Thursday, 24 November 2011

Objective Proficiency p 55. Music. Extra Speaking

1. MONOLOGUE. Prepare a talk of AT LEAST 5 minutes on the subject. You may use the pictures above and the contents below if you wish:

"We live in a connected world now. Some find that frightening. If people are downloading our music, they're listening to it. The internet is like radio for us."
Jeff Tweedy- 
American songwriter, musician, record producer and leader of the band Wilco

What do you think about ripping music from a website? Do you think that burning music and movies is OK? Do you think that illegal downloading is killing the music industry? Is file sharing to blame for the downturn in sales? Do you believe that certain laws choke creativity? Should the artists who write music or set poems to music be compensated for their work?

You may make some notes for your talk to take into the exam. These should not exceed five lines.


In this part of the test, the examiner will ask you some questions about issues related to the TOPIC. Remember that you are expected to have a conversation as natural as possible and give full answers. This part of the examination will last AT LEAST 5 minutes. You will not see the questions below.



1.  On what occasions would it be useful to have another string to your bow?

2.  What do you think about the English saying "He who pays the piper calls the tune?" 

3. Have you or anybody you know bought anything for a song recently?

4. What news has been music to your ears recently?

5. Does piped music in shops and pubs actually boost sales? or do you think it may deter shoppers from buying goods?

6. When was the last time you listened to a speaker who struck a chord  with the audience?

7. Can you think of an occasion when you had to face the music?

8. What policies are out of tune with your own thoughts? 

9. What are the advantages and disadvantages of wearing earbuds?

10. Can you carry a tune?

11. Do you have a favourite theme tune?


Picture 1

/ brɑːs/ the musical instruments made of metal, such as trumpets, saxophones, trombones, tubas or French horns, that form a band or section of an orchestra; the people who play them. E.g. music for piano, strings and brass.


the group of musical instruments in an orchestra that are mostly made of wood or metal and are played by blowing. Flutes and clarinets are woodwind instruments. The woodwind section of the orchestra.


/pəˈkʌʃn/ musical instruments that you play by hitting them with your hand or with a stick, for example drums. E.g. percussion instruments. The track features Joey Langton on percussion.


 E.g. to play the drums. Beat/ bang the drum (for somebody/something) (especially British English) to speak with enthusiasm in support of somebody/ something. E.g. She's really banging the drum for the new system.

The strings 

 [plural] the group of musical instruments in an orchestra that have strings, for example violins, violas, cellos, double basses or harps; the people who play them. E.g. The opening theme is taken up by the strings.


 to play a guitar or similar instrument by moving your fingers up and down across the strings. E.g. As she sang she strummed on a guitar. Strum a chord/ guitar


/bəʊ/ a long thin piece of wood with thin string stretched along it, used for playing musical instruments such as the violin. 

Play second fiddle (to somebody/something)

to be treated as less important than somebody/something; to have a less important position than somebody/something else. E.g. I'm not going to play second fiddle to anyone. The narrative in this book plays second fiddle to the excellent photographs.  

Play a musical instrument/ the piano/ percussion/ a note/ a riff/ the melody/ a concerto/ a duet/ by ear 

 a short repeated pattern of notes in popular music or jazz. Sp. Ostinato. E.g. a guitar riff


/djuˈet/ a piece of music for two players or singers. E.g. a piano duet.

Play (something) by ear: 

to play music by remembering how it sounds rather than by reading it

Picture 2

The Eurovision Song Contest

 a competition, taking place every year, in which a singers or groups of singers from many European countries sing songs specially written for the occasion. 

Appear at a festival/ live


/ˈɪəwəːm/ a catchy song or tune that runs continually through someone’s mind.

It was a catchy tune (= song).

It was a charming piece of music.

Give a performance/ concert/ recital. E.g. That night she gave an outstanding performance

Accompany a singer/ choir


a place where people meet for an organized event, for example a concert, sporting event or conference. E.g. The band will be playing at 20 different venues on their UK tour. Please note the change of venue for this event.

one-hit wonder: a performer of popular music who makes one successful recording but then no others

Picture 3

Be top of/ top the charts 

Get to/ go straight to/ go straight in at/ enter the charts at number one 


a successful pop song or record. E.g. They are about to release an album of their greatest hits. 
She played all her old hits. A hit record/ single 

Go on/ embark on a (world) tour  


 1. a strong regular repeated pattern of sounds or movements. E.g. music with a fast/ slow/ steady rhythm. He can't seem to play in rhythm. The boat rocked up and down in rhythm with the sea. A dancer with a natural sense of rhythm (= the ability to move in time to a fixed beat). 
2. a regular pattern of changes or events. E.g. Lack of sleep can upset your daily rhythm.

Picture 4


/hʌʃt/ quiet because nobody is talking; much quieter than usual. E.g. A hushed auditorium listened as she gave a brilliant performance.


having a gently calming effect. E.g. she put on some soothing music. Music can soothe severe pain for patients recovering from medical procedures


/məˈləʊdiəs/ (also melodic /məˈlɒdɪk/)  


/ˈmeləʊ/ soft, rich and pleasant. Dulce, melodioso, suave. E.g. mellow autumn colours. Mellow music and lighting helped to create the right atmosphere.


loud, sudden and often high in tone. E.g. After her performance, she spoke to the judges in sharp, clipped tones.


 clear and fast but not very friendly. E.g. His clipped military tones.


 full of excitement; making people excited. E.g. The atmosphere was electric.

Land/ get/ sign a record deal.


 to succeed in getting a job, etc, especially one that a lot of other people want. E.g. He's just landed a starring role in Spielberg's next movie. She's just landed herself a company directorship.

Be signed to/ be dropped by a record company 


 discard, exclude, dismiss. E.g. they were dropped from the team in the reshuffle

Record/ release/ put out an album/ a single/ a CD 

The music business/ industry 

Do a concert/ recital/ gig

Play a concert/ gig/ festival/ venue 

Perform (British English) at/ in a concert/ (especially North American English) a concert

Monologue questions

Copy/ burn/ rip music/ a CD/ a DVD

Rip something 

 (computing) to copy sound or video files from a website or CD on to a computer.

Download music/ an album/ a song/ a demo/ a video


/ˈdeməʊ/ a record or tape with an example of somebody's music on it. E.g. a demo tape.


a fall in the amount of business that is done; a time when the economy becomes weaker. E.g. a downturn in sales/ trade/ business. The economic downturn of 2008/2009


prevent or inhibit the occurrence or development of. E.g. higher rates of interest choke off investment demand. 

Write/ compose music/ a ballad/ a melody/ a tune/ a song/ a theme song/ an opera/ a symphony 

Set something (to something)  

to write music to go with words. E.g. Schubert set many poems to music. The poem has been set to music.

Put on/ play a CD/ a song/ some music

Go to a concert/ festival/ gig/ performance/ recital


 a performance by musicians playing popular music or jazz in front of an audience; a similar performance by a comedian. E.g. to do a gig.


Teacher's questions
Question 1
Have another string/more strings to your bow: 

to have more than one skill or plan that you can use if you need to. E.g. The exhibition shows that he has other strings to his artistic bow.

Question 2

He who pays the piper calls the tune

(saying) the person who provides the money for something can also control how it is spent.
Question 3

For a song: 

(informal) very cheaply; at a low price. E.g. She bought the painting for a song. The property is going for a song because they need to sell it fast.
Question 4

Music to your ears: 

news or information that you are very pleased to hear. 
Question 5

Piped music

 recorded music that is played continuously in shops, restaurants, etc. Sp. música ambiental. 
Question 6

Strike/touch a chord (with somebody): 

to say or do something that makes people feel sympathy or enthusiasm. E.g. The speaker had obviously struck a chord with his audience.
Question 7

Face the music: 

(informal) to accept and deal with criticism or punishment for something you have done. E.g. The others all ran off, leaving me to face the music.
Question 8

Be in/out of tune (with somebody/something): 

to be/not be in agreement with somebody/something; to have/not have the same opinions, feelings, interests, etc. as somebody/something. E.g. These proposals are perfectly in tune with our own thoughts on the subject. The President is out of tune with public opinion.

Sing from the same hymn/ song sheet

(British English, informal) to show that you are in agreement with each other by saying the same things in public.

In unison (with somebody/something):

 /ˈjuːnɪsn/ 1 if people do or say something in unison, they all do it at the same time. 2 if people or organizations are working in unison, they are working together, because they agree with each other. E.g. ‘Yes, sir,’ said the girls in unison. 3 (music) if singers or musicians sing or play in unison, they sing or play notes at the same pitch or at one or more octaves apart. E.g. the flutes play in unison with the violas.


/ˈhɑːməni/ 1. a state of peaceful existence and agreement. E.g. the need to be in harmony with our environment. To live together in perfect harmony. Social/ racial harmony. 2. the way in which different notes that are played or sung together combine to make a pleasing sound. E.g. to sing in harmony. 3. a pleasing combination of related things. E.g. the harmony of colour in nature. The designer's aim is to produce a harmony of shape and texture.


1. disagreement; arguing. E.g. marital/ family discord. E.g. A note of discord surfaced during the proceedings. A prosperous family who showed no signs of discord. The discord between indigenous and Western cultures 
2. a combination of musical notes that do not sound pleasant together. E.g. the music faded in discord.


1 (of a voice or a musical instrument) not in tune.  
2 not suitable or correct in a particular situation. Inappropriate. E.g. Some of his remarks were very off-key. Off-key (adverb) E.g. to sing off-key.

Hit/strike the right/wrong note: 

 to do, say or write something that is suitable/not suitable for a particular occasion. E.g. It is a bizarre tale and the author hits just the right note of horror and disbelief.

Call the tune: 

(informal) to be the person who controls a situation.

Change your tune: 

(informal) to express a different opinion or behave in a different way when your situation changes. E.g. Wait until it happens to him—he'll soon change his tune. 

Sing a different tune: 

to change your opinion about somebody/ something or your attitude towards somebody/ something

Dance to somebody's tune: 

 (British English) to do whatever somebody tells you to.
Question 9


/ˈɪəbʌd/ a very small headphone that is worn inside the ear.
Question 10

Carry a tune

sing correct notes. E.g. He can't carry a tune. Every note he sings is wrong.

Sing along (with somebody/ something)/ sing along (to something) 

 to sing together with somebody who is already singing or while a record, radio, or musical instrument is playing. E.g. Do sing along if you know the words. She loves singing along to the radio.

Sing an anthem (Sp. himno)/ a ballad/ a solo/ an aria/ the blues/ in a choir/ soprano/ alto/ tenor/ bass/ out of tune 

In/ out of tune

to be/ not be singing or playing the correct musical notes to sound pleasant. E.g. None of them could sing in tune. The piano is out of tune.

Every week we get together to make music (= to play music or sing).

Hum a tune/ a theme tune/ a lullaby 

(/ˈlʌləbaɪ/ a soft gentle song sung to make a child go to sleep)


 to sing a tune with your lips closed. E.g. She was humming softly to herself. He began to hum along with the music. What's that tune you're humming? He was humming a familiar tune.


to sing or shout the same words or phrases many times. E.g. A group of protesters, chanting and carrying placards, waited outside.
Question 11

Theme tune:  

music that is played at the beginning and end and/ or is often repeated in a film/ movie, television programme, etc.

No comments:

Post a Comment