A painter hangs his or her finished picture on a wall, and everyone can see it. A composer writes a work, but no one can hear it until it is performed. Professional singers and players have great responsibilities; for the composer, is utterly dependent on them. A student of music needs as long and as arduous a’ training to become” a performer as a medical student needs to become a doctor. Most training is concerned’ with technique, for musicians have to have the muscular proficiency of an athlete or a ballet dancer. Singers practice breathing every day, as their vocal chords would be inadequate without controlled muscular support. String players practice moving the fingers of the left hand up and down, while drawing the bow to and for with the right arm -two entirely different movements.
Singers and instrumentalists have to be able to get every note perfectly in tune. Pianists are spared this particular anxiety, for the notes are already there, waiting for them, and it is the piano tuner’s responsibility to tune the instrument for them. But they have their own difficulties: the hammers that hit the strings have to be coaxed not to sound like percussion, and each overlapping tone has to sound clear.
- Reading Practice Test 71 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension
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- Reading Practice Test 74 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension
- Reading Practice Test 73 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension
- Reading Practice Test 70 from The Collection of TOEFL Reading Comprehension
This problem of getting clear texture is one that confronts student conductors: they have to learn to know every note of the music and how it should sound, and they have to aim at controlling these sounds with fanatical but selfless authority.
Technique is of no use unless it is combined with musical knowledge and understanding. Great artists are those who are so thoroughly at home in the language of music that they can enjoy performing works written in any century.
1. Which of the following best states the main idea of the passage?
(A) It is easier to study medicine than music.
(B) Painters and composers use totally different methods to reach the public.
(C) All musicians must know how to tune their own instruments.
(D) Musicians must acquire technique and understanding to perform well.
2. According to the passage, performers could best meet their obligation to composers by doing which of the following?
(A) Taking courses in art appreciation
(B) Knowing h6w ‘the music was intended to be performed
(C) Studying works written at different periods in history
(D) Rearranging musical score’s for their particular instrument
3. Why does the author mention athletes and ballet dancers?
(A) To contrast the requirements of each field of study
(B) To discourage music students from continuing their studies
(C) To motivate students to work harder to achieve their goals
(D) To show that music students must develop great physical coordination
4. According to the passage, the advantage that pianists have over other instrumentalists is that they do NOT have to
(A) tune their own instruments
(B) practice as often
(C) use their muscles
(D) aim for clarity of sound