Music A Level Exam Information

A Level

Course Content

GCSE music is desirable but not a pre-requisite. However, it is expected that all students will have a secure working knowledge of music theory as well as a minimum of Grade V on their principal instrument or voice at the start of the course.

Please note that there is an expectation from the exam board that A Level Music students should be around grade VI – VII (ABRSM/Trinity) by the end of Sixth Form in order to access the top grades.

The course provides further development of the skills gained through GCSE in the key areas of Listening, Analysing, Composing and Performing.

Areas of Study and Set Works

Vocal Music: Bach (excerpts from Cantata “Ein feste Burg” BWV 80) Mozart (excerpts from Act 1 of Die Zauberflöte) Williams (excerpts from On Wenlock Edge)

Instrumental Music: Vivaldi (Concert in D minor Op.3 No.11) Schumann (Piano Trio in G minor movement I) Berlioz (Symphonie Fantastique movement I)

Music for Film: Herrmann (excerpts from Psycho) Portman (excerpts from The Duchess) Elfman (excerpts from Batman Returns)

Popular Music and Jazz: The Beatles (selected works) Courtney Pine (selected works) Kate Bush (selected works)

Fusions: Debussy (excerpts from Estampes) Shankar (excerpts from Breathing Under Water) Miranda (excerpts from Caña Quema)

New Directions: Cage (excerpts from Three Dances for Prepared Piano) Saariaho (excerpts from Petals for Cello Solo and Optional Electronics) Stravinsky (excerpts from Le sacre du printemps)

Course Structure

The course is divided into three main areas. Composition (coursework) is worth 30%, Performance (exam) is worth 30% and the final written examination based on the set works is worth 40%.

Reading and Resources

All students are provided with an anthology with contains all the set works, as well as a listening book, CD and revision guide. There are several books which provide wider reading and listening opportunities can be found in the school library.

Entry Requirements

Ideally students should have taken GCSE Music to have an understanding of analysis and composition at GCSE level however we will consider students who strong performers with a good understanding of music theory.

Exam Board: Edexcel