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Music

Why study Music?

  • If you aspire to perform and compose to an advanced level, and are highly motivated by music
  • If you practice for an hour a day or more
  • If you are prepared to commit to 2 extra curricular music ensembles a week and participate in public concerts
  • If you want to develop your analytical, aural and theoretical skills within the context of musical history from the Renaissance to Contemporary Modern
  • If you enjoy working within a creative, challenging and collaborative atmosphere

What will I study?

AS Units - Edexcel 8MU01

Unit 1 = 30%
a. Solo and/ or ensemble performance lasting 6 minutes approximately grade 6 standard (15% of total A Level). The complete programme must be recorded in one take, not piece by piece on separate occasions. If playing in an ensemble, students must hold the solo line undoubled. This can be 1 or more pieces of music performed in any style.  Notated and/ or improvised performances may be submitted.  This is recorded live in the school music studio and can be re-recorded at any time although likely to be complete by March 2010. NB. Students cannot be assessed on 2 instruments at the same time i.e. voice and piano or voice and guitar.

Unit 2 = 30%
a. Compose 1 composition lasting 3 minutes based on 1 of 4 specific briefs given by the exam board, including a fully notated score using Sibelius software.  Students also write a CD sleeve note to describe aspects of their final composition and explain how other pieces of music have influenced it. (15% of total A Level)

Unit 3 = 40%
A 2 hour paper with 3 sections

Section A = Listening; suggesting composers and dates of pieces, aurally identifying key features of music heard including musical devices.  A skeleton score is provided.
Section B = 10 Set Works; analysis and essay writing
Section C = Complete a Bach chorale (5 chords) adding ATB to a given S part. Identify keys, chords, cadences, modulations and non-harmonic notes.

A2 Units – Edexcel 9MU01

Unit 4
A 15 minute individual recital on 1 instrument or voice approximately grade 7 standard. The complete programme must be recorded in one take, not piece by piece on separate occasions.  The choice of repertoire should be balanced and coherent. Students can perform as soloists and/ or part of an ensemble although must hold the solo line undoubled. Notated and/ or improvised performances may be submitted.  NB. Students cannot be assessed on 2 instruments at the same time i.e. voice and piano or voice and guitar.

Unit 5
A 1 composition lasting 3 minutes based on a specific brief provided by the exam board (15% of total A Level).  A detailed, fully-notated score will also be submitted
b. 1 technical study task.  Students harmonise a chorale in the style of JS Bach, by adding ATB to a given S part.  The music to be added to will normally last between 8-10 bars.

Unit 6
A 2 hour paper with 3 sections

Section A = Aural analysis; identifying chords, keys, cadences and dictation tasks.  Comparing the musical features of 2 extracts including identifying composer, genre and date of composition

Section B & C = 12 Set works; analysis and essay writing

How will I study?

Students explore all areas of the course through a programme of class and group workshops, individual and group performances (in and out of school) and on occasion work with professional musicians to further compositional and performance skills. Students are expected to organise their own individual practice schedules with their instrumental or vocal teacher and rehearse regularly with others. Teachers guide you through lessons focusing on composition, aural and theory skills, general listening, performance and analysis of set works.