The Edexcel AS and A Level is a challenging yet exciting and stimulating qualification that aims to develop the three musical disciplines of performance, composition and listening and understanding. Although an academic qualification at its core, the course will suit any student with a passion for studying music of a range of styles and genres.
Course Content and Assessment
A Level Music
Component 1: Performing Music (30%)
Students must prepare, rehearse and present an 8 minute public
recital on their chosen instrument. The performance can be playing or
singing solo, in an ensemble, or improvising.
Component 2: Composing Music (30%)
For this unit, student must extend their compositional skills and
produce two compositions. One will be a short technical study based
on knowledge and awareness of four-part harmony writing in the
style of J.S. Bach. The other will be a 4 minute creative composition in
response to a chosen brief. Examples of composition briefs include:
"Compose the title music for a science fiction action film".
"Compose a piece for a string quartet that is based around an east
European folk melody."
"Compose a piece of music for a jazz musician to play at a live concert
as an encore."
"Compose a song using a poem of your choice for use as opening
music for a conference about the protection of the environment."
Component 3: Appraisal (40%)
For this unit, students will study a wide range of set pieces of music
including extracts from the following works:
'The Magic Flute' - Mozart
'Concerto in D minor, Op.3' - Vivaldi
'Symphonie Fantastique' - Berlioz
'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl' - Badelt
'Revolver' (Album) – The Beatles
'War Requiem' - Britten
Students will gain an in-depth understanding of each of the set pieces
as well as a broader awareness of related compositions and stylistic
Knowledge will be assessed through a two hour written paper which
demands both essay writing as well as aural analysis skills.
Extending your experience:
Although visiting live music concerts is not
a core feature of the A Level Music course,
opportunities will be provided for students to
see a range of musical performances in order
to widen their awareness and understanding
of different styles and genres of music.
Huish Episcopi also runs a large number of
extra-curricular music activities enabling
students to develop their performance skills
further. There is an annual Musical Production
in which A level students are expected to
The Music Department also runs a biannual
European Tour for senior students to further
extend their performance experiences.
5 GCSE's or equivalent (grades A*-C). Ability to play an
instrument to grade 6 standard of above. B or above in
Where will this Course take me?
On completion of theA level music qualification, the
next logical step would be a degree course. Students
can choose to continue with the academic study of
music at a University, or to specialise in instrumental
performance or composition at a specialist Music
College. For students not wishing to continue with
music at Higher Education, A level music is a wellrecognised
and respected qualification by both
employers and higher education institutions.