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The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute excavated

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

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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.


Verbal Question of The Day: Day 275: Critical Reasoning


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Originally posted by marine on 26 Aug 2004, 03:39.
Last edited by Bunuel on 12 Sep 2018, 05:51, edited 3 times in total.
Renamed the topic and edited the question.
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Re: QOTD: The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute  [#permalink]

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New post 03 May 2018, 19:11
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Since we are trying to support a hypothesis, let's start with that hypothesis: "the diatonic musical scale was developed and used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians." Why do musicologists believe this hypothesis?

  • A fragment of a bone flute was excavated at a Neanderthal campsite.
  • This bone flute fragment had four holes.
  • The spacing of the four holes "is just what is required to play the third through sixth notes of the diatonic scale." - Obviously this does not PROVE that the bone flute was used to play diatonic scales, but this evidence SUGGESTS that the bone flute could have been used to play the diatonic scale.
  • The diatonic scale is "the seven-note musical scale used in much of Western music since the Renaissance."

We are given that the diatonic scale was used by Western musicians since the Renaissance. But now we have evidence of a bone flute that MAY have been used to play diatonic scales. This evidence was discovered at a Neanderthal campsite. This might suggest that Neanderthals were playing diatonic scales thousands of years before the Renaissance.

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

Quote:
(A) Bone flutes were probably the only musical instrument made by Neanderthals.

The number of musical instruments made by Neanderthals is irrelevant. Was the excavated bone flute used to play the diatonic scale? Choice (A) does not help strengthen that hypothesis, so eliminate this one.

Quote:
(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.

Choice (B) tells us that the excavated bone flute may have been one of the earliest instruments used to play a diatonic scale. But perhaps the excavated bone flute was not used to play the diatonic scale at all. Maybe the first diatonic instruments did not appear until thousands of years later? Choice (B) does not strengthen the hypothesis and can be eliminated.

Quote:
(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.

Who knows what to make of this evidence... maybe the Neanderthals killed/cooked some cave bears and left their remains in the caves? Or maybe the bears came in and killed the Neanderthals, taking over the cave? This evidence does not help us determine whether the excavated bone flute was used to play diatonic scales, so eliminate (C).

Quote:
(D) Flutes are the simplest wind instrument that can be constructed to allow playing a diatonic scale.

At first, (D) doesn't look bad. It might suggest that a diatonic instrument could have been produced by a primitive species, such as Neanderthals. But regardless of whether that instrument is simple or complex, we we already have the evidence in our hands. We've excavated a Neanderthal bone flute capable of playing 4 of the 7 notes in the scale. This instrument, no matter how simple or complex, may (or may not) have been used to play the full diatonic scale.

Choice (D) doesn't hurt, but it doesn't leave us any better off than we were given the information in the passage. I might hang on to (D) for now, but let's see if (E) is better...

Quote:
(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.

Based on the evidence, we know that the bone flute could have been used to play four of the notes in the diatonic scale. But does that necessarily mean it was used to play the ENTIRE diatonic scale? Maybe it was only used to play 4 or 5 notes? In that case, the full diatonic scale may not have been developed and used until thousands of years later.

Choice (E) does not PROVE that the flute had all 7 notes. However, (E) gives us evidence that the flute could have easily been long enough to play a full diatonic scale. Sure, the Neanderthals may not have used the full length of the leg bone for the instrument. However, with choice (E), we are now better off than we were given the information in the passage.

(E) definitely supports the hypothesis and is the best option.
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Re: The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute excavated  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2013, 02:23
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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,

Thank you for your query.

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.

Answer choice B says:

(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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Re: The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute excavated  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jan 2005, 10:10
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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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Re: The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute excavated  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Aug 2004, 11:02
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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 excavated  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jun 2008, 07:09
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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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New post 13 Nov 2009, 13:10
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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 excavated  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Apr 2012, 16:43
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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: The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute excavated  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Apr 2013, 05:06
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.
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New post 20 Dec 2013, 08:00
HI Neeti,
Thanks for your detail reply but unfortunately the doubt still remains wide open :-(

I think our job is to provide support in favor of the conclusion/hypothesis which says that diatonic musical scale was developed and used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians. Right?

Hence, please tell me how option E does that? There is no mention of time in this option!

Please clarify.
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New post Updated on: 20 Dec 2013, 23:58
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Hi baddmba,

Thank you for your post. Please find my comments below your analysis that:

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.


You are not focusing on the aspect that by showing that the bone -flute could play the complete diatonic scale (a new piece of information provided in choice E), a central assumption made by the musicologists is strengthened. We indeed need to support their hypothesis BUT in doing so we do need to consider the reasoning provided by them. As of now the logic cited by the musicologists is that since the fragment showed that the flute had the potential to play the third note up till the sixth one, the diatonic musical scale was developed and used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians. This means that they are taking for granted that the whole flute could play the complete seven notes of the diatonic scale. This is the assumption that answer choice E supports. As regards the time aspect mentioned by the musicologists, the basis for the same is the fact that the fragment was excavated from a Neanderthal campsite. Since that is a premise, we have to take the time connection on face value. Hence, by supporting that the whole bone-flute, whose fragment was excavated from a Neanderthal campsite (the time aspect), could play the diatonic scale, answer choice E supports the musicologists’ hypothesis.

Hope the above analysis helps :) .

Neeti.
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Originally posted by egmat on 20 Dec 2013, 23:05.
Last edited by egmat on 20 Dec 2013, 23:58, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: QOTD: The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Apr 2018, 21:56
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souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 275: Critical Reasoning


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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.


Imo E
A Well this may be true or may be not . We are not concerned with what kinds of instrument they made . It does not not give any information that the diatonic was used by them.
B Upon negation this choice does not destroy the argument thus rejected it .
C This choice is irrelevant .
D Again this choice is irrelevant .
E Correct if the bone is not long enough then diatonic scale would not have been used and developed .
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Re: QOTD: The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Apr 2018, 22:53
Question Type: Strengthen

Argument: A bone flute is discovered and third through sixth notes of a diatonic scale can be played on it. So, its opined that the diatonic musical scale was developed and used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians

(A) Bone flutes were probably the only musical instrument made by Neanderthals. - Does not affect the hypothesis. Even if there were other musical instruments made by the neanderthals, the diatonic scale could still be used thousands of years before it was adopted by Western musicians.

(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. - Again, this doesn't affect the hypothesis.

(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. - It doesn't provide any evidence to suggest that the bone flute was used thousands of years before it was adopted by the Western musicians. Doesn't differentiate between the Neanderthals and the western musicians. Both could have made the flute using the cave-bear bone.

(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. - Correct. Correctly identifies the flute as Neanderthal flute and since it was long enough for playing a diatonic scale, the statement adds support to the stated hypothesis.

Answer: E
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New post 30 Sep 2018, 21:42
Fell for the trap , very sneaky/tricky Question !!
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New post 30 Mar 2019, 22:06
VeritasKarishma AjiteshArun
Can you please explain why B is wrong though I read the above discussion but I am still not crystal clear why that is wrong ?
According to B the bone is the first known musical instrument to use diatonic scale hence it proves the conclusion
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New post 30 Mar 2019, 23:28
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teaserbae wrote:
VeritasKarishma AjiteshArun
Can you please explain why B is wrong though I read the above discussion but I am still not crystal clear why that is wrong ?
According to B the bone is the first known musical instrument to use diatonic scale hence it proves the conclusion
Option B just says that nothing before the flute was "diatonic". That does not mean that the bone flute was "diatonic". :)

Look at it this way:
1. This is the reasoning given to us: the bone flute fragment could be used to play notes 3-6 of the diatonic scale. The bone flute is old. Therefore the bone flute is evidence that the diatonic scale existed long back.
2. One of the biggest problems here is that we still don't know whether the bone flute was actually capable of producing all the notes of the diatonic scale (there are 7 notes in the diatonic scale, but the flute fragment can be used to play only 4 of them).
3. Option B says that nothing before the flute was "diatonic". This does not show that the flute itself was "diatonic", so the statement that the diatonic scale existed long back is not strengthened.

Something similar: a manuscript with some of the chapters of a book was found before the book's first known publication date. Therefore the book must have been published earlier than the first known publication date. We can't strengthen this by saying that no copies of the book older than the manuscript have been found, because that still doesn't tell us that the manuscript had all the chapters of the book. For all we know, maybe we're looking at an early draft, and not the whole book.
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Re: The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute excavated  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Mar 2019, 23:47
AjiteshArun wrote:
teaserbae wrote:
VeritasKarishma AjiteshArun
Can you please explain why B is wrong though I read the above discussion but I am still not crystal clear why that is wrong ?
According to B the bone is the first known musical instrument to use diatonic scale hence it proves the conclusion
Option B just says that nothing before the flute was "diatonic". That does not mean that the bone flute was "diatonic". :)

Look at it this way:
1. This is the reasoning given to us: the bone flute fragment could be used to play notes 3-6 of the diatonic scale. The bone flute is old. Therefore the bone flute is evidence that the diatonic scale existed long back.
2. One of the biggest problems here is that we still don't know whether the bone flute was actually capable of producing all the notes of the diatonic scale (there are 7 notes in the diatonic scale, but the flute fragment can be used to play only 4 of them).
3. Option B says that nothing before the flute was "diatonic". This does not show that the flute itself was "diatonic", so the statement that the diatonic scale existed long back is not strengthened.

Something similar: a manuscript with some of the chapters of a book was found before the book's first known publication date. Therefore the book must have been published earlier than the first known publication date. We can't strengthen this by saying that no copies of the book older than the manuscript have been found, because that still doesn't tell us that the manuscript had all the chapters of the book. For all we know, maybe we're looking at an early draft, and not the whole book.


I have a different interpretation in 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.
Like : Before Rishabh no boy gave GMAT doesn't it imply Rishabh gave gmat ?
Similarly in B it implies flute has used a diatonic scale
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Re: The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute excavated  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Mar 2019, 10:38
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teaserbae wrote:
I have a different interpretation in 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.
Like : Before Rishabh no boy gave GMAT doesn't it imply Rishabh gave gmat ?
Similarly in B it implies flute has used a diatonic scale
Let's read option B carefully. Option B is:

(1) No musical instrument that is known to have used a diatonic scale (2) is of an earlier date than (3) the flute found at the Neanderthal campsite.

Clearly, (1) tells us that there are musical instruments that are known to have used a diatonic scale. The sentence as a whole tells us that no such instrument is older than the flute. This does not confirm that the flute uses a diatonic scale. It's a little like saying:

No person who is known to work in your company is older than the President.

Let's check whether that sentence includes enough information to assert that the President works in your company. The possibilities are:

1. The President does not work at your company.
2. The President works at your company, but that is not "known".

We can't say which is "true" without further information.
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New post 23 Jun 2019, 08:09
I have a doubt.
What if the cave bear was present only from 100-150years?
Then we cannot say that the flute was made 1000 years ago.

We don't know the bear's age.
Can anyone clarify my doubt ?
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Re: The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute excavated  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Jun 2019, 23:55
Prasannathawait wrote:
I have a doubt.
What if the cave bear was present only from 100-150years?
Then we cannot say that the flute was made 1000 years ago.

We don't know the bear's age.
Can anyone clarify my doubt ?
The question does say that the bone flute (fragment) "was excavated at a Neanderthal campsite".

But, more importantly, we need to keep in mind that the question asks us to "support(s) the hypothesis". Why would we go out of our way to assume something that ends up weakening the hypothesis?
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Re: The spacing of the four holes on a fragment of a bone flute excavated   [#permalink] 23 Jun 2019, 23:55
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