BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 335

BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 335


IELTS Academic Reading Test



The Power of Music

Of the estimated sixty billion broadcast advertising hours encountered by North Americans each year, approximately three-quarters employ music in some manner.

Since the Ancient Greeks, music has been recognised as a powerful emotional force. They believed that music was such a powerful force that it could stir men into bravery on the battlefields or it could impose moral order and civilising harmony on unruly pupils. The rhythms and melodies of music can help words to stick in the brain much more effectively than if those words were delivered as speech alone, and music can also convey a particular mood.

By the twentieth century, music’s emotional force was irresistible to advertisers, who wanted to influence their audiences into buying their products. Mass advertising using soundtracks began in the 1920’s and 1930’s with commercial radio in the United States, and, by the 1950’s, most radio advertisements included an advertising jingle, which would help promote the products.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

Music has also been central to television advertising since the 1950’s, particularly because music can convey an emotional or subliminal message. A recently-published book describes how music was used in a TV commercial to sell Ford cars in 1959. Ford wanted to sell a particular car as an economy model, and they wanted to point out to potential buyers that it would actually save them lots of money on miles per gallon and other money-saving features.

However, they worried that this might make the vehicle be perceived as low quality. To avoid this, the advertisers accompanied the advertisement with a soundtrack using lush string music, not usually associated with low price items, and the sales rocketed. The advert was judged a massive success because of the high quality subliminal message given by the music.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

Music can serve the overall promotional goals in one or more of several capacities. Good music can contribute to the effectiveness of an advertisement merely by making it more attractive. A good advertisement engages the attention of an audience, and the most straightforward way of achieving this is to make it entertaining. Music serves to engage listeners’ attention and render the advertisement less of an unwanted intrusion.

Music may also be employed in various structural roles. Perhaps the most important structural role is in tying together a sequence of visual images and/or a series of dramatic episodes, narrative voice-overs, or a list of product appeals. Historically originating in film music, advertising music can also be structurally employed as simply an uninterrupted background, or to heighten or highlight dramatic moments.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

A third important function for music is to intensify the familiarity of a product. Consumers are known to favour products that elicit some degree of memory, even if it is merely the product’s name. It is one of the peculiarities of human audition and cognition that music tends to linger in the listener’s mind. Surprisingly, such musical lingering may occur even when the mind is an unwilling host. Thus, the association of music with the identity of a certain product may substantially aid product recall.

A fourth technique of musical enhancement is the use of lyrical language. Vocal music permits the conveyance of a verbal communication in a non-spoken way. Language utterances can sound much less naive or self-indulgent when couched within a musical phrase rather than being simply spoken. An individual can respectably sing things that would sound utterly trite if said.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

Last is the use of music to enhance an advertisement’s credibility and authority. Indeed, it may be the case that effective targeting is merely the result of the formation of proper authority. A simple way of creating this is through specialist testimony or employing celebrities. However, over periods of time, consumers become resistant to the means by which advertisers establish authority. One sophisticated way of getting round this is through music. Musical authority can be established most readily through quotation, allusion, or plagiarism.

The role of music in advertising recognises that music is a really powerful tool for selling things and this success has created added responsibilities to those people who wish to become music composers. From the middle of the twentieth century, composers have increasingly had to face extreme constraints if they have written music for films or TV or other media. In the 1930’s, the rise of films with soundtracks led to a new type of commission for composers, where they had to tailor their music to a film scenario, to its narrative pace, and to the emotions of a character.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

They had to write music that was of a precise length, down to the nearest second, and more recently, film and TV composers have written so-called library music, where their soundtrack is categorised by describing its emotional evocation, and can be used in a variety of programmes.

Viewers may have had the experience of watching a television programme and thinking, “I actually recognise that music from a previous series or a completely different programme.” This is because the programme is using this so-called library music, where a composer has written music that is supposed to represent joy or the sun rising, and that music will then be reused whenever the producer of a film or a TV programme enters those particular emotional keywords into the database of library music.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

However one measures good music, it must be acknowledged that, on a second-for-second basis, music created for the media, and especially for advertising, is perhaps the most meticulously crafted music in history. Nationally produced television advertisements in particular may be considered among the most highly polished cultural artifacts ever created. Whether this is ethical or not is an altogether different question.

Questions 27 – 29

Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text? In boxes 27 – 29 on your answer sheet write:

TRUE – if the statement agrees with the information

FALSE – if the statement contradicts the information

NOT GIVEN – if there is no information on this

27. One civilisation felt that music could help create stability with school children.

28. Music was not used in US radio advertising until the 1930’s.

29. Complaints were made about the Ford Company’s manipulative use of music in their advertising.

IELTS Academic Reading Test

Questions 30 – 36

Write NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the text for each answer.

Music’s Roles in Advertising
Entertainment* Music can increase an advertisement’s (30)____ – it makes it more attractive and therefore engaging. * Music can prevent the advertisement becoming an (31) ____.
Structure* Music can merge various media images or episodes. * Music can create a continuous setting. * Music can emphasise (32)____.
Recall* Music can increase a product’s (33)_____. * Music can remain in a subject’s memory, even when the target subject is (34)_____.
Lyrical Beauty* Music can make a spoken message’s conveyance sound more meaningful and less silly than if it were spoken.
Credibility* This is often done in advertising by establishing authority using experts or (35)____. * (36)____, however, become accustomed and resist this. * Music can create authority in different ways.
IELTS Academic Reading Test

Questions 37 – 40

Complete the summary using the words in the box below. Write your answers in boxes 37 – 40 on your answer sheet.

Music’s Influence in Advertising on Composers

Music’s influence in advertising has led to added (37)_______________ for aspiring composers. Since music has been written for the media, composers have been faced with restrictions. Music has to undergo (38)_______________ to the media’s different requirements. Library music is collected to present any (39)_______________ that is required and therefore viewers can hear the music in different media. The right music for a situation can be accessed in a database using a particular (40)_______________ that expresses the needed emotion.

IELTS Academic Reading Test


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BEST IELTS Academic Reading Test 335

IELTS Academic Reading Test


27. TRUE

28. FALSE 











39. MOOD 

40. TERM

IELTS Academic Reading Test

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