Sixth-form a-level-music-tech

A Level

Music Technology

What could this course lead to?

Further study of music or music technology at university, which may lead to employment in the music, TV or film industries as well as in creative fields including advertising, design, production and recording.

GCSEs required

GCSE Music would be advantageous however it is not essential for this course. Music comes in many forms and is expressed in different ways, but how does it come to us? What are we listening to – there must be more to the three minute pop song than what we are hearing? We all know somebody that plays a musical instrument or who can sing, but how can we convey this to someone else? The performer might not always be available for a public display of talent. We need to record a performance – to record a moment in time, for all time.

What will I be studying?

There are physical and technical parameters that must be understood to create and capture a performance. You will learn about the role and functionality of key components in the studio including microphones and placement, the mixing console and sound levels, aspects and interaction of gain structure and equalisation, types and effects of processors within the recording process, signal paths and the mechanics of sound that are governed by the laws of physics. We will familiarise ourselves with the hardware, initially in making very basic sound recordings of live instruments, progressing to confidently engineering and producing good quality multi-track recordings. 

Are there any trips or extracurricular activities linked to this course?

There are some trips and extracurricular activities linked to this course.

What skills or learning approach do I need for this subject?

Music technology is not about your ability to play any particular instrument – it is about your ability to create a record of events, involving a piece of music. This can be your moment of creativity – a spark that will ignite a passion to master the parameters of the technology available to us.

How is it examined?

Both AS Level and A Level years are based on two projects and two end of year written examinations.

Project 1: Using our recording studio, you will use production tools and techniques to capture, edit, process and mix an audio recording.

Project 2: Using Logic Pro X, you will create, edit, manipulate and structure sounds to produce a technology-based composition.

Written Paper 1: Knowledge and understanding of recording and production techniques and principles, in the context of a series of unfamiliar commercial recordings. Application of knowledge related to recording and production techniques for both corrective and creative purposes, principles of sound and audio technology and the development of recording and production technology.

Written Paper 2: Knowledge and understanding of editing, mixing and production techniques, to be applied to unfamiliar materials. Application of knowledge related to recording and production techniques for both corrective and creative purposes and the principles of sound and audio technology.

What syllabus do you follow?

Edexcel: www.edexcel.com

Will I need to do coursework?


Examination method

  • Two projects and two written papers for AS Level.
  • Six projects and two written papers for A Level.

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