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Music A Level

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Component 1: Performance 30% (60 Marks)

  • A public performance recital
  • Performance can be playing an instrument or singing
  • Performance can be solo or as part of an ensemble
  • Performance is to be recorded after 1st of March in Year 13
  • Total performance time must be 8 minute or more
  • Bonus marks are awarded for Grade 7 performance standard and above

Component 2: Composition 30% (60 Marks)

  • 1 Free Composition 20% (40 Marks)
  • 1 Brief Composition 10% (20 Marks)

Component 3: Appraisal 40% 1 x 2 hour exam in June of Year 13 (100 Marks)


Section A: Areas of Study and Dictation (50 Marks)

Three questions related to the set works (audio and skeleton score is provided)

One short melody/rhythmic completion exercise.


Section B: Extended response (50 Marks)

Essay 1 (20 Marks)

Students are to draw links from their study of the set works to the unfamiliar extract

Essay 2 (30 Marks)

Students are given a choice of three questions that asks students to evaluate the musical elements, content and language of one set work. Each option will be from a different area of study.


SET WORKS – For appraisal exam

Vocal Music:

J.S Bach - Cantata, Ein feste Burg

Mozart - The Magic Flute

Vaughan Williams - One Wenlock Edge


Instrumental Music:

Vivaldi - Concerto in D minor Op. 3 No.11

Clara Wieck-Schumann - Piano Trio in G minor Op. 17: Movement 1

Berlioz - Symphonie Fantastique  


Music for Film:

Danny Elfman - Batman Returns

Rachel Portman - The Duchess

Bernard Herrmann – Psycho


Popular Music and Jazz:

Courtney Pine - Back in the Day

Kate Bush - Hounds of Love

Beatles – Revolver



Debussy - Estampes

Familiar Valera Miranda - Cana Quema

Anoushka Shankar - Breathing Under Water


New Directions

Cage - Three Dances for two prepared pianos

Kaija Saariaho - Petals for violin cello and Live electronics

Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring



We ask students to purchase the Anthology which is the collection of scores we will analyse for the Appraisal exam (40%)


Sample papers

A Level Music Composition Exam (10%)

A Level Music Appraisal Paper (40%)