Complete Question Explanation
Point at Issue. The correct answer choice is (C)
This Point at Issue question contrasts two viewpoints about bebop jazz musicians. Both Pettengill and
Romney agree that bebop musicians “radically reshaped” jazz classics, but disagree about the musicians’
motivation for doing so. Pettengill argues that bebop musicians found jazz classics distasteful and
uninteresting, while Romney contends that these artists appreciated the compelling, versatile nature of
jazz classics and sought to discover deeper levels in the original music. Answer choice (C) correctly
expresses this disagreement.
Answer choice (A): Pettengill and Romney both use the term “radical reshaping” to describe bebop
musicians’ reinterpretation of jazz classics. Since both authors agree with this statement, it cannot be the
correct answer choice.
Answer choice (B): This answer choice is the most attractive of the incorrect answers. Romney claims
that bebop musicians “discover[ed] previously unknown depths in the music” they reshaped. So
Romney would likely agree with this statement. What about Pettengill? While Pettengill certainly seems
negatively inclined toward bebop musicians, Pettengill never makes a value judgment about bebop music
itself. It is possible (though perhaps unlikely) that Pettengill believes that jazz classics can “be made
interesting only through radical reshaping.” Since Pettengill’s position regarding the final state of the
reshaped music is uncertain, answer choice (B) is incorrect.
Answer choice (C): This is the correct answer choice. The correct answer choice to any Point at Issue
question must pass the Agree/Disagree Test: Romney agrees that “bebop musicians showed appreciation
for jazz classics” by recognizing them as “compelling, versatile” songs. Pettengill argues that bebop
musicians showed “distaste for jazz classics” and therefore disagrees with this statement.
Answer choice (D): The stimulus does not provide enough information to determine how either
Pettengill or Romney would respond to this statement. Neither speaker addresses widespread popularity,
so this cannot be the correct answer choice.
Answer choice (E): Both Pettengill and Romney would agree that bebop musicians were influenced
by their predecessors and that alone is sufficient to eliminate this answer choice. Further, it is unclear
whether either or both speakers necessarily consider earlier styles to be more conservative than the style
of bebop musicians. It is possible that the radical reshaping both speakers attribute to bebop musicians
was simply from one liberal style of jazz to another.