CAT 2019 Question Paper | Verbal Slot 1

CAT Previous Year Paper | CAT VARC Questions | Question 17

CAT 2019 VARC section was a true nightmare. It was the most taxing section of the three. With some of its questions requiring critical reasoning, demanded even the avid of the readers to read and reread the passages before landing on an answer. We've tried our best to present these actual questions from CAT 2019 VARC section in their least intimidating from (at least in the font), with detailed solutions in a student friendly format to test yourself and understand the importance of reading for VARC section of the CAT exam. For a curated reading list head out here: Bharath’s Reading List. If you are planning to take CAT 2019 paper as a full fledged mock, it would help if you go back to : CAT Question Bank and solve questions that are not from actual CAT Question papers.


"Free of the taint of manufacture" – that phrase, in particular, is heavily loaded with the ideology of what the Victorian socialist William Morris called the "anti-scrape", or an anti- capitalist conservationism (not conservatism) that solaced itself with the vision of a pre- industrial golden age. In Britain, folk may often appear a cosy, fossilised form, but when you look more closely, the idea of folk – who has the right to sing it, dance it, invoke it, collect it, belong to it or appropriate it for political or cultural ends – has always been contested territory. . . .

In our own time, though, the word "folk" . . . has achieved the rare distinction of occupying fashionable and unfashionable status simultaneously. Just as the effusive floral prints of the radical William Morris now cover genteel sofas, so the revolutionary intentions of many folk historians and revivalists have led to music that is commonly regarded as parochial and conservative. And yet – as newspaper columns periodically rejoice – folk is hip again, influencing artists, clothing and furniture designers, celebrated at music festivals, awards ceremonies and on TV, reissued on countless record labels. Folk is a sonic "shabby chic", containing elements of the uncanny and eerie, as well as an antique veneer, a whiff of Britain's heathen dark ages. The very obscurity and anonymity of folk music's origins open up space for rampant imaginative fancies. . . .

[Cecil Sharp, who wrote about this subject, believed that] folk songs existed in constant transformation, a living example of an art form in a perpetual state of renewal. "One man sings a song, and then others sing it after him, changing what they do not like" is the most concise summary of his conclusions on its origins. He compared each rendition of a ballad to an acorn falling from an oak tree; every subsequent iteration sows the song anew. But there is tension in newness. In the late 1960s, purists were suspicious of folk songs recast in rock idioms. Electrification, however, comes in many forms. For the early-20th-century composers such as Vaughan Williams and Holst, there were thunderbolts of inspiration from oriental mysticism, angular modernism and the body blow of the first world war, as well as input from the rediscovered folk tradition itself.

For the second wave of folk revivalists, such as Ewan MacColl and AL Lloyd, starting in the 40s, the vital spark was communism's dream of a post-revolutionary New Jerusalem. For their younger successors in the 60s, who thronged the folk clubs set up by the old guard, the lyrical freedom of Dylan and the unchained melodies of psychedelia created the conditions for folk- rock's own golden age, a brief Indian summer that lasted from about 1969 to 1971. . . . Four decades on, even that progressive period has become just one more era ripe for fashionable emulation and pastiche. The idea of a folk tradition being exclusively confined to oral transmission has become a much looser, less severely guarded concept. Recorded music and television, for today's metropolitan generation, are where the equivalent of folk memories are seeded. . . .

Question 17 : At a conference on folk forms, the author of the passage is least likely to agree with which one of the following views?

  1. The power of folk resides in its contradictory ability to influence and be influenced by the present while remaining rooted in the past.
  2. Folk forms, despite their archaic origins, remain intellectually relevant in contemporary times.
  3. Folk forms, in their ability to constantly adapt to the changing world, exhibit an unusual poise and homogeneity with each change.
  4. The plurality and democratising impulse of folk forms emanate from the improvisation that its practitioners bring to it.

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Explanatory Answer

The question asks us to choose the option that the author is least likely to agree with i.e. the option he is likely to disagree with. Option 3, which talks of ‘homogeneity with each change’ (uniformity) in folk music is clearly incorrect, as the passage is about the perpetual state of renewal folk music is under and about the plurality and diversity observed in the British folk tradition.

Option 1—the power of folk resides in its contradictory ability to influence and be influenced by the present while remaining rooted in the past— is inferred by the author’s description of folk as sonic ‘shabby chic’ (stylish while being, at the same time, old), and having ‘the rare distinction of occupying fashionable and unfashionable status simultaneously’.

Option 2—folk forms, despite their archaic origins, remain intellectually relevant in contemporary times—is inferred from paragraph 2: ‘folk is hip again, influencing artists, clothing and furniture designers, celebrated at music festivals, awards ceremonies and on TV, reissued on countless record labels’.

Option 4—the plurality and democratising impulse of folk forms emanate from the improvisation that its practitioners bring to it— is inferred from Cecil Sharpe’s description of folk: ‘each rendition of a ballad to an acorn falling from an oak tree; every subsequent iteration sows the song anew’.


The question is "At a conference on folk forms, the author of the passage is least likely to agree with which one of the following views?"

Hence, the answer is Folk forms, in their ability to constantly adapt to the changing world, exhibit an unusual poise and homogeneity with each change.

Choice C is the correct answer.

 

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