Musicologist: Many critics complain of the disproportion between text and music in Handel's da capo arias. These tex...

Facundo on December 12, 2014

Help with question

Why is A not the answer?

7 Replies

Melody on December 15, 2014

The argument is as follows:

We are told that there are a lot of critics who complain about the disproportion between text and music in Handel's da cap arias. It explains that these texts are usually very short and are commonly repeated more often than what is required for literal understanding. But, we are told that these criticisms are REFUTED by pointing out that repetition serves a very important role: "it frees the audience to focus on the music itself, which can speak to audiences whatever their language."

So, the point of the argument is that the specific criticism of the critics--that there is a disproportion between text and music in Handel's da capo aria--is not correct because this repetition of text is actually essential to the aria.

Thus, the argument is not trying to ultimately explain that Handel's da capo arias contain a disproportionate amount of music, rather the argument explains that one of the criticisms of Handel's da capo arias is ill-founded, i.e. answer choice (C): At least one frequent criticism of Handel's de capo arias is undeserved.

Hope that clears things up! Please let us know if you have any other questions.

Amanda on January 10, 2018

What is wrong with E?

Mehran on January 13, 2018

Hi @sharpen7, thanks for your post.

The key issue with answer choice (E) is the word "most." The stimulus tells us about one critique of Handel's da capo arias shared by many critics, but that does not mean that this reflects "most" criticism of these arias. The stimulus argues that this one particular criticism (that the proportions between text and music are off) is unwarranted, but (E) goes much farther and states that "most criticism" is unwarranted. This is not textually supported. Hence, answer choice (E) is wrong.

Hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any additional questions.

Cynthia on September 6, 2018

I got what you are saying but don't get why E is not correct. Why is "at least one frequent criticism " not "Most criticism"

Cynthia on September 6, 2018

Never mind I got this question now, thanks

Ryan on June 17 at 12:42AM

but theres nothing in the stimulus that mentions "frequent"?...

Ravi on June 17 at 07:54PM

@Cynthia-Lee,

Happy you figured it out! Let us know if you have any more questions!

@Maybeillgetlucky, we're told that many critics complain about the
disproportion between text and music in Handel's de capo arias. The
word "frequent" means "occurring or done on many occasions, in many
cases, or in quick succession."

The conclusion of the stimulus is the first part of the last sentence,
immediately after the word "yet," when the author states, "such
criticism is refuted by noting that repetition serves a vital
function."

The criticism being referred to is the one that many critics have given.

(C) says, "At least one frequent criticism of Handel’s da capo arias
is undeserved."

(C) is great paraphrasing of the conclusion in the stimulus. As noted,
even though the author doesn't say "frequently," the fact that the
author mentions that many critics have had a certain complaint means
that the complaint can be considered to be a frequent one.

Does that make sense? Let us know if you have any other questions!