GCSE Music A Level

GCSE Music & A Level Music

What is Music Grade equivalent to GCSE & A Level?

ABRSM graded examinations are QCA-accredited at three levels in the National Qualifications Framework:

  • Grades 1–3 at Level 1 (Foundation: equivalent to GCSE grades 3–1)
  • Grades 4–5 at Level 2 (Intermediate: GCSE grades 9–4)
  • Grades 6–8 at Level 3 (Advanced: A-Level).

GCSE Music Components

GCSE Music requires students (age 14-16) to analyse and listen to a wide range of musical genres, styles, and traditions; understand the cultural, social, and historical contexts in which music is created, and understand music technical skills, theory, and knowledge. It is a comprehensive and challenging course of music study for students who are passionate about music and who wish to continue developing their musical skills and knowledge.

1. Appraising  Music (Listening & contextual understanding):
A) Listening-unfamiliar music
B) Study piece

2. Performing Music
A) Solo performance
B) Ensemble performance

3. Composing Music
A) Composition to a brief
B) Free composition

A Level Music Components

A Level Music is an advanced level qualification, and it is useful qualification for those interested in further study at university level or related fields or pursuing a career in the music industry.

The A Level Music specification varies depending on the examination boards, but students are expected to have a broad knowledge, deep understanding of music theory, musical context and music technology, and further develop practical and analytical skills. The exam typically covers the following topics:

  1. Appraising Music (musical techniques, styles, and historical context)
    A) Listening
    B) Analysis
    C) Essay- Contextual understanding
  2. Performing Music (Technical ability, expression, interpretation)
    A) Solo performance
    B) Ensemble performance
    C) Realisation using music technology
  3. Composing Music (understanding of harmony, structure melody, and texture)
    A) Composition to a brief
    B) Free composition