Music Technology plays a key role in Music across the world. This qualification is designed to open up a range of exciting and useful tasks to students from a wide variety of musical backgrounds, and to encourage students to learn about the subject in depth. You will have opportunities to build your understanding of the technical processes and principles that underpin effective use of Music Technology, and comment on it in writing.
There are four components, delivered and completed over the two-year course.
Recording (externally assessed practical coursework; 20% of the qualification)
Students complete one multi-track recording, chosen from a list of 10 songs provided by the exam board. Students will develop knowledge and understanding of the production tools and techniques required to capture, edit, process and mix an audio recording. The task is completed in lesson time throughout the course.
Technology-based Composition (externally assessed practical coursework; 20% of the qualification)
Students compose an original piece chosen from three briefs set by the exam board. Students explore the creation, editing, structure and manipulation of sounds to produce a technology-based composition. The task is completed in lesson time throughout the course.
Listening and Analysing (1½ hour written examination; 25% of the qualification)
Students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of recording and production techniques and principles, in the context of a series of unfamiliar commercial recordings supplied by the exam board. Students will be required to apply their knowledge of recording and production techniques for both corrective and creative purposes, principles of sound and audio technology, and the development of recording and production technology. This includes two extended written responses, one question comparing two unfamiliar recordings and the second commenting on the capture and production of an additional unfamiliar recording.
Producing and Analysing (2 hour 15 minutes written and practical examination; 35% of the qualification)
Through both practical and written tasks, students are required to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of editing, mixing and production techniques. Students will correct and combine given audio and MIDI materials to form a completed mix, which may include creating tracks or parts from the materials provided. They will also complete an extended essay task, focusing on a specific mixing scenario, signal path, effect or Music Technology hardware unit.
You do not need to have studied Music at GCSE Level in order to study the A Level course. It is highly recommended that you have a competent level of music theory understanding, are able to read notation and that you have a strong aptitude for Music. We would also require a minimum of Grade 5 in GCSE Maths and English.
You could take this course with other Advanced Level courses to prepare for Higher Education in Music related courses, or more general Higher Education courses. With further training, you could go into a job related to Music such as a Music Composer, Musician, Sound Technician, or you may wish to use your music ability for recreational purposes. The course is designed to provide you with access to a range of Music related employment and will also develop the skills, understanding and knowledge that many employers across lots of other industries are looking for.