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Striking the Right Note Reading Answers
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Bhaskar Das

Content Writer - Study Abroad | Updated On - Mar 17, 2022

The IELTS Reading section interprets and helps to understand the ability of the student over passage and then answering the related questions. The IELTS Reading test helps students in improving their skills which includes reading, understanding, accessing and analysing. In this IELTS Reading Section, the candidates will have to answer different questions with specific instructions related to them. The following IELTS reading piece contains:

  1. Complete the passage
  2. Match scientists with opinions.

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Section 1

Read the Passage to Answer the Following Questions

Striking the Right Note Reading Answers

Is perfect pitch a rare talent possessed solely by the likes of Beethoven? Kathryn Brown discusses this much sought-after musical ability.

  1. The uncanny, if sometimes distracting, ability to name a solitary note out of the blue, without any other notes for reference, is a prized musical talent - and a scientific mystery. Musicians with perfect pitch - or, as many researchers prefer to call it, absolute pitch - can often play pieces by ear, and many can transcribe music brilliantly. That’s because they perceive the position of a note in the musical stave - its pitch - as clearly as the fact that they heard it. Hearing and naming the pitch go hand in hand.
  2. By contrast, most musicians follow not the notes, but the relationship between them. They may easily recognise two notes as being a certain number of tones apart, but could name the higher note as an E only if they are told the lower one is a C, for example. This is relative pitch. Useful, but much less mysterious.
  3. For centuries, absolute pitch has been thought of as the preserve of the musical elite. Some estimates suggest that maybe fewer than 1 in 2,000 people possess it. But a growing number of studies, from speech experiments to brain scans, are now suggesting that a knack for absolute pitch may be far more common, and more varied, than previously thought. ‘Absolute pitch is not an all or nothing feature,’ says Marvin, a music theorist at the University of Rochester in New York state. Some researchers even claim that we could all develop the skill, regardless of our musical talent. And their work may finally settle a decades-old debate about whether absolute pitch depends on melodious genes - or early music lessons.
  4. Music psychologist Diana Deutsch at the University of California in San Diego is the leading voice. Last month at the Acoustical Society of America meeting in Columbus, Ohio, Deutsch reported a study that suggests we all have the potential to acquire absolute pitch - and that speakers of tone languages use it every day. A third of the world’s population - chiefly people in Asia and Africa - speak tone languages, in which a word’s meaning can vary depending on the pitch a speaker uses.
  5. Deutsch and her colleagues asked seven native Vietnamese speakers and 15 native Mandarin speakers to read out lists of words on different days. The chosen words spanned a range of pitches, to force the speakers to raise and lower their voices considerably. By recording these recited lists and taking the average pitch for each whole word, the researchers compared the pitches used by each person to say each word on different days.
  6. Both groups showed strikingly consistent pitch for any given word - often less than a quarter-tone difference between days. ‘The similarity,’ Deutsch says, ‘is mind-boggling.’ It’s also, she says, a real example of absolute pitch. As babies, the speakers learnt to associate certain pitches with meaningful words - just as a musician labels one tone A and another B - and they demonstrate this precise use of pitch regardless of whether or not they have had any musical training, she adds.
  7. Deutsch isn’t the only researcher turning up everyday evidence of absolute pitch. At least three other experiments have found that people can launch into familiar songs at or very near the correct pitches. Some researchers have nicknamed this ability ‘absolute memory’, and they say it pops up on other senses, too. Given studies like these, the real mystery is why we don’t all have absolute pitch, says cognitive psychologist Daniel Levitin of McGill University in Montreal.
  8. Over the past decade, researchers have confirmed that absolute pitch often runs in families. Nelson Freimer of the University of California in San Francisco, for example, is just completing a study that he says strongly suggests the right genes help create this brand of musical genius. Freimer gave tone tests to people with absolute pitch and to their relatives. He also tested several hundred other people who had taken early music lessons. He found that relatives of people with absolute pitch were far more likely to develop the skill than people who simply had the music lessons. There is clearly a familial aggregation of absolute pitch,’ Freimer says.
  9. Freimer says some children are probably genetically predisposed toward absolute pitch - and this innate inclination blossoms during childhood music lessons. Indeed, many researchers now point to this harmony of nature and nurture to explain why musicians with absolute pitch show different levels of their talent.
  10. Indeed, researchers are finding more and more evidence suggesting music lessons are critical to the development of absolute pitch. In a survey of 2,700 students in American music conservatories and college programmes, New York University geneticist Peter Gregersen and his colleagues found that a whopping 32 per cent of the Asian students reported having absolute pitch, compared with just 7 per cent of non-Asian students. While that might suggest a genetic tendency towards absolute pitch in the Asian population, Gregersen says that the type and timing of music lessons probably explains much of the difference.
  11. For one thing, those with absolute pitch started lessons, on average, when they were five years old, while those without absolute pitch started around the age of eight. Moreover, adds Gregersen, the type of music lessons favoured in Asia, and by many of the Asian families in his study, such as the Suzuki method, often focus on playing by ear and learning the names of musical notes, while those more commonly used in the US tend to emphasise learning scales in a relative pitch way. In Japanese pre-school music programmes, he says, children often have to listen to notes played on a piano and hold up a coloured flag to signal the pitch. ‘There’s a distinct cultural difference,’ he says.
  12. Deutsch predicts that further studies will reveal absolute pitch - in its imperfect, latent form - inside all of us. The Western emphasis on relative pitch simply obscures it, she contends. ‘It’s very likely that scientists will end up concluding that we’re all born with the potential to acquire very fine-grained absolute pitch. It’s really just a matter of life getting in the way.’

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Section 2

Solution and Explanation
Questions 1-8:
Complete the notes below using words from the box.
Write your answers in boxes 1-8 on your answer sheet.

Research is being conducted into the mysterious musical 1__________ some people possess known as perfect pitch. Musicians with this talent are able to name and sing a 2__________without reference to another and it is this that separates them from the majority who have only 3___________pitch. The research aims to find out whether this skill is the product of genetic inheritance or early exposure to 4________or, as some researchers believe, a combination of both. One research team sought a link between perfect pitch and 5________languages in order to explain the high number of Asian speakers with perfect pitch. Speakers of Vietnamese and Mandarin were asked to recite 6__________on different occasions and the results were then compared in terms of 7_________separate study found that the approach to teaching music in many Asian 8__________emphasised playing by ear whereas the US method was based on the relative pitch approach.

Question 1:

Answer: Ability
Supporting sentence
:
 The uncanny, if sometimes distracting, ability to name a solitary note out of the blue, without any other notes for reference, is a prized musical talent - and a scientific mystery.
Keywords
:
 'ability'
Keywords Location
:
 Paragraph : A, Line : 1st
Explanation
:
 Here, the author Kathryn Brown clearly mentioned in the first line of paragraph A that unexpectedly without any other notes reference to name a solitary note in music is definitely a valuable melodic talent.

Question 2:

Answer:  Note
Supporting sentence
:
 The uncanny, if sometimes distracting ability to name a solitary note out of the blue, without any other notes for reference is a prized musical talent - and a scientific mystery.
Keywords
'note'
Keywords Location
:
 Paragraph : A, Line : 1st
Explanation
As it is clearly mentioned in the first line of paragraph A that the musicians who possess such talent to name a solitary note without any other note references are also able to sing a note without references to another.

Question 3:

Answer:  Relative
Supporting sentence
:
 This is relative pitch. Useful, but much less mysterious.
Keywords
:
'relative'
Keywords Location
:
 Paragraph : B, Line : 3rd & 4th
Explanation
:
In paragraph B the author explained what the relative pitch is. According to her, most musicians follow not the notes but the relationship between the two notes and they successfully recognise the two notes, for example, higher note and lower note and so on.

Question 4:

Answer:  Music lessons
Supporting sentence
:
 And their work may finally settle a decades old debate about whether absolute pitch depends on melodious genes or early music lessons.
Keywords
:
'music lessons'
Keywords Location
:
 Paragraph : C, last line
Explanation
:
According to the Paragraph C, music researchers asserted that people can develop their melodic skill over their musical talent, and it is their work which may finally decide the most debatable question whether the absolute pitch depends on melodious genes or early music lessons.

Question 5:

Answer: Tone
Supporting sentence
:
 A third of the world's population - chiefly people in Asia and Africa - speak tone languages, in which a word's meaning can vary depending on the pitch a speaker uses.
Keywords
'tone'
Keywords Location
:
 Paragraph : D, last line
Explanation
:
The author Kathryn Brown said in the last line of paragraph D that people belonging to the third World continents like Asia or Africa speak tone languages meaning the meaning of the words can depend on the pitch the speaker uses.

Question 6:

Answer: Words
Supporting sentence
:
 Deutsch and her colleagues asked seven native Vietnamese speakers and 15 native Mandarin speakers to read out lists of words on different days.
Keywords
:
'words'
Keywords Location
:
 Paragraph : E, First line
Explanation
:
It is clearly mentioned in the first line of paragraph E that to make a research on pitch and the uses of various words Deutsch and her teammates collected lists of words spoken by the native Vietnamese and Mandarins on different days.

Question 7:

Answer: Pitch
Supporting sentence
:
 By recording these recited lists and taking the average pitch for each whole word, the researchers compared the pitches used by each person to say each word on different days.
Keywords
'pitch'
Keywords Location
:
 Paragraph : E, last line
Explanation
It is clearly expressed in the last line of paragraph E that Deutsch, the researcher and her colleagues after collecting and recording all the recited words and their pitches used by the native speakers and compared their uses on different days.

Question 8:

Answer: Cultures
Supporting sentence
:
 Moreover, adds Gregersen, the type of music lessons favoured in Asia, and by many of the Asian families in his study, such as the Suzuki method, often focus on playing by ear and learning the names of musical notes, while those more commonly used in the US tend to emphasise learning scales in a relative pitch way.
Keywords
'cultural'
Keywords Location
:
 Paragraph : K, Line : 2nd
Explanation
:
In paragraph K the author described the unique cultural differences in music that prevailed worldwide. People in Asia favoured music playing by ear and learning the names of melodic notes. In Us people learn the musical scales in a relative pitch way whereas in Japan children learn music by listening to the notes played on a piano and by signalling the pitch by holding up a coloured flag.

Questions 9-13:
Reading Passage contains a number of opinions provided by five different scientists.
Match each opinion with one of the scientists (A-E).
Write your answers in boxes 9-13 on your answer sheet.
You may use any of the people A-E more than once.

9) Absolute pitch is not a clear-cut issue.

Answer: D
Supporting sentence
:
 Absolute pitch is not an all or nothing features, says Marvin, a music theorist at the University of Rochester in New York State.
Keywords
:
'Absolute pitch is not an all or nothing features'.
Keywords Location
:
 Paragraph : C, Line : 4th
Explanation
As it is clearly mentioned in the fourth line of paragraph C that in music absolute pitch may be a far more common and varied element. According to Marvin, the famous music theorist in New York it is neither the whole thing nor the feature in music.

10) Anyone can learn how to acquire perfect pitch.

Answer: B
Supporting sentence
:
 Acoustical Society not America meeting in Columbus, Ohio, Deutsch reported a study that suggests we all have the potential to acquire absolute pitch - and that speakers of tone languages use it every day.
Keywords
:
'we all have the potential to acquire absolute pitch'.
Keywords Location
:
 Paragraph : D, Line : 2nd
Explanation
:
According to Paragraph D famous music psychologist Diana Deutsch remarked that every human has the capability to acquire absolute pitch and the speakers of tone languages use it frequently.

11) It’s actually surprising that not everyone has absolute pitch.

Answer: A
Supporting sentence
:
 Given studies like these, the real mystery is why we don't all have absolute pitch, says cognitive psychologist Daniel Levitin of McGill University in Montreal.
Keywords
:
'why we don't all have absolute pitch'.
Keywords Location
:
 Paragraph : G, Last line
Explanation
:
According to the last line of paragraph G, Daniel Levitin, famous cognitive psychologist of McGill University in Montreal remarked that it's actually a very surprising matter that not every human has absolute pitch.

12) The perfect pitch ability is genetic.

Answer: E
Supporting sentence
:
 Over the first decade, researchers have confirmed that absolute pich often runs in families.\
Keywords
:
'absolute pitch often runs in families'.
Keywords Location
:
 Paragraph : H, Line : 1st
Explanation
As it is clearly mentioned in the first line of Paragraph H that researchers have confirmed not everyone has absolute pitch, it actually runs in families. The absolute pitch ability is totally genetic.

13) The important thing is the age at which music lessons are started.

Answer: C
Supporting sentence
:
 While that might suggest a genetic tendency towards the absolute pitch in the Asian population, Gregersen says that the type and timing of music lessons probably explain much of the difference.
Keywords
'timing of music lessons probably explain much of the difference'.
Keywords Location
:
 Paragraph : J, last line
Explanation
According to Gregersen, in someone's musical journey the most important thing is the age at which the music lessons are started and the type of melody the person chooses to learn and it is mentioned in the last line of paragraph J.

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