Which one of the following concepts is linked to positive musical experiences in both passages?

on December 3, 2019

Passage A

Passage A describes music that is too complex as overwhelming, so how is complexity the correct answer?


Ben on December 3, 2019

Hi Kaitlyn, thanks for the question.

I see what you mean by the fact that passage A discusses too much complexity being overwhelming. But note that the passage clearly says in lines 1-2 that a certain complexity can have a positive effect on listeners. It then supports this notion throughout much of the passage. But just like anything good, too much of it becomes unwelcome.

Sushi is the best (IMO) but too much sushi and you will feel overfull, tired, and nauseous.
Hot weather on the beach is nice, but too hot and it becomes uncomfortable.

This can be applied to virtually everything.

Passage B also says in lines 60-61 that a trained listener will have a greater preference for complex melodies. This links complexity to a positive musical experience.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

on July 20, 2020

Why is A not the correct answer? Thanks!

Shunhe on July 27, 2020

Hi @Anna2020,

Thanks for the question! So we’re being asked for a concept that’s linked to positive musical experiences in both passages. Which means, of course, that both passage A and passage B will have to have some reference; if it’s only in one but not the other, that won’t be the correct answer choice.

Now let’s take a look at (A), which says that this concept is continuous sound. Clearly, this is something that passage A discusses. But does passage B talk about continuous sound at all and link it to positive musical experiences? No, nowhere in passage B is continuous sound linked to positive musical experiences. Passage B talks about things like tension, but not necessarily about continuous sound being tied to positive musical experiences. And that’s why (A) isn’t right. It’s not found in passage B.

Hope this helps! Feel free to ask any other questions that you might have.