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 tanushreebansal
  • Posts: 21
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#38961
Hi! Can someone explain the right and wrong answers to this question? I chose C, but I got it wrong. I chose C because I thought the author uses the quote to draw a similarity between the way audiences reacted to Beethoven and the way they reacted to Schoenberg. I didn't think any answer except C came close to this.
 Adam Tyson
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#39028
Glad to lend a hand, tanushreebansal! The author of this passage is not suggesting that Beethoven's overture to Fidelio was of "uneven quality", but rather is using that critic's response to the overture as evidence that even an accepted master like Beethoven can write music that seems, at first, to be hard to listen to and of little value. This music took some listening to and getting used to, and in this case took 100 years or more to be fully appreciated, not because it was of "uneven quality" but because it pushed the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in the music of the time.

It's this quality that the author is highlighting when he compares Beethoven and Schoenberg, this idea that they were both pushing the edge of the envelope. The author is suggesting that Schoenberg's edginess, while it may have made him unpopular in his time, does not mean his work was of poor quality, but that he, too, can be viewed by us as an essential master.

Looked at in that light - Beethoven and Schoenberg were both innovators, exploring new territory and expanding the boundaries of music - answer choice D should make much more sense to you. Hopefully once you have spent some more time thinking about it, it will, like Schoenberg's music, become less alienating!
 ataraxia10
  • Posts: 46
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#68081
I see your point with D by reading your explanation, but I deduced since the author thought such characterization of Schoenberg's music was "apt," and his music was known to be "incoherent, shrill, chaotic," it was affirming the author's view that Schoenberg's music is "alienating." I also thought as the passage progresses, the author acknowledges that while Schoenberg's music can understandably be viewed as chaotic, it is also part of the musician's bigger plan. So I thought D wouldn't be in line with what I understood to be the author's view throughout the passage. What did I miss?
 Adam Tyson
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#71472
What you missed is that the author never suggests that Schoenberg's music was incoherent, shrill, and chaotic. He says that description aptly captures the reaction of many listeners to his music. He's saying THEY felt alienated at the time they heard the music, not that the music actually had those characteristics. The author actually likes Schoenberg's music, and is just trying to show that first impressions may not be the best way to judge his music. Over time, with repeated playing, it can be understood and appreciated.
 younghoon27
  • Posts: 12
  • Joined: May 28, 2020
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#75820
Hi there

Long time lurker first time poster. I originally got this question right but when I was reviewing the PT i got it wrong. I choose A instead of D. I guess I thought the literal and not the intended was the answer. I feel like I overlooked answer D which seems obvious now, is there a technique to better tackle these situations in cases such as mine? I might answer own question here by saying it might just be more practice and going through the answers. Additional info here is that I though A was too easy and obvious.
 Jeremy Press
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#75868
Hi younghoon27,

Welcome to the non-lurking world :-D , and thanks for a great question!

Let me give one piece of general advice, and then some specific guidance on this question. If you think an answer choice is obvious (or obviously right), scrutinize it just a bit (make sure you're not missing anything about its language that would make it wrong), but feel comfortable picking it! The test isn't always trying to "hide the ball" from you. And definitely don't pick a different answer unless you see two things: one, a reason why the answer you picked is definitely wrong; and two, a reason why the answer you're considering switching to is much better than your first answer. Without those two things, stick with your gut!

Regarding the specifics of the question, you're on the right track by singling out whether the answer should be a "literal" reflection of what that portion of the passage says, or the "intention" of the author in including the quote. The question stem asks us what the author includes this phrase "in order to" do. That "in order to" is a reference to the author's purpose, or intention. And authors' intentions many times differ from the literal meaning of the words they're using. In this case, the author is being sneaky with the Kotzebue quote, trying to get us to think more deeply about Schoenberg by showing us how some people felt originally about Beethoven (a composer most people now acknowledge as one of the greats). So go with the non-literal description in answer choice D, which also fits the author's attitude of respect and admiration for both Beethoven and Schoenberg.

I hope this helps!

Jeremy
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 andrewb22
  • Posts: 18
  • Joined: May 04, 2021
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#87148
I initially chose (D) for this and with my extra time went back and changed it to (B) upon second thoughts -- story of my LSAT life. A couple questions here:

1. Does (D) require the combination of all the info in the passage or is it found within the first two paragraphs?

2. Is (B) incorrect because the passage states "This remark aptly characterizes the reaction of many listeners to the music Schoenber", emphasis on "reaction of many listeners"?
 Adam Tyson
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#87597
I feel your pain, andrewb22! Changing an answer once you have selected one is a risky proposition, and one that rarely works out well unless you have discovered some clear, convincing reason for why the new choice is superior.

There are at least two problems with B, as I see it, and you have touched on one of them. The author is not saying that the quote is an accurate description of the music, but rather that it reflects what many listeners feel about it at first. The author actually thinks it is NOT accurate, and that the music is actually very good but may require repeated listening to truly appreciate it.

But the other problem is that the quote is not about Schoenberg's music! It's about Beethoven's! The author wasn't using it to show something true about Schoenberg's music, but to show that even the great Beethoven, whose music is very much appreciated, could produce music that was at first off-putting.

And I would say yes to your question about answer D: it does require a synthesis of information found throughout the passage, rather than relying on a single paragraph or line.

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