Students in raptures over reappearance of 'Rhapsody'


LEAVING CERT MUSIC:“IS THIS the real life, is this just fantasy?” Students were “thrilled” yesterday to hear the opening lines of Queen’s 1975 classic Bohemian Rhapsody on the higher-level Leaving Cert music exam.

They were even more delighted to discover that the question carried 25 marks out of a total of 100 for the listening part of the paper.

“Bohemian Rhapsody is always coming up but it usually only carries 10 marks,” said teacher Mary McFadden of the ASTI. “The students love this song and were very happy to see that it carried a quarter of the marks for this part of the exam. It was a very nice start to the paper.”

Students of music sat two papers yesterday, a listening exam that is worth 25 per cent of their overall grade and a composition exam worth a further 25 per cent.

The great majority of students completed a performance programme in April which is marked out of 200 – half the available grade for the subject. The remaining students earned those marks through composition.

“There was a good spread of questions on the listening paper but you needed to know your musical terms,” said Ms McFadden, who teaches in Loreto secondary school in Balbriggan.

Students were also happy to see questions on sean nós singing and regional styles in traditional instrumentation in the Irish section of the paper.

The composing part of the Leaving Cert music exam is traditionally challenging, with students reportedly “dreading” the appearance of minor key compositions. Four out of six of the composition exercises on yesterday’s paper were in the minor key.

“Some students were anxious when they saw that but they settled in once they started this section,” Ms McFadden added. “It wasn’t as bad as it looked.”

There was a great air of relief outside the exam hall in Loreto Balbriggan yesterday as students left their final exam of the Leaving Cert. Today is the last day of the exams; several thousand students will finish with religious education, applied maths, Japanese, Italian or technology.