Unseen Passage: Music

Music is perhaps the most popular and widely practised form of fine arts, transcending all kinds of cultural and linguistic barriers. Any form of fine art is difficult to master and almost impossible to perfect and music is no exception.

Nature, it is learnt, has blessed almost two-thirds of the human race with musical ability of some sort. Music has the power to bring out the deepest emotions. In fact, it is a magic medicine and many seek refuge in it when they are depressed or stressed. It is this intimacy that makes us listen to music or even hum or sing sometimes. This singing, or realistically speaking, expressing one’s emotion musically sometimes takes a serious turn.

The desire to sing before an audience is innocent and beautiful and indeed it is perfectly alright to have such a genuine desire. But it is also important to understand that singing is an intricate art — a highly refined one at that, which requires systematic, prolonged and strict training, to be acceptable. This is an aspect we forget in our keen desire to reach the stage and perform. It is almost like preparing a formal meal for some specially invited guests, without even having learnt and trained in the basics of cooking.

These days almost everyone sings and it does not stop here. Most of us want to become professional singers. Result: a complete disregard for and ignorance of the training part, as the need is never felt to go through one and the urge to get to the stage and perform overcomes even a little desire to learn, if any. If at all, somewhere along the way one feels the need to gain some knowledge and training, it leads to hurried shortcuts and halfhearted attempts, best described as ‘Crash Courses’.

It is observed that those who have attained the so called partial success, suddenly feel that they lack the required knowledge and are not learned enough. But it is too late by then. It should be understood here that the stage or a performance brings in a different mind-set within the artist. It is always recommended and rightly said that while on stage, cover the mistakes and weaknesses if any, and get along. But the contrary is true when it comes to acquiring knowledge and during the learning process. While under training, the student is expected to make mistakes but then rectify those mistakes under the supervision and guidance of the teacher. Therefore, it is good to make mistakes and then be corrected during the process of learning as this subsequently makes one flawless and educated. This is a different mind-set. And these two mind-set discussed above, (those of a performer and that of a student) cannot coexist.

Q. On the basis of your understanding of the above passage, answer the following questions:

  1. Music is perhaps the most popular and widely practised form of ____________.
    1. performing arts
    2. modern arts
    3. linguistic arts
    4. fine arts
  2. Nature has blessed almost two-thirds of the human race with ____________.
    1. singing ability
    2. musical ability
    3. dancing ability
    4. all of these
  3. ___________ are brought out by the power of music.
    1. Hidden talents
    2. Feelings of joy and contentment
    3. Deepest emotions
    4. Hidden desires
  4. How can we say that music is a magic medicine?
    1. It can make one cry or bring a smile on one’s face.
    2. It can heal people.
    3. It relieves people of their pain.
    4. People forget their problems.
  5. What is best described as ‘Crash Courses’?
    1. Detailed courses
    2. Dedicated learning
    3. Years of learning and practice
    4. Hurried shortcuts
  6. The mind-set of a student of music should be ____________.
    1. Never to make mistakes.
    2. Always be perfect.
    3. Cover up the mistakes.
    4. Make mistakes but then rectify those mistakes.
  7. In our keen desire to reach the stage and perform we forget ___________.
    1. It requires prolonged and strict training.
    2. It requires confidence.
    3. It requires hard work.
    4. It requires talent.
  8. While performing on stage an artist must ____________.
    1. make mistakes and seek guidance
    2. cover the mistake and get along
    3. stop singing
    4. none of these
  9. Any form of _____________ is difficult to master.
    1. fine arts
    2. dance
    3. cooking
    4. all of these
  10. ‘Transcending’ in para 1 means:
    1. drown under
    2. rise above
    3. surrender
    4. fail
  11. ‘Refuge’ in para 2 means:
    1. shelter from rain
    2. shelter from storm
    3. shelter from unhappiness
    4. shelter from sun
  12. The word _____________ in para 5 is the same as ‘incomplete’.
    1. lack
    2. contrary
    3. rectify
    4. partial


  1. fine arts
  2. musical ability
  3. Deepest emotions
  4. It can make one cry or bring a smile on one’s face
  5. Hurried shortcuts
  6. Make mistakes but then rectify those mistakes.
  7. It requires prolonged and strict training.
  8. cover the mistake and get along
  9. fine arts
  10. rise above
  11. shelter from unhappiness
  12. partial

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