King's Bruton


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Music is central to the life of King’s, from singing in the weekly School Service to the Military Band’s contribution to Remembrance Sunday and Bruton’s community as a whole. Academic results are excellent both at GCSE and A Level.

Pupils are taught music in a lively and engaging style by passionate and knowledgeable teachers. Pupils are taught to compose in a variety of styles and genres often tailored to their own personal strengths.

The 3rd Form pupils follow an exciting and diverse curriculum that explores how music is embedded in our culture and is used every day to shape and influence our emotions

The course is delivered by performing opportunities, composing, listening or a mixture of all three. Studying music can lead to jobs in the music industry but also in broadcasting, event organising, musical engineering, education and arts administration. Past pupils have gone on to careers in the recording industry, education and performance.

GCSE Curriculum

The Edexcel GCSE music syllabus is followed; the course is varied and challenging allowing pupils to shine in their areas of strengths.


Performance is worth 30% of the total GCSE mark. To obtain the highest marks pupils should be of ABRSM Grade V standard by the end of the course. Pupils must submit one solo and one ensemble performance with a combined duration of 4 minutes. This is marked internally and then moderated.


Composition is worth 30% of the total GCSE course. Pupils must compose two pieces which must have a combined duration of 3 minutes; they can be in any genre and for any instrument or instruments including vocal music. This is marked internally and then moderated.


The written listening and appraising paper is worth 40% of the GCSE course. Pupils sit a 90 minute listening examination in which they are asked questions on both set works or from unfamiliar music drawn from the following genres: Instrumental music 1700-1820, Vocal music, Music for Stage and Screen and Fusions.

GCSE Specification

A Level Music Curriculum

The A Level examination in Music builds on the skills of listening, composing and performing which were introduced during the GCSE course. The Edexcel syllabus is followed; the course is varied and challenging, allowing pupils to shine in their areas of strengths.

A Level

Unit 1
Unit 1 (Performing Music 1) is worth 30% of the total A Level mark.

Pupils must perform either as a soloist or a member of an ensemble for 6 minutes. The expected standard is ABRSM Grade VI.

Unit 2
Unit 2 (Composing 1) is worth 30% of the total AS mark.  

  • Composition 1. (40 marks)
    Free composition: Pupils will choose from a set brief set by Edexcel or write their own brief to use as a basis for a composition lasting a minimum of 4 minutes.
  • Composition 2. (20 marks)
    ​Composition from selected brief assessing technique. Pupils must complete a technical study lasting not less than 1 minute from one of the following:

- Bach Choral

- Two part counterpoint

- Arrangement

- Remix

The combined duration of the two compositions must not be less than six minutes.

Unit 3
Unit 3 Appraising worth 40% of the total A Level mark. Pupils sit a 2 hour examination paper:

  • Section A - Areas of study and dictation. (50 marks). Three questions relating to set works and 1 short melody/rhythm completion exercise.
  • Section B - Extended response. (50 marks). Essay one asks pupils to draw links from their study of the set works to the music heard as an unfamiliar extract. (20 marks). Essay two gives a choice of three questions that ask students to evaluate the musical elements, context and language of one set work. Each option will be from a different area of study. (30 marks).

A Level Specification

A Level Music Technology Curriculum

A Level

The A Level examination in Music Technology demands skills in listening and analysing, arranging, composing sequencing and recording.

Component 1
Recording (20% of the total mark).

Pupils must complete one recording chosen from a list of 10 songs provided by Pearson, consisting of a minimum of five compulsory instruments and two additional instruments, released on our website on 1st June in the calendar year preceding the year in which the qualification is to be awarded. Total time must be between 3 minutes and 3½ minutes. 

Component 2
Technology-based composition (20% of the total mark).

One technology-based composition chosen from three briefs set by Pearson released on our website on 1st September in the calendar year preceding the year in which the qualification is to be awarded. Synthesis and sampling/audio manipulation and creative effects use must be included. Total time must be 3 minutes.

Component 3
Listening and analyising (25% of the total mark).

  • Section A: Listening and analysing (40 marks) – four questions, each based on unfamiliar commercial recordings supplied by Pearson (10 marks each). 
  • Section B: Extended written responses (35 marks) – two essay questions. 

One comparison question, which uses two unfamiliar commercial recordings (15 marks). The second essay uses the final unfamiliar commercial recording provided by Pearson (20 marks).

Component 4
Producing and analysing (35% of total mark).

Pupils will correct and then combine the audio and MIDI materials provided to form a completed mix, which may include creating new tracks or parts. 

  • Section A: Producing and analysing (85 marks) – five questions related to the audio and MIDI materials provided that include both written responses and practical tasks. 
  • Section B: Extended written response (20 marks) – one essay focusing on a specific ​mixing scenario, signal path, effect or music technology hardware unit.

A Level Specification 

Contact Music Department Staff

Director of Music 
Mr A J Marshfield - 01749 814241

Head of Music Technology 
Mr O M Higgs

Studio Manager
Mr L Tupman


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