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Devonport High School for Girls

Head of Department

Ms S Mitchell, BA (Hons), QTS

A Level Course Outline

A Level Music provides students with an opportunity to further develop their skills as a musician through performing, composing and listening and analysing music. A level Music can lead to further musical study at degree level. However, the skills developed through studying music, such as self-discipline, cooperation and high level analysis skills, are greatly valued on all degree courses and by employers .

Higher Education and Career Opportunities

A Level Music prepares students for the challenges of a Music degree at university or music college and can lead to other areas of Music study, such as Music Therapy and Arts administration. A Music qualification shows that students are highly motivated and can take the initiative and work well with others. Universities and future employers favour A Level Music because of the range of skills involved. The qualification can help in applying for jobs or courses for which these are desirable characteristics.


Course Content

Examination Board


Full details of the specification and assessment criteria can be found on the AQA website

A Level Music 7272

A Level

Component 1: Appraising Music 40%


Western Classical Music 1650-1910 (compulsory)
Two further areas will be chosen from the following options: Pop Music, Music for Media, Music for Theatre, Jazz, Contemporary Traditional Music and/or Art Music since 1910.
Assessment: A listening and written exam based on both familiar and unfamiliar music.
Section A: Listening (56 marks)
Section B: Analysis (34 marks)
Section C: Essay (30 marks)


Component 2: Performance 35%


The course provides opportunities for students to develop performance skills on their chosen instrument or voice. Students will focus on developing technique and musical interpretation and performances can in any genre.
Assessment: A portfolio of performances totalling 10 minutes as a soloist and/or a member of an ensemble


Component 3: Composition 25%


During the course students will develop a range of composition skills and techniques.
Assessment: Two compositions, one of which is completely free choice and a second one based on a choice of briefs set by AQA.

Curriculum Programmes of Study 


Cycle Content

Year 12

Cycle 1

  Introduction to composition
  Music theory
  Western Classical Tradition: Baroque Solo Concerto
  Music for Media
  Performance work

Cycle 2

  Composition and performance work
  Western Classical Tradition: The Operas of Mozart
  Music for Media

Cycle 3

  Composition and performance work
  Western Classical Tradition: Romantic Piano Music
  Music for Media

Year 13


Cycle 1

 Composition and performance work
Music for Theatre 

Cycle 2

  Revision:  Music for Media, Baroque Solo Concerto, The Operas of              Mozart, Romantic Piano Music, Music for Theatre
  Exam technique and past papers
  Composition and performance work

Cycle 3

  Revision of all areas of study
  Exam technique and past papers