Mandatory Concepts

These concept tables have been rearranged from the multi-column SQA originals as ‘responsive’ web design for smaller devices like phones and should mostly stay usable without horizontal scroll bars. Note that each new course level subsumes the preceding ones, so Nat 4 incorporates Nat 3 and so on.

National 3

Contexts for learning (from National 3 Music Course and Unit Support Notes)
Styles Blues • Jazz • Rock • Pop • Rock’n’Roll • Musical • Scottish • Latin American
Melody/
harmony
Ascending • Descending • Step (stepwise) • Leap (leaping) • Repetition • Sequence • Question and answer • Improvisation • Chord • Discord • Chord change
Rhythm/
tempo
Accent/accented • Beat/pulse • Bar; 2, 3 or 4 beats in the bar • On the beat/off the beat • Repetition • Slower/faster • Pause • March, reel, waltz • Drum fill • Adagio • Allegro
Texture/
structure/
form
Unison/octave • Harmony/chord • Solo • Accompanied/unaccompanied • Repetition • Ostinato/riff • Round
Timbre/
dynamics
Striking (hitting), blowing, bowing, strumming, plucking • Orchestra — strings, brass, woodwind and percussion (tuned and untuned) • Accordion, fiddle, bagpipes, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, organ, drum kit • Steel band, Scottish dance band, folk group • Voice/choir • Staccato/legato
Music literacy content (from National 3 Music Course and Unit Support Notes)
Melody/
harmony
Lines and spaces of the treble clef • Steps • Repetition
Rhythm/
tempo
Crotchet • Minim • Dotted minim • Semibreve • Barlines • Double barlines
Timbre/
dynamics
f — fortep — piano • < cresc. — crescendo • > dim. — diminuendo

National 4

Contexts for learning (from Music Performance Assignment (National 4) Added Value Unit Specification)
Styles Baroque • Ragtime • Romantic • Swing • Concerto • Opera • Scots ballads • Mouth music • Reggae • African music • Rapping
Melody/
harmony
Major/minor (tonality) • Drone • Broken chord/arpeggio • Chord progression — I, IV and V (major keys) • Change of key • Pedal • Scale • Pentatonic scale • Octave • Vamp • Scat singing • Ornament
Rhythm/
tempo
Syncopation • Scotch snap • Strathspey • Jig • Simple time — 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 and compound time • Anacrusis • Andante • Accelerando • Rallentando • A tempo • Dotted rhythms
Texture/
structure/
form
Canon • Ternary — ABA (why is binary in Nat 5?) • Verse and chorus • Middle 8 • Theme and variation • Cadenza • Imitation
Timbre/
dynamics
Brass band, wind band • Violin, cello, double bass, harp • Flute, clarinet, saxophone, pan pipes, recorder • Trumpet, trombone • Timpani, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, triangle, tambourine, guiro, xylophone, glockenspiel • Harpsichord • Bass guitar • Distortion • Muted • Soprano, alto, tenor, bass • Backing vocals
Music literacy content (from Music Performance Assignment (National 4) Added Value Unit Specification with amendments in red from 2018–19 Higher Music Course Specification)
Melody/
harmony
Treble clef stave C–A’ • Sequences
Treble clef stave • C–A’ — range of notes from middle C to first le(d)ger line A • Sequences
Rhythm/
tempo
Semiquaver • Grouped semiquavers • Paired quavers • Repeat signs
Quaver • Semiquaver • Grouped semiquavers • Paired quavers • Repeat signs
Timbre/
dynamics
mf — mezzo forte • mp — mezzo piano

National 5

Contexts for learning (from National 5 Music Course Specification)
Styles Symphony • Gospel • Classical • Pibroch • Celtic rock • Bothy ballad • Waulking song • Gaelic psalm • Aria • Chorus • Minimalist • Indian
Melody/
harmony
Atonal, cluster • Chord progression — I, IV, V and VI in a major key • Imperfect/perfect cadences • Inverted pedal • Chromatic • Whole tone scale • Grace note • Glissando • Modulation • Contrary motion • Trill • Syllabic • Melismatic • Countermelody • Descant (voice) • Pitch bend • Tone/semitone
Rhythm/
tempo
Rubato • Ritardando • Moderato • Cross rhythms • Compound time — 6/8 9/8 12/8
Texture/
structure/
form
Strophic • Binary/AB • Rondo/ABACA — episode • Alberti bass • Walking bass • Ground bass • Homophonic • Polyphonic • Contrapuntal • Coda
Timbre/
dynamics
Piccolo, oboe, bassoon • (French) horn, tuba • Viola • Castanets, hi-hat cymbals, bongo drums • Clarsach, bodhran • Sitar, tabla • Arco, pizzicato • Con sordino • Flutter tonguing • Rolls • Reverb • Mezzo soprano, baritone • A cappella
Music literacy content (from National 5 Music Course Specification)
Melody/
harmony
Tones, semitones, accidentals — flats, sharps and naturals • Scales and key signatures — C major, G major and F major, A minor • Chords — C major, G major, F major and A minor • Leaps
Rhythm/
tempo
Dotted rhythms • Dotted crotchet • Dotted quaver • Scotch snap • 1st and 2nd time bars
Timbre/
dynamics
ff — fortissimo • pp — pianissimo • sfz — sforzando

Higher

Contexts for learning (from Higher Music Course Specification)
Styles Sonata • Oratorio • Impressionist • Musique concrète • Plainchant • Mass • String quartets • Recitative • Chamber music • Jazz funk • Soul music
Melody/
harmony
Mode/modal • Relative major/minor • Interval • Obbligato (instrumental) • Acciaccatura • Mordent • Plagal cadence • Interrupted cadence • Tierce de Picardie • Dominant 7th • Diminished 7th • Added 6th • Harmonic minor scale • Melodic minor scale
Rhythm/
tempo
3 against 2 • Time changes • Irregular time signatures • Augmentation • Diminution
Texture/
structure/
form
Through-composed • Da capo aria • Lied • Passacaglia • Concerto grosso • Sonata form • Exposition • Subject • Basso continuo • Ritornello
Timbre/
dynamics
Tremolando • Harmonics • Coloratura • Ripieno • Concertino • String quartet
Music literacy content (from Higher Music Course Specification)
Melody/
harmony
Bass clef — E–C — range of notes from E below the stave to middle C • Transposing from treble clef down one
octave into bass clef • Identifying chords I, IV, V and VI in major and minor keys in treble and bass clefs • Identifying tonic, subdominant and dominant notes in the keys of C, G and F major and A minor • Naming diatonic intervals: 2nd, 3rd, 4th,
5th, 6th, 7th, octave • Writing diatonic intervals above a given note in treble clef
Rhythm/
tempo
Quavers, crotchets, dotted crotchets and dotted minims within 6/8 9/8 12/8 time • Triplet quavers, triplet crotchets • Rests — quaver, crotchet, dotted crotchet, minim, semibreve, whole bar • Da capo (D.C.)
Texture/
structure/
form
Phrase mark
Timbre/
dynamics
Accents ( > ) • Slurs • Staccato ( . )

Advanced Higher

Contexts for learning
Styles Renaissance • Pavan • Galliard • Motet • Ayre/Air • Ballett • Madrigal • Anthem • Neo-classical • Serial • Chorale • Nationalist • Electronic dance music • Contemporary jazz
Melody/
harmony
Appoggiatura • Turn • Suspension • Tritone • Polytonality/bitonality • Tone row/note row • Augmented triad • Chords I, IV, V and VI in major and minor keys • Chord II and 1st inversion (major key only)
Rhythm/
tempo
Hemiola
Texture/
structure/
form
Fugue • Subject • Countersubject • Answer • Stretto • Antiphonal • Bridge • Leitmotiv • Inversion • Retrograde • Song cycle
Timbre/
dynamics
Consort • Counter tenor • Sprechgesang • Piano trio
Music literacy content
Melody/
harmony
Identifying/inserting chords to cadence points and under melodies • Diminished 7th • Dominant 7th • Added 6th • 1st and 2nd inversions of major and minor triads • Chord II and 1st inversion (major key only) • Bass Clef C–E • Transposing bass clef into treble clef • Rewriting (in either treble or bass clef) a note at the same pitch using up to two le(d)ger lines below or above the stave • Enharmonic equivalent — rewriting a note at the same pitch • Scales and key signatures — D major, B flat major, E minor and D minor • 8va (octave higher); 8vb (octave lower)
Rhythm/
tempo
Ties • Syncopated rhythms • Time signature: 5/4 • Dal segno D.S. • Fine • Time changes