Why study Music?

The broad aim of the course is to develop aural, historical and analytical, performing and composition skills to an advanced level.

Music is a highly fulfilling course for suitable candidates.  You might be a suitable candidate if you have taken Music at GCSE level and gained a Grade B or higher, but if you do not have Music GCSE you may still be a suitable candidate if you can demonstrate other levels of achievement, for example success at Grade 5 Music Theory and/or Grade 5 practical examinations.  You should consider taking Music A level if you have an interest in listening to and performing music of all styles.  Those who do best at Music A level tend to be proficient to Grade 5 on an instrument at the start of the course.

Students will need A level Music to enter a university or college to study Music.  It can also be an exceptionally rewarding support subject and is compatible with a wide range of other disciplines.  Candidates will be expected to involve themselves in a range of extra-curricular musical activities in School.  Music A level can be a wonderful opportunity for academic and creative development within the same subject.

Heads of Department: Mr D Harris (Girls), Mr D Lawson (Boys)


Course content

Board: Eduqas   A level Syllabus Code: A660PA or A660PB

Areas of Study will vary between examination boards:

  • AoS1: The Western Classical Tradition; particularly the development of the Symphony from 1750-1900) – set work Symphony No. 104 in D major, ‘London’ (Haydn), Symphony No. 4 (Mendelssohn)
  • AoS2 Musical Theatre
  • AoS3 Into the Twentieth Century including two set works: Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, Movement II (Poulenc) and Three Nocturnes, Number 1, Nuages (Debussy)
Method of assessment

Component 1 – Performing

  • Between 6-12 minutes, in which they showcase their skills as a solo and/or ensemble performer.
  • Assessed by visiting examiner

Component 2 – Composing

  • Two or three compositions
  • Total composition time between 4-10 minutes (depending on chosen weighting towards composition)
  • At least one composition will be required to fit a technique-based brief set by the examination board.
  • Externally marked

Component 3 – Appraising

A 2¼ hour listening/written paper, in which familiar and unfamiliar pieces of music are used to explore the candidate’s understanding of how music works. The paper includes dictation, analysis and extended written response.