Why study A level Music?
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 are passionate about it. This course will allow you to develop performance and composition skills whilst also introducing the study of academic music through in-depth musical analysis and the application of music theory.

What are the careers or further education that this course be suitable for?
The A level course provides an excellent basis for continued study at degree level. Whilst candidates often pursue a career in music, it is equally a respected and acceptable academic ‘A’ level and would provide a valuable complementary area of study when combined with other ‘A’ levels. Careers in music include those such as professional musician, music therapy, music teaching, sound technician or broadcasting.

Key Information Summary:

Course TitleMusic
Examination BoardAQA
Linear Qualification?Yes
Course Webpage
Entry Requirements

Students are required to have achieved at least a Grade 5 in GCSE music and Grade 4 in an instrument and theory (or equivalent). Grade 5 is required for the full A level course.

However, it is recommended that students have achieved a Grade 7 or above at GCSE

Contact TeachersMiss L Laird:

Course Details:

The AQA specification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills you will have acquired studying GCSE music. Similarly to GCSE, the course is based on three main strands: Appraising music (listening), Performance and Composition, providing a balanced study of music, in which skills and understanding are developed, revisited and reinforced throughout the course.

AQA music is a linear course with terminal examinations at the end of the A-level year.


Subject Content:

Music is taught through 3 main strands:

Appraising music
Listening, analysis and contextual understanding, covering the following topics:

  • Western Classical tradition, including Baroque Solo Concerto, The Opera of Mozart and The Piano Music of Chopin, Brahms and Grieg
  • Music for Theatre
  • Pop Music

Solo and/or ensemble performances of no less than 10 minutes. You can perform as an instrumentalist, vocalist or in music production. The minimum level of skill required is Grade 5 or equivalent.

Composition is assessed in two ways: Composition to a Brief and Free Composition.


Assessment details:

A Level – 2 Year Course

Component 1: Appraising music (40% of A-level)

Section A: Listening (56 marks),
Section B: Analysis (34 marks)
Section C: Essay (30 marks)

Component 2: Performance (35% of A level)

Solo and /or ensemble performing as an instrumentalist, or vocalist and/or music production (via technology).

A minimum of ten minutes of performance in total is required.

Minimum requirement is Grade 5 or equivalent.

Component 3: Composition   (25% of A-level)

Composition to a brief (25 marks)
Free composition (25 marks)

A minimum of 4 minutes 30 seconds of composition in total is required.