Studying Music Technology will equip pupils with a range of skills that are likely to be encountered in the modern music production and media workplace. Following the new Edexcel Specification, pupils learn the principles of composing, recording, producing and analysing, using modern computer software and traditional recording studio techniques. There are two pieces of coursework – a multitrack recording and a technology-based composition – and two exams – a listening paper which assesses students’ ability to discuss production techniques on commercial recordings and a more practical exam in which students edit and mix a recording and answer questions about specific pieces of technology.
Pupils should normally have attained a grade 7 or higher in GCSE Music, although individuals who can demonstrate facility on one or two instruments, and who have experience of reading music will be considered. Keyboard and/or guitar skills are particularly useful for this subject. A passion for performing and creating music, particularly in ‘popular’ styles is as important as an understanding of the basics of music theory. No previous computer music experience is necessary, although a good level of IT proficiency is desirable.
Component 1: Recording – 20% – A multi-track recording from a list of songs published by Edexcel
Component 2: Technology-based Composition – 20% – Chosen from 3 briefs set by Edexcel
Component 3: Listening and analysing – 25%. Exam. Questions on unfamiliar commercial recordings.
Component 4: Producing and analysing – 35%. Exam. Practical mixing and editing tasks and one essay on specific piece of technology or technique.
Popular careers could include work as a sound engineer, record producer, or teacher. Many individuals with experience in music technology also go on to work as composers and songwriters using the skills they have acquired to record and produce their own material. Many fields of the media industry (broadcast and web design) require Music Technology skills. Individuals with qualifications in Mathematics and Physics in addition to Music Technology can pursue careers in an even wider range of industries including software development (especially music software), acoustic engineering and design.