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The Point of Music

So What's the point of Music? - Six gaps for text.

1 For questions 1-6, read the following text and then choose from the list A-J the best phrase given below to fill each of the spaces. Each correct phrase may be used only once. Some of the suggested answers do not fit at all. The exercise begins with an example (0)

It is a well documented fact that music is the most popular form of art. It can be used to fit in with the emotional moods of people and also to influence them in a manipulative way. (0)
...D....; more subtle are the melodies played in stores to encourage us to spend money. Yet scientists are unable to explain the purpose of music, above all to account for the existence of simple musical instruments such as flutes among our prehistoric ancestors. (1)
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G - It is not a primary form of communication, like language
Nor does it enable us to live longer or pass on our genes to the next generation. One theory to explain these instruments is that they had a sexual value. (2)
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I - They were used to attract a mate
but it is doubtful whether the primitive tunes they could have produced would have made the player more appealing. Modern psychologists who are themselves musicians argue that it would. (3)
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A - Musical talent can indicate a number of qualities
D - The sound tracks of films are an obvious example
Sceptics may counter this with the argument that women don't necessarily rate them more highly than others. But what does seem to be the case is that they respond to them if they have a good musical ear themselves.
What is beyond doubt is the conclusion that music speaks to the heart. There is equally conclusive evidence that it produces emotions. (4)
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B - The evidence is startlingly direct
Certain pieces of music induce changes in the body that correspond to the emotions they are intended to touch. Sad music causes the pulse to slacken and the blood pressure to rise. (5)
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F - Happy songs have the opposite effect

How are these effects produced? Scientists have discovered that loud music stimulates a part of the inner ear called the sacculus, which is connected to the pleasure centre of the brain. (6)
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J - This would explain why music is so emotive
Curiously enough, the sacculus only exists in human beings and in fish, and it responds only to music, not to other forms of sound.

Possible space fillers

Here are ten possible fillers, but you only need six!
  1. A - Musical talent can indicate a number of qualities
  2. B - The evidence is startlingly
  • C - Songs with lyrics appeal to a brain already used to language
  • D - The sound tracks of films are an obvious example
  • E - Musical competence
  • suggests the ability to co-operate with others
  • F - Happy songs have the opposite effect
  • G - It is not a primary form of communication, like language
  • H- There must be some reason why they created music
  • I - They were used to attract a mate
  • J - This would explain why music is so emotive
  • Music SLides - Slide Door Not opening !!! Call Leon

    1. (1) G The "Nor" tells us that the fist part of the sentence must have been a negative form. G is the only negative
    2. (2) I
    3. (3) A - Musical talent can indicate a number of qualities. A 'Scepticts may counter' shows that there must be a statement before - Musical talents can indicate a number of qualities
    4. (4) B It gives furhter facts to 'evidence' - ........conclusive evidence
    5. (5) F Sad music - Happy songs
    6. (6) J Music stimulates the sacculus (= pleasure centre of the brain) - This would explain why music is so emotive.

    Music City

    You will hear a talk about the rising popularity of vinyl recordings.

    Listen and complete the sentences.

    Vinyl records have been the most used musical medium since recorded music began more than a century ago, but with the introduction of the CD, many were ready to consider it out of date. However, vinyl is making something of a come back.

    With the obvious decline in record sales and increasing use of digital downloading - both legal and illegal - record companies have started to recognise that a re-introduction of vinyl may be a way to encourage fans to purchase physical copies of their favourite albums. Most new releases on vinyl come with a free Mp3 download of the album, so buying the 12-inch will get you a download of all the tracks for your iPod. Vinyl may not be very portable, but the free Mp3 that comes with a release is.

    'We've had at least a 50-percent increase in the sale and stock of vinyl recently , plastic planet owner John Fischer said.

    plastic planet has always had vinyl records in stock, but not such a large selection as this, since well before the launch of CDs in the mid-1980s, Fischer said.

    'We've seen our CD sales decline over the past eight or nine years, but the sale of vinyl has risen sharply since 2006, Fischer said.

    Many attribute this popularity to the desire to own something tangible that you can hold. To enjoy music on vinyl, you have to pull the record from it's sleeve and place it on the turntable. This physical aspect of vinyl can provide a satisfying experience which alternatives can't provide.

    Mp3s have placed a certain pressure on the single and a few standout tracks to do well as downloads on iTunes. However, this takes attention away from the album as a whole and ignores the longevity of an expertly crafted, and perhaps mixed, long-play album with a fixed order of tracks.

    Art direction is also emphasized with the return of vinyl. Instead of a two-inch album cover squeezed onto an ipod's LCD screen, vinyl records come with a square foot of canvas for art. This gives more scope for artists to come up with an original visual theme that compliments the music of the album. Creative album art can be just as important as the music itself, since it is often the album cover that first entices browsers to purchase an album.

    Posters also fit nicely inside a vinyl sleeve, so many artists have begun to include extra artwork with their records.

    If cover art isn't visually stimulating enough, modern vinyl can be made exciting by colour. One of the most exciting surprises records have to offer is the thrill of opening a seemingly ordinary cardboard sleeve to find a glittery disc waiting inside.

    The feeling you get from a decent vinyl collection along side a good turntable and decent pair of speakers can be awesome. Modern turntables with a USB drive can be purchased to convert the sound waves into Mp3 files, though this isn't the ideal method, as the free Mp3s given away with the vinyl records provide better listening quality.

    A lot of people may now be tempted back into buying recorded music. The reintroduction of vinyl has brought back some of the excitement that has recently been lost in the technical age of the CD.

    Listen again and check your answers.

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