CAE :: Lesson 33



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Reading: Part 3/3
Three themed texts followed by two 4-option
multiple-choice questions on each text.

ACTIVITY 135: You are going to read one extract which is concerned in some way with dance. For questions 5-6, choose the answer (A, B, C or D) which you think fits best according to the text. Then check the correct answers.


For at least five centuries attempts have been made to devise a system of notation to record the sequence of movements in dances. Scholars believe that the ancient Egyptians made use of hieroglyphs to do this and that the Romans employed a method of notation for formal gestures.

However, the earliest known attempt, recorded in two manuscripts preserved in the Municipal Archives of Cervera, Spain, dates from the second half of the fifteenth century. Since that time, many other systems have been devised. Some were published and achieved a measure of popularity for a while, but almost all, until the present day, fell eventually into disuse.

It is significant that music notation, which opened the way for development in the art of music as we know it today, was first conceived in its modern form in the eleventh century, but was not established as a uniform system till the beginning of the eighteenth. Dance notation got off to a much later start and has undergone a long succession of false attempts. That so many unsuccessful beginnings were made is not surprising. Dance is more complex than music because it exists in space as well as in time and because the body itself is capable of so many simultaneous modes of action. Consequently, the problems of formulating a movement notation that can be easily written and read are numerous.

Questions 5-6


What do we learn about systems to notate movement from paragraphs 1-2?


A.    Researchers have different views about how the systems were used.
  The evidence regarding the use of early systems is unreliable.
  One system was used in more countries than the others.
  Some systems have been in use longer than others.


Why does the writer make comparisons between music notation and dance notation?


A.    to explain why music notation took so long to develop
  to emphasise the difficulties involved in dance notation
  to illustrate the similarities between the two forms of notation
  to describe how notation has affected the development of both art forms


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