A Level AQA Area of Study Guide: Pop

Whichever areas of study your students choose to answer on in the exam, make sure they are ready with our comprehensive guides to the optional areas of study 2–7! Contextual information on the period and composers are covered, before delving into skills and knowledge on the area of study, plus activities and exam practice are included to allow students to apply their knowledge!

A great resource!...

...I have been looking for something like this since the specification started...

...I would certainly use it

G Higgins, Director of Music & Peer Reviewer

Annotated score extracts accompany the analysis throughout to illustrate key points, while key term definitions to reinforce essential knowledge.


  • Contextual information on styles and composers and an introduction to the musical elements provide a firm basis for study
  • Analysis covers all of AQA’s named composers, supported by annotated score excerpts
  • Key term definitions throughout and a full glossary reinforce essential information

… and exam preparation!

  • Challenging activities throughout help students practise and apply their knowledge
  • Concise revision summaries outline each area for easy revision
  • The revision summary is a fantastic addition

    J Truman, Teacher & Peer Reviewer
  • Extension information and tips and practice exam-style questions are provided for Section A short-answer questions and Section C essays to ensure students can apply their knowledge in both formats and be ready for the exam!

Area of Study 2: Pop

Traverse the wide-ranging genres of popular mainsteam music through AQA’s listed artists Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Muse, Beyoncé, Daft Punk and Labrinth in this comprehensive guide!

The work of each artist is explored through each of AQA’s musical elements to ensure students develop a deep understanding of pop music, and answer exam questions with greater ease, using examples to illustrate their points.

The work of each composer is explored through each of AQA’s musical elements to provide focused exam preparation.

What do teachers say about this resource? (9476)

Really helpful and clear; well researched and informative... It has detailed musical examples which are explained well and backed up with listening activities... The listening activities and examples give lots of practice of advanced level listening as well as helping students to hone in on key details in particular songs by the named artists... It goes into far greater depth than any of the exam board study guides and provides students with great examples that they can use in their own work and a model of how to write about pop music in an effective way... There's so much more great content in here than on any other resource I have found; definitely worth the money for the positive impact it has on the students.

S Burns, Customer & HoD

A great resource! Well written and comprehensive in its overview of the artists and genres in the AoS... The walk-through nature of each chapter is very clear... This made me feel I was getting a more holistic pathway through the material... The examples chosen were broad and clearly well considered... The questions are excellent... I really like the summative glossaries - these made me feel I was getting a step-by-step approach the outcomes of which I could measure as it were... I have been looking for something like this since the specification started. I would certainly use it in my preparation for Section A!

G Higgins, Director of Music & Peer Reviewer

The writing is of a high quality throughout with relevant musical language is used, appropriate to the various styles and genres covered... This is definitely a logical and common sense approach to the analysis of Pop Music... The glossary of terms is particularly helpful and the revision summary is a fantastic addition... This is a very helpful resource for students and teachers.

J Truman, Teacher & Peer Reviewer