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Music A-Level at John Port School

Course description

Component 1: Performing

Component 2: Composing

Component 3: Appraising


Entry requirements

The general entry requirement for the Sixth Form applies. GCSE music would be expected, however this is not always required if the student possesses the practical and theoretical understanding of music of grade 5 level. All students should be able to perform on an instrument or using their voice at grade 5 level and having a good understanding of music theory is highly advantageous.


Component 1: Performing.

  • Externally assessed. 60 marks (48 for the performance 12 for the difficulty)
  • You will be required to give a public performance of at least 6 minutes length. This will take place between March and May of the examination year.

Component 2: Composing.

  • Externally assessed. 60 marks You are required to compose two pieces.
  • One composition must be taken from a list of given briefs which are linked to the Set Works.
  • The second composition can be a free choice or another from the given briefs.
  • The compositions must have a combined duration of at least four and a half minutes.
  • The compositions are each awarded marks out of 30.

Component 3: Appraising.

  • 1 1/2 hour exam. 80 marks
  • You will have to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of musical elements, contexts and language through the study of given set works.
  • The set works are taken form the following areas of study: Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Music for Film, Popular Music and Jazz, Fusion and New Direction.

The exam has two sections. Section A is awarded 45 marks and requires you to answer three short questions related to the Set Works and complete one short melody or rhythm dictation exercise. Section B is awarded 35 marks and requires you to answer two essay questions. The first question requires you to write about an unfamiliar piece of music that is heard during the exam. The second question requires you to answer one question from a choice of three. You will be asked to comment on the context of the given Set Works and how it relates to wider listening.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 21 September 2016

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1-2 years