Music

Head of Department: Mr S Dearsley
Exam board: Eduqas
Qualification name: Music (Linear qualification: first examination in June 2018)
Qualification code: GCE A Level A660
NB: The following information applies to students starting their two-year A level course from September 2016.

What you will study
For this specification learners must choose either Option A in both Components 1 and 2 or Option B in both Components 1 and 2. All learners must study Component 3.
Component 1
Option A: Performing (35%)
A performance consisting of a minimum of three pieces. At least one of these pieces must be as a soloist. The other pieces may be either as a soloist or as part of an ensemble or a combination of both. One piece must reflect the musical characteristics of one area of study. At least one other piece must reflect the musical characteristics of one other, different area of study.
Option B: Performing (25%)
A performance consisting of a minimum of two pieces either as a soloist or as part of an ensemble or a combination of both. One piece must reflect the musical characteristics of one area of study.
Component 2: Composing
Option A: Composing (25%)
Two compositions, one of which must reflect the musical techniques and conventions associated with the Western Classical Tradition and be in response to a brief set by WJEC. Learners will have a choice of four set briefs, released during the first week of September in the academic year in which the assessment is to be taken. The second composition is a free composition.
Option B: Composing (35%)
Three compositions, one of which must reflect the musical techniques and conventions associated with the Western Classical Tradition and be in response to a brief set by WJEC. Learners will have a choice of four set briefs, released during the first week of September in the academic year in which the assessment is to be taken. The second composition must reflect the musical characteristics of one different area of study (i.e. not the Western Classical Tradition) while the third composition is a free composition.

Three areas of study:
Area of study A: The Western Classical Tradition (The Development of the Symphony 1750-1900) which includes a set work. Choose one set work fordetailed analysis and the other for general study.
Symphony No. 104 in D major, ‘London’: Haydn
A choice of one area of study from:
Area of study B: Rock and Pop
Area of study C: Musical Theatre
Area of study D: Jazz
A choice of one area of study from:
Area of study E: Into the 20th Century including two set works:
Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, Movement II: Poulenc
Three Nocturnes, Number 1, Nuages: Debussy
Area of study F: Into the 21st Century including two set works:
Asyla, Movement 3, Ecstasio: Thomas Adès
String Quartet No. 2 (Opus California) Movements 1 (Boardwalk) and 4 (Natural Bridges): Sally Beamish

Why choose music?
The course requires study across the three traditional strands in music education: performance, composition and appraising music. A Level music is an excellent choice for students who play an instrument or sing to around grade 6 standard. As well as developing composing skills and techniques, the course includes study of music set works from a wide range of stars and traditions. Study of music can lead on to advanced study at university or a career in the music profession. Also the skills required to study music are independent learning, self-motivation, ability to be self-critical, and the ability to perform, all of which are qualities which are ideal attributes for many diverse careers from the Law to Business, as well as careers associated with the arts and humanities.

Course requirements
Students have usually achieved a grade B in GCSE music.

Related subjects at Sixth Form
Music links well with many other subjects. In studying the set works, comparisons are made with artistic works and connections are also made with literature and dramatic works which are often enhanced with music. The study of acoustics in physics and the practical and technological requirements for recording music establishes a link with other scientific subjects.

Where could this lead?
A wide range of styles are studied in this course and this can lead on to an extraordinary range of future courses, some of which emphasise the practical aspects of the subject while others concentrate on the theoretical parts. Applications for university courses are made through UCAS, while applications for courses at British conservatoires are made through CUCAS.

Further important information
Most students will have successfully followed the GCSE course, although gifted performers or composers, after consultation with staff, could be accepted without GCSE music. Students taking A Level music will be fully involved in practical music-making, so enthusiasm and dedication are essential. Studying music in the Sixth Form is invaluable for those wishing to prepare for a music diploma.