Higher National Unit Specification. General information for centres. Unit title: Music Theory 1. Unit code: DJ30 34

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1 Higher National Unit Specification General information for centres Unit code: DJ30 34 Unit purpose: This unit is intended as an introduction to the rudiments of music. It is aimed at candidates who wish to perform read, or compose music. On completion of this unit the candidate should be able to: 1. Demonstrate an understanding of keys, scales, note values and rhythmic groupings. 2. Demonstrate an understanding of chord construction. 3. Demonstrate an understanding of form/structure and performance directions. Credit points and level: 1 HN Credit at SCQF level 7 (8 SCQF credit points at SCQF level 7*) *SCQF credit points are used to allocate credit to qualifications in the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). Each qualification in the Framework is allocated a number of SCQF credit points at an SCQF level. There are 12 SCQF levels, ranging from Access 1 to Doctorates. Recommended prior knowledge and skills: A basic familiarity with conventional terms and notation used in music as may be evidenced by Higher Music or the completion of an NC programme of study. Candidates should have good communication skills. These may be demonstrated by the achievement of core skill Communication at Higher level or by possession of Higher English and Communication or a suitable NQ Communication Unit (SCQF level 5/6). Core skills: There may be opportunities to gather evidence towards core skills in this Unit, although there is no automatic certification of core skills or core skills components. Context for delivery: This is a mandatory Unit in the frameworks for HNC/D Music group awards. It is recommended that it should be taught and assessed within the subject area of the group award to which it contributes. Assessment: The assessments for this unit should be a series of practical, written and aural tests demonstrating knowledge and understanding of music theory. HN Unit (DJ30 34): Music Theory 1 1

2 Higher National Unit specification: statement of standards Unit code: DJ30 34 The sections of the Unit stating the Outcomes, knowledge and/or skills, and evidence requirements are mandatory. Where evidence for Outcomes is assessed on a sample basis, the whole of the content listed in the knowledge and/or skills section must be taught and available for assessment. Candidates should not know in advance the items on which they will be assessed and different items should be sampled on each assessment occasion. Outcome 1 Demonstrate an understanding of keys, scales, note values and rhythmic groupings. Knowledge and/or skills The staff Music notation treble and bass clef and basic key signatures Rhythm notation including rests- semibreve to semiquaver including dotted notes, ties, rests Simple and Compound time signatures Scales Ascending and descending, including major, natural minor, minor, melodic and, major and minor pentatonics, and blues scale Diatonic intervals within one octave. Evidence requirements Candidates will need evidence to demonstrate their knowledge and/or skills by showing that they can: Complete a rhythmic phrase after a given opening (2 bars) Identify simple rhythm patterns 4 out of 6 required Identify time signature of a given piece Write and identify major and minor scales 5 out of 7 required Identify three scales from following list harmonic minor, melodic minor, major pentatonic, minor pentatonic or blues (written or aural) Identify intervals within one octave (written and aural) 3 out of 4 required The assessment will be presented in closed book controlled conditions and should last approximately 45 minutes. HN Unit (DJ30 34): Music Theory 1 2

3 Higher National Unit specification: statement of standards (cont) Aural evidence should be recorded on a high quality format and kept as evidence for external moderation. Assessment guidelines Assessment can be integrated with outcomes two and three or can take place on an on-going basis. It is not anticipated that all the above elements will be taught together and so assessment may take place over an extended period. Should there be ambiguity regarding a candidate s response, oral questioning may be used to eliminate any doubt as to the candidate s understanding. The lecturer should note questions and responses. Outcome 2 Demonstrate an understanding of chord construction. Knowledge and/or skills Root position triads derived from the degrees of the major scale Awareness of 4 note chords derived from the degrees of the major scale Simple chord functions within a key Chord symbols and numbering Simple combinations of chords in basic keys Perfect and imperfect cadences. Evidence requirements Candidates will need evidence to demonstrate their skills and/or knowledge by showing that they can: Identify root position triads of the major scale Identify 4 note chords of the major scale Perform two out of three of the following actions aurally identify, play or write six harmonised triads derived from the degrees of the major scale one error permitted Analyse a given chord structure containing two cadences name the chords and name the cadences. one chord error permitted The assessment will be presented in closed book controlled conditions and should last approximately 45 minutes. Aural evidence should be recorded on a high quality format and kept as evidence for external moderation. HN Unit (DJ30 34): Music Theory 1 3

4 Higher National Unit specification: statement of standards (cont) Assessment guidelines Assessment can be integrated with outcomes one and three or can take place on an on-going basis. It is not anticipated that all the above elements will be taught together and so assessment may take place over an extended period. If a holistic approach is adopted the assessment will be presented in closed book controlled conditions and should last approximately 3 hours. Should there be ambiguity regarding a candidate s response, oral questioning may be used to eliminate any doubt as to the candidate s understanding. The lecturer should note questions and responses. Outcome 3 Demonstrate an understanding of simple harmony, transposition, form, structure and performance directions. Knowledge and/or skills Harmonise a simple melody Transpose a simple melody Transpose a simple chord sequence (8 bars in length) to a close key Form and structure including leadsheet familiarity Appropriate performance directions Dynamics - pp, p, mp, mf, f, ff. sfz, sf crescendo and diminuendo Italian terms listed in (Music Theory in Practice Grade 3) and their abbreviations Tempo markings, beats per minute. (bpm) Repeat marks /., //., Da Capo, D.S. al Coda. Evidence requirements Candidates will need evidence to demonstrate their knowledge and/or skills by showing that they can: Harmonise given melody using chords Transpose melody and chords to a close key Select performance directions from a given list and mark them on the appropriate place on the score during three repeated playings of the piece of music two errors permitted. Identify form/structure and performance directions from a score or leadsheet one error permitted The assessment will be presented in closed book controlled conditions and should last approximately 1 hour. HN Unit (DJ30 34): Music Theory 1 4

5 Higher National Unit specification: statement of standards (cont) Aural evidence should be recorded on a high quality format and kept as evidence for external moderation. Assessment guidelines Assessment can be integrated with outcomes one and two or can take place on an on-going basis. It is not anticipated that all the above elements will be taught together and so assessment may take place over an extended period. Much of this assessment can be part of a single final examination which for candidates undertaking the group award may contribute to the Graded Unit. Should there be ambiguity regarding a candidate s response, oral questioning may be used to eliminate any doubt as to the candidate s understanding. The lecturer should note questions and responses. HN Unit (DJ30 34): Music Theory 1 5

6 Administrative Information Unit code: DJ30 34 Superclass category: LF Date of publication: September 2004 Version: 01 Source: SQA Scottish Qualifications Authority 2004 This publication may be reproduced in whole or in part for educational purposes provided that no profit is derived from reproduction and that, if reproduced in part, the source is acknowledged. SQA acknowledges the valuable contribution that Scotland s colleges have made to the development of Higher National qualifications. Additional copies of this Unit specification can be purchased from the Scottish Qualifications Authority. Please contact the Customer Contact Centre for further details, telephone HN Unit (DJ30 34): Music Theory 1 6

7 Higher National Unit specification: support notes This part of the Unit specification is offered as guidance. The support notes are not mandatory. While the exact time allocated to this Unit is at the discretion of the centre, the notional design length is 40 hours. Guidance on the content and context for this Unit This Unit is intended to introduce candidates to the rudiments of music. There are three outcomes covering keys, scales, time signatures, note values, rhythm notation, harmony, chord construction, performance directions, basic structure, analysis and aural training. Lecturers and teachers will find a great deal of supporting material eg First Steps in Music Theory Eric Taylor, ABRSM Publishing and Popular Music Theory Grade 3 Sheldon/Skinner London, College of Music. Guidance on the delivery and assessment of this Unit This unit is mandatory to the HNC/D Music award but can be offered on a standalone basis. The unit may be delivered in many ways from direct teaching, practical sessions to computer programmes. Assessment will comprise a series of written and practical tests. It is not anticipated that all the above elements will be taught together therefore assessment may take place over an extended period. Much of this assessment can be part of a single final examination, which for candidates undertaking the group award, may contribute to the Graded Unit. Open learning While the theoretical content of this unit may be delivered by open learning assessment must take place with a tutor present. For further information and advice please refer to Assessment and Quality Assurance for Open and Distance Learning (SQA, February 2001 publication code A1030). Candidates with additional support needs This Unit specification is intended to ensure that there are no artificial barriers to learning or assessment. The additional support needs of individual candidates should be taken into account when planning learning experiences, selecting assessment instruments or considering alternative Outcomes for Units. For information on these, please refer to the SQA document Guidance on Special Assessment Arrangements for Candidates with Additional Support Needs (BA 2399, SQA, due 2004). HN Unit (DJ30 34): Music Theory 1 7

8 General information for candidates This unit is designed to enable you to identify and understand the main theoretical concepts that form the foundations of music. You will be required to read and write standard notation and part of that process will involve a great deal of written and listening exercises. There are three outcomes, each of which will cover a particular group of theories: 1. Demonstrate an understanding of keys, scales, note values and rhythmic groupings. 2. Demonstrate an understanding of chord construction. 3. Demonstrate an understanding of form/structure and performance directions. Understanding of the underlying principles of harmony and chord construction is central to this unit and vital if you wish to progress to Music Theory 2. This unit is mandatory to the HNC/D Music group award but can be offered on a standalone basis. The unit may be delivered in many ways from direct teaching, practical sessions to computer programmes. Assessment will comprise of a series of written and practical tests some of which will involve listening to and playing short sections of music from notation. It is not anticipated that all of the above elements will be taught together and so assessment may take place over an extended period. In order to complete this unit you will be required to achieve satisfactory levels of performance in written and practical tests throughout the year. HN Unit (DJ30 34): Music Theory 1 8

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