Skip to content ↓

What will I study in A Level Music?

Students experience 3 musical disciplines of:

  • Performing
  • Composing
  • Appraising Music

Students will:

  • Develop their performance skills through personal practice and attending ensembles/choirs
  • Compose music
  • Explore and analyse music from diverse genres and learn about harmony

Course Overview  - Performing

This Unit gives pupils the opportunity to develop their already sophisticated performance skills by developing further their musicality.

Externally Assessed

30% of the qualification (60 marks)

Students must perform:

  • A minimum of one piece, performed as a public performance
  • The performance can be solo, as part of an ensemble, improvisation, realisation using music technology, or a combination of these
  • Total performance time across the recital must be a minimum of of music
  • Performances must be recorded after the 1 march in the year of certification i.e. 2018


  • The purpose of this component is to assess students’ skills in composing music.
  • Students will learn more of the processes involved in creating music through developing the technical and expressive skills needed by a composer.

Externally Assessed

30% of the qualification (60 marks)

Students must submit two compositions, of a combined duration of at least 6 minutes:

  • One composition can be chosen from a list of briefs relating to areas of study, or a free composition, carrying 40 of the marks for the composing assessment. This composition must be at least 4 minutes in duration.
  • One composition must be from a list of four briefs assessing technique, carrying 20 of the marks for the assessment. This composition must be at least 1 minute in duration.


Written examination: 2 hours

40% of the qualification

100 marks

Content overview

  • Knowledge and understanding of musical elements, contexts and language.

Application of knowledge through the context of six areas of study, each with three set works.

Where does A Level Music lead?

Students may be looking to undertake further study of music at university or have wider interests in the performing arts.