IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 72

IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 72 ( Passage 1 Why does music move us?, Passage 2 Rag-pickers: The Bottom Rung in the Waste Trade Ladder, Passage 3 In Praise or Fast Food ) we prefer you to work offline, download the test paper, and blank answer sheet.

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For Answers Academic IELTS Reading Test 72 Answers

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13, which are based on IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 72 Reading Passage 1

Why does music move us?

How is it that the combination of sound waves that we know as music can have such a moving effect asks Roger Highveld

In the most basic terms, the sound is merely a pressure wave that ripples through the air. So how does the combination of sound waves that we know as music become, as Tolstoy put it, ‘the shorthand of emotion’? Or, to put it another way, how can mechanical vibrations have such a moving effect?

The answer, according to Philip Ball, author of The Music Instinct, lies not in the notes themselves, but in our brains. Recently, I hosted an event with him at the Royal Institution, at which he explained to a packed audience why listening to much current pop music was
as demanding as listening to Bach or Beethoven. Whatever your favourite genre of music your brain has to work hard to make sense of it. Its remarkable skill at pattern detection will take the extraordinary harmonics-crammed richness of a note played on a piano or flute, and magically collapse it in your head, so that it is perceived as a single note rather than a forest of overtones.

My companion explained that we are pattern seekers and that music helps us to find patterns in sound. We come equipped with all sorts of rules of thumb to make sense of what we hear. Those rules are the brain mechanisms that we use to organize sound and make sense of music.

Medical scanners have shown that this process is not limited to one part of the brain. Different aspects of music activate different areas. We use our temporal lobe to process melody and pitch, our hippocampus to recover musical memories and what we might call
‘rhythm-processing circuits’ to fire up motor functions. Interestingly, the brain gives out the same signal of confusion when it encounters sentences that do not make sense as it does when the syntax of music sounds wrong and when chords do not complement one another. If you study the way we react to patterns of notes, you find there is something special about a pitch that is double the frequency of another; the interval better known as an octave.

The biggest question, however, is whether this kind of mental circuitry is designed specifically to handle music, or if songs and tunes are just ‘auditory cheesecake’, as Harvard University’s Steven Pinker puts it. He claims that sounds accidentally generate pleasure via neural systems. The ability to hear them in the first place evolved to respond to other kinds of stimuli.

The disappointing truth might be that we simply do not know. We do know, however, that the way we learn to appreciate music is profoundly affected by how we were raised. A few years ago, Philip Ball wrote about the fact that music seems to have a national character,
probably as a result of the rhythms and cadences of the different languages spoken in each case.The English tend to vary the pitch of their speech, and the length of their vowels, more than the French,and their composers follow suit in the rhythms and intervals they use. On the latter measure, Elgar is considered by some to be the most ‘English’ of all composers, perhaps explaining why his music is so frequently the background to important national pageants.

Similarly, concepts of what is harmonious boil down to a matter of convention, not acoustics. The older generation struggles with modern music and complains that it is dissonant -“full of horrible jarring notes that are difficult to listen to. However, dissonance has always been in music. Beethoven and Chopin are full of it. It is all a matter of convention. What we regard as consonant now was thought dissonant in the Middle Ages. The augmented fourth was thought sinister back then, when it was dubbed ‘diabolus in musica’. We still find it slightly unsettling today, which might explain why it is so popularly used in heavy metal.

Towards the end of my evening with Philip Ball, I asked whether music’s effects on the brain can be harnessed for good. It was a perfect set-up for him to examine the so-called ‘Mozart effect’ – the belief that playing your children classical music will make them brainier.
He cited an experiment conducted in 1996, which concluded that playing babies rock music had a more beneficial effect than did playing them Mozart. The essential factor was not the music per se, but the fact that it put the children in bright spirits.

For Ball, the definition of the ‘music instinct’ is that we are predisposed to make the world a musical place. Apart from the tiny proportion of the population who really are tone-deaf, it is impossible to say: ‘I am not musical,’ even if it may seem that way whenever you get dragged along to participate in karaoke.

Questions 1-6
Complete each sentence with the correct ending A-I from the box below.
Write the correct letter A-I in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet.

[1] Hearing mechanical vibrations
[2] Listening to popular music
[3] Recognising patterns
[4] Hearing music that we have previously heard
[5] Listening to discordant music
[6] Hearing an octave

{A} is innate and allows the brain to simplify complex musical combinations.
{B} is an ability that most people do not possess.
{C} can affect us at a surprisingly deep level.
{D} activates our temporal lobe.
{E} has a very particular effect on most listeners.
{F} activates our hippocampus.
{G} is more challenging than most people think.
{H} depends on the genre of music you prefer listening to.
{I} has the same effect as reading sentences that do not make sense.

Questions 7-13
Do the following statements agree with the information given in IELTSFever Academic IELTS Reading Test 72 Reading Passage 1? In boxes 7-13 on your answer sheet, write
TRUE                                   if the statement agrees with the information.
FALSE                                  if the statement contradicts the information.
NOT GIVEN                          if there is no information on this.

[7] Steven Pinker believes that humans’ ability to enjoy sounds was an important development.
[8] English and French musicians compose music that is similar in style.
[9] Elgar composed music that typified his country of origin.
[10] Older people tend to listen to classical rather than popular music.
[11] In heavy metal music, the effect of a particular note is recognised.
[12] Philip Ball stresses the benefits of children listening to classical music.
[13] Karaoke tends to attract people who are not very musical.

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