National 4 and 5 Music
Brief Course Outline
This course option consists of three units:
Performing Skills (60 marks – scaled to 50% at Nat 5)
- Play two instruments, or one instrument and voice.
- Perform at least 2 pieces on each instrument.
- Perform a programme of pieces, 8 minutes in total, between the two instruments.
- Perform at least 2 minutes on one instrument.
N4 is equivalent to ABRSM Grade 2.
N5 is equivalent to ABRSM Grade 3.
Composing Skills (30 marks scaled to 15% at Nat 5)
- Understanding how a range of compositional methods and music concepts are used by composers and the influences on their work
- Experimenting and using music concepts and compositional methods in creative ways to develop refine and create original music
- Developing musical ideas which make musical sense and realise their creative intentions
- Self-reflecting on their music and their creative choices and decisions
Understanding Music (40 marks – scaled to 35% at Nat 5)
- Listen to music from a variety of musical styles.
- Identify and distinguishing between level-specific music concepts, as well as music signs and symbols used in music notation.
- Identifying and analysing the social and cultural influences which have influenced the distinctive sounds and structure of specific music styles
- Question paper based on recorded excerpts of music and musical literacy.
Appropriate experience of playing two instruments, or one instrument and voice.
At National 4 all three units are internally assessed.
At National 5:
- Performing is externally assessed. Candidates will perform their full programme to a Visiting Assessor around February/March. 30 marks are available for each instrument.
- Composing Skills is externally assessed. Candidates will use composing skills developed in S3 to create their own short composition, with accompanying detailed evaluation. This is sent to SQA in March. 15 marks are awarded for this section of the course.
- Understanding Music is externally assessed. Candidates will sit a question paper in May. 40 marks are available for the question paper.