Edexcel A level Music and Music Technology: September 2020 update

17 September 2020

Read the latest information on A level Music, AS level Music Technology and A level Music Technology, including the latest news about the changes to NEA for submission in summer 2021.

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Changes to 2021 assessments

We are delighted to announce that our approach to the changes in requiremnets for 2021 assessment published by Ofqual have been approved.

The outline of the changes are as follows;

A level Music

Component 1: Performing has had a reduction in duration from at least 8 minutes to at least 3 minutes. We have also changed the requirement for when this can be recorded and performances for this year can be recorded at any point in the academic year before submission on 15 May 2021. The component will remain to be marked out of 60 using the assessment grids published in the specification and continue to be externally assessed.

Component 2: Composing has had a reduction in the number of compositions to submit from two to one. This will be a free composition and we won't be releasing any composition briefs this year. This includes the briefs normally released on 1 September and the briefs assessing technique that are usually released to candidates from 1 April. There will be no requirement to complete a brief assessing technqiue for assessment in summer 2021. The duration for the component has also been reduced from at least 6 minutes to at least 3 minutes. This will be marked out of 40 using the assessment grids for the free composition that are published in the specification and will continue to be externally assessed.

Component 3: Appraising has no changes to the requirements and candidates will need to study all of the set works.

The summary of the changes to the assessments in 2021 has been published on the specification page. A guide for A level Music to support centres with delivery this year will follow shortly as will FAQs.

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AS level Music Technology

Component 1: Recording has had 'capture' removed from the requirements of the component. Therefore the task has changed so that candidates must edit and produce a recording from the audio files provided by Pearson. Candidates will not be permitted to edit/change the structure of the piece. The component will now be marked out of 48 as assessment grid 1 will not be used for 2021 assessment. All other assessment grids remain the same and the component will continue to be externally assessed. The brief released on 1 June 2020 has been removed and must not be used for assessment this academic year.

Component 2: Technology-based Composition has had the time reduced to 1.5 minutes. Otherwise, the task remains the same as previous years and will be marked out of 60 using the assessment grids published in the specification. The component will continue to be externally assessed.

Component 3: Listening and Analysing has no changes to the requirements

Component 4: Analysing and Producing has no changes to the requirements

The summary of the changes to the assessments in 2021 has been published on the specification page along with a guide to support delivery for this year. An FAQ document will follow shortly.

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A level Music Technology

Component 1: Recording has had 'capture' removed from the requirements of the component. Therefore the task has changed so that candidates must edit and produce a recording from the audio files provided by Pearson. Candidates will not be permitted to edit/change the structure of the piece. The component will now be marked out of 48 as assessment grid 1 will not be used for 2021 assessment. All other assessment grids remain the same and the component will continue to be externally assessed. The brief released on 1 June 2020 has been removed and must not be used for assessment this academic year.

Component 2: Technology-based Composition has had the time reduced to 2 minutes. Otherwise, the tasks in the brief remain the same as previous years and will be marked out of 60 using the assessment grids published in the specification. The component will continue to be externally assessed.

Component 3: Listening and Analysing has no changes to the requirements

Component 4: Analysing and Producing has no changes to the requirements

The summary of the changes to the assessments in 2021 has been published on the specification page along with a guide to support delivery for this year. An FAQ document will follow shortly.

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The weighting of each component in each specification will be retained and we will apply scaling to the marks to achieve this.

AS level and A level Music Technology Component 1: Recording

Due to the changes in requirements for assessments in summer 2021, we have withdrawn the Component 1: Recording briefs released on 1 June 2020 for AS level and A level Music Technology. These biefs must not be used for assessment in summer 2021.

We have released new briefs for AS level and A level Music Technology on 15 September 2020. The briefs can be found on the specificataion page.

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A level Music Question 6

We have listened to feedback from teachers about A level Music and we had proposed to make changes to question 6 in the Appraising component. This was to include an optional question for each Area of Study in question 6. We submitted this to Ofqual for approval earlier this year but unfortunately, we have now heard that this change has not been approved. We would particularly like to thank Miranda and Nancy from Lady Eleanor Holles School for their work on gathering feedback and working with us on the proposal we submitted.

During our initial work on the proposal there were different options we consulted with teachers about and we will now consider these options again. We plan to make a new proposal, as soon as possible, to Ofqual to make changes to the specification to support centres with the delivery of the content to cover in component 3 with the intention of having the changes ready for assessment in 2022.

Subject advisor

Jeffery Hole

Music and Music Technology
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