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Music Technology A level **FEES PAYABLE** at Marlborough College

Course description

The A level course in music technology is designed to show the practical use of computers and recording equipment in the every day life of the 21st Century musician. Useful for those considering a further education course in music, be it on the commercial side (rock, pop, dance and jazz) or on the classical side, it is above all a course which would appeal to anyone with an interest in music’s place in our lives today. It is also useful to those interested in the production and engineering aspects of the industry.

The College enjoys outstanding Music Technology facilities, which can be used by all pupils if they sign up to the Music Technology Society but are used most intensely by those taking AS and A2 Music Technology.

Course content

At AS level, candidates produce two sequenced arrangements in contrasting styles, one of which is submitted together with a desktop published full score and parts. A direct-to-stereo recording using ambient microphone techniques and a multi-track studio recording completes the coursework requirements. A two hour written Listening & Analysis paper is taken in the Summer Term.

A2 pupils are required to submit five pieces of coursework: a sequenced backing track, a remix of the backing track with added live audio tracks, a multi-track recording, a composition from a brief of the candidate's choosing and a composition to a brief set by the exam board.

Candidates also study two set films as part of the Music for the Moving Image Area of Study and a one hour written paper will be taken in the summer, together with a further one hour Controlling and Editing MIDI paper.  

Entry requirements

Those involved in Music Technology are musicians of widely varying abilities who use technology as part of the creative process; ability on an instrument is not a pre-requisite.


UNIT 1: Music Technology Portfolio 1 (32%) 

Coursework developed from stimulus material and produced under controlled conditions; submitted as a single audio CD in May of the Lower Sixth year. 1A: sequenced Realised Performance (20 hours). 1B: multi-track Recording (20 hours).  1C: creative Sequenced Arrangement (20 hours). Logbook.

UNIT 2: Listening and Analysing (18%)

A listening examination, externally assessed, taken in the summer of the Upper Sixth. 2A: aural perception of musical characteristics and features of given extracts, including relevant technological issues. 2B: based upon set styles, such as: Rock and Roll; Rap and Hip-hop; Reggae. Heavy rock; Soul; Indie rock; Punk and new wave and Club dance.

UNIT 3: Music Technology Portfolio 2 (28%)

Coursework completed from briefs and topics supplied, produced under controlled conditions at any point in the Upper Sixth and submitted as a single audio CD in May. 3A: sequenced Integrated Performance (20 hours). 3B: multi-track recording  (20 hours). 3C: composing using Music Technology (20 hours).

UNIT 4: Analysing and Producing (22%) 

A 2 hour examination, taken at a music technology workstation. 4A tests pupils’ musical understanding, their ability to manipulate and correct recorded music and their ability to write commentaries on technological processes. 4B: a practical task involving the production of a balanced stereo mix. A CD will be burned at the conclusion of the exam and will be submitted for external assessment, together with the completed answer booklet. 

Future opportunities

The skills developed in this subject are applicable equally to those interested in "classical" music and those whose leanings are more towards rock, pop and jazz.

Further information

It is what goes on outside the classroom that enhances all that is contained within and gives the practical focus and fulfillment to all musical expression.

The Music Department at Marlborough offers some unique opportunities for young talented musicians. Our professional orchestra in partnership is the dynamic Southbank Sinfonia who visit the College periodically to give workshops, classes, one-to-one tuition and the unique side-by-side orchestral programme in which the College Symphony Orchestra rehearses and performs alongside the Southbank Sinfonia in an annual concert. Appointed visiting musical figures of international distinction also periodically visit the College to offer concerts and classes and consultation lessons to music scholars. These include Julian Lloyd Webber, Tasmin Little, Emma Kirkby, Ronan O'Hora (Head of Keyboard, Guildhall School of Music and Drama), James Watson (Head of Brass, Royal Academy of Music) and Ioan Davies (Head of Chamber Music, Yehudi Menuhin School).

Chapel Choir participation in services includes weekly Sung Eucharists and termly Choral Evensongs in Chapel and at local Cathedrals. Other highlights include the Advent Carol Service, three annual Carol Services as well as special services for Ash Wednesday, Ascension Day, Confirmation and Commemoration. Instrumental concerts include: the Orchestral Concert, Concerto Concert, Summer Serenade Concert, Wind Department Concert, termly Advanced Pupils' Recitals and Junior Informal Concerts as well as the Junior Jamboree Summer Concert. In addition, the department runs a weekly Lunchtime Concert Series.

There is also an annual Music Technology Coursework Concert.

Each year, the Marlborough College Concert Society presents five concerts attracting world famous artists to the College. This incorporates the annual Choral Concert given by the Choral Society, Chapel Choir and Choral. Other recent special events have included a Songs of Praise Recording, a joint Concert with Yale University Choir, USA, the 800th Anniversary Civic Service and the Cotswold Community Trust Concert.

Festivals, Competitions and Workshops include: the House Music Competition (Harmony & Unison Song), Strings Day, Singing Day, Piano Day and the New Instrumental Music Festival. The Music Society host termly Lectures/Workshops and Chamber Musicians enter both the National Chamber Music Competition and the Midsomerset Festival. The department regularly puts on trips to concerts, operas and musicals. Work towards the Associated Board music examinations (Practical and Theory) and the Trinity Guildhall (Singing and Percussion) examinations, forms a large part of our weekly programme.

Music Technology pupils are taken to concerts and shows to see Music Technology at work. Recent trips have included Toto, Anything Goes, Dream Theater, The Woman in White, Jools Holland, The Producers, Earth Wind & Fire, We Will Rock You and Mama Mia. Where possible, these trips are also made available to anyone with an interest in these areas.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Marlborough College directly.

Last updated date: 18 November 2016
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