Syllabus Title: GCE A LEVEL MUSIC
Examination Board: EDUQAS
Component 1: PERFORMING
- Option A: Total duration of performances: 10-12 minutes - 35% of qualification
- Option B: Total duration of performances: 6-8 minutes - 25% of qualification Non-exam assessment: externally assessed by a visiting examiner
- ++ Option A: Performing (35%) A performance consisting of a minimum of three pieces. At least one of these pieces must be as a soloist. The other pieces may be either as a soloist or as part of an ensemble or a combination of both. One piece must reflect the musical characteristics of one area of study. At least one other piece must reflect the musical characteristics of one other, different area of study.
- Option B: Performing (25%) A performance consisting of a minimum of two pieces either as a soloist or as part of an ensemble or a combination of both. One piece must reflect the musical characteristics of one area of study.
Component 2: COMPOSING
- Option A: Total duration of compositions: 4-6 minutes - 25% of qualification
- Option B: Total duration of compositions: 8-10 minutes - 35% of qualification Non-exam assessment: externally assessed by WJEC
- Option A: Composing (25%) Two compositions, one of which must reflect the musical techniques and conventions associated with the Western Classical Tradition and be in response to a brief set by WJEC. Learners will have a choice of four set briefs, released during the first week of September in the academic year in which the assessment is to be taken. The second composition is a free composition.
- Option B: Composing (35%) Three compositions, one of which must reflect the musical techniques and conventions associated with the Western Classical Tradition and be in response to a brief set by WJEC. Learners will have a choice of four set briefs, released during the first week of September in the academic year in which the assessment is to be taken. The second composition must reflect the musical characteristics of one different area of study (i.e. not the Western Classical Tradition) while the third composition is a free composition.
Component 3: APPRAISING - Written examination: 2 hours 15 minutes - 40% of qualification
Three areas of study:
Area of study A: The Western Classical Tradition (The Development of the Symphony 1750-1900) which includes two set works. Choose one set work for detailed analysis and the other for general study.
- Symphony No. 104 in D major, 'London': Haydn
- Symphony No. 4 in A major, 'Italian': Mendelssohn
- A choice of one area of study from:
Area of study B: Rock and Pop
Area of study C: Musical Theatre
Area of study D: Jazz
A choice of one area of study from:
- Area of study E: Into the Twentieth Century including two set works:
- Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, Movement II: Poulenc
- Three Nocturnes, Number 1, Nuages: Debussy
- Area of study F: Into the Twenty-first Century including two set works:
- Asyla, Movement 3, Ecstasio: Thomas Adès
- String Quartet No. 2 (Opus California) Movements 1 (Boardwalk) and 4 (Natural Bridges): Sally Beamish .
1. Set work analysis with a score
2. Extended responses on wider context
3. Unprepared extracts of music with and without a score 4. Comparison questions This component includes a listening examination.
Studying A level Music, you will…
- engage actively in the process of music study
- develop performing skills to demonstrate an understanding of musical elements, style, sense of continuity, interpretation and expression
- develop composing skills to demonstrate the manipulation of musical ideas and the use of musical devices and conventions
- recognise the interdependence of musical knowledge, understanding and skills and make links between the integrated activities of performing, composing and appraising underpinned by attentive listening
- broaden musical experience and interests, develop imagination and foster creativity
- develop and extend the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to communicate effectively as musicians
- develop knowledge and understanding of a variety of instruments and styles and of relevant approaches to both performing and composing
- develop awareness of music technologies and their use in the creation and presentation of music
- appraise contrasting genres, styles and traditions of music and develop understanding of musical contexts and a coherent awareness of musical chronology develop as effective, independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds
- reflect critically and make personal judgements on their own and others’ music engage with, and extend appreciation of, the diverse heritage of music in order to promote personal, social, intellectual and cultural development.
Entry Requirements: Level 6/7 or above in GCSE Music & Grade 5 or above in instrumental/vocal studies.
Future Career Options:
- Music Therapist
- A&R Representative
- Music Composer for Film/TV, etc.
- Music Teacher/Lecturer (Secondary/College/University)
- Music Journalist
- Music Librarian
- Sound Engineer
- Musical Instrument Repairer
- Session Musician
- Radio DJ
- Record Producer
The world of music requires more than just talent. The following skills will be valuable to anyone who is seeking a career within the industry.
- Musical gift: Many people enjoy writing, playing and listening to music, but that doesn’t mean they are exceptionally talented in it. A person needs to be very good at what they are doing to make a career out of it, especially in a competitive environment like the music industry.
- Creativity: Much of an individual’s success in music comes from being original and creating something unique. Because careers in music generally have no set path, creativity is key. The most successful people working in the industry know where they want to be and that getting there may entail unexpected changes or exploring routes never envisioned before.
- Networking: A career in music is especially unique in that it relies heavily on knowing the right people. To be successful, musicians and music professionals must be ready to promote their own work and ask acquaintances or colleagues to put a good word for them.
- Patience: It might take a while to get that big break or land a dream job in music, with some of the most successful music icons spending over a decade honing their craft before gaining fame. There will likely be many failures and rejections along with the way, in addition to working less exciting jobs to pay the bills. Reaching professional and musical goals takes time, so the majority of people who succeed in this arena do it for the pure love of music.
- Hard work Even with knowing the right people and having amazing talent, hard work is still very important for jobs in music, especially for careers as instrumentalists, conductors or vocalists. Author Malcolm Gladwell espouses the idea of the 10,000 hour rule, stating that to truly become exceptional at something, a person needs to practice at least 10,000 hours. Putting that amount of time towards anything requires discipline, concentration, perseverance, and plenty of hard work.