Music - A Level only

Exam Board: EDEXCEL

Introduction to the Course

Music A Level provides an intellectually stimulating course that challenges the musicality of the student. It is a creative subject that integrates performance alongside composition and the listening and analysing of music.

Entry Requirements

Standard entry requirements are a Grade 6 or above at GCSE Music/Grade 5+ on an instrument with a sound level of competence on a musical instrument (which may include the voice) – Grade 5+. Candidates are required to participate in a variety of ensembles and concerts throughout the course.

Course Content

There are three components within the course:

Component 1: Performing

A performance of one or more pieces that total a minimum of 8 minutes. The performance can be playing or singing solo, in an ensemble, improvising, or realising music using music technology.

Component 2: Composing

Two compositions – one in response to a given brief and one free composition. The total time of the compositions must be a minimum of 6 minutes.

Component 3: Appraising

One written paper of 2 hours consisting of two sections, A and B. Section A relates to set works that have been studies throughout the course and a short melody/ rhythm completion exercise. Section B requires extended responses to set works and unrelated music heard in the examination. The set works include; Vocal Music; Instrumental Music; Music for Film; Popular Music and Jazz; Fusions; New Directions.

This qualification develops awareness/understanding of music in a culturally diverse society and develops performance and composition skills, creating thinking skills, time management skills and independent learning. Students will gain confidence and presentation skills through performance and working with students of all ages, and staff, in the music department. The course provides a working knowledge of music software.


Component 1: Preforming                             30% of A Level

Component 2: Composing                            30% of A Level

Component 3: Appraising                             40% of A Level

Future Career Progression

This course is aimed particularly at students wishing to study music, popular music or a combined arts subject in higher education or advanced GNVQ diploma in performing arts. It would ultimately be an excellent grounding for anyone wishing to pursue a vocation in music or the arts in general.