Junior Cert music: Harmonious affair for most students

Vivaldi’s ‘Spring’ strikes the right note for most students on a hot summer’s day

Vivaldi’s Spring (1st movement) featured as the set work in the listening section of Wednesday’s Junior Cert exam. Photograph: iStock

Vivaldi’s Spring (1st movement) featured as the set work in the listening section of Wednesday’s Junior Cert exam. Photograph: iStock

 

Wednesday’s Junior Cert music exam was a harmonious affair for most students, according to teachers.

“Overall, the music papers for both higher and ordinary level seem to have been fair and balanced,” said Síofra Cox, music teacher at Convent of Mercy Roscommon.

On a sweltering summer’s day in most test centres across the country, Vivaldi’s Spring (1st movement) was a welcome feature for many in the set work part of the listening section of the exam.

Ms Cox said the Irish music question was straightforward, while challenging students to identify specific features of céilí band performance.

Question five featured Maillart’s Overture to Les Dragons de Villars as the previously unheard piece.

Stimulating

“Students would have found this a stimulating test of their finer listening skills in relation to orchestral music,” Ms Cox said.

There were no surprises in the composition section of the paper and the skills-based triad, melody and chord progression questions should have held no problems for the well-prepared student, she added.

Students taking the ordinary level paper would have found it a straightforward exam and a fair test of their knowledge.

As with last year’s exam, there was some entertainment when the test excerpt of music at the beginning was the main title from Star Wars.

For most students, the exam marks the end of their Junior Cert exams, while exams for some Leaving Certs continue until the end of the week.

Try this at home:

From Junior Cert music (higher level) - Compose a short piece which will illustrate the mood of the verse below, and name the instrument(s) you select on the score. The Arrow and the Song:

I shot an arrow into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

For, so swily it flew, the sight

Could not follow it in its flight.