READING SELECTION A The Functions and Effects of Music By Samuel L. Becker Given name: sirname/ Christian name? Family name/ last name [1] You are well aware of (=realize) the fact that books, newspapers, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and television have been used for persuasive purposes: to sell beer and soap, ideas and political candidates; to bring about (cause/ lead to) social change or to quell a revolution. Few of us think about music or recordings being used for these purposes, but they are and have been for a long time. [2] Every war has had its songs that whipped up (arouse) patriotic fervor or, in the case (example) of the Vietnam War, that encouraged protest against it. Some titles of records popular in this country during World War II suggest (show) the extent (degree) of the mobilization of the recording industry for the war effort: "Remember Pearl Harbor", "Have to Slap That Dirty Little Jap", "There's a Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere", "Any Bonds Today", and " 'Round and 'Round Hitler's Grave". [Bonds: [C] bond (between A and B) something that forms a connection between people or groups, such as
a feeling of friendship or shared ideas and experiences: e.g. A bond of friendship had been forged between them. E.g. The agreement strengthened the bonds between the two countries. E.g. the special bond between mother and child]
[3] The anti-Vietnam protests of the sixties and early seventies brought forth (=brought about) quite another kind of song. One was "Big Muddy", about a group of soldiers blindly following their commanding officer into a river where many were drowned. Those (=those people) who sang and heard the song knew that the "Big Muddy" referred to Vietnam and the commander to President Lyndon Johnson, and their antiwar passions were intensified (=strengthened). "Where Have All the Flowers Gone", "The Times, They are A-Changin'", and "Give Peace a Chance" were other popular songs whose recordings were widely played and used to build (arouse) resistance to the war. [4] Music is used not only to add (increase) persuasive bits of information for the messages in our heads about war. Persuasive music plays an important role (part) in peacetime also. "We Shall Overcome" was a tremendously (great) important force in the civil rights movement, just as the folk (people) songs of Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, and Woody Guthrie have been important to the peace movement. In recent times, music has been used to raise money as well as (=and) consciousness (conscience) for various causes. The Live Aid (help), Farm Aid, Band Aid, and USA for Africa concerns (worries) and recording sessions raised funds for such causes as famine relief in Africa and destitute (poor) American farmers. [5] Somewhat (a little/<-somehow=for reasons unknown) further back in this country's history, the radical left adopted (used / made use of) many old Negro spirituals (songs) to communicate its message effectively. "We Shall Not Be Moved", for example, was adopted as the official song of the radical Southern Tenant Farmers Union in the 1930s. In the 1930s also, "Gimme That Old Time Religion" was transformed into "Gimme That New Communist Spirit". That sort (kind) of adaptation of songs?giving them new lyrics (words)--has been a favorite tactic (strategy) of many groups who want to use music for persuasive purposes. The idea (belief) is to take a song that people like or that has particular meaning or emotional association for them and use it with new
words, hoping that some of the liking, meaning, or emotional associations will transfer to the new ideas being communicated. And it often works. Threats of Censorship [6] Such political uses of music have never caused much controversy in this country. There has been some pressure at times (often) to keep certain anti-war songs or songs associated with the radical left off the air, but this pressure has been neither strong nor persistent. Far more pressure and controversy (Resistance) has been aroused by the lyrics of some of the popular songs of the last twenty or thirty years. Many critics have charged (be in charge of sth.) that certain rock-and-roll songs encourage sexual promiscuity and the use of drugs. Rightly or wrongly, the dress and antics (unusual behavior) of some of the rock music stars, both on and off the stage, reinforce (confirm) these beliefs. As a result, a number of community and national groups have applied pressure on stations to keep these songs and performers off the air. These charges also stimulated investigations by the Federal Communications Commission, the regulatory agency charged with overseeing (supervising) broadcast practices. The FCC has taken the position, unpopular with many broadcasters, that the station licensee has the same public service responsibility in selecting and rejecting music to be played on the station as it has in selecting and rejecting any other content of the station. The FCC position is that the station should exercise the same supervision of what is sung on the station as of what is said. In a general sense (=generally speaking), this is a reasonable position and the only one the FCC could take, given (=if consideration is given to the fact that…) present law. A problem arises (occurs) with the interpretation (explanation) of this injunction, however. Does it mean a station should permit no language or ideas in a song that it would not permit on the news or in a sports program? Or does it mean the station should recognize (realize) that different forms of communication or entertainment, or programs designed for different kinds of audiences, should have different standards concerning (about) language and ideas? This issue (problem) is still far from (being) settled. [7] Having been largely unsuccessful in keeping sexually suggestive songs or songs that seem to be promoting drug use off the air, some parents' groups in recent years have been attempting (trying) to force (make) companies to label their recordings in the same way film companies now label motion pictures. The assumption (belief) is that such labels will provide parents with information they need to control the kinds of music to which their young children are exposed. One of the major pressure groups involved in this attempt (try) is the Parents Music Resource Center based in Washington, D. C. The leaders in this group include the wives of some powerful congressmen and other government officials, so it is taken seriously by leaders in the music industry. The concern (worry) of many people in the music business, though, is that the labeling being advocated could be just a first step toward other forms of control or censorship. take sth. seriously The Impact (influence) of Recordings on Our Perceptions (perceive/ understanding) [8] Whatever the direct effects of musical recordings on our attitudes and behaviors (are), they are certainly an ever-present (everlasting) and important part of our communication environment, and they contribute to the realities in our heads. No one who listened to popular music during the 1980s could escape (=avoid) the perception (understanding) that drugs were a major factor in the
lives of many people. Popular music of the early 1970s contributed to (led to) the belief that most people opposed the war in Vietnam. These messages, sneaking into consciousness from the background music around us, formed an important part of our communication mosaics, just as the messages in today's music form an important part of our present communication mosaics. The Role of Music in Identification and Rebellion [9] Popular music has two other major functions or effects. It provides each generation of young people a common and cherished (valued) experience. Years later, the sound of that music can bring strangers together and stimulate memories of that earlier era (time). Vivid evidence of the meaningfulness of such experiences can be seen by watching the tourists who are attracted to Graceland, Elvis Presley's former home and now the site of his grave in Memphis. A common sight there is the middle-aged married couple bringing their children to see and, they hope, to feel some of the special magic Presley created for them during their courtship and early married years. [10] Another major function popular music serves is the (provide) provision of a relatively harmless source of rebellion for the young. Each generation of young has its own music, almost invariably (always) unappreciated (unenjoyed) by parents, just as parents' favorite music was unappreciated by their parents. This music is important in part (=partially) because older people do not like it, and in part because demonstrating one's love of it is part of the ritual of affiliation (connection) with peers. [11] One author has suggested (said) that popular music also serves a "rite of passage" function for young girls. The teenage singing idols may serve as non-threatening substitutes for actual boys until boys' maturation catches up with that (maturation) of girls and some semblance of easy boy-girl relationships can be established. (1, 316 words) ABOUT THE AUTHOR Samuel L Becker (Ph. D. University of Iowa) is a professor in the University of Iowa and the chairman of the University of Iowa Foundation and Distinguished Professor Emeritus (honorable) of Communication Studies. His professional life centered on (focus on) educational process, and especially on students. A lecturer-ship in his honor was launched by the University in 2001-20
  02. Emeritus: (often Emeritus) used with a title to show that a person, usually a university teacher, keeps the
title as an honor, although he or she has stopped working: e.g. the Emeritus Professor of Biology; In NAmE the form Emerita / i'mert / is used for women: Professor Emerita Mary Judd.
processed food EXERCISES I . Reading Comprehension Answer the following questions or complete the following .statements.
  1. In the first paragraph the author points out that . A. music is different from other means of mass media B. music or recordings have not been used for persuasive purpose C. music has the same function in persuasion as other mass media D. the common purpose of mass media is for advertising
  2. From the information presented in this reading, you can infer that the recording industry
. A. prefers to remain politically neutral B. was forced by the public to release patriotic songs C. has remained anti-war over the past fifty years D. has taken a political stand in past wars
  3. Adapting old familiar songs with new lyrics is intended to . A. transfer feelings or associations from old to new B. bring back fond memories C. create new folk heroes D. reestablish familiar environments
  4. According to the first part of the text, music has played an important role in the . A. political campaigns of many leaders B. civil rights movement C. establishment of new laws D. economic development
  5. The Federal Communications Commission's position on censorship of music states that it is . A. the artist's responsibility B. the station's responsibility C. the program director's responsibility D. the listener's or parents' responsibility
  6. Which of the following best defines the word "mosaics" as used at the end of third section? A. Artistic models. B. Attitudes and behaviors. C. Social skills. D. Various forms.
  7. Which of the following conclusions can be most clearly drawn from this article? A. Music will continue to be a form of social and political expression. B. The Federal Communications Commission will soon change its position on censorship. C. Music will cease to distinguish one generation from another. D. Elvis Presley will still be popular with successive generations.
  8. From the last paragraph of the reading, it is reasonable to infer that . A. singing idols are important in the establishment of boy-girl relationships B. boys' emotional maturation is equal to that of girls of the same age C. boys prefer not to become involved with girls D. girls mature more rapidly than boys during early teenage years
  9. The passage suggests that the functions of music are . A. unique B. questionable C. diverse D. extraordinary
  10. The author's primary purpose in writing the passage is to . A. discuss the functions of music in our society B. argue that music has been used by age groups C. urge censorship of controversial lyrics D. describe music as a political tool II. Vocabulary A Read the following .sentences and decide which of the four choices below each sentence is closest
in meaning to the underlined word.
  1. The company began aggressive advertising campaigns, increased its variety (categories) of beers, and further expanded its markets. By 1991 Coors beer was available (=on sale) in all 50 states. It also worked to improve its image and quell(制止, 结束, 镇压)ongoing (ever-lasting) boycotts. A. investigate B. condemn C. crush D. forbid
  2. With his strong right-wing views, and close affiliation 联系, ( 隶属) to the military, he'd long been regarded as a (swear) sworn enemy of the people. A. emotion B. association C. communication D. reaction
  3. Adams supported what became known as the Boston tea party, and thereafter he firmly supported the patriotic(爱国的)measures that led step by step to American independence. A. passionate B. moderate C. radical D. nationalistic
  4. The best hope is that we will have a rapid mobilization
 

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