Music Technology

Why study A level Music Technology?

This qualification (the Advanced GCE in Music Technology) is designed to open up a range of exciting and useful tasks and to encourage students to learn about the subject. Students are encouraged to explore their musicality and create original material using technology. There is an emphasis on practical tasks with all tasks appropriate to the styles of music that use music technology.

What are the careers or further education that this course be suitable for?

The content is designed to develop a broad range of skills including project management, appraising and analysis, creativity and imagination. Students will be able to progress to undergraduate study in Music Technology including;

  • music technology
  • sound production
  • sound design
  • technology based composition (film, tv, video games)

Key Information Summary:

Course Title Music Technology
Examination Board Edexcel
Linear Qualification? Yes
Course Webpage https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-a-levels/music-technology-2017.html
Entry Requirements

It is not necessary, but preferable that students have gained a Grade B or above in Music GCSE.

Students should be able to read and write music with ease and should have an inherent interest in music technology applications. Competent keyboard skills are desirable and students should have a broad understanding of a range of pop, jazz and classical music styles.

Contact Teachers Mr G Morley: gmorley@wilmslowhigh.com

Course Details:

The Pearson Edexcel Level 3 Advanced GCE in Music Technology consists of two externally-examined papers and two non-examined assessment components. Students must submit their non-examined assessment (NEA) and complete the examinations in May/June in the year of certification.

 Subject Content:

Component 1: Recording

The purpose of this component is to assess students’ skills in capturing, editing and mixing sounds to produce an audio recording with increased sensitivity and control. Students will develop the skills to capture and manipulate sounds in corrective and creative ways in order to communicate effectively with listeners. The recording relates to Area of Study 1: ‘Recording and production techniques for both corrective and creative purposes’. Students will use technology to explore a range of techniques for capturing, editing and manipulating sound which will help them understand the impact of music technology on creative processes in the studio. They will then produce a completed mix.

Component 2: Technology-based composition

The purpose of this component is to assess students’ skills in creating, editing and structuring sounds with increased sensitivity and control to develop a technology-based composition. Students will develop the skills to create and manipulate sounds in imaginative and creative ways in order to communicate effectively with listeners. The technology-based composition relates to Area of Study 1, recording and production techniques for both corrective and creative purposes. Students will use technology to explore a range of techniques for developing ideas. They will then turn their ideas into completed technology-based compositions. Students should develop in-depth knowledge and understanding of musical elements and musical language, and apply these, where appropriate, to their own technology-based compositions.

Component 3: Listening and analysing

The purpose of this component is for students to develop listening and analysing skills through the study of a range of music production techniques used in unfamiliar commercial recordings. The production stages of capture and creating sounds, editing and arranging sounds and mixing will be covered in the examination. Content is grouped according to three of the areas of study. This component gives students the opportunity to identify, analyse and evaluate a range of creative music production techniques, as applied to the unfamiliar commercial recordings supplied in the examination. As well as identifying effects and their associated parameter settings, students will explain the principles behind the choice of the effects heard on each recording, and their sonic character, in a series of written responses. Through the deconstruction and analysis of a final, commercial product, students will expand their knowledge of the recording and production practices associated with a number of historical eras.

Component 4: Producing and analysing

This component assesses students’ knowledge of the techniques and principles of music technology through a series of written and practical tasks, in the context of audio and MIDI materials provided by Pearson. The production stages of sound creation, audio editing and mixing will be covered. The content is grouped into two of the areas of study. Students will work with unedited audio and MIDI materials provided by Pearson that have been captured using microphone, DI and sequencing techniques. The examination will assess the ability to process and correct these materials using a range of production skills, culminating in a series of audio bounces/exports for individual instrumental/vocal parts, plus a final stereo mix. Students will refine and combine pre-existing ‘ingredients’ of a mix to form a convincing final product. Students will also comment on sonic characteristics of the materials provided, interpreting the underlying theory associated with these as well as justifying decisions they have made in respect of selecting processes and parameters when undertaking the practical tasks.

Assessment details:

A-Level – 2 Year Course

Component 1: Recording – Non-examined assessment: externally assessed 20% of the qualification (60 marks)

Production tools and techniques to capture, edit, process and mix an audio recording.

Component 2: Technology-based composition – Non-examined assessment: externally assessed 20% of the qualification (60 marks)

Creating, editing, manipulating and structuring sounds to produce a technology-based composition.

Component 3: Listening and analysing – Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes 25% of the qualification (75 marks)

Knowledge and understanding of recording and production techniques and principles, in the context of a series of unfamiliar commercial recordings. Application of knowledge related to all three areas of study:

1.       recording and production techniques for both corrective and creative purposes

2.       principles of sound and audio technology

3.       the development of recording and production technology.

Component 4: Producing and analysing – Written/practical examination: 2 hours 15 minutes, 35% of the qualification (105 marks)

Knowledge and understanding of editing, mixing and production techniques, to be applied to unfamiliar materials. Application of knowledge related to two of the areas of study:

1.       recording and production techniques for both corrective and creative purposes

2.       principles of sound and audio technology.