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Scholars often fail to see that music played an important role in the

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New post Updated on: 10 Sep 2019, 04:10
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 7 New, Date : 04-FEB-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details


Scholars often fail to see that music played an important role in the preservation of African culture in the United States. They correctly note that slavery stripped some cultural elements from Black people—their political and economic systems—but they underestimate the significance of music in sustaining other African cultural values. African music, unlike the music of some other cultures, was based on a total vision of life in which music was not an isolated social domain. In African culture music was pervasive, serving not only religion, but all phases of life, including birth, death, work, and play. The methods that a community devises to perpetuate itself come into being to preserve aspects of the cultural legacy that that community perceives as essential. Music, like art in general, was so inextricably a part of African culture that it became a crucial means of preserving the culture during and after the dislocations of slavery.

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

(A) analyze the impact that slavery had on African political and economic systems
(B) review the attempt of recent scholarship to study the influence of African music on other music
(C) correct the failure of some scholars to appreciate the significance of music in African culture
(D) survey the ways by which people attempt to preserve their culture against the effects of oppression
(E) compare the relative importance of music with that of other art forms in culture

2. In the Passage “isolated social domain” refers to

(A) African music in relation to contemporary culture as a whole
(B) music as it may be perceived in non-African cultures
(C) a feature of African music that aided in transmitting African cultural values
(D) an aspect of the African cultural legacy
(E) the influence of music on contemporary culture

3. Which of the following statements concerning the function of African music can be inferred from the passage?

(A) It preserved cultural values because it was thoroughly integrated into the lives of the people.
(B) It was more important in the development of African religious life than in other areas of culture.
(C) It was developed in response to the loss of political and economic systems.
(D) Its pervasiveness in African culture hindered its effectiveness in minimizing the impact of slavery.
(E) Its isolation from the economic domains of life enabled it to survive the destructive impact of slavery.

4. According to the author, scholars would err in drawing which of the following conclusions?

I. Slavery stripped the slaves of their political and economic systems.
II. African music was similar to all other traditions of music in that it originated in a total vision of life.
III. Music was a crucial part of the African cultural legacy.

(A) I only
(B) II only
(C) I and II only
(D) II and III only
(E) I, II, and III



Source: GRE RC Passage
Difficulty Level: 600

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Originally posted by SajjadAhmad on 04 Feb 2019, 10:35.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 10 Sep 2019, 04:10, edited 1 time in total.
Updated - Complete topic (500).
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Re: Scholars often fail to see that music played an important role in the  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Feb 2019, 00:08
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Very small and tidy passage. Got 3 out of 4 correct in 2 mins 38 secs. The last question can be tricky if you fail to understand what the author is asking.

Gist: The author begins with stating that "Scholars often fail to see" the impact of music on preserving African culture in the united states. The author goes on to add that the pervasiveness of music in their culture in not only religious but other things such as birth, death etc. helped to counter the bad effects of slavery and keep the culture tied together.

To understand the primary purpose, read the first and last lines of the passage carefully and try to figure out the tone and conclusion in passage if there is one.
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to
(A) analyze the impact that slavery had on African political and economic systems Too specific to be the main point. The passage focusses on music.
(B) review the attempt of recent scholarship to study the influence of African music on other music The impact of African music on other music is out of scope.
(C) correct the failure of some scholars to appreciate the significance of music in African culture "correct the failure" may sound extreme but the first line of the passage suggests just this. Perfect.
(D) survey the ways by which people attempt to preserve their culture against the effects of oppression There is no survey. Discard.
(E) compare the relative importance of music with that of other art forms in culture Music is not compared to other art forms. Discard.

This reference is made when showing how African music is different from music in other cultures.
2. In the Passage “isolated social domain” refers to
(A) African music in relation to contemporary culture as a whole 180 opposite of what is being conveyed in the passage.
(B) music as it may be perceived in non-African cultures Perfect. This is exactly what we are looking for.
(C) a feature of African music that aided in transmitting African cultural values TRICKY - if we do not read the entire option properly as some expected words are present. However, this is 180 opposite of what is conveyed in the passage.
(D) an aspect of the African cultural legacy Again, same as above.
(E) the influence of music on contemporary culture Too broad - we are looking at music in other cultures.

Inference type question, we need to find that option which is 100% supported by the passage. Detail type as the options are pretty straightforward.
3. Which of the following statements concerning the function of African music can be inferred from the passage?
(A) It preserved cultural values because it was thoroughly integrated into the lives of the people. Perfect. Verbatim from the passage.
(B) It was more important in the development of African religious life than in other areas of culture. Wrong. It was equally important in all practices and not only religion.
(C) It was developed in response to the loss of political and economic systems. Correlation implies causation fallacy. The two happened together but one did not cause the other.
(D) Its pervasiveness in African culture hindered its effectiveness in minimizing the impact of slavery. 180 degree opposite to what is conveyed.
(E) Its isolation from the economic domains of life enabled it to survive the destructive impact of slavery. Not mentioned and hence cannot be inferred.

Tricky question as it is asking two things. Which conclusions the scholars have drawn and which of them are wrong. Need to keep both things in mind.
4. According to the author, scholars would err in drawing which of the following conclusions?

I. Slavery stripped the slaves of their political and economic systems. Conclusion drawn but it was not wrong.
II. African music was similar to all other traditions of music in that it originated in a total vision of life. African music is dissimilar is not concluded and hence they must have drawn this as a conclusion. Also, the author says the scholars erred in doing so. This is correct.
III. Music was a crucial part of the African cultural legacy. They did not draw this conclusion at all!
(A) I only
(B) II only TICK
(C) I and II only
(D) II and III only
(E) I, II, and III

Hope this helps. :-)
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New post 30 May 2019, 10:30
Can someone explain why B is correct in ques-2?
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Re: Scholars often fail to see that music played an important role in the  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jun 2019, 02:28
While the text is quite understandable and most people seem to do well on the questions, answer 4 seems to cause some headaches.

You might want to re-word the question to have an easier time understanding what it is hinting at;

"Which of the follow conclusion are wrong (according to the text)?"...

This makes it much easier to identify that we are looking for an answer that isolates statement II.
While statement II claims that African music is similar to other types of traditional music, the article tells us that African music is very distinct in its make up.

Hope this helps to shed some light on a tricky question.

Best regards,
Chris
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Re: Scholars often fail to see that music played an important role in the  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jul 2019, 11:49
SheilyKamra wrote:
Can someone explain why B is correct in ques-2?


Hi (don't know if it's too late to reply),

As per my understanding,

Please note the following sentence -

African music, unlike the music of some other cultures, was based on a total vision of life in which music was not an isolated social domain

This is the reason for B being the correct answer.
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Re: Scholars often fail to see that music played an important role in the   [#permalink] 10 Jul 2019, 11:49
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