Several pupils achieved the maximum mark of 30 when playing both their instruments - evidence of "remarkably high standards" in performing at Advanced Higher level. Examiners also praised several of the sound engineering folios for work of "almost professional quality".
But they were highly critical of teachers who were still preparing their pupils on the format and questions of the old exam, despite the new format being in place since 2007. Some appeals failed because teachers were misguiding pupils in how to answer certain questions, leading to "unacceptable evidence" being presented.
The majority of Advanced Higher candidates were still not identifying chord progress correctly.
The performing element continues to be a strength of Higher music candidates, and there are also signs of improvements in the music with technology course, although a few aspects of the technology folio still require a more focused approach.
Some candidates were under-prepared for the literacy and comparison-type questions and some visiting assessors reported that a few centres were not fully prepared for their performance element. In a few cases, performing programmes fell short of the minimum time required.
Examiners of Standard grade also issued a warning that performance programmes that did not meet the minimum duration of four minutes would incur a penalty.