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Antonin Dvorzak is a…… composer and pianist. He made his debut as

(1841 – 1904) a pianist at the age of eight. He revolutionized the

technique of piano-forte playing, turning the hands

outward and favouring a light responsive touch.


Sergey Rachmaninov is a…… Baroque composer, violinist, and conductor.

(1873 – 1943) He wrote 23 symphonies, 75 sonatas, over 400

Concertos, over 40 operas; and much sacred music.

His music was largely neglected until 1930.

V. Summarize the text.




The music scene in the USA is extremely varied. There are quite a number of historical reasons for that. First of all, should be remembered that the Europeans who settled the continent brought with them their love for European music which was on the one hand folk music (depending on the country the people came from) and on the other – classical music. The ensuing generations of Europeans kept bringing new classical masterpieces and new folk songs. So, European classical music has become a part of new American culture. Among Americans, descendents of different nations, there are no less than 30% of those who are devotees of classical music. Live performances of classical music are held in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco and other cities, many of which are famous for their orchestras and conductors.

One of the most famous was Leonard Bernstein, an American conductor and composer. Among other things he wrote the wonderful musical “West Side Story”, two ballets and an opera.

There are so many classical music lovers in the USA that there is a very strong demand for such music, so there is a special station for it, and people can enjoy it 24 hours straight. Many listen to it while driving.

America has also produced its own kind of music. This is the folk music of the 19th century when the railroads were being built, when workers’ teams toiled in lumber camps, when the cowboys sang for their herds and for themselves. These rural folk ballads known as “country” music have attracted the attention of outstanding singers and they remain the golden heritage of the folk spirit in music.

Parallel to the classics and the “country” music English, Scotch, Irish, German, Italian and other songs are very much alive in their respective enclaves. The descendents of these emigrants sing them often unaware of their European origin.

A very important contribution to the world of music has been made by the so-called “pop” composers. They created a lot of songs which have become classics. Such names as George Gershwin (“Rhapsody in Blue”, “An American in Paris”, “Porgy and Bess”), who the first used in his symphonic music blues and spirituals, Richard Rodgers, the author of numerous musicals and songs: “Oklahoma”, “Carousel”, “The Sound of Music”, Aaron Copland chose a traditional Quaker song as one of the main themes for the film “Appalachian Spring”, he used Western themes for “Rodeo” and “Billy the Kid” and others are world famous.

The picture of musical America would be incomplete without mentioning the greatest American contribution to world music, jazz. Jazz is a mixture of many different kinds of music. It has become a part of universal musical culture which all Americans are proud of.


I. Summarize the text.




Unique forms and styles of music have developed in America. Ragtime, blues, gospel, jazz, country-western, rock `n` roll and the musical are all American-born.

Ragtime. The Black American music tradition has produced and influenced a variety genres. Ragtime was the first black American music to gain wide popularity. Composer Scott Joplin (1868-1917) helped to develop ragtime from simple parlor piano music into a serious genre. Ragtime is most important for its association with the blues, which then inspired jazz, America’s most original music form.

Blues. The blues evolved from African folk songs and church music. Sung by soloists or featuring solo instruments, blues music often expresses disappointment or regret. For American Negroes as a whole, the blues were listened to more often than they were sung. It is not quite right to talk of the blues as art song: the blues did not “entertain”, nor were they art “objects”. They were something akin to religious chants. Emotionally charged, deeply personalized, the blues were in part a problem-solving technique. The blues audience responded to the common plights presented to them by the singer as personal experience. As the singer overcame his problems, or was overcome by them, so the listeners shared in the catharsis.

Gospel. The extraordinary popularity of the Negro spiritual among both whites and Negroes was in the perfect musical form that merged African rhythm and vocal mannerisms with European melody, harmony, and Christian ideology. The source materials were the orthodox Protestant churches and the ministers, while the African tradition of group improvisation and transformation was the means of change. Gospel singing (particularly as compared to spiritual singing) is strongly rhythmic in the manner of jazz; it is filled with patterns of call and response between singer and orchestra and singer and chorus; it is built on a tonality common to the blues, and is heavy with melisma (the singing of a single syllable with more than one note). Most notable, however, is the social framework within which the gospel song is performed. It is most often used as a part of a church service and is sung by a regular choir. A lead singer sets the direction of the song and is involved in interplay with the rest of the choir.

Jazz. Jazz, now recognized as a world-wide art form, originated around the turn of the century among black musicians in the American South. The music was inspired by African culture but evolved directly from spirituals, ragtime, and blues. Jazz is characterized by improvisation and a lively attention to rhythm, famous jazz musician Duke Ellington (1899-1974) called “swing.” The bright and forceful music was called the “sound of surprise.”

Definitions of jazz have been numerous but pleasantly vague. Vagueness seems necessary, though, since it is the custom of jazz to absorb and use everything in sight. The earliest jazz musicians in the United States played with elements drawn from brass marching bands, Spanish dances, English religious song, piano music of the romantic period, Negro folksongs and spirituals, and West Indian religious cult music. Later, theater songs, gospel tunes, and non-Western music were all drawn upon. This great receptivity to sources is a result of the central emphasis in jazz: improvisation.

By 1920, jazz had spread from the South, and in the 1930s, it reached its heyday of mass popularity as big band music. Louis Armstrong (1900-1971) a trumpeter and soloist, was one of the first well-known jazz singers. Other early jazz leaders were Duke Ellington, “Dizzy” Gillespie and Charlie Parker.

Although the improvisation style of early jazz survives today, jazz has moved on to new frontiers. In the 1960s and 70s, jazz musicians began combining the rhythms of rock’n’roll and electronic instruments with traditional elements of jazz to form a blend of music called “fusion”. Today jazz is extremely popular in America and abroad. Jazz concerts draw thousands of listeners every year.

The influence of jazz is found in many types of American music. The music of George Gershwin (1898-1937), one of America’s most popular song writers and composers, was strongly influenced by jazz. The concerto “Rhapsody in Blue” and the opera “Porgy and Bess” were two of his works which incorporated jazz.

Country-Western Music. Another popular type of music came out of the American South is country-western. However, its cultural origin and musical sounds are totally different from jazz. The style of the country western music has its roots in the folk songs and ballads of the early Scottish and English settlers in the southern colonies. The music developed over a long period with melodies and lyrics reflecting rural life in the Southeast and Southwest. The distinctive sound of country music depends on the guitar, banjo and fiddle. Lyrics generally focus on the sorrows of love or the economic hardships of poor whites.

In the 1940s the appeal of country music extended beyond the rural South, and the music began to attract nationwide attention. Weekly music ratings indicate the continuing popularity of this type of music.

The Musical. In the 1930s another native American-born art form emerged. The musical was a new form of entertainment which combined acting, music, and ballet. The musical was inspired by the Anglo-Irish musical theater, the central European operetta, and the American vaudeville minstrel show. Basically entertaining in character, most early screen musicals were lavish and glamorous escapist fantasies. Dreams of success came true for characters who overcome hardships by faith and hard work, with some spectacular singing and dancing along the way.

Later musicals, such as Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma” and Sondheim and Bernstein’s “West Side Story,” included serious themes and social criticism. “A Chorus Line,” first performed in 1975, is still one of the most popular musicals today.

Rock Music. Rock music has dominated the popular music scene ever since America was inundated with the new sound in the 1950s. Rock `n` roll developed as a mixture of black blues and white country-western. The music quickly won intense and sustained appeal with young people not only on America, but all over the world. Early rock musicians such as Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan were idolized by millions of teenagers.

In the 1970s and 80s, rock’n’roll became heavily commercialized. Hundreds of bands copied the formula of success and went into recording studios to make money rather than innovative music. Some rock musicians, however, have emerged from the studio with unique sounds and messages in their music. Among these artists are guitarist-songwriter Bruce Springsteen and singer Stevie Wonder.


Ellington, Edward Kennedy (“Duke”) (1899-1974): American jazz composer, pianist and bandleader. He was one of the founders of big band jazz.

Louis Armstrong (1901-1971): US jazz cornet and trumpet player and singer. He is recognized for his skill at improvisation, and his quirky, gravelly voice.

Ella Fitzgerald: born in1918. She is famous as one of the finest, most lyrical voices in jazz, both in solo work and with big bands.

Rodgers, Richard (1902-1979): American composer.

Hammerstein, Oscar, II (1895-1960): American librettist and songwriter.

Sondheim, Stephen: born 1930 American composer and lyricist.

Bernstein, Leonard: born 1918, American conductor, pianist and composer.



The new music has achieved a degree of integration of art into everyday life that is probably unique in modern societies; to find anything comparable one would have to look to the Middle Ages or primitive men. Like a mediaeval cathedral or carving (зд. идол) in a tribal village, the art of rock is constantly present as a part of everyday life, not something we admire in a museum or listen to over coffee after dinner. It is significant that nearly everyone who deeply feels the music also makes an attempt at playing an instrument and even at composing. For the lover of rock, as for men in earliest times art is a daily companion to share and interpret experience and emotions.


I. Read and discuss.

1. Do you agree that pop music has become a part of everyday life? 2. Does the attitude to pop music differ in various age groups? Why? 3. Is it because older generations have outgrown this kind of music? 4. Do you know what music was popular in their youth? 5. Do you agree that pop music is art? 6. Some young people switch on their cassette recorders or CD players the moment they arrive home; they can’t eat, read, work or speak with their friends without sounds of music in the background. What about you? 7. Some young people prefer listening to music through the headphones. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using headphones? 8. Who is more interested in pop music – boys or girls? Why? 9. Why has the guitar become so popular? 10. Which instrument is easiest to play?




“Rock is everywhere,” said my 16-year-old son. Are there any parents who would not agree? It zooms through the house, throbs behind closed doors, and we wonder at the hold this deafening music has on our children.

An enormous percentage of teenage spending money goes on music. In this country last year $ 2 billion was spent on popular records. Equally astonishing was the sale of guitars: two million of them. My son bought two. The young also rush to rock concerts, 560,000 applied for the 20,000 available tickets to hear the Rolling Stones in New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Why do they go in such fantastic numbers?

To understand it look into the music itself. It is first of all extraordinary and creative. It is absolutely 21st – century in conception – electronic sounds, distortion, and brilliance of improvisation – there are no limits. If the creators are young, do not underestimate them: the best of rock is serious music intellectual as well as emotional. Classical music is not so far off. Rock composers have made interesting use of European and Indian classical music.

Three things distinguish rock – the relentless beat, the freedom of conception and the overpowering volume. This is physical, powerful music. Amplifiers at rock concerts produce a sand intensity which sometimes reaches 120 decibels (a jet on takeoff must not exceed 108). Why so loud? “Without amplification, the music just doesn’t exist,” explains a young friend. Together with the pulsing, driving beat, it creates passionate excitement – one wants to move, dance. Electronic and inspiration produce incredible effects. Small wonder that the listener is carried right into music.

Rock music is central to the youth culture. The young are unified by it, communicate through it.

Rock is beautiful because it is “sun at dawn, mountains in a storm, rivers, the stars, nature,” said a young boy. In other words it includes everything.



I. Read and discuss the text. The author is a well-known American journalist.


1. Do you love rock? 2. Do you agree that the best of rock is serious music? 3. How does the author characterize rock? 4. What is so extraordinary about rock? 5. What elements make it 21st – century in conception? 6. Why are rock composers often underestimated? 7. What proof does the author give for the fact that rock is not very far from classical music? Do you agree with her? 8. What are the three things that distinguish rock from all other kinds of music? 9. Why can’t rock music exist without amplifiers? 10. What are the features of rock music that crest the passionate excitement making people want to move and dance? 11. What are good and bad sides of rock according to the author? Do you share the opinion? 12. Do you collect rock records? 13. What is your favourite rock group? 14. What kind of rock do you prefer?


II. Put each of the following words or phrases in its correct place in the passage below.

vocalist number one lyrics stage

group fans top ten

live concert recording studio

After the Beatles, the Rolling Stones have probably been the most successful ……………… in Britain. Most of their records have gone into the ………………. and they’ve had many at …………. . But their records have usually been made in a ……………and I always wanted to hear them …………… at a …………….. . I wanted to see them perform on ………………in front of thousands of excited …………….. . And Mick Jagger, the ………………sang all the old favourites. I couldn’t hear the …………….. very well because of the noise, but somehow it didn’t matter.



The Blues are called "roots music"(уходящая корнями в прошлоe). The blues arose in the USA sometime after the Civil War as a mixture of the African music brought over by slaves, ballads, church music, and rhythmic dance tunes. So, the basic vocabulary of rock is the blues.

Rhythm and Blues (R'n'B) is a mixture of black religious music (gospel) and jazz.

Country is the music of America's heartland (основанных первыми американских штатов). It can be traced back to British immigrants who brought with them a tradition of Celtic ballads and string instruments. Nashville, Tennessee, became the centre of country music by the 1930s. Many rockabilly singers returned to country roots, like Aerosmith.

Rockabilly was Elvis Presley's music, a lively hybrid of blues and country that became rock'n'roll. Every generation of rockers has revived and rediscovered rockabilly.

Rock'n'Roll was the earliest and usually simpler form of rock music which appeared in the early 1950s in the USA. It is based on electric guitar and drums. Instead of playing pop music, disc jockey (DJ) Alan Freed started playing the rhythm and blues music derived from jazz and country. The impact of The Beatles (formed in 1959 in Liverpool) on rock'n'roll is incalculable. The Rolling Stones began calling themselves the "World's Greatest Rock'n'Roll Band" in the late 1960s, and few disputed the claim.

Jazz America's most important and original contribution to world culture. It is music that depends primarily on improvisation, freedom and swing. The first music known as jazz was the New Orleans style (later known as Dixieland), in which a small group would collectively improvise on a well-known tune.

Swing Jazz style music which was popular in 1930s-40s. A big-band sound with a simple harmonic base of varying tempo from the rhythm section (percussion, guitar, piano), harmonic brass and some­times strings, to solo melodic line (e.g. saxophone). Duke Ellington and Glen Miller intro­duced jazz to a mass white audience.

Funk bass-driven, percussive polyrhythmic black dance music, with minimal melody and maximum syncopation. It has developed since the 1960s and with some simplification of its rhythms, funk provided the basis for disco and became a cornerstone of hip-hop, rap, and every other black-inspired and dance genre to emerge since.

Disco is a type of soft rock music for dancing. Being a representative of disco, ABBA was one of the most commercially successful groups of the 1970s.

Soul is a type of modem black American music, derived from gospel, blues and jazz. It has funk rhythms and expresses strong emotions. "Soul" is also a black slang term for sincerity. Tony Braxton is a representative of soul.

Reggae is a type of West Indian popular music and dance with strong rhythms that derived from Afro-Caribbean music and American R'n'B. It has flourished in Jamaica since the early 1960s. Reggae is based on a specific Jamaican beat known as "ska". The most influential ska musicians were Rastrafarians (растрафари) who incorporated ritual "burra" drumming and chanting (включили ритуальную игру на барабанах и песнопение) into their music, while their lyrics quoted (тексты песен цитировали) Rasta scripture (священное писание растрафари). Bob Marley was one of the founders of this musical style.

Acid (Psychedelic) Rock has intensely vivid sounds like those experienced while hallucinating. It usually involves advanced electronic equipment. Pink Floyd, formed in 1965, is the most prominent representative of acid rock with their biggest hit Dark Side of the Moon, 1973.

Pomp Rock was developed by Queen. It is characterized by stage set-ups (особые сценические устройства), smoke bombs, and flash pots. Queen's sound combined showy opera-like glam rock, heavy metal, and vocal harmonies produced by multi-tracking Mercury's voice. Brian May's guitar was thickly overdubbed (dub-"дaб" – прием, который сводится к редактированию фонограммы).

Heavy Metal heavily amplified (пропущенный через усилители звука), blues-based, electric guitar-driven rock that came of age during the early seventies. The representatives are Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Metallica.

Punk Rock is a type of loud and violent rock music popular since the late 1970s. It is associated with protest against conventional attitudes. Punk's fashion statements are wearing safety pins, spiked hair, and black leather jackets. Punk fans introduced the pogo dance. Most punk groups put forward their nihilistic slogan "No future", while there were also rebels with a cause (преследующие определенные цели), from anti-Thatcherism to calls for racial unity (поддержки расового единства). Punk groups are The Sex Pistols, The Jam, and The Clash.

Hardcore is a louder and faster form of punk rock that appeared on the US West Coast in the early 80s. It is characterized by despairing, nihilistic lyrics screamed from a chaotic din (из хаотичного шума) of rapidly changing guitar chords. Hardcore kids wear tattoos, buzz cuts and combat boots. They originated slam dancing, or "moshing", in which members of the mostly white and male audiences would form small pits in front of bands and smash into one another as the music played (нарочно сталкиваются друг с другом под музыку). Stage diving (прыжки со сцены) by audience members into the mosh pit was a common occurrence. Two West Coast proto-hardcore bands were the Los Angeles-based groups Germs and Black Flag. "Real" hardcore skinheads tried to distance themselves from racist ones in 1981. But by the mid-eighties, hardcore had begun to play itself out, splitting into trash and speed metal. New wave is pop with punkish tappings, such as faster tempos. It is a catch-all term (всеобъемлющий расхожий термин) for bands that emerged after 1976 and could not be characterized as pure punk. As MTV began defining the mainstream, successful new-wave acts, such as Duran Duran and The Police, became widely popular.

Grunge (extremely dirty) is a post punk hard-rock subgenre of the "alternative" movement. It first appeared in Seattle with Nirvana in 1992 chart-topper Smells like Teen Spirit. Grunge bands were influenced equally by punk rock and by such hard-rock bands as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, AC/DC, and Kiss. The Grunge "look" is characterized by untucked plaid-flannel shirts (не заправленные в брюки фланелевые рубахи), stocking caps, and moth-eaten sweaters. Female hardcore punk, or "foxcore", bands such as L7, Hole (whose frontwoman, Courtney Love, married Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain) are also identified with the grunge scene.

Rap is a form of dance music in which vocalists - rappers - speak in rhythm and rhyme. Rapping is a specialized style originated in the mid-seventies in the discos of New York City's black neighborhoods, alongside such ghetto arts as freedom writing (graffiti) and break dancing. It was developed by DJs. The progenitors of rap were spinners – disco DJs (прародителями рэпа были спиннеры) who segued songs for dancers. Initially the role of a rapper was to keep the beat going with handclasp while the spinner changed records. Rap­pers developed specific lines of lyrics, slogans, and call-and-response exchanges with the audience. The first rap records were not made until 1979, most of them for small independent labels called indies (пластинки независимых студий звукозаписи). The best-known rappers are Eminem and Nelly who got American Music Awards in 2003.

Hip-hop is the backing music for rap, a street-derived, avant-garde art form that is linked with the com­mercial rise of rap in the early eighties. Hip-hop is used to describe rap culture, break danc­ing, graffiti and the specific music. Hip-hop tracks combine "found sounds" (often digitally recorded samples of music, voices, or ambient noise), looped drum tracks (either natu­ral or electronic), bass lines, guitar riffs, manipulations that produce the music's back­ward, scratching, and stuttering effects (движение пластинки руками в обратном направлении, воспроизведение царапания или заикания на пластинке). In 1987, The Bomb Squad, a hip-hop team, introduced a hard, noisy, dense, highly influential sound that combined sirens, political speeches, and music samples. Hip-hop is like postmodern visual art: it combines bits and pieces of art and media from different eras into a whole.

Techno a computer generated dance music style that combines the big beat of disco and rapid-fire intensity of punk. Its artists are DJs who use digital samplers and sequencers to combine some found sounds (fragments of prerecorded songs, drumbeats, whistles, television chatter, etc). This repetitive, chaotic, ear-splitting, nervous, soulless music developed at all-night underground psychedelic parties fuelled by the hallucinogenic stimulant Ecstasy. Developed in Detroit, techno had reached a large cult audience by the early 1990s when the major labels (ведущие студии звукозаписи) began promoting Moby, the Orb, and Messiah. Despite the music's success, most techno artists prefer to remain anonymous, DJing in the darkness of the rave milieu (в среде рейверских дискотек) behind spider webs of wires and computer equipment, and often recording on vinyl records with plain white labels. Sometimes techno DJs perform and record the music variations under different pseudonyms. One of these techno variations is known as the Chicago-born "house" style (стиль "xayc").


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