Shrewsbury School

Music in the Sixth Form

The following information is taken from our document 'The Sixth Form and Beyond', which is updated each December. It can be downloaded as a pdf file.


 

We offer Music A Level (H543) with OCR.  This is a course where candidates will develop a broad range of knowledge of music of varying styles and genres through their study of music history as well as performing and composing.  These subjects are approached from a variety of mediums, but most importantly everything stems from a broad and developed palate of listening.

There is no prescribed prior knowledge for taking the course.  However, it is recommended that candidates embarking on it should have shown a level of musical ability and understanding equivalent to that required for GCSE Music.

A Level     Candidates take components: 01, 03 & 05 OR 02, 04, 05 (2 years)

01     Performing A

Candidates are required to perform a practical examination which is externally assessed by an audio-visual recording.  Candidates are required to perform a programme of at least two contrasting pieces with a duration of between six and nine minutes.  The recital may use one or more of the following:

  • Solo piece on more than one instrument or voice
  • Ensemble performance (including accompanying)
  • Realisation using music technology

02     Performing B

Candidates are required to perform a practical examination which is externally assessed by an audio-visual recording.  Candidates are required to perform a programme of at least three contrasting pieces with a duration of between ten and 15 minutes.  The recital may use one or more of the following:

  • Solo piece on more than one instrument or voice
  • Ensemble performance (including accompanying)
  • Realisation using music technology

Section 1:     Free Choice: at least two pieces
Section 2:     Focused Study: at least one further piece

03     Composing A

Candidates are required to submit three separate pieces with a combined duration of at least eight minutes.

Section 1:     Composition in response to a brief set by OCR
Section 2:     Composition in response to a brief set by the candidate
Section 3:     Three short technical exercises

04     Composing B

Candidates are required to submit two separate pieces with a combined duration of at least four minutes and 30 seconds.

Section 1:     Composition in response to a brief set by OCR
Section 2:     Composition in response to a brief set by the candidate

05     Listening and appraising

Candidates are required to sit an externally-assessed timed examination paper of 2 hours and 30 minutes.  The paper consists of three section:

Section A:     Aural extracts

Section B:    Questions based on aural extracts from prescribed works

  • Orchestral music of the Classical period
  • Popular song: Blues, Jazz, Swing and Big Band

Section C:     Contextual awareness: candidates are required to write two essays from two of the following topics:

  • Instrumental Jazz 1910 to the present day
  • Religious Music of the Baroque period
  • Programme Music 1820-1910
  • Innovations in Music 1900 to the present day
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