Test One Part II Reading Comprehension (35 minutes) Material culture refers to the touchable, material "things"-physical objects that can be seen, held, felt, used-that a culture produces. Examining a culture's tolls and technology can tell us about the group's history and ways of life. Similarly, research into the material culture of music can help us to understand the music-culture. The most vivid body of "things" in it, of course, are musical instruments. We cannot hear for ourselves the actual sound of any musical performance before the 1870s when the phonograph(留声机)was invented, so we rely on instruments for important information about music-cultures in the remote past and their development. Here we have two kinds of evidence: instruments well preserved and instruments pictured in art. Through the study of instruments, as well as paintings, written documents, and so on, we can explore the movement of music from the Near East to China over a thousand years ago, or we can outline the spread of Near Eastern influence to Europe that resulted in the development of most of the instruments on the symphony orchestra. Sheet music or printed music, too is material culture. Scholars once defined folk music-cultures as those in which people learn and sing music by ear rather than from print, but research shows mutual influence among oral and written sources during the past few centuries in Europe, Britain, and America, printed versions limit variety because they tend to standardize any song, yet they stimulate people to create new and different song. Besides, the ability to read music notation(乐谱)has a far-reaching effect on musicians and, when it becomes widespread, on the music-culture as whole. One more important part for music's material culture should be singled out: the influence of the electronic media-radio, record player, tape recorder, television, and videocassette, with the future promising talking and singing computers and other developments. This is all part of the "information revolution," a twentieth-century phenomenon as important as the industrial revolution was in the nineteenth. These electronic media are not just limited to modern nations; they have affected music-music-cultures all over the globe.
  21. Research into the material culture of a nation is of great importance because . A) it helps produce new cultural tools and technology B) it can reflect the development of the nation C) it helps understand the nation's past and present D) it can demonstrate the nation's civilization
  22. It can be learned from this passage that . A) the existence of the symphony was attributed to the spread of Near Eastern and Chinese music. B) Near Eastern music had an influence on the development of the instruments in the symphony orchestra C) the development of the symphony shows the mutual influence of Eastern and Western music D) the musical instruments in the symphony orchestra were developed on the basis of Near Eastern music
  23. According to the author, music notation is important because . A) it has a great effect on the music-culture as more and more people are able to read it B) it tends to standardize folk songs when it is used by folk musicians C) it is the printed version of standardized folk music D) it encourages people to popularize printed versions of songs
  24. It can be concluded from the passage that the introduction of electronic media into the world of music .
A) has brought about an information revolution B) has speeded up the arrival of a new generation of computes C) has given rise to new forms of music culture D) has led to the transformation of traditional musical instruments
  25. Which of the following best summarizes the main idea of the passage? A) Musical instruments developed through the years will sooner or later be replaced by computers. B) Music cannot be passed on to future generation unless it is recorded. C) Folk songs cannot be spread far unless they are printed on music sheets. D) The development of music culture is highly dependent on its material aspect. The question of whether war is inevitable is one, which has concerned many of the world's great writers. Before considering this question, it will be useful to introduce some related concepts. Conflict, defined as opposition among social entities directed against one another, is distinguished from competition, defined as opposition among social entities independently striving for something, which is in inadequate supply. Competitors may not be aware of one another, while the parties to a conflict are. Conflict and competition are both categories of opposition, which has been defined as a process by which social entities function in the disservice of one another. Opposition is thus contrasted with cooperation, the process by which social entities function in the service of one another. These definitions are necessary because it is important to emphasize that competition between individuals or groups is inevitable in a world of limited resources, but conflict is not. Conflict, nevertheless, is very likely to occur, and is probably an essential and desirable element of human societies. Many authors have argued for the inevitability of war from the premise that in the struggle for existence among animal species, only the fittest survive. In general, however, this struggle in nature is competition, not conflict. Social animals, such as monkeys and cattle, fight to win or maintain leadership of the group. The struggle for existence occurs not in such fights, but in the competition for limited feeding areas and for the occupancy 占有) areas free from meat-eating animals. Those who ( of fail in this competition starve to death or become victims to other species. This struggle for existence does not resemble human war, but rather the competition of individuals for jobs, markets, and materials. The essence of the struggle is the competition for the necessities of life that are insufficient to satisfy all. Among nations there is competition in developing resources, trades, skills, and a satisfactory way of life. The successful nations grow and prosper 繁荣) the unsuccessful decline. While it is true that ( ; this competition may induce effort to expand territory at the expense of others, and thus lead to conflict, it cannot be said that war-like conflict among nations is inevitable, although competition is.
  26. In the first paragraph, the author gives the definitions of some terms in order to . A) argue for the similarities between animal societies and human societies B) smooth out the conflicts in human societies C) distinguish between tow kinds of opposition D) summarize the characteristic features of opposition and cooperation
  27. According to the author, competition differs from conflict in that . A) it results in war in most cases B) it induces efforts to expand territory C) it is a kind of opposition among social entities D) it is essentially a struggle for existence
  28. The phrase "function in the disservice of one another" (Para.1, Line
  7) most probably means
"". A) betray each other B) harm one another C) help to collaborate with each other D) benefit one another
  29. The author indicates in the passage that conflict . A) is an inevitable struggle resulting from competition B) reflects the struggle among social animals C) is an opposition among individual social entities D) can be avoided
  30. The passage is probably intended to answer the question "". A) Is war inevitable? B) Why is there conflict and competition? C) Is conflict desirable? D) Can competition lead to conflict? As Dr. Samuel Johnson said in a different era about ladies preaching, the surprising thing about computers is not that they think less well than a man, but that they think at all. The early electronic computer did not have much going for it except a marvelous memory and some good math skills. But today the best models can be wired up to learn by experience, follow an argument, ask proper questions and write poetry and music. They can also carry on somewhat puzzling conversations. Computers imitate life. As computers get more complex, the imitation gets better. Finally, the line between the original and the copy becomes unclear. In another 15 years or so, we will see the computer as a new form of life. The opinion seems ridiculous because, for one thing, computers lack the drives and emotions of living creatures. But drives can be programmed into the computer's brain just as nature programmed them into our human brains as a part of the equipment for survival. Computers match people in some roles, and when fast decisions are needed in a crisis, they often surpass them. Having evolved when the pace of life was slower, the human brain has an inherent defect that prevents it from absorbing several streams of information simultaneously and acting on them quickly. Throw too many things at the brain at one time and it freezes up. We are still in control, but the capabilities of computers are increasing at a fantastic rate, while raw human intelligence is changing slowly, if as all. Computer power has increased ten times every eight years since 19
  46. In the 1990s, when the sixth generation appears, the reasoning power of an intelligence built out of silicon will begin to match that of the human brain. That does not mean the evolution of intelligence has ended on the earth. Judging by the past, we can expect that a new species will arise out of man, surpassing his achievements as he has surpassed those of his predecessor. Only a carbon chemistry enthusiast would assume that the new species must be man's flesh-and-blood descendants. The new kind of intelligent life is more likely to be made of silicon.
  31. What do you suppose was the attitude of Dr. Samuel Johnson towards ladies preaching? A) He believed that ladies were born worse preachers than men. B) He was pleased that ladies could preach, though not as well as men. C) He disapproved of ladies preaching. D) He encouraged ladies to preach.
  32. Today, computers are still inferior to man in terms of . A) decision making B) drives and feelings
C) growth of reasoning power D) information absorption
  33. In terms of making quick decisions, the human brain cannot be compared with the computer because . A) in the long process of evolution the slow pace of life didn't require such ability of the human brain. B) the human brain is influenced by other factors such as motivation and emotion C) the human brain may sometimes freeze up in a dangerous situation D) computers imitate life while the human brain does not imitate computers
  34. Though he thinks highly of the development of computer science, the author doesn't mean that . A) computers are likely to become a new form of intelligent life. B) human beings have lost control of computers C) the intelligence of computers will eventually surpass that of human beings. D) the evolution of intelligence will probably depend on that of electronic brains.
  35. According to the passage, which of the following statements is TRUE? A) Future man will be made of silicon instead of flesh and blood. B) Some day it will be difficult to tell a computer from a man. C) The reasoning power of computers ahs already surpassed that of man. D) Future intelligent life may not necessarily be made of organic matter. Video recorders and photocopiers, even ticket machines on the railways, often seem unnecessarily difficult to use Last December I bought myself a video cassette recorder (VCR) described as "simple to use". In the first three weeks I failed repeatedly to program the machine to record from the TV, and after months of practice I still made mistakes. I am not alone. According to a survey last year by Ferguson, the British manufacturer, more than one in four VCR owners never use the timer(定时器) on their machines to record a programme: they don't use it because they've found it far too hard to operate. So why do manufacturers keep on designing and producing VCRS that are awkward to use if the problems are so obvious? First, the problems we notice are not obvious to technically minded (有技术 思想的) designers with years of experience and trained to understand how appliances work. Secondly, designers tend to add one or two features as a time to each model, whereas you or I face all a machine's features at once. Thirdly, although finding problems in a finished product is easy, it is too late by then to do anything about the design. Finally, if manufacturers can get away with selling products that are difficult to use, it is not worth the effort of any one of them to make improvements. Some manufacturers say they concentrate on providing a wide range of features rather than on making the machines easy to use. But that gives rise to the question, "Why can't you have features that are easy to use?" The answer is you can. Good design practice is a mixture of specific procedures and general principles. For a start, designers should build an original model of the machine and try it out on typical members of the public-not on colleagues in the development laboratory. Simple public trials would quickly reveal many design mistakes. In an ideal world, there would be some ways of controlling quality such as that the VCR must be redesigned repeatedly until, say, 90 per cent of users can w
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