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GRE閱讀理解(Barron模考)每日一題 第243期

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Proponents of different jazz styles have always argued that their predecessors, musical style did not include essential characteristics that define jazz as jazz. Thus, 1940's swing was belittled by beboppers of the 1950's, who were themselves attacked by free jazzers of the 1960's. The neoboppers of the 1980's and 1990's attacked almost everybody else. The titanic figure of Black saxophonist John Coltrane has complicated the arguments made by proponents of styles from bebop through neobop because in his own musical journey he drew from all those styles. His influence on all types of jazz was immeasurable. At the height of his popularity, Coltrane largely abandoned playing bebop, the style that had brought him fame, to explore the outer reaches of jazz.

Coltrane himself probably believed that the only essential characteristic of jazz was improvisation, the one constant in his journey from bebop to open-ended improvisations on modal, Indian, and African melodies. On the other hand, this dogged student and prodigious technician—who insisted on spending hours each day practicing scales from theory books-was never able to jettison completely the influence of bebop, with its fast and elaborate chains of notes and ornaments on melody.

Two stylistic characteristics shaped the way Coltrane played the tenor saxophone, he favored playing fast runs of notes built on a melody and depended on heavy, regularly accented beats. The first led Coltrane to "sheets of sound." where he raced faster and faster, pile-driving notes into each other to suggest stacked harmonies. The second meant that his sense of rhythm was almost as close to rock as to bebop.

Three recordings illustrate Coltrane's energizing explorations. Recording Kind of Blue with Miles Davis, Coltrane found himself outside bop, exploring modal melodies. Here he played surging, lengthy solos built largely around repeated motifs-an organizing principle unlike that of free jazz saxophone player Ornette Coleman, who modulated or altered melodies in his solos. On Giant Steps, Coltrane debuted as leader, introducing his own compositions. Here the sheets of sound, downbeat accents, repetitions, and great speed are part of each solo, and the variety of the shapes of his phrases is unique. Coltrane's searching explorations produced solid achievement. My Favorite Things was another kind of watershed. Here Coltrane played the soprano saxophone, an instrument seldom used by jazz musicians. Musically, the results were astounding. With the soprano's piping sound, ideas that had sounded dark and brooding acquired a feeling of giddy fantasy.

When Coltrane began recording for the Impulse! label, he was still searching. His music became raucous, physical. His influence on rockers was enormous, including Jimi Hendrix, the rock guitarist, who following Coltrane, raised the extended guitar solo using repeated motifs to a kind of rock art form.

The primary purpose of the passage is to
A.discuss the place of Coltrane in the world of jazz and describe his musical explorations
B.examine the nature of bebop and contrast it with improvisational jazz
C.analyze the musical sources of Coltrane's style and their influence on his work
D.acknowledge the influence of Coltrane's music on rock music and rock musicians
E.discuss the arguments that divide the proponents of different jazz styles

The author implies that which of the following would have been an effect of Coltrane's having chosen to play the tenor rather than the soprano saxophone on My Favorite Things?
A.The tone of the recording would have been more somber.
B.The influence of bebop on the recording would have been more obvious
C.The music on the recording would have sounded less raucous and physical
D.His influence on rock music might have been less pervasive.
E.The style of the recording would have been indistinguishable from that on Kind of Blue

Which of the following best describes the organization of the fourth paragraph?
A.A thesis referred to earlier in the passage is mentioned and illustrated with three specific examples
B.A thesis is stated and three examples are given each suggesting that a correction needs to be made to a thesis referred to earlier in the passage
C.A thesis referred to earlier in the passage is mentioned, and three examples are presented and ranked in order of their support of the thesis.
D.A thesis is stated, three seemingly opposing examples are presented, and their underlying correspondence is explained
E.A thesis is stated, three dissimilar examples are considered, and the thesis is restated.

According to the passage, John Coltrane did all of the following during his career EXCEPT
A.improvise on melodies from a number of different cultures
B.perform as leader as well as soloist
C.spend time improving his technical skills
D.experiment with the sounds of various instruments
E.eliminate the influence of bebop on his own music

The author mentions the work of Ornette Coleman in the fourth paragraph in order to do which of the following?
A.Expand the discussion by mentioning the work of a saxophone player who played in Coltrane's style.
B.Compare Coltrane's solos with the work of another jazz artist.
C.Support the idea that rational organizing principles need to be applied to artistic work.
D.Show the increasing intricacy of Coltrane's work after he abandoned bebop
E.Indicate disagreement with the way Coltrane modulated the motifs in his lengthy solos.

According to the passage, a major difference between Coltrane and other jazz musicians was the
A.degree to which Coltrane's music encompassed all of jazz
B.repetition of motifs that Coltrane used in his solos
C.number of his own compositions that Coltrane recorded
D.indifference Coltrane maintained to musical technique
E.importance Coltrane placed on rhythm in jazz

In terms of its tone and form, the passage can best be characterized as
A.dogmatic explanation
B.indignant denial
C.enthusiastic praise
D.speculative study
E.lukewarm review

重點單詞   查看全部解釋    
impulse ['impʌls]

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n. 沖動,驅動力,傾向,心血來潮
vt. 推

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elaborate [i'læbəreit]

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adj. 精細的,詳盡的,精心的
v. 詳細地

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unique [ju:'ni:k]

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adj. 獨一無二的,獨特的,稀罕的

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indifference [in'difərəns]

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n. 不重視,無興趣,漠不關心

 
melody ['melədi]

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n. 旋律,曲子,美的音樂,曲調

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solo ['səuləu]

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n. 獨奏,獨唱
adj. 單獨的

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variety [və'raiəti]

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n. 多樣,種類,雜耍

 
technical ['teknikəl]

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adj. 技術的,工藝的

 
illustrated ['iləstreitid]

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n. 有插畫的報章雜志 adj. 有插圖的 v. 闡明;

 
constant ['kɔnstənt]

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adj. 經常的,不變的
n. 常數,恒量

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