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CAT 2022 Reading Comprehension Solution 05


The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.

Humans today make music. Think beyond all the qualifications that might trail after this bald statement: that only certain humans make music, that extensive training is involved, that many societies distinguish musical specialists from nonmusicians, that in today’s societies most listen to music rather than making it, and so forth. These qualifications, whatever their local merit, are moot in the face of the overarching truth that making music, considered from a cognitive and psychological vantage, is the province of all those who perceive and experience what is made. We are, almost all of us, musicians — everyone who can entrain (not necessarily dance) to a beat, who can recognize a repeated tune (not necessarily sing it), who can distinguish one instrument or one singing voice from another. I will often use an antique word, recently revived, to name this broader musical experience. Humans are musicking creatures. . . .

The set of capacities that enables musicking is a principal marker of modern humanity. There is nothing polemical in this assertion except a certain insistence, which will figure often in what follows, that musicking be included in our thinking about fundamental human commonalities. Capacities involved in musicking are many and take shape in complicated ways, arising from innate dispositions . . . Most of these capacities overlap with nonmusical ones, though a few may be distinct and dedicated to musical perception and production. In the area of overlap, linguistic capacities seem to be particularly important, and humans are (in principle) language-makers in addition to music-makers — speaking creatures as well as musicking ones.

Humans are symbol-makers too, a feature tightly bound up with language, not so tightly with music. The species Cassirer dubbed Homo symbolicus cannot help but tangle musicking in webs of symbolic thought and expression, habitually making it a component of behavioral complexes that form such expression. But in fundamental features musicking is neither language-like nor symbol-like, and from these differences come many clues to its ancient emergence.

If musicking is a primary, shared trait of modern humans, then to describe its emergence must be to detail the coalescing of that modernity. This took place, archaeologists are clear, over a very long durée: at least 50,000 years or so, more likely something closer to 200,000, depending in part on what that coalescence is taken to comprise. If we look back 20,000 years, a small portion of this long period, we reach the lives of humans whose musical capacities were probably little different from our own. As we look farther back we reach horizons where this similarity can no longer hold — perhaps 40,000 years ago, perhaps 70,000, perhaps 100,000. But we never cross a line before which all the cognitive capacities recruited in modern musicking abruptly disappear. Unless we embrace the incredible notion that music sprang forth in full-blown glory, its emergence will have to be tracked in gradualist terms across a long period.

This is one general feature of a history of music’s emergence . . . The history was at once sociocultural and biological . . . The capacities recruited in musicking are many, so describing its emergence involves following several or many separate strands.

Question: 1

Which one of the following statements, if true, would weaken the author's claim that humans are musicking creatures?

  1. As musicking is neither language-like nor symbol-like, it is a much older form of expression.

  2. Nonmusical capacities are of far greater consequence to human survival than the capacity for music.

  3. Musical capacities are primarily socio-cultural, which explains the wide diversity of musical forms.

  4. From a cognitive and psychological vantage, musicking arises from unconscious dispositions, not conscious ones.

Option: 3
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Question: 2

Which one of the following sets of terms best serves as keywords to the passage?

  1. Humans; Psychological vantage; Musicking; Cassirer; Emergence of music.

  2. Musicking; Cognitive psychology; Antique; Symbol-makers; Modernity.

  3. Humans; Capacities; Language; Symbols; Modernity.

  4. Humans; Musicking; Linguistic capacities; Symbol-making; Modern humanity.

Option: 4
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Question: 3

Based on the passage, which one of the following statements is a valid argument about the emergence of music/musicking?

  1. Although musicking is not language-like, it shares the quality of being a form of expression.

  2. All musical work is located in the overlap between linguistic capacity and music production.

  3. Anyone who can perceive and experience music must be considered capable of musicking.

  4. 20,000 years ago, human musical capacities were not very different from what they are today.

Option: 4
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Question: 4

" Think beyond all the qualifications that might trail after this bald statement . . ." In the context of the passage, what is the author trying to communicate in this quoted extract?

  1. Thinking beyond qualifications allows us to give free reign to musical expressions.

  2. A bald statement is one that is trailed by a series of qualifying clarifications and caveats.

  3. Although there may be many caveats and other considerations, the statement is essentially true.

  4. A bald statement is one that requires no qualifications to infer its meaning.

Option: 3
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CAT 2022 RC passage with solution

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