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Complete Question Explanation

The correct answer choice is (D).

Answer choice (A):

Answer choice (B):

Answer choice (C):

Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice.

Answer choice (E):

This explanation is still in progress. Please post any questions below!
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I am a little confused as to why the answer is D not B. I put B but was debating between the two answers.
 Luke Haqq
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Hi nishtha28!

Happy to address answer choices (D) and (B).

This question asks about what we can infer with regards to "a piano exactly contemporary" (line 30) with the composition of Beethoven’s first piano concerto. First, the correct answer, (D), states that this piano would be "incapable of playing the high F-sharp that the melody of the concerto calls for." We can infer this because the second paragraph discusses how Beethoven likely included notes that could not be played on available instruments at the time (line 20), and further, pianos at the time did not include the high F-sharp (line 24). Though such pianos developed later in Beethoven's lifetime (line 28), we know from the passage that they did not exist when the concerto was written.

Answer (D) is very close to (B), the latter of which reads, "(B) incapable of playing the high F-natural that is in the score of Beethoven’s original version of the concerto." A crucial difference is that (B) refers to playing a high F-natural, rather than an F-sharp. Answer (B) is incorrect because "piano exactly contemporary" with the concerto presumably could play an F-natural, but it is an F-sharp that author of the passage argues that such a piano would be incapable of producing yet would be closer to Beethoven's intent.
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Could someone please clarify why C is incorrect? My understanding is that because the pianos at their disposal could not play such high notes, the pianos in question were therefore unavailable. I seem to understand the explanation why D is correct, but my assumption was that because the pianos could not play the note, the element of unavailability in C trumped the incapability in D?
Thank you in advance!
 Adam Tyson
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The first thing to focus on here, izsake, is the author's intent, because the question is asking us what the author means by referring to a piano exactly contemporary with the composition that had the "wrong" note. This isn't just about whether something is true or not, but what the author was trying to say.

In that section, the author was not saying anything about Mozart or Haydn. The author was referring to pianos that did not yet have the extended range that they later acquired. When Beethoven wrote that piece, pianos couldn't play the note that he wanted to include, so he had to settle for the closest thing they had! That should be your prephrase to guide you to the best answer.

By the way, not that you need to know this for the purpose of this question, but Mozart and Haydn both predated Beethoven, so those pianos contemporary to Beethoven, if they were already old at that time, might have also been available to those guys!

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