Sixth Form

Music Technology

What do I need to start?

You do not have to have Music GCSE to do Edexcel Music Technology A level.
You need to have a desire to learn and experiment with the technology in the Music Studio and you should be inspired and passionate about creating and producing your own music.

Is this course for me?

Yes, if you have musical talent and are interested in using new technology. This is an area of interest to both professionals and amateurs. You would have the opportunity to learn in a very practical way using the latest technology in a wide range of musical genres from Bach to the Beatles.

What will I learn?

You will

  • use technology as a tool for composing, arranging and score writing
  • gain a good grounding in sequencing and recording skills
  • learn the principles of music technology through practical experience
  • discover how technology influences the way music is produced and listened to

What will I study?

First year: AS

Unit 1: Practical Work:

1A Sequenced Realised Performance:

  • Produce a sequenced performance based on a commercially available piece of music.
  • Produce an accurate musical realization of the track through sequencing of the prescribed piece, shaping editing and mixing MIDI and audio data, using appropriate software.

1B Multi-track Recording:

  • Students learn the skills required to make high-quality recordings.
  • Students select a piece of music (Popular Music styles since 1910). The performance recorded must be played and sung live. Detail to efficient capture, processing and mixing of musical information is priority.

1C Creative Sequenced Arrangement:

  • Students will be required to create an original arrangement of a prescribed stimulus in a prescribed style, with a focus on sequencing and software-based sound manipulation.
Unit 2: Written Work:
  • Students are required to demonstrate their ability to listen to unfamiliar music and to analyze musical, technical and stylistic features in a 2 hour written paper.
  • Two main styles, Hiphop / Rap and Rock and Roll will be studied in detail.

Second year: A2

Unit 3: Practical Work (Portfolio 2)

There are three pieces of coursework required.

3A Sequenced Integrated Performance:

  • You will choose one of two songs given to you by the examining board Edexcel.
  • The task requires you to make a copy of the recording you have chosen using the extensive software, sequencing and recording tools that are available in the music department. You will use a variety of input and editing techniques and mix the track using your production skills to provide a musically pleasing performance.

3B Multi-track Recording:

  • You will produce a finished mix of your own recording of a commercially available track. This can be either instrumental or vocal and the idea is to use a variety of recording techniques to complete the task. These can include overdubbing, close and ambient microphone techniques and the use of DI.

3C Composing using Music Technology:

  • This task allows you to use your imagination freely and to use virtually any sequencing and/or recording technique you like.
  • Edexcel will supply three very wide ranging briefs e.g. music for film/tv or pop song and you will base your composition around one of these. There is scope for you to be truly creative and to combine the various musical and technical skills you will have learnt throughout the course into your own original composition and finished production.
Unit 4: Analyzing and Producing

This is a combination of written and practical work.
There will be a 2-hour examination comprising two sections:

  • Section A has 4 questions and these will test your musical understanding, skill at manipulating and correcting recorded music and your ability to describe various technological processes.
  • Section B is another practical test and you will need to produce a balanced stereo mix of a given track.