IGCSE English (First Language): Specimen Questions with Answers 155 - 157 of 179

Passage

Passage-1

Music – The Hope Raiser

“One of my parents’ deepest fears, I suspect, is that society would not properly value me as a musician, that I wouldn’t be appreciated. I had very good grades in high school, I was good in science and math, and they imagined that as a doctor or a research chemist or an engineer, I might be more appreciated than I would be as a musician. I still remember my mother’s remark when I announced my decision to apply to music school. She said, “You’re wasting your SAT scores! ” On some level, I think, my parents were not sure what the value of music was, what its purpose was. And they loved music: they listened to classical music all the time. They just weren’t clear about its function. So, let me talk about that a little bit, because we live in a society that puts music in the “arts and entertainment” section of the newspaper. Serious music, the kind your kids are about to engage in, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with entertainment, in fact it’s the opposite of entertainment. Let me talk a little bit about music, and how it works.

One of the first cultures to articulate how music really works was that of the ancient Greeks. And this is going to fascinate you: the Greeks said that music and astronomy were two sides of the same coin. Astronomy was the study of relationships between observable, permanent, external objects, and music was the study of relationships between invisible, internal, hidden objects.

Music has a way of finding the big, invisible moving pieces inside our hearts and souls and helping us figure out the position of things inside us. Let me give you some examples of how this works. One of the most profound musical compositions of all time is the “Quartet for the End of Time” written by a French composer Olivier Messiaen in 1,940. Messiaen was 31 years old when France entered the war against Nazi Germany. He was captured by the Germans in June of 1,940 and imprisoned in a prisoner-of-war camp.

He was fortunate to find a sympathetic prison guard who gave him paper and a place to compose, and was fortunate to have musician colleagues in the camp, a cellist, a violinist, and a clarinetist. Messiaen wrote his quartet with these specific players in mind. It was performed in January 1,941 for four thousand prisoners and guards in the prison camp. Today it is one of the most famous masterworks in the Repertoire.

Given what we have since learned about life in the Nazi camps, why would anyone in his right mind waste time and energy writing or playing music? There was barely enough energy on a good day to find food and water, to avoid a beating, to stay warm, to escape torture-why would anyone bother with music? And yet-even from the concentration camps, we have poetry, we have music, we have visual art; it wasn’t just this one fanatic Messiaen; many, many people created art. Why? Well, in a place where people are only focused on survival, on the bare necessities, the obvious conclusion is that art must be, somehow, essential for life. The camps were without money, without hope, without commerce, without recreation, without basic respect, but they were not without art. Art is part of survival; art is part of the human spirit, an unquenchable expression of who we are. Art is one of the ways in which we say, “I am alive, and my life has meaning. “

Question 155 (1 of 6 Based on Passage)

Edit

Write in Brief

One Liner▾

Read the incident again and answer the following questions. (Marks 4)

How did Messiaen spend his time in prison?

Explanation

In prison, Messiaen spent his time composing and playing music. He wrote a music composition – “Quartet for the End of time. “

Question 156 (2 of 6 Based on Passage)

Edit

Write in Brief

One Liner▾

Read the incident again and answer the following questions. (Marks 4)

Why did art find a place, even in concentration camps?

Explanation

Art is a basic need of human survival. It is one of the ways to express our feelings. So, found a place even in concentration camps.

Question 157 (3 of 6 Based on Passage)

Edit

Write in Short

Short Answer▾

What lesson does Messiaen teach mankind through his attitude towards music while he was in the concentration camp? (Marks 10)

Explanation

When Messiaen was 31 years old, he was captured and thrown into the concentration camp. There was lack of water, food, money, and all essential things. There was no hope in life. But Messiaen found hope in music. He had the right and positive mind. He didn’t want to waste his present life. He started to compose music. He composed Quartet for the End of Time. It is one of the greatest compositions of all time. Life must go despite pain and suffering. This is the lesson taught by Messiaen. He showed that music is essential for life, it is a part of human life.