A Level Music

Please note: students in Year 12 (September 2016) will be following the new specification as outlined below and Year 13 (September 2016) will be following the legacy course outlined underneath

AQA(AS 7271 A Level 7272)

Who should study Music? 

Music helps you to develop a variety of skills such as analysis, dedication, group skills, self confidence and self-reliance, as well as providing a means of artistic expression and relaxation. Plus it stretches your imagination and playing an instrument also makes you think and react quickly.  Skills such as these are sought after in many careers.

The Course

AS Level Music

This is will be taught with the A level course as the content is the same for year 12 students who only wish to sit the AS examination. Additional units will be studied in year 13.

A Level Music

A Level Music comprises three units:

Appraising (40% for A level and AS)

What's assessed?

  • Listening (56 marks A Level and 49 for AS )
  • Analysis (34 marks for A level and 17 for AS)
  • Contextual understanding (30 marks for AS and A level)

How it's assessed

You will study music from 1650 – 1910, Pop music and Musical Theatre. There is one written Exam paper which will contain listening and written questions using excerpts of music and will be sat in the summer of year 13.

Performing (35% for A level and 30% for AS) (50 marks for AS and A level)

What's assessed?

  • Music performance

How it's assessed

  • Solo and/or ensemble performing as an instrumentalist, or vocalist – you should be approximately grade 6 standard by the end of year 12.
  • A minimum of ten minutes of performance in total is required for A level and 6 minutes for AS. The performance can take the form of a solo performance or a combination of solo and ensemble.

Composing (25% for A level and 30% for AS)

How it's assessed

  • Composition 1: Composition to a brief (25 marks)
  • Composition 2: Free composition and composition log (25 marks)

A minimum of four and a half minutes of music in total is required



Appraising - 40%

Performing - 30%

Composing - 30%

A Level

Appraising - 40%

Performing - 35%

Composing - 25%

Where it leads

Music is a highly regarded academic subject and whether you take it with a view to a career in music or as an additional A level subject, it is held in high esteem by universities and other institutions of higher education. Most people, however, study Music because they love it and you will have plenty of practical opportunities to develop your talents.

Please note: The following course is for current (September 2015) Year 12 and Year 13 students only  

OCR (AS: H142, A2:H542)

Who should study Music? 

Music is suitable for anyone who has a good command of an instrument or voice – you should be grade 5 standard by the end of the Year 12. In addition you should enjoy listening to music, composing and performing. 

The Course 

AS Music

AS Music comprises three units:

Performing (40%)

An 8-minute solo recital (A choice of different options), followed by a short oral exam.

Composing (30%)

Candidates submit two pieces of composition coursework

Introduction to Historical study (30%)

Timed exam: Aural extracts (listening exam), prescribed works and contextual Awareness.

A2 Music

Performance: a 15 minutes solo recital. Followed by an examined discussion.

Composition: a set of exercise that cover techniques from the 16th century to modern music. A free composition which is 4 minutes long.

Analysis element covers one musical genre in detail, and the aural exam focuses on vocal music from 1900 to 1945.


Performing – 40%

Composing – 30%

Historical Study – 30%

Where it leads

Music is challenging subject, the skills of which are relevant to careers in both the science and the arts.