The Higher music exam, revised in 2007, is now well bedded in and offers a more focused approach than its predecessor, said Graham Downie, principal teacher of creative and aesthetic subjects at Stonelaw High in Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire.
He thought this year's listening paper, which requires pupils to pick out different rhythms, pitches and music changes, was set at a very fair level. Excerpts ranged from the Arctic Monkeys to Baroque music by Handel, boogie-woogie, and the film compositions of John Barry. "There was a good spread of music drawing on a number of different genres. Candidates should be able to determine the period and context and which concepts are being used in the piece," he said.