When criticising someone, describe, don't judge. Always focus on, tad confine criticism to observable behaviour.



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When criticising someone, describe, don't judge. Always focus on, tad confine criticism to observable behaviour.



 

For instance, telling your pupil who is not practising his music "Of late you've been practising less than usual and we need you in the concert" is more likely to encourage practice than snapping "You are irresponsible and lazy. Prac­tise more from now on."

 

a) Below are statements about music which express different opinions. Imagine that they are your opinions and change them into subjective argu­ments. (Use the expressions showing critisism.):

 

1. "There is only one way to come to understand music by learning to play a musical instrument whether an external one like the piano or flute or by training the human voice to become an instrument."

2. "However good recorded music might be, it can never really take the place of a live performance. To be present at an actual performance is half the enjoyment of music."

3. "I find I have to defend jazz to those who say it is low class. As a matter of fact all music has low class origin, since it comes from folk music, which is necessarily earthly. After all Haydn minuets are only a refinement of simple, rustic German dances, and so are Beethoven scherzos. An aria from a Verdi opera can often be traced back to the simplest Neapolitan fisherman."

 

b) Team up with your partner who will be ready to give critical remarks on the statements given above. Use the cliches expressing criticism.

 

c) As a group, now decide which event you will all attend together. When giving your criticism try to be honest, but tactful.

 

9. Group work. Discuss the effect of rode music on young people. After a proper discussion each group presents its critical remarks. First read this:

 

There are world-wide complaints about the effect of rock. Psychologists say that listening to rock music results in "escap­ism" (abandoning social responsibilities). They also add that some rock rftiislc (for example certain heavy metal songs) affect young people like drugs. There are well-known cases of anti­social and amoral behaviour on the part of young "music ad­dicts". How cfo you feel about this opinion?

 

Most of the expressions which you found in the dialogue (Ex. 7) are used to criticise something or somebody.

 

Below is a review of the Russian Festival of Music hi which a Scottish journalist extolls the virtues of Russian music, a) Read the text and note down any useful expressions in giving a positive appraisal of music,

b) Discuss the text with your partner.

 

A Feast of Russian Arts

 

The strong and impressive Russian theme at this year's Edinburgh Festival commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.

The festival opened on August 9 with three giant compa­nies,the Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow and Leningrad's Gorky Drama Theatre, and the spectacular young traditional folk music and dance groupSiverko, from the arctic city of Arkhangelsk.

Other musicians in the first week included the Bolshoi Sextet, and the final week sees the arrival of the Shostakovich Quartet.

The first of the four programmes by the Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre, in an Usher Hall draped with garlands, was a fascinating demonstration of Russian tone quality and Russian interpretation.After the two national anthems the rustling, atmospheric opening movement of the suite from Rimsky-Korsakov's Invisible City ofKitezh, with some particularly expressive strandsof oboe tone, was sufficiently promisingto make the thought of even a familiar piece of Tchaikovsky seem exciting.

Nobody, at any rate, could have called the Rimsky familiar. Though it was performed in an arrangement by Maximilian

 

 

Steinberg, this did not preventthe brazen battle scene, with its ferocious side-drum, from being a sensational displayof Russian strength, or the woodwind passages in other movements from being an exquisite display of Russian sweetness.

The account of the symphony was quite remarkable.It was played with thrilling velocity(yet with sufficient breathing-spacewhere Tchaikovsky asked for it), with beautifully charac­terized woodwind, keenly defined texturesand a penchant for highlighting inner parts, especially if they happened to involve the horns. The conductor, Mark Ermler was more in hisele­ment in Tchaikovsky's fifth symphony.

Whether or not one actually liked the horn tune was beside the point.It was authentically Russian,and though, at the start of the slow movement, it sounded like an amplified saxophone, its eloquence was not to be gainsaid.In small details — such as the effect of the cellos and basses doing entirely different things at points in the finale — just as in the symphony's grand design, this was a stunning performanceand perhaps, after all, a Festival event.

What one did expect and received was a performance of massive vocal integrity and a grand convincing enunciation of the musicby Irina Arkhipova, with a recurring arm move­ment — hand stretched towards the audience.

In the event, the curtains of the Playhouse Theatre opened to reveal a company that were the epitome of everything we have come to expectfrom a Russian folk dance group — vast numbers, and endless variety of colourful and beautifully-em-broided costumes,and — most important of all — boundless energy and infectious enthusiasm.The musicians, all extreme­ly accomplished,performed on zither and some remarkable va­rieties of shawm.

It all finished with the entire company lined up in front of the stage singing Auld Lang Syne — a characteristically warm­hearted gesture to end a programme that was irresistibly good-natured, impeccably presented, skilfully performed, entertain­ing and enjoyable — and which left the audience clamouring insatiably for more.

(From: "The Scotsman," August 11, 1987)

 

 

11. Group discussion. Discuss the rote of music in Russia. After a proper discussion each group presents brief information on music ufe in Russia. Con­sider the following:

 

1. Russian music of the 18th and 19th centuries.

2. Music of the 30s-40s.

3. Contemporary music.

 

12. Do some library research and write an essay on:

 

The development of music in the multinational countries (Russia, the USA, Canada).

 

Unit Five

 

TEXT

From: THE LUMBER-ROOM

 

ByH. Munro

 

Hector Munro (pseudonym Saki, 1870-1916) is a British novelist and a short-story writer. He is best known for his short stories. Owing to the death of his mother and his father's absence abroad he was brought up during child­hood, with his elder brother and sister, by a grandmother and two aunts. It seems probable that their stem and unsympathetic methods account for Mun­ro's strong dislike of anything that smacks of the conventional and the self-righteous. He satirized things that he hated. Munro was killed on the French front during the first world war.

In her Biography of Saki Munro's sister writes: "One of Munro's aunts, Au­gusta, was a woman of ungovernable temper, of fierce likes and dislikes, imperi­ous, a moral coward, possessing no brains worth speaking of, and a primitive disposition." Naturally the last person who should have been in charge of child­ren. The character of the aunt in The Lumber-Room is Aunt Augusta to the life.

 

The children were to be driven, as a special treat, to the. sands at Jagborough. Nicholas was not to be one of the party; he was in disgrace. Only that morning he had refused to eat his wholesome bread-and-milk on the seemingly frivolous ground that there was a frog in it. Older and wiser and better

 

 

people had told him that there could not possibly be a frog in his bread-and-milk and that he was not to talk nonsense; he continued, nevertheless, to talk what seemed the veriest non­sense, and described with much detail the coloration and mark­ing of the alleged frog. The dramatic part of the incident was that there really was a frog in Nicholas's basin of bread-and-milk; he had put it there himself, so he felt entitled to know something about it. The sin of taking a frog from the garden and putting it into a bowl of wholesome bread-and-milk was enlarged on at great length, but the fact that stood out clearest in the whole affair, as it presented itself to the mind of Nicho­las, was that the older, wiser, and better people had been proved to be profoundly in error in matters about which they had expressed the utmost assurance.

"You said there couldn't possibly be a frog in my bread-and-milk; there was a frog in my bread-and-milk," he repeated, with the insistence of a skilled tactitian who does not intend to shift from favourable ground.

So his boy-cousin and girl-cousin and his quite uninterest­ing younger brother were to be taken to Jagborough sands that afternoon and he was to stay at home. His cousins' aunt, who insisted, by an unwarranted stretch of imagination, in styling herself his aunt also, had hastily invented the Jagborough ex­pedition in order to impress on Nicholas the delights that he had justly forfeited by his disgraceful conduct at breakfast-table. It was her habit, whenever one of the children fell from grace, to improvise something of a festival nature from which the offender would be rigorously debarred, if all the children sinned collectively theywere suddenly informed of a circus in a neighbouring town, a circus of unrivalled merit and uncounted elephants, to which, but for their depravity, they would have been taken that very day.

A few decent tears-were looked for on the part of Nicholas when the moment for the departure of the expedition arrived. As a matter of fact, however, all the crying was done by his girl-cousin, who scraped her knee rather painfully against the step of the carriage as she was scrambling in.

"How did she howl," said Nicholas cheerfully as the party drove off without any of the elation of high spirit that should have characterized it.

 

"She'll soon get over that," said the aunt, "it will be a glori­ous afternoon for racing about over those beautiful sands. How they will enjoy themselves!"

"Bobby won't enjoy himself much, and he won't race much either," said Nicholas with a grim chuckle; "his boots are hurt­ing him. They're too tight."

"Why didn't he tell me they were hurting?" asked the aunt with some asperity.

"He told you twice, but you weren't listening. Ypu often don't listen when we tell you important things."

"You are not to go into the gooseberry garden," said the aunt, changing the subject.

"Why not?" demanded Nicholas.

"Because you are in disgrace," said the aunt loftily.

Nicholas did not admit the flawlessness of the reasoning; he felt perfectly capable of being in disgrace and in a gooseberry garden at the same moment. His face took an expression of considerable obstinacy. It was clear to his aunt that he was de­termined to get into the gooseberry garden, "only," as she re­marked to herself, "because I have told him he is not to."

Now the gooseberry garden had two doers by which it might be entered, and once a small person like Nichplas could slip in there he could effectually disappear from view amid the masking growth of artichokes, raspberry canes, and fruit bush­es. The aunt had many other things to do that afternoon, but she spent an hour or two in trivial gardening operations among flowerbeds and shrubberies, whence she could keep a watchful eye on the two doors that led to forbidden paradise. She was a woman of few ideas, with immense power of concentration.

Nicholas made one or two sorties into the front garden, wriggling his way with obvious stealth of purpose towards one or other of the doors, but never able for a moment to evade the aunt's watchful eye. As a matter of fact, he had no intention of trying to get into the gooseberry garden, but it was extremely convenient for him that his aunt should believe tha| he had; it was a belief that would keep her on self-imposed sentry-duty for the greater part of the afternoon. Having thoroughly con­firmed and fortified her suspicions, Nicholas slipped back into the house and rapidly put into execution a plan of action that had long germinated in his brain. By standing on a chair in the library one could reach a shelf on which reposed a fat, impor-

 

tant-looking key. The key was as important as it looked; it was the instrument which kept the mysteries of the lumber-room secure from unauthorized intrusion, which opened a way only for aunts and such-like privileged persons. Nicholas had not had much experience of the art of fitting keys into keyholes and turning locks, but for some days past he had practised with the key of the school-room door; he did not believe in trusting too much to luck and accident. The key turned stiffly in the lock, but it, turned. The door opened, and Nicholas was in an unknown land, compared with which the gooseberry gar­den was a stale delight, a mere material pleasure.

 

* * *

Often and often Nicholas had pictured to himself what the lumber-room might be like, that region that was so carefully sealed from youthful eyes and concerning which no questions were ever answered. It came up to his expectations. In the first place it was large and dimly lit, one high window opening on to the forbidden garden being its only source of illumination. In the second place it was a storehouse of unimagined treasure. The aunt-by-assertion was one of those people who think that things spoil by use and consign them to dust and damp by way of preserving them. Such parts of the house as Nicholas knew best were rather bare and cheerless, but here there were won­derful things for the eyes to feast on. First and foremost there was a piece of framed tapestry that was evidently meant to be a fire-screen. To Nicholas it was a living breathing story; he sat down on a roll of Indian hangings, glowing in wonderful colour beneath a layer of dust and took in all the details of the tapes­try picture. A man, dressed in the hunting costume of some re­mote period, had just transfixed a stag with an arrow, it could not have been a difficult shot because the stag was only one or two paces away from him; in the thickly growing vegetation that the picture suggested it would not have been difficult to creep up to a feeding stag, and the two spotted dogs that were springing forward to join in the chase had evidently been trained to keep to heel till the arrow was discharged. That part of the picture was simple, if interesting, but did the huntsman see, what Nicholas saw, that four galloping wolves were com­ing in his direction through the wood? There might be more

 

 

than four of them hidden behind the trees, and in any case would the man and his dogs be able to cope with four wolves if they made an attack? The man had only two arrows left in his quiver, and he might miss with one or both of them; all one knew about his skill in shooting was that he could hit a large stag at a ridiculously short range. Nicholas sat for many golden minutes revolving the possibilities of the scene; he was inclined to think thai there were more than fotir wolves and that the man and his dogs were in a tight corner.

But there were other objects of delight and interest claim­ing his instant attention: there were quaint twisted candlesticks in the shape of snakes, and. a teapot fashioned like a china duck, out of whose open beak the tea was supposed to come. How dull and shapeless the nursery teapot seemed in compari­son! Less promising in appearance was a large square book with plain black covers; Nicholas peeped into it, and, behold, it was full of coloured pictures of birds. And such birds! A whole portrait gallery of undreamed-of creatures. And as he was ad­miring the colouring of the mandarin duck and assigning a life-history to it, the voice of his aunt came from the gooseber­ry garden without. She had grown suspicious at his long disap­pearance, and had .leapt to tiie joonclusion that he had climbed over the wall behind the sheltering screen of lilac bushes; she was now engaged in energetic and rather hopeless search for him among the artichokes and raspberry canes.

"Nicholas, Nicholas!" she screamed, "you are to come out of this at once. It's no use trying to hide there; I can see you all the time."

It was probably the first time for twenty years that any one had smiled in that lumber-room.

Presently the angry repetitions of Nickolas’ name gave way to a shriek, and a cry for somebody to come quickly. Nicholas shut the book, restored it carefully to its place in a corner, and shook some dust from a neighbouring pile of newspapers over it. Then he crept from the room, locked the door, and replaced the key exactly where he had found it. His aunt was still call­ing his name when he sauntered into the front garden.

"Who's calling?" he asked.

"Me," came the answer from the other side of the wall; "didn't you hear me? I've been looking for you in the goose­berry garden, and I've slipped into the rain-water tank. Luckily

 

there's no water in it, but the sides are slippery and I can't get out. Fetch the little ladder from under the cherry tree —"

"I was told I wasn't to go into the gooseberry garden," said Nicholas promptly.

"I told you not to, and now I tell you that you may," came the voice from the rain-water tank, rather impatiently.

"Your voice doesn't sound like aunt's," objected Nicholas; "you may be the Evil One tempting me to be disobedient. Aunt often tells me that the Evil One tempts me and that I always yield. This time I'm not going to yield."

"Don't talk nonsense," said the prisoner in the tank; "go and fetch the ladder."

"Will there be strawberry jam for tea?" asked Nicholas in­nocently.

"Certainly there will be," said the aunt, privately resolving that Nicholas should have none of it.

"Now I know that you are the Evil One and not aunt," shouted Nicholas gleefully; "when we asked aunt for strawber­ry jam yesterday she said there wasn't any. I know there are four jars of it in the store cupboard, because I looked, and of course you know it's there, but she doesn't because she said there wasn't any. Oh, Devil, you have sold yourself!" There was an unusual sense of luxury in being able to talk to an aunt as though one was talking to the Evil One, but Nicholas knew, with, childish discernment, that such luxuries were not to be over-indulged in. He walked noisily away, and it was a kitchen-maid, in search of parsley, who eventually rescued the aunt from the rain-water tank.

Tea that evening was partaken of in a fearsome silence. The tide had been at its highest when the children had arrived at Jagborough Cove, so there had been no sands to play on — a circumstance that the aunt had overlooked in the haste of or­ganizing her punitive expedition. The tightness of Bobby's boots had had disastrous effect on his temper the whole of the afternoon, and altogether the children could not have been said to have enjoyed themselves. The aunt maintained the fro­zen muteness of one who has suffered undignified and unmer­ited detention in a rain-water tank for thirty-five minutes. As for Nicholas, he, too, was silent, in the absorption of one who has much to think about; it was just possible, he considered, that the huntsman would escape with his hounds while the wolves feasted on the stricken stag.

 

SPEECH PATTERNS

 

1. Older and wiser and better people had told him that there could not possibly bea frog in his bread-and-milk.1 How can I possibly do it? Do it if you possibly can. The child couldn't possibly have done it alone.

 

2. She wasa woman of few ideas,with immense power of concentration.

She was a woman of few words.

She has aiwas been a woman of fashion.

He is a man of property.

 

3. a) ... there was a piece of tapestry that wasevidently meant to be afire-screen.

The door is meant to be used in case of emergency.

He was meant to be an artist.

b) They were meantfor each other.

Are these flowers meant for me?

What I said wasn't meant for your ears.

 

4. That part of the picture was simple if interesting.

That part of the play was entertaining if long.

The concert was enjoyable if loud.

The dress was unattractive if new.

 



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