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AS/A2 Music


AS level

Unit 1(Performing Music) gives students the opportunity to perform as a soloist or as part of an ensemble. Students can choose music in any style. Any instrument(s) or voice is acceptable as part of a five-six minute assessed performance.

Unit 2 – (Composing) encourages students to develop their composition skills leading to the creation of a three-minute piece in response to a chosen brief Students also write a CD sleeve note to describe aspects of their final composition and explain how other pieces of music have influenced it.

Unit 3 – (Developing Musical Understanding) focuses on listening to familiar music and understanding how it works. Set works from an anthology provide the focus for the first two sections, through listening and studying scores.

In the third section, students use a score to identify harmonic and tonal features and then apply this knowledge in the completion of a short and simple harmony exercise.

A2 level

Unit 4 (Extended Performance) gives students opportunities to extend their performance skills as soloists and / or as part of an ensemble, students can choose music in any style. Any instrument(s) and / or voice(s) are acceptable as part of a 12-15 minute assessed performance of a balanced programme of music.

Unit 5 (Composition and technical Study) has two sections: composition and technical study. The composition section further develops studentsâ?? composition skills, leading to the creation of a final three-minute piece in response to a chosen brief. The technical study section builds on the knowledge and awareness of harmony gained in Unit 3. Students must complete two tasks in this unit choosing from either one composition and one technical study, two compositions or two technical studies.


The A level in Music can lead to further study in Music or Performing Arts in Higher Education or at Degree or HND level. Studying Music could lead to a career in the music industry, but it can also be used to broaden your knowledge of Western culture and to develop valuable communication and creative skills for a wide range of careers.