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I'm choosing what courses to take and I'm torn between the two. I play clarinet, piano, cello and I have fairly average skills when using cubase (though the college I plan to go to uses logic). i am planning to do 5 A-Levels, one of them either music or music technology. Which is easiest? Which is more interesting? What are the exams/ coursework like? Is there more coursework in one than than the other?

Thanks(in advance)
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Report 5 years ago
I took music A-level with edexcel. There is coursework with the performance and composition, but at my college this was completed towards the end of the year anyway. The performance wasn't too difficult - we had to perform about 5 minutes worth of music (a couple of pieces) at minimum grade 5 standard. For composition we had to write music for 1 of 4 briefs, like music to represent robots. For the theory, we had to learn 'set pieces' - about 10 pieces from different musical eras, which you are tested on in the exam, as well as writing basic 4 part chorale harmony. The format is the same for the second year, except we had to write more complex chorale harmony which was tested in a separate paper and counted towards the composition coursework. It is quite a lot of work, especially in the A2 year, but it is do-able. I found it interesting most of the time, although it can get boring learning certain pieces you don't enjoy. Your college/sixth form may use a different exam board, but theory, performance and composition are tested by them all.

Although I don't know much about music technology by comparison, at my college it was taken as a BTEC and I think it was all coursework - you are graded on modules taken throughout the year with either 'pass', 'merit' or 'distinction' and this constitutes whether your overall grade is one of those 3. I would guess music A-level is a little more taxing, because you are tested on various areas, but it really depends on what you want to do. While I enjoyed music A-level, I wish I could've taken music tech now because I want to produce my own music and this would have helped massively.

While there is some recording involved in music tech, which involves performing, you will do more performance for music A-level since you are tested on it. As for your skills on cubase, this would help but they don't assume you to have any skills and you may be using other programs too, like Logic.

tl;dr It depends on what you want to do - Music A-level is probably more academic and you could take it on to Uni while music tech would help with recording and producing music.

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