Music Technology A Level

Course Content

This specification aims to encourage students to develop a range of skills, knowledge and understanding needed to create and produce music using modern music technology. It provides an extraordinary course of study to broaden experience, foster creativity and promote personal and social development. This is a hands on course which involves recording a band in a studio, creating a composition using synthesis and sampling and learning about the history of recorded sound. This includes learning about the development of popular music genres and also looks at the underlying science of sound. It is a gateway qualification for a wide range of music industry posts including music recording and production, theatre, radio, podcasts and concerts.

The A Level course consists of 4 Components:

Component 1: Recording (Externally assessed, 20% of total A level Mark).  This unit gives students the opportunity to learn how to use production tools and techniques to capture, edit, process and mix an audio recording. One recording between 3 and 3½ minutes is chosen from a list of 10 songs provided by Edexcel. This will involve recording at least seven instruments to create an audio recording of the chosen song.

Component 2: Technology based Composition (Externally assessed, 20% of total A level mark).  This unit gives students the opportunity to create, edit, manipulate and structure sounds into a composition and to develop their composition skills leading to the creation of one original composition. The composition is in response to a brief set by Edexcel and must include synthesis and sampling. The total time for the compositions is 3 minutes.

Component 3: Listening and Analysing (Externally assessed by examination 25% of total A level mark).  This unit focuses on listening to familiar music and understanding how it works. Areas of study include Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Music for Film, Popular Music and Jazz, Fusions and New Directions. The exam is divided into two sections.

Section A: Listening and Analysing; Four questions based on unfamiliar commercial recordings.

Section B: Extended written response: Two essay questions, one comparing two unfamiliar commercial recordings and one of another commercial recording.

Component 4: Producing and analysing (Externally assessed, 35% of total A level mark).  This is a written and practical exam which tests knowledge of editing, mixing and production techniques. Students will create, correct and combine audio and MIDI tracks to form a completed mix. The written component will focus on testing the application of knowledge of mixing to a specific scenario.


GCSE Music Grade 5 is desirable. Alternatively, the school is open to considering a portfolio of a student’s own work using a Digital Audio Workstation such as Logic Pro X in order to assess their suitability.

Examination Board: Edexcel.  Course Number: 9MT0