In this course, knowledge and understanding of music will be developed through the following areas of study:

  •  Performing Skills
  •  Understanding Music
  •  Composing Skills


Performing Skills – 60% of total mark

  • Learners demonstrate practical performing skills on either two selected instruments, or on a selected instrument and voice, in a prepared programme of music of Grade 4 standard or above.
  • The performance can be solo and/or in a group setting. The programme of music should last a total of twelve minutes.
  • The performance time on either of the two selected instruments, or instrument and voice, must be a minimum of four minutes within the overall twelve-minute programme.
  • Regular practice (a minimum of 5 times a week on each instrument) is needed to build up the necessary stamina, and to produce performances of a high standard.


Understanding Music – 40% of total mark

  • A question paper will test the learner’s knowledge and understanding of music concepts and music literacy. Questions relate to musical excerpts and music concepts and styles. A range of question types will be used in the question paper, allowing scope for assessing a variety of thinking skills and understanding of music literacy. All questions in the paper are compulsory.
  • For breadth of learning, all learners will have listened to, and learned about a wide range of music and music styles throughout the course. Learning through music will encompass listening to and understanding Scottish, contemporary music, classical music, and the music of other cultures.


Composing Music – Folio requires a Pass to gain course award.

  • Learners can create music by composing/arranging or improvising.
  • Composers’ compositional methods and utilisation of music concepts are analysed.  Learners look at the influences on composers’ style of writing.
  • Complex music concepts and compositional methods are explored in creative ways to develop, refine and create original music.
  • Learners will have the opportunity to reflect on their music and their creative choices and decisions.

Music graphic


Self-reflection is an integral part of the course and learners are expected to have a secure understanding of the mandatory music concepts.