A-Level Music

At Haslingden High School we follow the Eduqas (WJEC) specification for A-Level Music.

The WJEC Eduqas specification is designed to allow learners to pursue their own musical interests. Learners develop skills in the three distinct but related disciplines of performing, composing and appraising, whilst having flexibility to specialise in either performing or composing. Learners may choose to apportion 10% of their assessment to either performing or composing as an in-depth study. The WJEC Eduqas specification is designed to offer contrast and breadth as well as depth of study. Learners will engage with both classical and popular music. All learners will study the development of the symphony, engaging with landmark orchestral repertoire, which is important in developing knowledge and understanding of musical elements and language in context. Learners will use the musical language of this period to compose one piece of music to a brief.

Learners will also choose one area of study from Pop and Rock, Musical Theatre and Jazz and one further area of study exploring the musical language and styles from either the early twentieth century or the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

 

Component 1: Performing

Option A: Total duration of performances: 10-12 minutes (35% of qualification)
Option B: Total duration of performances: 6-8 minutes (25% of qualification)
Non-exam assessment: externally assessed by a visiting examiner

Option A: Performing (35%)
A performance consisting of a minimum of three pieces. At least one of these pieces must be as a soloist. The other pieces may be either as a soloist or as part of an ensemble or a combination of both. One piece must reflect the musical characteristics of one area of study. At least one other piece must reflect the musical characteristics of one other, different area of study.
Option B: Performing (25%)
A performance consisting of a minimum of two pieces either as a soloist or as part of an ensemble or a combination of both. One piece must reflect the musical characteristics of one area of study.

Component 2: Composing

Component 2: Composing
Option A: Total duration of compositions: 4-6 minutes (25% of qualification)
Option B: Total duration of compositions: 8-10 minutes (35% of qualification)
Non-exam assessment: externally assessed by WJEC

Option A: Composing (25%)
Two compositions, one of which must reflect the musical techniques and conventions associated with the Western Classical Tradition and be in response to a brief set by WJEC. Learners will have a choice of four set briefs, released during the first week of September in the academic year in which the assessment is to be taken. The second composition is a free composition.
Option B: Composing (35%)
Three compositions, one of which must reflect the musical techniques and conventions associated with the Western Classical Tradition and be in response to a brief set by WJEC. Learners will have a choice of four set briefs, released during the first week of September in the academic year in which the assessment is to be taken. The second composition must reflect the musical characteristics of one different area of study (i.e. not the Western Classical Tradition) while the third composition is a free composition.

Component 3: Appraising

Written examination: 2 hour 15 minutes

Externally assessed

40% of qualification

Three areas of study:
Area of study A: The Western Classical Tradition which includes two set works. Choose one set work for detailed analysis and the other for general study.
A choice of one area of study from:
Area of study B: Rock and Pop
Area of study C: Musical Theatre
Area of study D: Jazz

A choice of one area of study from:
Area of study E: Into the Twentieth Century including two set works:
Area of study F: Into the Twenty-first Century including two set works:
Questions:
1. Set work analysis with a score
2. Extended responses on wider context
3. Unprepared extracts of music with and without a score
4. Comparison questions
This component includes a listening examination.

The WJEC Eduqas GCSE in Music offers a broad and coherent course of study which encourages learners to:

  • engage actively in the process of music study
  • develop performing skills individually and in groups to communicate musically with fluency and control of the resources used
  • develop composing skills to organise musical ideas and make use of appropriate resources
  • recognise links between the integrated activities of performing, composing and appraising and how this informs the development of music
  • broaden musical experience and interests, develop imagination and foster creativity
  • develop knowledge, understanding and skills needed to communicate effectively as musicians
  • develop awareness of a variety of instruments, styles and approaches to performing and composing
  • develop awareness of music technologies and their use in the creation and presentation of music
  • recognise contrasting genres, styles and traditions of music, and develop some awareness of musical chronology
  • develop as effective and independent learners with enquiring minds
  • reflect upon and evaluate their own and others’ music
  • engage with and appreciate the diverse heritage of music, in order to promote personal, social, intellectual and cultural development.