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Music critic: Fewer and fewer musicians are studying classical music,

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Re: Music critic: Fewer and fewer musicians are studying classical music,  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Apr 2019, 06:08
AbdurRakib wrote:
The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review 2018
Practice Question
Critical Reasoning
Question no. 187

Music critic: Fewer and fewer musicians are studying classical music, decreasing the likelihood that those with real aptitude for such music will be performing it. Audiences who hear these performances will not appreciate classical music’s greatness and will thus decamp to other genres. So to maintain classical music’s current meager popularity, we must encourage more young musicians to enter the field.

Which of the following, if true, most weakens the music critic’s reasoning?

(A) Musicians who choose to study classical music do so because they believe they have an aptitude for the music.

(B) Classical music’s current meager popularity is attributable to the profusion of other genres of music available to listeners.

(C) Most people who appreciate classical music come to do so through old recordings rather than live performances.

(D) It is possible to enjoy the music in a particular genre even when it is performed by musicians who are not ideally suited for that genre.

(E) The continued popularity of a given genre of music depends in part on the audiences being able to understand why that genre attained its original popularity.

Argument Evaluation

Situation
Fewer musicians are studying classical music. This reduces the likelihood that those performing the music will have real aptitude for it, which in turn reduces audience's appreciation of classical music performances.

Reasoning
What evidence would cast the most doubt on the support provided for the conclusion that encouraging more young musicians to study classical music is necessary in order to maintain the genre's meager popularity? The music critic's argument is that because fewer talented classical musicians are performing, audiences hearing their performances will fail to appreciate the genre, and thus will abandon it. The critic reasons that to solve this problem, it will be necessary to encourage more young musicians to study classical music so that audiences will eventually be exposed to more talented classical performers and decide the genre is worthwhile after all. The argument would be weakened, for example, by evidence that hearing unremarkable live performances does not really drive many people away from classical music, or that the number of audience members hearing great performances does not depend much on the number of talented performers, or that encouraging young musicians to study classical music is either ineffective or not the only effective way to increase the number of talented classical performers.

(A) This does not weaken the critic's reasoning. However much confidence musicians studying classical music have in their own talent, a decline in the total number of classical musicians will probably result in a decline in the number of truly talented classical musicians, just as the critic assumes.

(B) The critic is only proposing a way to at least maintain classical music's current meager popularity, which might be accomplished even if the profusion of other genres prevents classical music's popularity from increasing.

(C) Correct. This suggests that classical music's meager popularity could at least be maintained by encouraging people to listen to great old recordings of classical music rather than by increasing the supply of great live performances.

(D) This does weaken the argument slightly. But even if a few audience members manage to enjoy mediocre classical music performances, they might still be more strongly drawn to other genres with more talented performers.

(E) Listeners exposed to more impressive live performances of classical music by talented performers would probably better understand why classical music was once popular than would listeners exposed only to mediocre classical performances.





The argument talks about one of the factors that influences the popularity of classical music. The focus of the argument is 'If more of younger generation takes up studying classical music, will the popularity of this music be maintained?' Other factors could influence the popularity(such as option B and option E) but have NO impact on THIS argument. To weaken it we would need to think of scenarios in which even if the younger generation takes up studying classical music, improves the performances and somehow people still don't appreciate it. E.g What if live performances are NOT linked to the popularity of that genre? (C) attacks this link and hence is the correct choice.
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Re: Music critic: Fewer and fewer musicians are studying classical music,  [#permalink]

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New post 14 May 2019, 08:26
Dear Experts. Please help a non native..

The author says "So to maintain classical music???s current MEAGER popularity, we must...."

He is asking for reasons that could maintain the MEAGER (poor) popularity. Where is it implied that he is looking for reasons to INCREASE the popularity. I just do not see it.

Regards!
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Re: Music critic: Fewer and fewer musicians are studying classical music,  [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2019, 08:19
Hi GMATNinja

Kindly explain as to where am I going wrong with such line of thinking:

Option A: My interpretation:
Because most people are taking up classical music simply on the basis of their ‘personal belief’ and not the ‘actual talent’, inclusion of more youngsters into this genre will eventually not affect the quality of classical music / will not raise the quality of this genre. Hence, a weakener.

Option C: My interpretation:
Because audience is appreciating classical music by listening to old recordings, their taste of such music is likely to be of very high quality. This tends to further strengthen the conclusion: because such audience will not appreciate current music quality in a live performance, the need to encourage younger talent is desired.

Thanks
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Re: Music critic: Fewer and fewer musicians are studying classical music,  [#permalink]

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New post 16 May 2019, 10:53
Every time I see official GMAT Verbal questions, my respect to GMAT test makers goes up . Their way of writing questions and balanced difficulty is almost impeccable. :)

Kudos.
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Re: Music critic: Fewer and fewer musicians are studying classical music,  [#permalink]

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New post 27 May 2019, 02:16
andresan wrote:
Dear Experts. Please help a non native..

The author says "So to maintain classical music???s current MEAGER popularity, we must...."

He is asking for reasons that could maintain the MEAGER (poor) popularity. Where is it implied that he is looking for reasons to INCREASE the popularity. I just do not see it.

Regards!

Here "meager" means "deficient in quantity". So "meager popularity" just implies that classical music is not very popular. The music critic is not interested in INCREASING the level of popularity. Instead, the music critic is talking about MAINTAINING (keeping the same) the current level of popularity (as opposed to LOSING even more listeners).

Shobhit7 wrote:
Hi GMATNinja

Kindly explain as to where am I going wrong with such line of thinking:

Option A: My interpretation:
Because most people are taking up classical music simply on the basis of their ‘personal belief’ and not the ‘actual talent’, inclusion of more youngsters into this genre will eventually not affect the quality of classical music / will not raise the quality of this genre. Hence, a weakener.

Option C: My interpretation:
Because audience is appreciating classical music by listening to old recordings, their taste of such music is likely to be of very high quality. This tends to further strengthen the conclusion: because such audience will not appreciate current music quality in a live performance, the need to encourage younger talent is desired.

Thanks

Quote:
(A) Musicians who choose to study classical music do so because they believe they have an aptitude for the music

(A) tells us that musicians choose to study classical music because they believe they have an aptitude for it. We are trying to encourage more young musicians to enter the field. Well, what if we encourage more musicians to believe that they have an aptitude for classical music? Given (A), that would certainly help maintain classical music's popularity.

We have no idea how much talent is out there and what portion of those with sufficient talent believe that they have an aptitude for classical music. By itself, (A) is not a reason why we could not encourage more musicians to believe and thus encourage them to study classical music.

Quote:
(C) Most people who appreciate classical music come to do so through old recordings rather than live performances.

MOST people appreciate classical music because of old recordings, NOT live performances. Your interpretation of (C) directly contradicts this statement. (C) tells us that the quality of live performances will have little impact on appreciation of classical music--old recordings will always be there, regardless of what happens with future live performances. (C) tells us that we don't need to worry so much about the quality of future live performances, if our goal is simply to maintain appreciation of classical music's greatness and, thus, prevent listeners from decamping (departing) to other genres.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Music critic: Fewer and fewer musicians are studying classical music,  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Aug 2019, 07:18
1
Music critic: Fewer and fewer musicians are studying classical music, decreasing the likelihood that those with real aptitude for such music will be performing it. Audiences who hear these performances will not appreciate classical music’s greatness and will thus decamp to other genres. So to maintain classical music’s current meager popularity, we must encourage more young musicians to enter the field.

Which of the following, if true, most weakens the music critic’s reasoning?

Pre-thinking:
This argument presents a cause-effect relation where
Cause: appreciation of performances
Effect: raise in popularity of CM
The assumption made by the author is that the current popularity of classical music is significantly dependent by these performances.
A way in which we can weaken this assumption is to imagine another factor, other than the performances, from which the popularity of classical music depends on. For example I guess that a lot of people passionate about classical music would listen to it by vinyls.
So any statement suggesting that the popularity of CM depends actually on another factor will weaken the author's argument


(A) Musicians who choose to study classical music do so because they believe they have an aptitude for the music.
What musicians believe is irrelevant to the argument since is the decreased number of musicians that leads to the decrease of popularity of CM according to the author. Hence incorrect

(B) Classical music’s current meager popularity is attributable to the profusion of other genres of music available to listeners.
Although this answer choice offers an alternative cause to the decrease in popularity of classical music it doesn't decrease our belief in the conclusion that adding more musicians to the fields will reestablish the CM popularity. Hence incorrect

(C) Most people who appreciate classical music come to do so through old recordings rather than live performances.
This is in line with our Prethinking. If popularity depends on old recordings rather than performances increasing the # of young musicians will likely have no effect. Hence correct

(D) It is possible to enjoy the music in a particular genre even when it is performed by musicians who are not ideally suited for that genre.
This answer does not impact the argument since there is no relation between being able to enjoy CM even when the performance is not suited and the popularity of the genre. Hence incorrect

(E) The continued popularity of a given genre of music depends in part on the audiences being able to understand why that genre attained its original popularity.
Here we have two problems. First the argument is concerned with CM while this statement talks in a general way. Secondly "in part" could mean several things. For example it could mean significantly, and this would impact the argument, or it could mean not in a significant way, and this would not impact the argument. Hence incorrect.
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Re: Music critic: Fewer and fewer musicians are studying classical music,   [#permalink] 09 Aug 2019, 07:18

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