The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute

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The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute [#permalink]

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26 Aug 2004, 02:39
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The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute excavated at a Neanderthal campsite is just what is required to play the third through sixth notes of the diatonic scale—the seven-note musical scale used in much of Western music since the Renaissance. Musicologists therefore hypothesize that the diatonic musical scale was developed and used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the hypothesis?

(A) Bone flutes were probably the only musical instrument made by Neanderthals.
(B) No musical instrument that is known to have used a diatonic scale is of an earlier date than the flute found at the Neanderthal campsite.
(C) The flute was made from a cave-bear bone and the campsite at which the flute fragment was excavated was in a cave that also contained skeletal remains of cave bears.
(D) Flutes are the simplest wind instrument that can be constructed to allow playing a diatonic scale.
(E) The cave-bear leg bone used to make the Neanderthal flute would have been long enough to make a flute capable of playing a complete diatonic scale.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA
If you have any questions
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29 Jan 2005, 09:10
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Hello, I personally think it should be E.

premise
: The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute is just what is required to play the third through sixth notes of the diatonic scale with seven notes.

Conclusion: diatonic musical scale was developed and used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians

We need to find something to support the premise, and it is usually the answer what ETS want.

Between B and E, we can use the negate skill.
If we negate B, that is, some musical instrument is known to be earlier than the bone flute, then we can still get the conclustion that diatonic musical scale was developed and used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians. In fact, we don't care about whether there is a instrument ealier than the bone flute and don't care about what is the earliest instrument. We just care about whether it is earlier than now.

But, on the other hand, if we negate E; that is, Neanderthal flute is not long enough to play one through seventh notes, then it directly weaken the premise that a diatonic musical scale has a seven scale.

Please must give me some suggestion after seeing.
Thank you.
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26 Aug 2004, 10:02
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I think its E
Evidence: fragement of bone flute can play 3rd to 6th notes
Concl: all notes of the scale could be played during that time (which is 1000s of yrs ago)

Concl will be true only if we assume that the missing fragments of flute bone could play the other missing notes
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Re: The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute [#permalink]

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18 Apr 2012, 15:43
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In this problem "FRAGMENT" is the key word. The passage describes about BONE FRAGMENT and not of the BONE itself.
Bone fragment is part of a bone (some cave-bear bone). The passage goes on to say that this bone fragment had enough length(and actual holes) so as to enable one to play 3-6 notes (say frag-1). The missing 1,2,7 notes of the diatonic scale was probably on some other fragment of the bone (say Frag-2).

So if somehow we know that the the complete bone(length of frag1 + frag2) had the capability to play the entire diatonic scale then we can deduce that diatonic scale was actually invented by the neanderthals and the musicians later adopted it.

Ans.E gives you that evidence.
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Re: CR # diatonic musical [#permalink]

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11 Nov 2005, 19:25
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nakib77 wrote:
Q17:
The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute excavated at a Neanderthal campsite is just what is required to play the third through sixth notes of the diatonic scaleâ€”the seven-note musical scale used in much of Western music since the Renaissance. Musicologists therefore hypothesize that the diatonic musical scale was developed and used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the hypothesis?

E. The cave-bear leg bone used to make the Neanderthal flute would have been long enough to make a flute capable of playing a complete diatonic scale.

I would lean on E coz only it ensures that the bone flute was really used and developed. If it wasn't, then even if its structure concides with nowadays's musical instruments which can play the diatonic scale, who can say that the bone flute can really play that scale? The key of the conclusion/hypothesis is " developed and used" .

E it is.
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Re: The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute [#permalink]

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20 Dec 2013, 01:23
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Expert's post
bagdbmba wrote:
Hi Verbal Experts,
Need some explanation on this question...

Here's mine - IMO E states that complete bone could be used to play complete diatonic scale-from 1st to 7th notes, by the Neanderthal BUT it doesn't state explicitly that diatonic musical scale was developed and used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians.

Whereas B says that the flute found at the Neanderthal campsite is the first musical instrument to have used a diatonic scale. Hence, it clearly supports the conclusion that diatonic musical scale was developed and used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians. But not sure why B is discarded and E is the OA...!!

Please share your detail analysis on the basis of these two options - B & E.

Hi bagdmba,

In this question we are asked to find a new piece of information that will support the musicologists hypothesis that :

diatonic musical scale was developed and used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians

The basis for the above theory:

The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute excavated at a Neanderthal campsite is just what is required to play the third through sixth notes of the diatonic scale

What is a diatonic scale:

the seven-note musical scale used in much of Western music since the Renaissance.

Now any piece of information that will solidify the connection between this bone flute fragment and the diatonic scale will be the right choice for supporting the proposed hypothesis.

(B) No musical instrument that is known to have used a diatonic scale is of an earlier date than the flute found at the Neanderthal campsite.

The information given above effectively means that there is no known record of a musical instrument that was diatonic and that pre-dates the bone flute. Now is the hypothesis proposed by the musicologists concerned with proving that the found flute fragment was part of the first ever diatonic instrument? The answer is a big NO! It does not matter whether there was any instrument before the bone flute that could play the diatonic scale. All we need to establish is that the whole flute (whose fragment has been found) itself was diatonic. The information given in answer choice B does not help in doing so.

Whereas choice E says:

(E) The cave-bear leg bone used to make the Neanderthal flute would have been long enough to make a flute capable of playing a complete diatonic scale.

Now, this choice rightly solidifies the connection between the diatonic scale and the bone flute. Please note that in the prompt, we are told that the four holes could play third through the sixth note but the diatonic scale has seven notes. This means, if we factor in the information given in answer choice E, we can establish that the fragment of the bone flute found was could have been part of a longer flute which could have played all the seven notes of the diatonic scale. Hence, choice E is the correct answer.

Hope the above analysis helps!

Neeti.
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09 Jul 2006, 15:15
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Only E remains.

If the bone was long enough then it may be possible that Neanderthals intentionally cut the bone to play only the part of dianotic scale.
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The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute [#permalink]

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05 Feb 2008, 09:47
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The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute excavated at a Neanderthal campsite is just what is required to play the third through sixth notes of the diatonic scale—the seven-note musical scale used in much of Western music since the Renaissance. Musicologists therefore hypothesize that the diatonic musical scale was developed and used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians.
Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the hypothesis?
A. Bone flutes were probably the only musical instrument made by Neanderthals.
B. No musical instrument that is known to have used a diatomic scale is of an earlier date than the flute found at the Neanderthal campsite.
C. The flute was made from a cave-bear bone and the campsite at which the flute fragment was excavated was in a cave that also contained skeletal remains of cave bears.
D. Flutes are the simplest wind instrument that can be constructed to allow playing a diatonic scale.
E. The cave-bear leg bone used to make the Neanderthal flute would have been long enough to make a flute capable of playing a complete diatonic scale.
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Re: CR: diatonic musical scale [#permalink]

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05 Feb 2008, 11:17
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should be E -

frgament hole spacings followed the normal diatonic scale notes spacing

so - C-C#-D-D#-E-F-F#-G-G#-A-A#-B-c

some prior knowledge does help

- there can be many musical scales with different spacings between adjacent notes
- the fragment only gave a partial yet true picture of a complete diatonic scale
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22 Jun 2008, 06:09
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I did some more resarch on the CR and realised the following:

Question - Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the hypothesis?

Ok..so what is the hypothesis here ?
diatonic musical scale was developed and used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians.

Is there a evidence to support the hypothesis?
yes...there is a fragmnet of bone flute found which has 4 holes.

Ok now some music lessons
diatonic scale is a seven-note musical scale

What is the author assuming here?
The 4 holes on the fragment are required to play 3rd thru 6th notes on the diatonic scale

Now lets go back to the question
Question - Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the hypothesis?
In other words - We need an answer which will confirm that the fragment was indeed from a flute which played diatonic music

E. The cave-bear leg bone used to make the Neanderthal flute would have been long enough to make a flute capable of playing a complete diatonic scale.E fi

E fits .

Please let me know if you agree with this logic.
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13 Nov 2009, 12:10
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Option E is the best choice here. We know that the spacing of the holes supports the diatonic scale argument. The length of the bone flute strengthens the argument even more. We have two pieces of evidence now to support our hypothesis, instead of just one.

It doesn't really matter if there are older or newer flutes. If we discovered an older flute, then the assertion that "the diatonic musical scale was developed and used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians" doesn't change. If there are no flutes older than the one found, then the argument remains the same - the oldest diatonic flute was still used by Neanderthals thousands of years ago.
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Re: The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute [#permalink]

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04 Jul 2013, 05:14
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nitin6305 wrote:
Just wanted to ask if my reasoning for elimination of choice B is correct.
Choice B says that
Quote:
No musical instrument that is known to have used a diatonic scale is of an earlier date than the flute found at the Neanderthal campsite.

It doesn't mention any time frame, while the conclusion of the argument says thousands of years ago. So, even if a musical instrument was found after the flute in question, it could be thousands of years ago.
Please correct me if I am wrong here as eliminating an answer choice incorrectly is an issue of concern.

What you say is correct, but it's not the main point.

We want to prove that the instrument with 4-holes was able to play a 7 note scale.

We want to support that "Musicologists therefore hypothesize that the diatonic musical scale was developed and used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians", so we are looking for an answer that states that he flute was able to play the full scale.

B is not correct not because does not mention any time frame, but because does not give us such info.

Hope it's clear
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26 Aug 2004, 10:45
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I think it is B.

Cause : bone flute excavation .
Effect : a hypothesis that it was used thousands of year before.

Another cause : There may be another instrument that i dated much earlier than the bone-flute with the same musical functionality.

The abov cause is negated in B. So, strengthens the argument.

E is a contender but the use of 'would have' is leading to no conclusive stuff that strengthens or weakens the hypothesis.

marine wrote:
The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute excavated at a Neanderthal campsite is just what is required to play the third through sixth notes of the diatonic scaleâ€”the seven-note musical scale used in much of Western music since the Renaissance. Musicologists therefore hypothesize that the diatonic musical scale was developed and used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the hypothesis?

A. Bone flutes were probably the only musical instrument made by Neanderthals.
B. No musical instrument that is known to have used a diatomic scale is of an earlier date than the flute found at the Neanderthal campsite.
C. The flute was made from a cave-bear bone and the campsite at which the flute fragment was excavated was in a cave that also contained skeletal remains of cave bears.
D. Flutes are the simplest wind instrument that can be constructed to allow playing a diatonic scale.
E. The cave-bear leg bone used to make the Neanderthal flute would have been long enough to make a flute capable of playing a complete diatonic scale.

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Awaiting response,

Thnx & Rgds,
Chandra

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07 Jul 2006, 09:03
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I like E.

It connects their flute to the full diatonic scale.

A. Doesn't help the argument.

B. Doesn't matter. Even if there was an instrument that was earlier than the Neanderthal's, the argument is about using the scale before the Westerners.

C. Doesn't matter.

D. This only shows that it's an easy instrument to make.
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14 Sep 2006, 01:00
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One more for E.

1.The bone was big enough to accomodate the entire scale.
2.The flute however had spacings just wide enough to accomodate the 3rd through 6th notes.
So, the Neanderthal's knew what they were doing.
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Re: CR: diatonic musical scale [#permalink]

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05 Feb 2008, 10:01
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Expert's post
B

The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute excavated at a Neanderthal campsite is just what is required to play the third through sixth notes of the diatonic scale—the seven-note musical scale used in much of Western music since the Renaissance. Musicologists therefore hypothesize that the diatonic musical scale was developed and used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians.

the assumption: a bone flute is dated thousands of years ago.

Which of the following, if true, most strongly supports the hypothesis?

A. Bone flutes were probably the only musical instrument made by Neanderthals. - irrelevant
B. No musical instrument that is known to have used a diatomic scale is of an earlier date than the flute found at the Neanderthal campsite. - it is not an ideal one but the best from others.
C. The flute was made from a cave-bear bone and the campsite at which the flute fragment was excavated was in a cave that also contained skeletal remains of cave bears. - irrelevant.
D. Flutes are the simplest wind instrument that can be constructed to allow playing a diatonic scale. - irrelevant.
E. The cave-bear leg bone used to make the Neanderthal flute would have been long enough to make a flute capable of playing a complete diatonic scale. - weaken
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21 Jun 2008, 09:09
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aviator83 wrote:
durgesh79 wrote:
i've seen this question before on the forums.....

The answer is E..... not because it was a particular animal's bone .....

but if you apply negation to E ... tells us that bone wasnt long enough to produce the sound ... goes against the hypothesis .....

even if i negate it still it doesnt go against the hypothesis. refer to option E -
The cave-bear leg bone used to make the Neanderthal flute would have been long enough to make a flute capable of playing a complete diatonic scale.
- even if a complete diatonic scale cannot be played on the flute still a few notes can be played(refer the evidence) - that may be good enough to mark the origin of the diatonic scale.

And let's not go by what answer we have seen elsewhere..let's discuss..may be had i seen this elsewhere and if i was not convinced i would have posted this question on the forum to get a better solution. For all you know the person who posted it might have done for the same reason.
Please "logically" convince me that iam wrong..that would definitely help.
or else pls. post the link of the forum you saw this question in that would help too.

i was too lazy to type "bone flute" in the search box and hit the enter ....

Anyway let met try to convince.....

The hypothesis : "the diatonic musical scale was developed and used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians."

Now I'm not a musician but i can say that to develope a scale you need to produce all the sounds required to product it ... there are seven notes and the bone flute they found was wable to produce .... only 3 to 6, so definetly the whole scale can not be produced using this particular bone flute ....... now even if i assume that there could be another bone flute (which was never found) may have produced all 7 notes ... its not possible becuase the bone of the poor animal wasnt long enough ......
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22 Jun 2008, 14:00
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I dont know what the negation test is.
My reasoning does have a slight flaw, but its negalible for this test, and E remains the best choice.
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28 Oct 2009, 08:42
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The conclusion here is that diatonic scale was used long before western musicians started using it. B is not significant to the question because we are not trying to prove that the flute was the first to use diatonic scale, we just want to prove that diatonic scale was used before the western musicians used it. But if the info in E is not provided, we cant say the flute was used to play diatonic scale - not all notes are possible with the fragment of bone discovered.
So IMO answer should be E.
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25 Apr 2013, 18:21
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Very good explanation from Rock750.
I just want to elaborate a little bit.

Premise: The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute is just what is required to play the third through sixth notes of the diatonic scale
Conclusion: the diatonic musical scale was developed and used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians

Assumption: the diatonic used by Neanderthal is the same as the diatonic seven-note musical scale used by the Western. ==> if a part of a bone flute demonstrates four notes, the whole bone flute should demonstrate all seven notes.

E states the same ==> E is correct.
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Re: The spacing of.....   [#permalink] 25 Apr 2013, 18:21

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