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A-level Music Technology

If you are a musician interested in sound production, or a budding music producer looking to create polished and professional sounding mixes, then Music Technology A level is for you.  It is a highly creative course where only true musicians with a good ear and an ability to manage their own time succeed.

Our students achieve results well above the national average, particularly in composition and arrangement, which is such an important skill to have as a modern day producer.

What is taught in Music Technology?

  • Recording techniques, both theory and practical uses.
  • Synthesis theory and applications.
  • MIDI theory, manipulation and possibilities.
  • Pushing the boundaries of composition and sound design.

Course Content and Assessment

AS

Unit 1 (70%) Practical work – Portfolio 1

You will be required to complete three pieces of work in controlled conditions at school in school time.

  • Sequenced Realised Performance

Students re-create a popular song prescribed by Edexcel using sequencing software.  This must be a carbon copy of the original; identical.

  • Multi Track Recording

Using the recording studio, record, produce and mix a song of your choice.

  • Creative Sequenced Arrangement

Ever felt like arranging Rollin’ in the Deep  by Adele in a Dubstep or Disco style? Now’s your chance!

This work is externally assessed by Edexcel examiners.

Unit 2 (30%) Exam – Listening and Analysing

Here you will develop your listening and analysing skills of popular music, as well as being able to discuss and answer questions on recording, MIDI and synthesis practice.

A2

Unit 3 (60%) Practical – Portfolio 2

This portfolio builds on the skills learnt throughout the AS year.  The standard is therefore much higher than what is expected at AS.

  • Sequenced Integrated Performance

Similar to the SRP from AS, but this time you have to record in the vocal line and up to two other audio tracks and integrate them within the sequence.  Again, this has to be as faithful to the original in every way.

  • Multi track Recording

Similar task to AS, but you have a greater number of tracks you must record and have at least four acoustic instruments present in the mix.

  • Composition

Having learnt about audio manipulation and sampling techniques, here you put them to the test. You get a choice of three composition briefs to choose from. Each one has a specific challenge and you have to fulfil all the criteria whilst creating an original and engaging musical composition.

Unit 4 (40%) Exam – Analysing and Producing

This externally assessed exam involves you answering questions on music, music production, editing, MIDI and music technology development whilst being set practical challenges.

Where Next?

There are the obvious links to the sound industry.  This can be a stepping stone to a career in: sound engineering (studio and live), studio production, composing, music performing, sound design for theatre and film/TV, engineering, computer programming and more!

Music technology is all about working to very important deadlines on your own.  Students feel very proud and pleased when they meet these deadlines, knowing the work they have produced is to the best of their ability.  This skill alone will benefit you at any stage of your life.  Ex-RSA students have gone onto work in the music industry, set up their own recording studios and business, designed mixing desks for large manufacturers, had songs played on Radio 1 and toured the Far East and Europe.