Topics and vocabulary    



(intermediate level)


(Are the two statements true or false? Choose from the box.)


  • You usually go to a concert hall if you want to hear a symphony orchestra.
  • An open-air concert hall in England is called a variety theatre.



  • A music hall is something like a theatre as it also has a stage and curtains.
  • But no acrobats or jugglers can be seen on show at a music hall.



  • Music halls are also called variety theatres.
  • These places are not very fashionable in Britain today.



  • One of the most famous concert halls in London is the Royal Festival Hall.
  • Another is the Royal Albert Hall.



  • Covent Garden is not a garden, but a famous opera house in London.
  • No summer festivals are arranged in open-air theatres in Britain.



  • The person who gives instructions to an orchestra is called a conductor.
  • A company of people who are trained to sing together is called a choir.



  • Admission to music halls is free for people under eleven in Britain.
  • The origins of the name 'pop music' go back to the Middle Ages.



  • A person who composes music is called a componist.
  • Pop music became very popular in Britain in the 1960's.



  • Britten, the famous English composer, lived in the 17th century.
  • Elvis Presley started to play rock and roll in the middle of the 1960's.



  • A person skilled in music and playing a musical instrument is a musician.
  • You can't be a musician in Britain if you don't graduate from a college.



  • Three or four jazz musicians playing together can be called a jazz band.
  • Pop musicians playing together are usually called a pop group.



  • A brass band is a group of wind-instrument performers playing together.
  • The leader of a brass band or dance bandis often reffered to as a bandstand.



  • A bandstand is a raised platform where a band plays in the open air.
  • It's usually roofed. You can often find one in a park or by the seaside.



  • Chamber music is played by a small number of players, e.g. a wind quintet.
  • A bassoon, a clarinet, a flute, an oboe and a horn are in a wind quintet.



  • A piano quintet consists of five people, and at least two of them are pianists.
  • A string quintet is a string quartet with an additional viola or cello.



  • Two violins, a viola, a cello and a piano are called a piano quintet.
  • You never play solos if you are a member of a big symphony oechestra.



  • Trumpets, horns, trombones and tubas don't belong to the woodwinds.
  • Drums, harps, cymbals and triangles are all percussion instruments.



  • A harp with half as many strings as a usual harp is called a jew's harp.
  • A harpsichord is quite an old keyboard instrument (16th-18th cc).



  • A harp has vertical strings and is played with the fingers.
  • A mouth-organ can be called a harmonica in British English.



  • Pianos, mellotrons, synthesizers and reed organs are all keyboards.
  • The lute belongs to the woodwinds, while the bassoon is a stringed instrument.



  • Maracas and shakers have nothing to do with percussion instruments.
  • A treble clef is the upper part of the neck of a violin.



  • A treble clef can be called a G-clef or violin clef, a bass clef is an F-clef.
  • A double bass is not a kind of musical notation, it's a stringed instrument.



  • Somebody who plays a stringed instrument is called a drummer.
  • A pianist usually plays very quietly and slowly.



  • A pianist usually plays the keyboards just like an organist.
  • A symphony orchestra in Britain always consists of more than 100 musicians.



  • Someone who plays the harp is called a harpooner.
  • A harpsichord always has a keyboard.



  • Alto singers always produce lower tones than tenors.
  • Covent Garden is a famous opera house in London.



  • A soprano saxophone is a bit smaller than a piccolo.
  • Kettle drums never have to be tuned.



  • You tune a piano by stretching its strings to the right pitch.
  • A tuner is a part of a radio. Or it's a person who tunes musical instruments.



  • You often hear the orchestra tuning up before a concert starts.
  • A major scale is one having two full tones between the key and the third.



  • Rock groups usually play with at least a guitar, a bass guitar and drums.
  • And they may have keyboard instruments in addition.



  • Somebody who plays the bass guitar or double bass can be called a bassman.
  • The conductor usually conducts his orchestra with a ladle.



  • A big rock concert is often called a Punch and Judy show.
  • A recital is a performance of music by a soloist or small group.



  • A Punch and Judy show is always connected with puppetry.
  • An operetta is the (woman) singer who plays the main role in an opera.



  • An operetta is a not very long, light musical comedy.
  • Concert halls in Britain often offer variety programmes and musicals.



  • A harp is played by a harpist, a flute is played by a flautist.
  • A violoncello is played by a cellist, a trumpet is played by a trumpeter.


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