Higher Music


Higher Music Summary




3 Internally assessed Units – Composing , Performing and Listening


Each  unit must be passed for whole course award




2 Externally assessed Exams – Performing and Listening


Performing 60% -             Instrument 1 30%                            Exam time Feb/March

                                                Instrument 2 30%                           

Listening 40%                                                                                    Exam time May


Unit Criteria descriptors;



Outcome 1


1          Create original music by:


1.1       Analysing how a range of compositional methods and music concepts are used by other composers and the influences on their music

1.2       Experimenting and using music concepts and compositional methods in creative ways to develop refine and create original music

1.3       Developing musical ideas which make musical sense and realise their creative intentions

1.4       Critically reflecting on their music and their creative choices and decisions





At this level, the candidate should be able to produce music which:


¨       shows the convincing and effective use of music concepts and compositional techniques, makes musical sense and conveys the style of the music chosen

¨       is well developed and structured, for example by:

—the considered use of style and form

—the use of specific chord structures or thematic development, such as theme and variations, rondo form, etc

¨       develops musical ideas with sensitivity and shows a clear understanding of the given stimulus/context for the composition

¨       demonstrates a convincing understanding of timbre (and inclusive techniques that can be applied to these)





At this level, in addition to the bullets in the composing list above, any improvisation should:


¨       demonstrate a creative and stylistically appropriate response to a stimulus which is effective, for example through:

—the convincing use of improvised melodic responses

—the convincing use of challenging rhythmic and harmonic ideas

—the exploration of modern technology to add backing tracks based on a given stimuli, using loops or samples






At this level, in addition to the bullets in the composing list above, any arrangement should:


¨       demonstrate the candidate’s ability to adapt and use a variety of music concepts to substantially rework music in an effective and original manner

¨       demonstrate clear understanding of timbre chosen and expand on the techniques that each instrument or voice could use






Outcome 1


1          Perform music in a range of music styles by:


  1. Developing a range of musical, interpretive and technical skills showing clear understanding of the composers’ intentions.

1.2       Critically self-reflecting and evaluating the quality and accuracy of their performing, and refining their performing skills.






Outcome 1


1          Identify and analyse the use of music concepts and styles by:


1.1       Identifying and distinguishing between level-specific music concepts in excerpts of music

1.2       Analysing the impact of social and cultural influences on the development of specific music styles

1.3          Identifying and understanding the meaning of a variety of music signs, symbols and terms