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PAM tests

The Practical & Aural Musicianship (PAM) section is worth 21 marks in the exam overall. These brief tests are designed to assess and encourage your aural understanding of rhythms and phrasing and your ability to improvise responses to musical prompts.

A complete pack of PAM specimen pieces for all grades, complete with guidelines, is available from Taigh na Teud at www.scotlandsmusic.

GRADE 1

The examiner plays eight bars of an air or waltz.

The candidate is asked to:

  1. Clap the pulse of the tune and identify its time signature as either 3/4 or 4/4.
  2. Indicate to the examiner where the first phrase of the tune ends by raising a hand or saying ‘ here’ as the examiner plays the tune. The examiner will be prepared to play the tune twice.
  3. Clap or tap the rhythm of the phrase, as played by the examiner.
  4. Sing an interval of two consecutive notes within the tune selected and played by the examiner. The interval will be no greater than a 3 rd and the examiner will alter the octave to suit young candidates with changing voices.


GRADE 2

The examiner plays eight bars of an air, waltz or march.

The candidate is asked to:

  1. Clap the pulse of the tune and identify its time signature as either 3/4 or 4/4.
  2. Indicate to the examiner where the first phrase of the tune ends by raising a hand or saying ‘ here’ as the examiner plays the tune. The examiner will be prepared to play the tune twice.
  3. Clap or tap the rhythm of the phrase, as played by the examiner.
  4. Sing, hum, whistle, diddle or play back, as an echo, the melody of the phrase as played by the examiner.


GRADE 3

The examiner plays eight bars of a waltz, march or jig.

The candidate is asked to:

  1. Clap the pulse of the tune and identify its time signature as either 3/4, 4/4 or 6/8.
  2. Say whether it is in a major or minor key.
  3. Clap or tap the rhythm of the opening phrase, as played by the examiner.
  4. Listen to the opening phrase again and extemporise (whether by singing, humming, whistling, diddling or playing) a new answering phrase of the same length.
  5. Sing or play a note that harmonises with the phrase, as played by the examiner.


GRADE 4

The examiner plays eight bars of a march, jig or strathspey.

The candidate is asked to:

Clap the pulse of the tune and identify its time signature as either 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 or 6/8.

  1. Identify the type of tune.
  2. Say whether it is in a major or minor key.
  3. Listen to the opening phrase again and extemporise, whether by singing, humming, whistling, diddling or playing, a new answering phrase of the same length.
  4. (a) Sing or play one note that harmonises with the phrase, as played by the examiner; and
    (b) sing or play one additional note that harmonises with the phrase, as played by the examiner again.


GRADE 5

The examiner plays eight bars of a jig, strathspey or reel.

The candidate is asked to:

  1. Clap the pulse of the tune and identify its time signature as either 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 or 6/8.
  2. Identify the type of tune.
  3. Say whether it is in a major or minor key .
  4. Listen to the first half of the tune again and extemporise, whether by singing, humming, whistling, diddling or playing, a new second half ending on the tonic.
  5. (a) Sing or play one note that harmonises with the opening two bars of the tune, as played by the examiner; and
    (b) sing or play one note that creates tension with the opening two bars of the tune, as played by the examiner again.