Send To Friend


Music A-level - Level 3 - Full-time (Brannams)

Level 3 A-levels
Course Code:
Brannams Campus
Two years

The study of Music at A-level is fundamental to developing logical and critical thinking. Develop your musicianship and develop a historical and critical analysis of music from a Western tradition. Analyse and consider the historical contexts in relation to the development of western music, compose and perform.

You will compose music and perform in your chosen instrument.


Music is constantly evolving, inspiring creativity and expression in a way that no other subject can. That's why we have designed a relevant and contemporary A-level qualification that offers your students the chance to study a wide range of musical genres. This study programme brings listening, performance and composition to life in new and engaging ways, and links to the world around us like never before.

We know that every student has different learning styles and musical tastes, which is why our study programme values all music styles, skills and instruments. Broaden your students' minds and foster a love of all music with a qualification that students of all abilities and backgrounds will enjoy.

The programme comprises practical musicianship through the development and extending of musical skills with theoretical underpinning and the historical and critical analysis of music within a Western tradition.

You will be introduced to the historical contexts of the development of western music and you will compose and perform in your chosen instrument.
The programme is made up of three units:
- Unit 1: Influences on Music
- Unit 2: Composing: Creating Musical Ideas
- Unit 3: Performing: Interpreting Musical Ideas.


Unit 1: Influences on Music

The areas of study provide an appropriate focus for students to appraise, develop and demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of musical elements, musical contexts and musical language. The areas of study can also provide a rich source of material for your students to work with when developing performance and composition skills.

There are seven areas of study:
1. Western classical tradition 1650-1910 (compulsory)
2. Pop music
3. Music for media
4. Music for theatre
5. Jazz
6. Contemporary traditional music
7. Art music since 1910.

Students must study Area of study 1 (Western classical tradition 1650-1910) and choose two from Areas of study 2-7.


Unit 2: Composition: Creating Musical Ideas

Students must learn how to develop musical ideas, including extending and manipulating musical ideas, and compose music that is musically convincing through two compositions. One must be in response to an externally set brief (Composition 1) and the other a free composition (Composition 2).

The combined duration of the compositions must be a minimum of four and a half minutes.

Compositions must demonstrate technical control in the use of appropriate musical elements and how they are combined to make sense as a whole.


Unit 3: Performing: Interpreting Musical Ideas

Students must be able to perform music using one or both of the following ways:
Instrumental/vocal: as a soloist, and/or as part of an ensemble
Production: via music technology.

Students must perform for a minimum of ten minutes.

Care should be taken when selecting repertoire for ensemble performance; the level of demand refers to the individual part performed by the student and not to the overall level of demand of the selected piece.

Performance of pieces written with an accompaniment intended by the composer should not be unaccompanied.
Component 1 - Appraising Music - is worth 40% of your grade. This is an exam paper with listening and written questions using excerpts of music.

Component 2 - Performing - is worth 30% of your grade. This practical assessment consists of solo and/or ensemble performing as an instrumentalist and/or vocalist and/or music production

Component 3 - Composition - is worth 30% of your grade. Composition 1: Composition to a brief set by the exam board & Composition 2: Free composition.
Five GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above

You will need to be working to Music Exam Level Grade 6 or grade 5 GCSE Music minimum.
Higher level programmes in Music or complimentary/related other subjects at a higher level at university.
Please contact the Advice & Guidance Centre on 01271 852422 for more information.