional practical work experience. However, most careers in the field are becoming graduate entry only and thus require further study.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Luton Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 09 September 2016
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years

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