CLEP Humanities : Music

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for CLEP Humanities

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Music

How many notes are in a traditional Western octave?

Possible Answers:

Twelve

Eight

Seven

Ten

Five

Correct answer:

Eight

Explanation:

The octave is the interval between a musical note and that of half or double its frequency. The octave is one of the natural elements of music, with two different notes producing the exact same pitch. In the Western tradition, while there are twelve chromatic, or precise half-interval, steps, the actual notation of each scale is on eight notes of differing spaces.

Example Question #321 : Clep: Humanities

Gregorian chant was most utilized in what venue during the Middle Ages?

Possible Answers:

Liturgy

Weddings

Governmental functions

Funerals

Courtly settings

Correct answer:

Liturgy

Explanation:

Gregorian chant is the style of music that developed throughout the Middle Ages, having various sources and styles. It was an ecclesiastical form of music, meaning that it was a "church" music. In particular, it was a kind of liturgical music, used in the various forms of public worship undertaken by the Latin Roman Catholic Church. Its melodies were based on the texts of the Mass, the Divine Office, and other liturgical ceremonies. Many of these texts were biblical, though adaptations from other sources are also found in many hymns and antiphons throughout the Middle Ages.

Example Question #1 : Answering Other Questions About Medieval Music

Which of the following was the primary language of Gregorian Chant in the Middle Ages?

Possible Answers:

Hebrew

Latin

Arabic

Aramaic

Greek

Correct answer:

Latin

Explanation:

Strictly speaking, Gregorian Chant is a phenomenon of the Christian West. It was the liturgical music of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, which dominated much (though not all) of Western Europe throughout the Middle Ages. While there were other forms of liturgical worship throughout this period, the Latin Rite was the "location" for the development of the Gregorian Chant repertoire. Its texts were taken from various parts of the liturgy, drawing on biblical sources as well as more original compositions by hymn and antiphon writers.

Example Question #1 : Music

Which musical instrument was common in Medieval music and was associated with the god Apollo in Ancient Greece?

Possible Answers:

Harpsichord

Pipes

Lyre

Lute

Trumpet

Correct answer:

Lyre

Explanation:

The pipes, trumpet, and harpsichord are not common Medieval instruments. Though is was an ancient stringed instrument also common in Medieval times, the lute was not associated with Apollo.

Example Question #1 : Twentieth Century Music

Who was the composer who arranged and first conducted the educational musical piece The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (1945)?

Possible Answers:

John Ireland

Sergei Prokofiev

Benjamin Britten

Dmitri Shostakovich

Samuel Barber

Correct answer:

Benjamin Britten

Explanation:

The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra was conceived as a multi-media piece to educate children about orchestra music. Benjamin Britten's adaptation of the work of Henry Purcell, however, showed such great arrangements and inventiveness of instrumentation that it was immensely popular as an orchestral piece and record.

Example Question #1 : Music

Which of the following musical clefs is highest in pitch?

Possible Answers:

Bass clef

Octave clef

Neutral clef

Alto clef

Treble clef

Correct answer:

Treble clef

Explanation:

In musical notation, a clef indicates where the notes on the staff are placed, based on the clef symbol's position and shape. The three main clefs are, from highest to lowest in pitch, are the treble, alto, and bass clef. A neutral clef and an octave clef both indicate a non-traditional clef, with different emphases than the treble, alto, and bass.

Example Question #41 : Performing Arts

Which of the following is typical instrument to find in a rock 'n' roll band?

Possible Answers:

Harpsichord

Lute

Oboe

Electric bass

Banjo

Correct answer:

Electric bass

Explanation:

Rock 'n' roll developed in the mid-twentieth century as a combination of other genres, such as blues, country, and jazz. Despite its eclectic origins, the music was usually stripped down, featuring limited combos. The typical instrumentation of a rock combo is one or more guitars, electric bass, drums, and occasionally a piano, organ, or horns.

Example Question #1 : Music

How many strings are on a typical mandolin?

Possible Answers:

Five

Ten

Four

Six

Eight

Correct answer:

Eight

Explanation:

A mandolin is tuned exactly like a violin, but with one key difference. Instead of having one string each tuned to G, D, A, and E, the mandolin has two courses of strings tuned in unison to each of these notes. The mandolin shares this trait with the entire "mando" family, including the mandola and the mandocello.

Example Question #1 : Understanding Terminology That Describes Twentieth Century Music

What is a musical form that features improvisation around short themes in small ensembles?

Possible Answers:

Jazz

Modernist

Baroque

Romantic

Bluegrass

Correct answer:

Jazz

Explanation:

Jazz music developed around New Orleans in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Played by small ensembles featuring horns, pianos, and guitars, jazz was developed to have extended dances done with the music as accompaniment. As such, jazz began to promote its performers playing extended improvisations during parts of songs.

Example Question #1 : Music

Based on the way in which each instrument produces sound, which of the following instruments is most similar to an accordion?

Possible Answers:

Flute

Trumpet

Harmonica

Violin

Guitar

Correct answer:

Harmonica

Explanation:

Although configured and played quite differently, both the accordion and the harmonica produce sound by having air blow over free reeds. While the accordion has buttons to open and close specific reeds, a harmonica player blows over a specific hole to create the desired tone.

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