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The ‘Miles Davis’ reading passage is a description of his musical journey. Read everything carefully to attempt the questions correctly!

Miles Davis Reading Answers Paragraph A of IELTS Exam 

Miles Davis

Icon and iconoclast

Miles Davis got his first trumpet at the age of thirteen. Lessons were arranged with a musical odyssey and a local trumpet player. Early lessons helped Davis in shaping his signature sound with the support of his father. Although most trumpeters of his era preferred to use vibrato (it is a musical effect that consists of regular change of pitch), Davis’s mentor taught him to play only a straight tone. If Davis used vibrato, his mentor would punish him and make him repeat the same lesson many times. This made a life-long impact on his style of tone. He played using the straight tone continuously in his career. He once said that ‘If I can’t get that sound, I can’t play anything.’

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Miles Davis Reading Answers Paragraph B of IELTS Exam 

In 1944, Davis graduated from high school and moved to New York City. He continued his musical education journey, both in the classrooms and clubs. He was enrolled in the prestigious Julliard school of music; however, it didn’t last very long. He soon dropped out because he noticed that the mentors paid more attention to European repertoire with no jazz. He later also acknowledged that school could not help him develop his trumpet playing techniques and a solid foundation of music theory. In the early stage of his learning, the training was in performance in the clubs and jams sessions. He played with established members of jazz, like Thelonious Monk, Coleman Hawkins, and Lockjaw Davis.

Miles Davis Reading Answers Paragraph C of IELTS Exam 

Davis collaborated with nine instrument players in the late 1940s. It included a tuba player and a French Horn to create the album “The Birth of Cool”. The album was renowned for the incomplete sounds, which later became ‘cool’ jazz. The popular jazz was all about shrieking vocals, sharp horn blasts and rollicking beats, whereas Davis’s album has a different kind of sound – hushed drums, light horn-playing, and formal arrangement. In the beginning, it didn’t receive much popularity, but later it set history in the jazz nation. In 1958, his recording “Kind of Blue” made him one of the most innovative musicians of the era.

Miles Davis Reading Answers Paragraph D of IELTS Exam 

Davis’ style of playing seemed very effortless and breezy, but the ease was not carried onto the rest of his life. In the 1950s, he was struggling with great personal issues. After returning from Paris, he suffered from depression for a very long time. This unwinded relationship included musical partnerships that broke due to creative disputes and romance with a French actress. The music critics praised his collaborators, such as Dave Brubeck and Gerry Mulligan, for his “cool” tradition. Davis was frustrated by it, as the collaborators didn’t give credit to him for introducing the incredible sound in the first place.

Miles Davis Reading Answers Paragraph E of IELTS Exam 

Davis finally got out of his signature jazz sound and began to explore various kinds of musical styles in the latter decade of his career. He was influenced by funk performers such as the family stone and sly in the 1960s. He expanded the style into the jazz-rock fusion genre in the 1970s. The use of electronics (instruments and recordings) was incorporated into his sound. Davis went beyond his boundaries and covered many pop anthems, such as Micheal Jackson’s Human Nature, and Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time by the 1980s. He even debuted in some movies.

Miles Davis Reading Answers Paragraph F of IELTS Exam 

He was not supported when he was changing. His recordings were highly criticised by the term ‘not true jazz’ or ‘corrupting influence’ of record companies. Davis stayed unaffected by the criticism. He said that what he created earlier was in the moment, and he no longer wishes to create them anymore. He believed that staying inert would damage his ability to create new music. This evolution of music allowed Davis to release his full musical ability.

You can go through the complete passage here.

IELTS Reading Questions 14 – 19

Choose the correct heading for paragraphs A to F from the list of headings below. Write the correct number, i to ix, in the space given for questions 14 to 19.

  1. Para A
  2. Para B
  3. Para C
  4. Para D
  5. Para E
  6. Para F

List of headings:

  1. A legacy is formed
  2. Formal education not helpful

iii. An education in Two segments

  1. Diverging in new directions
  2. Family life and childhood

Vi. A necessary change to stay creative

vii. Conflicted viewpoint over Davis’ earlier work

viii. Davis’ unique style of playing the trumpet

  1. Personal and career struggles

Questions 20 – 26

TRUE: If the sentence is right according to the information

FALSE: If the sentence is wrong according to the information

NOT GIVEN: If there no information is given in the passage

  1. Davis’s music teacher wanted him to play with vibrato instead of trumpet.
  2. According to Davis, his musical abilities improved studying at Julliard.
  3. In New York, playing in jazz clubs was the best way to become famous.
  4. The Birth of Cool displayed music that was faster and louder than most jazz in that era.
  5. Davis’s troubles negatively impacted his trumpet playing.
  6. Davis felt that his contribution to cool jazz had not been appreciated.
  7. Davis wanted to keep the jazz sound pure and traditional.

Miles Davis Reading Answers

Before going through Miles Davis IELTS reading answers of the IELTS reading section, try to solve it yourself once and check the answers afterwards!

Question 14 to 19

  1. viii
  2. iii
  3. i
  4. ix
  5. iv
  6. vi

Question 14 to 19

  1. FALSE


  2. FALSE
  4. TRUE
  5. FALSE

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