Music historian: In the past, radio stations would not play rock songs that were more than three minutes in length. ...

zia305 on June 7, 2020


Can someone please explain the right answer?

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Naryan-Shukle on March 27, 2022

Hi @zia305 ,

My approach to principle questions is always to think of them as if I were trying to teach a child a concept. That's essentially what we are doing after all: extracting a broader principle from a given example of said principle in action.

Ex: A child misbehaves, then gets a time out. If the child cries when sent to their room, what would the parent say? Probably something along the lines of "now you know that bad boys/girls get a time out." That's a principle. Let's do the same here.

Stim: Rock songs were limited to 3 mins on the radio, which allegedly stopped rock from reaching full potential. But when limits were lifted, rock songs actually got worse.

Okay, what 'lesson' could we take from this? I would probably prephrase/anticipate something like: "Those things you think will improve X might actually makes X worse." Something to that effect. Now let's look for something along those lines.

(A): What? The lesson here isn't that rock can't have creativity...where did that come from?! The lesson is that some things harm even though you think they might help.

(B): Borrow styles? IF it is to be artistic? First off, where did 'other styles' come from? We're talking about rock here. Second, I'm not even convinced the second part is even valid. We were never told rock songs hadn't achieved "artistic" status, whatever that means.

(C): This one we can eliminate right away because of the comparison. We never discuss any other genre of music, so we have zero basis for comparing. We simply can't know this.

(D) This totally describes what's happening, AND fits our anticipation. People thought rock was harmed by radio time limits, but it turns out those things helped rock. This is basically the backwards way of saying what we anticipated. It matches our prephrase, so click and move on. But in case you hesitated, let's check E.

(E): My spider senses tingled when they said "best" right off the bat. How could we know what's best? Remember, an absolute is dangerous in the legal world. BEST? Really? This is the NUMBER ONE MOST AWESOME, NOTHING WAS EVER BETTER IN THE HISTORY OF HUMAN CIVILIZATION? Didn't think so. That's what an absolute sounds like to a lawyer. Beyond that, how artists perceive themselves was never mentioned, so we are totally unable to judge on those characteristics.

Hope this helps! If you have any more questions don't hesitate to ask!