Music Tech is an amazing subject for students who are creative and passionate about the subject. The software is amazing as it is up to date and students have access to a wide range of instruments digitally and physically. I would definitely recommend this subject to anyone with an interest in music.

James Atkinson

James Atkinson

Course Description

Students will learn to use dedicated music technology software in order to record, edit and manipulate music. They will cover a wide range of topics such as the physics of sound, using recording equipment (microphones, mixing desks etc.), and inputting and editing musical data. Students will also study the development of popular music styles since 1910 and will learn how each decade in music has influenced succeeding genres.

Entry Requirements

Achieve 5 or more standard GCSE passes or higher (grade 4 or higher).

If a student is applying for a course in a subject that they have studied at GCSE it is expected that a student would have achieved at least a standard pass (grade 4) in this subject.

Course Content

Component 1: Recording
Students will use technology to explore a range of techniques for capturing, editing and manipulating sound, which will help them understand the impact of music technology on creative processes in the studio. They will then produce a completed mix.

Component 2: Technology-based Composition
Students will use technology to explore a range of techniques for developing ideas. They will then choose and complete one brief from three options set by the exam board and turn their ideas into a technology-based composition. Students should develop in-depth knowledge and understanding of musical elements and musical language, and apply these, where appropriate, to their own technology-based compositions.

Component 3: Listening and analysing
This component gives students the opportunity to identify, analyse and evaluate a range of creative music production techniques, as applied to the unfamiliar commercial recordings supplied in the examination. As well as identifying effects and their associated parameter settings, students will explain the principles behind the choice of the effects heard on each recording, and their sonic character, in a series of written responses.

Through the deconstruction and analysis of a final, commercial product, students will expand their knowledge of the recording and production practices associated with a number of historical eras.

Component 4: Producing and analysing
Students will work with unedited audio and MIDI materials provided by Pearson that have been captured using microphone, DI and sequencing techniques. The examination will assess the ability to process and correct these materials using a range of production skills, culminating in a series of audio bounces/exports for individual instrumental/vocal parts, plus a final stereo mix.

Students will refine and combine pre-existing ‘ingredients’ of a mix to form a convincing final product. Students will also comment on sonic characteristics of the materials provided, interpreting the underlying theory associated with these. They will also have to justify decisions they have made in respect of selecting processes and parameters when undertaking the practical tasks.

Assessment

Component 1: Recording
Non-examined assessment: externally assessed
20% of the qualification
60 marks

Component 2: Technology-based composition
Non-examined assessment: externally assessed
20% of the qualification
60 marks

Component 3: Listening and analysing
Written examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
25% of the qualification
75 marks

Component 4: Producing and analysing
Written/practical examination:
2 hours 15 minutes (plus 10 minutes setting-up time)
35% of the qualification
105 marks

Future Opportunities

The course provides students with skills that will enhance their abilities as a musician and will allow them to create and produce their own music. It will also provide an insight into how audio equipment functions and operates which will enable students to have greater understanding and control when dealing with live and recorded musical performances.