The Music courses provide candidates with broad practical experience of performing, creating and understanding music. The courses enable candidates to work independently or in collaboration with others, and can help them to plan and organise, to make decisions and to take responsibility for their own learning.

National 5 Music

Throughout the National 5 Music course, candidates develop a breadth of knowledge and understanding of music concepts and musical literacy. They learn to recognise and distinguish level-specific music concepts, signs and symbols as they perform, create and listen to music.

The course allows candidates to develop and consolidate practical skills in music and knowledge and understanding of music styles and concepts. It encourages them to self-reflect and explore their creative ideas. Understanding music through listening enables candidates to build on and extend their knowledge and understanding of music and influences on music.

The exam is worth 40 marks and candidates must demonstrate their conceptual knowledge and understanding of music by responding to questions that relate to excerpts of music in different styles. A range of question types are used in the question paper. All questions in the question paper are mandatory. The question paper gives candidates an opportunity to demonstrate the following skills, knowledge and understanding:

  • Aural perception and discrimination, knowledge and understanding of a range of music styles, concepts and music literacy
  • The question paper has 40 marks (35% of the overall course award).
  • Marks are awarded for:
  • Identifying and using concepts in a range of excerpts of music and styles
  • Applying musical literacy

The assignment (30 marks) has two parts:
1. composing one piece of music
2. reviewing the composing process

Higher Music

The course aims to enable candidates to:

  • broaden their knowledge and understanding of music and musical literacy by listening to music and identifying level-specific music concepts, signs and symbols
  • create original music using compositional methods
  • perform music

The following provides a broad overview of the subject skills, knowledge and understanding developed in the course:

  • Skills in listening to music to promote aural perception and discrimination
  • Knowledge and understanding of level-specific music styles, concepts, notation signs and symbols
  • Skills in creating original music, incorporating harmony and using compositional methods
  • Reviewing the creative process and evaluating own composing
  • Skills in performing music on two contrasting instruments in contrasting styles
  • Self-reflection and review of rehearsal and practice skills
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