TOEFL IBT Listening Practice Test 11 Solution, Explanation & Transcripts

Questions 29 through 34.

Listen to part of a lecture in a music history class, llie professor is talking about Baroque music.

W: The term “Baroque” refers to a style and a culture rather than a precise period in history. Architecture, painting, and music each have a style called Baroque. Qne of the most striking features of the Baroque style is its expressiveness. Baroque music is a vigorous style combining imagination with great feeling. There’s great use of dissonance to express extremes of emotion, especially in vocal music. And compared to Rcnaissancc music. Baroque music has more ornament Trills and grace notes—little twists on notes—all find their way into musical notation. Baroque music is known for its virtuoso instrumental music. Instrumental music had been gaining in importance and came into its own around 1600.

Music was freed from the necessity of words, and it now moved to dance rhythms rather than speech rhythms. The new style demanded new musical forms. It was in the Baroque era that some of the forms we know today began to take shape: the opera, die sonata, and the concerto.

The person generally given credit for inaugurating the Baroque style was Claudio Monteverdi. Monteverdi’s career took place at the same time as other developments, like the rise of solo singing and, um. experiments to re-create Greek music and drama. These experiments led to a new form called opera Montev erdi was the first of the great. Italian opera composers, and he was also the first to explore the tone colors of the orchestra. Montev erdi was a revolutionary. He took musical risks, like doing exciting things with rhythms, and using dissonance to make the music more expressive. The golden age of Baroque instrumental music began with orchestral combinations like the one Monteverdi used in his opera Orfeo. The orchestra for Orfeo consisted of two harpsichords, two contrabasses, twelve members of the violin family, a double harp, two pipe organs, four trombones, two comets, a small flute, three muted trumpets, and an assortment of other instruments. With these instruments. Monteverdi told the Greek legend of Orpheus The instruments dramatized the story’s characters and plot. For example, the high flute and a small violin accompanied the shepherd, brasses and organ music suggested the underworld, and so forth Orfeo was full of expressive devices, and demanded masterful playing from strings and brass, as well as virtuoso singing.

M: Excuse me. Professor Stevens Could you explain exactly what “virtuoso” means?

W: Sure “Virtuoso” is an Italian word It means highly skilled or .. worthy. A virtuoso piece of music requires a highly skilled vocalist or a masterful player.

M: But a person can be a virtuoso, right? I mean, we can say, for example, “He’s a real virtuoso.”

W: Yes. that’s right. A virtuoso is a musician who plays with great skill and technique, or who has an extraordinary individual style. It was the, um, violin virtuosos who perfected new forms of instrumental music in the Baroque period All of the great violinmakers of the time were concentrated in Italy.

The terms “concerto” and “sonata” also come from Italian. The concerto and the sonata developed as vehicles for virtuoso musicians to show off their skills. The concerto became the dominant instrumental form of the Baroque period. Concertos feature solo instruments—usually violins—and orchestra, or they can feature groups of instruments and orchestra. The music is characterized by its dazzling virtuosity and ornamentation. Baroque concertos required a lot of technical skill—in both the composing and the performing.

The most famous of all Baroque concertos were for solo violin and orchestra. Vivaldi’s Four Seasons are probably the best known examples. The Four Seasons are four related concertos—one for each season.

They are pure, quintessential Baroque music— descriptive, expressive, elaborate—and with virtuoso violin playing. Before I go on, let’s pause here so we can listen to the first of The Four Seasons. Here is “Concerto Number 1, Spring.”

Questions 35 through 39.

Listen to part of a conversation between a student and a professor.

W: Professor Beckman, do you have a minute?

M: Sure. What can I do for you, Amelia?

W: Well, I’ve decided to apply to the teacher certification program, and I wondered—I’d like it if you would, um, recommend me for the program.

M: Oh, so you want to be a teacher! Good, good, glad to hear it. What level do you want to teach?

W: Actually, grades six to eight interest me the most. I loved school—especially science—when I was that age.

M: Good, glad to hear it. I have a strong sense that you’ll be a dedicated teacher. Now, you say you need a letter from me.

W: Yes. Would you be able to do that?

M: Of course, I’d be happy to. But tell me more about your decision to teach, and … uh … why you think you’ll be good at it.

W: All right. Well, let’s see, um, I guess. I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to be a teacher, ever since I was in sixth grade myself. I loved science when I was a kid still love science—and … I guess I, um, want to share my love of science with kids. I’ve worked with kids before—as a camp counselor for two summers—teaching nature classes and leading nature hikes and stuff like that—and 1 just had so much fun with the kids! I think I’m a pretty good counselor, and I love being in the woods myself.

M:Now remind me ‘cause I tend to forget these things … you were in my Human Development course? Is that right?

W:Yes, and also General Psychology in my freshman year.

M:Right, right. Good. I’m trying to get a handle on this. I recall that your presentation in Human Development was very well thought of by your classmates. You did a study of adolescence—is that right?

W:Yes. I talked about identity and role confusion, and I looked at two groups of kids, one eleven and the other fifteen years old.

M:Right. You showed slides of the children’s artwork.

W:That’s right. They did selfportraits. It was interesting, too, because in a lot of ways the younger kids were more expressive … and more positive in their image of themselves. The older kids’ art was more sophisticated technically, but in a lot of ways it was darker, even in the colors they used.

M:Hmm. Yes, I recall. Your report was very well done. I remember it well, and I’ll mention it in my letter. So, when is it that you need this?

W:My entire application is due on March 15. There’s a form for you to use … here. You send it directly to the Dean of the School of Education.

M:Right, right. I know these forms. You can just leave it with me. I’ll fill it out and see that it gets there on time.

W:Thanks! I really appreciate your help.

M:And I’m happy to help.