Here are some activities which can help you speak about your music tastes and the role of music in your life.
Activity 1. Match the following English words and expressions to their Ukrainian equivalents.
- folk song
- reggae music
- brass band
- percussion instruments
- jazz band
- string instruments
- lover of music
- wind instruments
- catchy melody
- духовий оркестр
- мелодія, що легко запам’ятовується
- віршований текст пісні
- народна пісня
- джазовий оркестр
- духові інструменти
- музика реггі
- ударні інструменти
- струнні інструменти
Activity 2. Complete the sentences with the words:
pop music, reggae, classical music, folk music, jazz, saxophone, keyboard, drums, country music, punk music, guitar
- __________________ is often played by a big orchestra in a concert hall.
- __________________ is often played by young people with guitars in a group.
- __________________ is usually played by young people with brightly coloured hair.
- __________________ comes originally from black American musicians.
- __________________ usually offers simple tunes which are popular for a short time.
- __________________ comes from a specific region and is usually popular for a long time.
- __________________ has a strong regular rhythm. It is originally from Jamaica.
- __________________ is popular for dancing in discos.
- __________________ is often played freely, not following written music.
- __________________ is usually played on the guitar, banjo and violin.
- The __________________ is a string instrument while the __________________ belongs to wind instruments and the __________________ to percussion instruments.
- The piano and organ are __________________ instruments.
Activity 3. Fill in the gaps with a suitable word. Mind that there may be more than one variant.
Jazz ____________________(1) in the Southern States of North America at the beginning of the 19th century. The Black people of these states, who were originally slaves from Africa, had their own ________________(2). Pop music developed from Rock and Roll in America, Britain and Europe in the 1960s and is now __________________(3) in every country. This name is used for most commercial _________________ (4), that is the one that we can buy on records and hear on pop radio. It is usually ___________________ (5) by groups who often use electronic __________________(6) and make video __________________(7) to go with their records.
Activity 4. Before you read the text look at the following statements and decide whether you agree or disagree with them.
- There are few places where you can avoid music.
- Music is a language which speaks to everyone.
- There are as many different kinds of music as there are different languages.
- Our taste in music is personal.
- Music can affect us physically.
- The only music which affects us positively is which we like.
- Music can be used to cure people in hospitals.
- Certain types of music can be harmful.
The Power of Music
Nowadays it is impossible to escape from music, even if you want to. It thunders out of every shop, hisses horribly through other people’s stereos on public transport, lulls you in restaurants, and blasts out of car windows.
But although we all have music wherever we go, very few of us have any real idea of the effect music has on the human system. For many years it has been thought that musical tastes are subjective – that one person will like jazz while another prefers classical music.
But recent research in America and Australia has shown that appreciation of music is not a matter of individual taste. Certain types of music have a particular effect on us, regardless of whether we like them or not. For instance, some music will help us feel relaxed and peaceful, whereas other types may be stimulating to the brain, encouraging creativity and curiosity. Some music promotes loving feelings while other sounds call for violence.
As a result music is being used in hospitals and doctors have found that 20 minutes of soothing music is often far more effective than tranquilizers or sleeping pills.
Psychologists believe that all music can be divided into three types, and each of them has different effect on the body and mind. The first is low-energy music, the sort that makes you feel bad. Most rock music falls into this category. In fact it has been discovered that rock music makes people feel hate instead of love. The work of some classical composers, such as Debussy, has also been found to have a negative effect.
The next category is high-energy music. This makes you feel better and it helps to normalize the heart rate. Johann Sebastian Bach’s music has exceptionally high energy.
The third category is the prayerful music. This is the most healing of all. Much of the classical music written before 1600 falls into this category.
It seems that most jazz, country and western music is simply neutral, having neither healing nor harmful effect.
Scientific work on the healing power of music started with plant research in 1970s. Many types of classical music speeded plant growth, whereas heavy metal caused plants to draw away from the speakers and die.
Music can also help us in our daily life. For example, you can prepare yourself for important occasions such as an exam or a job interview by humming an appropriate tune. It can also act as a pain reliever when you go to the dentist or it can simply give expression to your mood. Listening to music gives your brain a break and helps you get through the day.
Activity 5. Read the statements given before the text again and decide whether your opinion has changed.
Activity 6. These adjectives are often used to describe music: soothing, violent, traditional, discordant, rhythmical, gentle, joyful, energetic, romantic, melodious, loud, harsh, sad, depressing, lively.
Make up sentences with them expressing your attitudes and uses of different kinds of music.
Example: When I do my homework I like to have gentle background music, it helps me to concentrate. But when I tidy up my room I always listen to loud energetic rhythms which make me work faster.
Activity 7. Music Questionnaire “Are You a Lover of Music?”
Many people like music but “lovers of music” love it and try to fill every minute of their life with music. As a rule they don’t have much free time so they are very categorical in their choice of favourite music. A real “lover of music” chooses the best. And what about you? Do you belong to the category of “Music Lovers”?
Do you think the interest in jazz will soon pass?
Do you feel a fresh surge of energy when you listen to “hard” or “metal” rock?
Can you fall asleep to music?
Do you think a musical comedy is an old-fashioned genre of music?
Does classical music help you to forget about your problems?
Which of the singers do you prefer to listen to when you are relaxing?
Do you like to listen to folk songs?
Can you recognize a melody you liked from the first six notes if you hear it for the second time?
Can music help you in your most difficult life situations and share your joys and sorrows?
Is music necessary for you to work, relax, to think and create?
Can you imagine your life without music?
Do you think you know much about music?
Do you listen to serious music only when you are in a corresponding mood?
Do you have favourite musical instruments? Which ones? What do you like about them?
Imagine that you’ve just come home tired from a day at school. What music would you like to listen to, if any, and why?
Can you say that you choose music according to your mood and the job that you are doing? If yes, what kind of music do you most like to listen to when you are:
- with your friends
- relaxing alone
- in a bad mood
- doing your homework
- working about the house?
Can you say that your parents, grandparents and you share the same musical tastes? Do you like to listen to the same music? Do you think music tastes have something to do with age? Do you agree that tastes in music change during a person’t life? Why do you think it happens?
What influences your attitude to a foreign song, the words of which you don’t understand? Which is more important for you: the lyrics of the song or its melody? Would you like a song if its lyrics did not appeal to you?
Are you a “music fan”? Who can be called a “music fan”?
Do you have favourite singers, musicians, composers? Do you like to read about them in newspapers and magazines? Do you think their personal life should be discussed in media?
Have you ever experienced any healing influence of music? Do you believe in the healing power of music?
What music programmes do you like to watch on TV? What do you think of their quality?
Why do you think there is so little classical music on radio and TV?
Do you prefer to listen to live or recorded music? What is the difference?
What is a new popular style of music at the moment? Can you describe it?
Can you imagine the world without music? What would it be like?