Of Homer’s two epic poems, the Odyssey has always been more popular than the Iliad, perhaps because it includes more features of mythology that are accessible to readers. Its subject (to use Maynard Mack’s categories) is “life-as-spectacle,” for readers, diverted by its various incidents, observe its hero Odysseus primarily from without; the tragic Iliad, however, presents “life-as-experience”: readers are asked to identify with the mind of Achilles, whose motivations render him a not particularly likable hero. In addition, the Iliad, more than the Odyssey, suggests the complexity of the gods’ involvement in human actions, and to the extent that modern readers find this complexity a needless complication, the Iliad is less satisfying than the Odyssey, with its simpler scheme of divine justice. Finally, since the Iliad presents a historically verifiable action, Troy’s siege, the poem raises historical questions that are absent from the Odyssey’s blithely imaginative world.
17. The author uses Mack’s “categories” (lines 4-5) most probably in order to
(A) argue that the Iliad should replace the Odyssey as the more popular poem
(B) indicate Mack’s importance as a commentator on the Iliad and the Odyssey
(C) suggest one way in which the Iliad and the Odyssey can be distinguished
(D) point out some of the difficulties faced by readers of the Iliad and the Odyssey（C）
(E) demonstrate that the Iliad and the Odyssey can best be distinguished by comparing their respective heroes
18. The author suggests that the variety of incidents in the Odyssey is likely to deter the reader from
(A) concentrating on the poem’s mythological features
(B) concentrating on the psychological states of the poem’s central character
(C) accepting the explanation that have been offered for the poem’s popularity
(D) accepting the poem’s scheme of divine justice（B）
(E) accepting Maynard Mack’s theory that the poem’s subject is “life-as-spectacle”
19. The passage is primarily concerned with
(A) distinguishing arguments
(B) applying classifications
(C) initiating a debate
(D) resolving a dispute（E）
(E) developing a contrast
20. It can be inferred from the passage that a reader of the Iliad is likely to have trouble identifying with the poem’s hero for which of the following reasons?
(A) The hero is eventually revealed to be unheroic.
(B) The hero can be observed by the reader only from without.
(C) The hero’s psychology is not historically verifiable.
(D) The hero’s emotions often do not seem appealing to the reader.（D）
(E) The hero’s emotions are not sufficiently various to engage the reader’s attention.
Ragtime is a musical form
Ragtime is a musical form that synthesizes folk melodies and musical techniques into a brief quadrille-like structure, designed to be played—exactly as written—on the piano. A strong analogy exists between European composers like Ralph Vaughan Williams, Edvard Grieg, and Anton Dvorak who combined folk tunes and their own original materials in larger compositions and the pioneer ragtime composers in the United States. Composers like Scott Joplin and James Scott were in a sense collectors or musicologists, collecting dance and folk music in Black communities and consciously shaping it into brief suites or anthologies called piano rags.
It has sometimes been charged that ragtime is mechanical. For instance, Wilfred Mellers comments, “rags were transferred to the pianola roll and, even if not played by a machine, should be played like a machine, with meticulous precision.” However, there is no reason to assume that ragtime is inherently mechanical simply because commercial manufacturers applied a mechanical recording method to ragtime, the only way to record pianos at that date. Ragtime’s is not a mechanical precision, and it is not precision limited to the style of performance. It arises from ragtime’s following a well-defined form and obeying simple rules within that form.
The classic formula for the piano rag disposes three to five themes in sixteen-bar strains, often organized with repeats. The rag opens with a bright, memorable strain or theme, followed by a similar theme, leading to a trio of marked lyrical character, with the structure concluded by a lyrical strain that parallels the rhythmic developments of the earlier themes. The aim of the structure is to rise from one theme to another in a stair-step manner, ending on a note of triumph or exhilaration. Typically, each strain is divided into two 8-bar segments that are essentially alike, so the rhythmic-melodic unit of ragtime is only eight bars of 2/4 measure. Therefore, themes must be brief with clear, sharp melodic figures. Not concerned with development of musical themes, the ragtime composer instead sets a theme down intact, in finished form, and links it to various related themes. Tension in ragtime compositions arises from a polarity between two basic ingredients: a continuous bass—called by jazz musicians a boom-chick bass—in the pianist’s left hand, and its melodic, syncopated counterpart in the right hand.
Ragtime remains distinct from jazz both as an instrumental style and as a genre. Ragtime style stresses a pattern of repeated rhythms, not the constant inventions and variations of jazz. As a genre, ragtime requires strict attention to structure, not inventiveness or virtuosity. It exists as a tradition, a set of conventions, a body of written scores, separate from the individual players associated with it. In this sense ragtime is more akin to folk music of the nineteenth century than to jazz.
17. Which of the following best describes the main purpose of the passage?
(A) To contrast ragtime music and jazz
(B) To acknowledge and counter significant adverse criticisms of ragtime music
(C) To define ragtime music as an art form and describe its structural characteristics
(D) To review the history of ragtime music and analyze ragtime’s effect on listeners（C）
(E) To explore the similarities between ragtime music and certain European musical compositions
18. According to the passage, each of the following is a characteristic of ragtime compositions that follow the classic ragtime formula EXCEPT:
(B) well-defined melodic figures
(C) rising rhythmic-melodic intensity
(D) full development of musical themes（D）
(E) a bass line distinct from the melodic line
19. According to the passage, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Anton Dvorak, and Scott Joplin are similar in that they all
(A) conducted research into musicological history
(B) wrote original compositions based on folk tunes
(C) collected and recorded abbreviated piano suites
(D) created intricate sonata-like musical structures（B）
(E) explored the relations between Black music and continental folk music
20. The author rejects the argument that ragtime is a mechanical music because that argument
(A) overlooks the precision required of the ragtime player
(B) does not accurately describe the sound of ragtime pianola music
(C) confuses the means of recording and the essential character of the music
(D) exaggerates the influence of the performance style of professional ragtime players on the reputation of the genre（C）
(E) improperly identifies commercial ragtime music with the subtler classic ragtime style
21. It can be inferred that the author of the passage believes that the most important feature of ragtime music is its
(A) commercial success
(B) formal structure
(C) emotional range
(D) improvisational opportunities（B）
(E) role as a forerunner of jazz
22. It can be inferred from the passage that the essential nature of ragtime has been obscured by commentaries based on
(A) the way ragtime music was first recorded
(B) interpretations of ragtime by jazz musicians
(C) the dance fashions that were contemporary with ragtime
(D) early reviewers’ accounts of characteristic structure（A）
(E) the musical sources used by Scott Joplin and James Scott
23. Which of the following is most nearly analogous in source and artistic character to a ragtime composition as described in the passage?
(A) Symphonic music derived from complex jazz motifs
(B) An experimental novel based on well-known cartoon characters
(C) A dramatic production in which actors invent scenes and improvise lines
(D) A ballet whose disciplined choreography is based on folk-dance steps（D）
(E) A painting whose abstract shapes evoke familiar objects in a natural landscape