Music Technology A Level

(equivalent to one A Level)

A Level | EDEXCEL

Music Technology A level provides you with the opportunity to produce recordings and compositions in our studios, as well as enhancing crucial listening skills.

The Music Technology A level course introduces you to some of the disciplines involved in the academic study of the subject. It develops the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to compose, sequence, record, analyse and produce music.

Course details

What are the entry requirements?

You should have five GCSE subjects at Grade 4 or above, including English and Maths. Music GCSE (grade 6) OR grade 3 instrumental/vocal ability is required. Basic ability to play the keyboard and notation reading skills would be beneficial as would some previous experience of using music production software. An enthusiasm for studying the science of sound as well as music production

How will I be assessed?

First Year:

Unit Topic Explaination % Assessment
Unit 1 Recording You produce a multi-track recording lasting 2-2.5 minutes. Recordings must include vocals, acoustic guitar and bass guitar, plus other instruments of your choice. Recordings are produced in our studios and mixed and mastered on Logic X. 20% Coursework
Unit 2 Technology-based composition  Using samples provided by Edexcel, you are to produce a piece in a style of your choice lasting 2.5 minutes. You will learn how to create, edit & manipulate sounds through synthesis and sampling in Logic X. 20% Coursework
Unit 3 Listening & analysing You will sit an exam listening to unstudied commercial recordings. Questions will test your knowledge of recording & production techniques, principles of sound technology and the development of recording & production technologies. 25% Exam
Unit 4 Producing & analysing You will sit an exam which contains practical elements and written questions. Using audio material provided by the exam board you will have to produce a track following the given instructions. 35% Exam

Second Year:

Unit Topic Explaination % Assessment
Unit 1 Recording You produce a multi-track recording lasting 3-3.5 minutes. Recordings must include vocals, acoustic guitar, bass guitar & drums plus other instruments of your choice. Recordings are produced in our studios and mixed and mastered on Logic X. 20% Coursework
Unit 2 Technology-based composition Using samples provided by Edexcel, you are to produce a piece in a style of your choice lasting 3 minutes. You will learn how to create, edit & manipulate sounds through synthesis and sampling in Logic X. 20% Coursework
Unit 3  Listening & analysing  You will sit an exam listening to unstudied commercial recordings. Questions will test your knowledge of recording & production techniques, principles of sound technology and the development of recording & production technologies. 25% Exam
Unit 4 Producing & analysing You will sit an exam which contains practical elements and written questions. Using audio material provided by the exam board you will have to produce a track following the given instructions. 35% Exam

What extra work can I do?

Keep up to date with emerging issues with the Music Industry. Try reading articles in Sound on Sound/Music Technology magazine so that you are aware of music production processes and how they are developing. There are also many interesting documentaries on BBC4 which you can watch via the iPlayer. 

What skills will I learn?

Taught by experienced teachers, the key focus of the course is mastery of the different disciplines within Music Technology. Students spend time understanding the science behind sound and applying their understanding through professional standard multitrack recordings made in the studio.

Students go on to develop musical listening and appraising skills through the study of the history of music and apply their knowledge through composing in particular styles or to set briefs. Students also learn advanced Logic X editing and manipulation skills and processes that are applied through sequencing and composition work, as well as through the mixing and mastering process of the multi-track recording.

What is the department like?

Facilities:

  • Two Yamaha grand pianos
  • Baby grand piano
  • Four acoustic drum kits
  • One electric drum kit
  • Six practice rooms, each with an upright piano
  • 80 seat recital room
  • Two well-equipped recording studios
  • A mastering suite
  • Two computer suites, each with 16 networked PCs and iMacs offering a variety of music software including Sibelius and Logic, and independent workstations for composing and performing. 

Extra-Curricular:

Music Technology students are welcome and expected to use the studios outside of lesson time to develop skills, complete recording tasks, mix and master their work. In addition to academic work, Music Technology students can be involved in solo and ensemble performing and contribute to some of the department’s ensembles which include Concert Orchestra, Jazz Band, Godalming College Singers, Chamber Choir, String Group and various other ensembles.

Progression

What are the progression routes for this qualification?

Music Technology A level combines well with many other subjects including Maths, Physics, Music and Media.

Potential degree courses include:

  • Tonmeister degree at the University of Surrey
  • Music Production at Leeds College of Music
  • Music Production at Huddersfield University
  • Live Sound Engineering at ACM
  • Music Technology at Birmingham Conservatoire

Career opportunities include:

  • Sound engineering
  • Music production
  • Teaching
  • Composing for film and media
  • Music journalism
  • Music software development
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