Exam Headlines

A2 Examination Results

Grade 2018 2017
A* 0 0
A 0 0
B 0 2
C 1 1
D 0 0
E 0 0
View All Results

MusicAS Level

Studying A Level Music, you will enjoy the challenges of performing, composing, and developing musical understanding through listening and musical analysis. Music offers a kaleidoscope of career and study opportunities whilst being fast paced, challenging and thoroughly enjoyable. You will find this course stimulating, motivating and challenging. The course provides a wealth of knowledge in a wide range of musical styles as well as an opportunity to study set works in thorough musical detail, developing your analysis skills.

The department has a thriving extra curricular programme, including orchestra, jazz band, steel pan band, and choir. The Music Department goes on Tour in the Summer Term every year, recently travelling to Paris. Many of our students go onto study Music in further education, past students have gone onto study at Cambridge University, Royal Northern College of Music, Royal College of Music, Cardiff University, and ACM Guildford. You will have access to iMac/macbook computers for composition using Sibelius software, as well as a suite of practice rooms. We recommend that students have passed Grade 5 theory in advance of starting the course, although this is not essential.

Music Notes Summer 2018
  • Music really pushed me to develop my theoretical knowledge and technical understanding while applying them to my compositional skills and instrumental performance.

Course Content

Unit 1 (30%) Performing

A solo performance on your first study instrument. This must be at least Grade 5 standard or above. Your performance will last for a duration of 6-8 minutes and will be assessed by a visiting examiner.

Unit 2 (30%) Composing

Two compositions, one to set a brief from the exam board linking to the Western Classical Tradition, one free composition. Your compositions will total 4.5-7 minutes worth of music altogether.

Unit 3 (40%) Appraising

A written examination of 1 hour 30 minutes. You will learn about two different areas of study. Area of Study A = The Western Classical Tradition, focussing on the development of the symphony from 1750-1830) Area of Study B = Musical Theatre. You will have a mixture of questions on set work analysis with a score, extended responses on wider context, unprepared extracts of music with and without a score and comparison questions.

Unit 4 (25%/35%) Performing

At A Level you will have the choice to major or minor in performing or composing. The units will build and develop on the study you have already started in Y12. If you choose to major in performance you will perform for 10-12 minutes, and will be assessed by a visiting examiner. If you choose to do the 25% performing option you will perform for 6-8 minutes. You will need to perform at least two contrasting pieces that are equivalent to at least Grade 6 standard.

Unit 5 (25%/35%) Composing

If you choose to major in composing, you will complete three compositions, that have a total duration of 8-10 minutes. One composition must link to the Western Classical Tradition and will be based on a set brief, one to another area of study, and one will be a free composition. If you choose to minor in composing, you will complete two compositions, that have a total duration of 4-6 minutes. One composition must link to the Western Classical Tradition and will be based on a set brief, and one will be a free composition.

Unit 6 (40%) Appraising

A written examination of 2 hours and 15 minutes. This will incorporate listening, analysis and essay questions on three areas of study; ‘The Development of the Symphony’, ‘Musical Theatre’ and ‘Into the Twentieth Century’.


Key Facts

  • Course Level A Level
  • Assessment Breakdown Examination 40% Coursework 60%
  • Assessor EDUQAS (WJEC)
  • Entry Requirements 5+ Levels 4-9. 6+ Music GCSE, Grade 5 music theory & Grade 5 or equivalent in instrument.
  • Online Learning Materials Interactive courses on our VLE including forums and online assessment
  • Twitter @spccmusic

YouTube