LSAT 2007: Section 4 (Part 2 of 4)

Passage pair for questions below

The two passages discuss recent scientific research on music. They are adapted from two different papers presented at a scholarly conference.

Passage A: The question that comes pondering to the mind is to the existence of music and human language as to whether they originated separately or together. This is because there is a lot similarity in both of them. Both systems use intonation and rhythm to communicate emotions. Both can be produced vocally or with tools, and people can produce both music and language silently to themselves.

Brain imaging studies suggest that music and language are part of one large, vastly complicated, neurological system for processing sound. As a matter of fact, both pose a larger number of similarities than differences. Looking at the similarities stated above, the difference that comes to notice is people are better at language than music. Music all can listen easily enough but when it comes to perform practically, not all are good. Moreover in many cultures composition is left to specialists. While the exact is the case when it comes to language, by contrast, nearly everyone actively performs and composes.

Given their shared neurological basis, it appears that music and language evolved together as brain size increased over the course of hominid evolution. But the acceptance of language was the one which took up on selection of music. And that is the reason why all people can easily and effortlessly speak than sing.

Passage B: Darwin claimed that since “neither the enjoyment nor the capacity of producing musical notes are faculties of the least [practical] use to man… They must be ranked amongst the most mysterious with which he is endowed.” This can be well compared to the relation of a mother and child which does not clearly justifies where the love and devotion come from but it the emotional bonding that matters at the end.

The study shows that except the lullabies which mothers sing to their babies, both the mother and child till the age of 6 months of baby are unknowingly involved in what you can call a ritualized, sequential behaviors, which involves vocal, facial, and bodily interactions. This was evident when both were filmed at 24 frames per second that the interactions between both of them came to knowledge where iitially both try to understand each other's actions and reactions. Such episodes last from one-half second to three seconds and are composed of musical elements-variations in pitch, rhythm, timbre, volume, and tempo.

What evolutionary advantage would such behavior have? In the course of hominid evolution, brain size increased rapidly. Contemporaneously, the increase in bipedality caused the birth canal to narrow. This resulted in hominid infants being born ever-more prematurely, leaving them much more helpless at birth. This helplessness necessitated longer, better maternal care. Under such conditions, the emotional bonds created in the premusical mother-infant interactions we observe in Homo sapiens today-behavior whose neurological basis essentially constitutes the capacity to make and enjoy music-would have conferred considerable evolutionary advantage.

  1. What purpose from the following fulfills the aim of writing both the above passages?

    1. What evolutionary advantage did larger brain size confer on early hominids?

    2. Why do human mothers and infants engage in bonding behavior that is composed of musical elements?

    3. What are the evolutionary origins of the human ability to make music?

    4. Do the human abilities to make music and to use language depend on the same neurological systems?

    5. Why do most people are comfortable at using language than music to communicate?

    Answer: c

  2. Each of the two passages mentions the relation of music to

    1. bonding between humans

    2. human emotion

    3. neurological research

    4. the increasing helplessness of hominid infants

    5. the use of tools to produce sounds

    Answer: b

  3. It can be inferred that the authors of the two passages would be most likely to disagree over which of the following facts?

    1. the increase in hominid brain size necessitated earlier births

    2. fewer differences than similarities exist between the neurological processing of music and human language

    3. brain size increased rapidly over the course of human evolution

    4. the capacity to produce music has great adaptive value to humans

    5. mother-infant bonding involves temporally patterned vocal interactions

    Answer: d

  4. The authors would be most likely to agree on the answer to which one of the following questions regarding musical capacity in humans referring to the above two messages?

    1. Does it manifest itself in some form in early infancy?

    2. Does it affect the strength of mother-infant bonds?

    3. Is it at least partly a result of evolutionary increases in brain size?

    4. Did its evolution spur the development of new neurological systems?

    5. Why does it vary so greatly among different individuals?

    Answer: c

  5. Which one of the following principles underlies the arguments in both passages?

    1. Investigations of the evolutionary origins of human behaviors must take into account the behavior of nonhuman animals.

    2. All human capacities can be explained in terms of the evolutionary advantages they offer.

    3. The fact that a single neurological system underlies two different capacities is evidence that those capacities evolved concurrently.

    4. The discovery of the neurological basis of a human behavior constitutes the discovery of the essence of that behavior.

    5. The behavior of modern-day humans can provide legitimate evidence concerning the evolutionary origins of human abilities.

    Answer: e

  6. Which one of the following most accurately characterizes a relationship between the two passages?

    1. Passage A and passage B use different evidence to draw divergent conclusions.

    2. Passage A poses the question that passage B attempts to answer.

    3. Passage A proposes a hypothesis that passage B attempts to substantiate with new evidence.

    4. Passage A expresses a stronger commitment to its hypothesis than does passage B.

    5. Passage A and passage B use different evidence to support the same conclusion.

    Answer: a