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What will I learn?
  • How to develop and demonstrate musicianship skills through performing, composing and appraising
  • How to plan and perform a programme of music
  • How to compose either freely or to a set brief through a greater understanding of harmony
  • How to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of musical elements, musical contexts and musical language
  • How to research and analyse a wide range of pieces of music both Western and Non-Western
Who should choose A Level Music?

The syllabus is aimed at students who have a genuine interest and love in all styles of music with a strong interest in performance and composition.

Important questions when considering Music
  • Do I play an instrument to Grade 5?
  • Do I participate in practical group activities i.e., choirs, orchestras, and ensembles?
  • Do I read music fluently?
  • Do I have a good ear?
What other subjects go well with Music?

Music goes equally well with Arts and Sciences. This is not a course exclusively for the specialist; if music is your hobby, this subject will prove interesting and a rewarding skill for life.

Course details

There are three units at A Level which will be completed across the two years.

Performing – 30%

Students perform a recital of a minimum of eight minutes as a soloist and/or part of an ensemble in any musical style. This is recorded between March and April of Upper Sixth.

Composing – 30%

Students submit two compositions. One piece is to a free or free-choice brief (lasting a minimum of four minutes). The second piece consists of two chorale harmonisations (two minutes). Scores and recordings are submitted.

Listening and Appraising – 40%

  • A two hour written examination in Upper Sixth. Each student is given a CD of excerpts in the examination.
  • Eighteen prescribed works are studied from six Areas of Study. Students will be asked to identify features in the set works as well as in other unfamiliar pieces of music.
Beyond the Classroom

Students who study Music are likely to be already making a strong contribution to the extra-curricular music programme across the Foundation and out of school. This helps to feed their studies. There are also opportunities to work with younger students and mentors and form new music ensembles.

For further information, please contact Mr Laing:

"Studying A Level Music has given me a far greater understanding of a wide range of music genres. It has opened up so many opportunities for me as a musician and boosted my confidence as a performer and composer. I am now looking forward to going to university to study music." Current Sixth Former