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中国四六级考试网 >> 口语
英语四六级口语练习推荐背诵文章(5)
http://www.china-cet.com        来源:新东方        发布时间:2009-10-16 10:58:44
2天记住4000单词的秘密... 点击进入!!
    

21 The Origin of Sports
       
        When did sport begin? If sport is, in essence, play, the claim might be made that sport is much older than humankind, for , as we all have observed, the beasts play. Dogs and cats wrestle and play ball games. Fishes and birds dance. The apes have simple, pleasurable games. Frolicking infants, school children playing tag, and adult arm wrestlers are demonstrating strong, transgenerational and transspecies bonds with the universe of animals – past, present, and future. Young animals, particularly, tumble, chase, run wrestle, mock, imitate, and laugh (or so it seems) to the point of delighted exhaustion. Their play, and ours, appears to serve no other purpose than to give pleasure to the players, and apparently, to remove us temporarily from the anguish of life in earnest.
       
        Some philosophers have claimed that our playfulness is the most noble part of our basic nature. In their generous conceptions, play harmlessly and experimentally permits us to put our creative forces, fantasy, and imagination into action. Play is release from the tedious battles against scarcity and decline which are the incessant, and inevitable, tragedies of life. This is a grand conception that excites and provokes. The  holders of this view claim that the origins of our highest accomplishments ---- liturgy, literature, and law ---- can be traced to a play impulse which, paradoxically, we see most purely enjoyed by young beasts and children. Our sports, in this rather happy, nonfatalistic view of human nature, are more splendid creations of the nondatable, transspecies play impulse.

22. Collectibles
       
        Collectibles have been a part of almost every culture since ancient times. Whereas some objects have been collected for their usefulness, others have been selected for their aesthetic beauty alone. In the United States, the kinds of collectibles currently popular range from traditional objects such as stamps, coins, rare books, and art to more recent items of interest like dolls, bottles, baseball cards, and comic books.
       
        Interest in collectibles has increased enormously during the past decade, in part because some collectibles have demonstrated their value as investments. Especially during cycles of high inflation, investors try to purchase tangibles that will at least retain their current market values. In general, the most traditional collectibles will be sought because they have preserved their value over the years, there is an organized auction market for them, and they are most easily sold in the event that cash is needed. Some examples of the most stable collectibles are old masters, Chinese ceramics, stamps, coins, rare books, antique jewelry, silver, porcelain , art by well-known artists, autographs, and period furniture. Other items of more recent interest include old photograph records, old magazines, post cards, baseball cards, art glass, dolls, classic cars, old bottles, and comic books. These relatively new kinds of collectibles may actually appreciate faster as short-term investments, but may not hold their value as long-term investments. Once a collectible has had its initial play, it appreciates at a fairly steady rate, supported by an increasing number of enthusiastic collectors competing for the limited supply of collectibles that become increasingly more difficult to locate.

23 Ford
       
        Although Henry Ford’s name is closely associated with the concept of mass production, he should receive equal credit for introducing labor practices as early as 1913 that would be considered advanced even by today’s standards. Safety measures were improved, and the work day was reduced to eight hours, compared with the ten-or twelve-hour day common at the time. In order to accommodate the shorter work day, the entire factory was converted from two to three shifts.
       
        In addition, sick leaves as well as improved medical care for those injured on the job were instituted. The Ford Motor Company was one of the first factories to develop a technical school to train specialized skilled laborers and an English language school for immigrants. Some efforts were even made to hire the handicapped and provide jobs for former convicts.
       
        The most widely acclaimed innovation was the five-dollar-a-day minimum wage that was offered in order to recruit and retain the best mechanics and to discourage the growth of labor unions. Ford explained the new wage policy in terms of efficiency and profit sharing. He also mentioned the fact that his employees would be able to purchase the automobiles that they produced – in effect creating a market for the product. In order to qualify for the minimum wage, an employee had to establish a decent home and demonstrate good personal habits, including sobriety, thriftiness, industriousness, and dependability. Although some criticism was directed at Ford for involving himself too much in the personal lives of his employees, there can be no doubt that, at a time when immigrants were being taken advantage of in frightful ways, Henry Ford was helping many people to establish themselves in America.

24.Piano
       
        The ancestry of the piano can be traced to the early keyboard instruments of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries --- the spinet, the dulcimer, and the virginal. In the seventeenth century the organ, the clavichord, and the harpsichord became the chief instruments of the keyboard group, a supremacy they maintained until the piano supplanted them at the end of the eighteenth century. The clavichord’s tone was metallic and never powerful; nevertheless, because of the variety of tone possible to it, many composers found the clavichord a sympathetic instrument for intimate chamber music. The harpsichord with its bright, vigorous tone was the favorite instrument for supporting the bass of the small orchestra of the period and for concert use, but the character of the tone could not be varied save by mechanical or structural devices.
       
        The piano was perfected in the early eighteenth century by a harpsichord maker in Italy (though musicologists point out several previous instances of  the instrument). This instrument was called a piano e forte (sort and loud), to indicate its dynamic versatility; its strings were struck by a recoiling hammer with a felt-padded head. The wires were much heavier in the earlier instruments. A series of mechanical improvements continuing well into the nineteenth century, including the introduction of pedals to sustain tone or to soften it, the perfection of a metal frame, and steel wire of the finest quality, finally produced an instrument capable of myriad tonal effects from the most delicate harmonies to an almost orchestral fullness of sound, from a liquid, singing tone to a sharp, percussive brilliance.
       
        NOTE:
       
        Musical Instruments
       
        1.The strings (弦乐)
       
        1) plectrum  : harp, lute, guitar, mandolin;
       
        2) keyboard  : clavichord, harpsichord, piano;
       
        3) bow : violin, viola, cello, double bass.
       
        2. The  Wood(木管)—winds : piccolo , flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, English horn;
       
        3. the brass(铜管): French horn, trumpet, trombone, cornet, tuba,   bugle, saxophone;
       
        4.the percussion(打击组): kettle   drum, bass drum, snare drum, castanet, xylophone, celesta, cymbal, tambourine.
24.Piano
       
        The ancestry of the piano can be traced to the early keyboard instruments of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries --- the spinet, the dulcimer, and the virginal. In the seventeenth century the organ, the clavichord, and the harpsichord became the chief instruments of the keyboard group, a supremacy they maintained until the piano supplanted them at the end of the eighteenth century. The clavichord’s tone was metallic and never powerful; nevertheless, because of the variety of tone possible to it, many composers found the clavichord a sympathetic instrument for intimate chamber music. The harpsichord with its bright, vigorous tone was the favorite instrument for supporting the bass of the small orchestra of the period and for concert use, but the character of the tone could not be varied save by mechanical or structural devices.
       
        The piano was perfected in the early eighteenth century by a harpsichord maker in Italy (though musicologists point out several previous instances of  the instrument). This instrument was called a piano e forte (sort and loud), to indicate its dynamic versatility; its strings were struck by a recoiling hammer with a felt-padded head. The wires were much heavier in the earlier instruments. A series of mechanical improvements continuing well into the nineteenth century, including the introduction of pedals to sustain tone or to soften it, the perfection of a metal frame, and steel wire of the finest quality, finally produced an instrument capable of myriad tonal effects from the most delicate harmonies to an almost orchestral fullness of sound, from a liquid, singing tone to a sharp, percussive brilliance.
       
        NOTE:
       
        Musical Instruments
       
        1.The strings (弦乐)
       
        1) plectrum  : harp, lute, guitar, mandolin;
       
        2) keyboard  : clavichord, harpsichord, piano;
       
        3) bow : violin, viola, cello, double bass.
       
        2. The  Wood(木管)—winds : piccolo , flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, English horn;
       
        3. the brass(铜管): French horn, trumpet, trombone, cornet, tuba,   bugle, saxophone;
       
        4.the percussion(打击组): kettle   drum, bass drum, snare drum, castanet, xylophone, celesta, cymbal, tambourine.

 25. Movie Music
       
        Accustomed though we are to speaking of the films made before 1927 as “silent”, the film has never been, in the full sense of the word, silent. From the very beginning, music was regarded as an indispensable accompaniment; when the Lumiere  films were shown at the first public film exhibition in the United States in February 1896, they were accompanied by piano improvisations on popular tunes. At first, the music played bore no special relationship to the films; an accompaniment of any kind was sufficient. Within a very short time, however, the incongruity of playing lively music to a solemn film became apparent, and film pianists began to take some care in matching their pieces to the mood of the film.
       
        As movie theaters grew in number and importance, a violinist, and perhaps a cellist, would be added to the pianist in certain cases, and in the larger movie theaters small orchestras were formed. For a number of years the selection of music for each film program rested entirely in the hands of the conductor or leader of the orchestra, and very often the principal qualification for holding such a position was not skill or taste so much as the ownership of a large personal library of musical pieces. Since the conductor seldom saw the films until the night before they were to be shown(if indeed, the conductor was lucky enough to see them then), the musical arrangement was normally improvised in the greatest hurry.
       
        To help meet this difficulty, film distributing companies started the practice of publishing suggestions for musical accompaniments. In 1909, for example, the Edison Company began issuing with their films such indications of mood as “ pleasant”, “sad”, “lively”. The suggestions became more explicit, and so emerged the musical cue sheet containing indications of mood, the titles of suitable pieces of music, and precise directions to show where one piece led into the next.
       
        Certain films had music especially composed for them. The most famous of these early special scores was that composed and arranged for D.W Griffith’s film Birth of a Nation, which was released in 1915.
       
        Note:
       
        美国通俗音乐分类:
       
        1Jazz;
       
        1) traditional jazz---- a) blues, 代表人物:Billy Holiday
       
        b)ragtime(切分乐曲): 代表人物:Scott Joplin
       
        c)New Orleans jazz (= Dixieland jazz)  eg: Louis Armstron
       
        d)swing    eg: Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington,  etc.
       
        e)bop (=bebop, rebop)  eg: Lester Young, Charlie Parker etc.
       
        2)modern jazz ------  a) cool jazz(=progressive jazz)高雅爵士乐。 Eg: Kenny G.
       
        b)third-stream jazz.  Eg: Charles Mingus, John Lewis.
       
        c) main stream jazz.
       
        d)avant-garde jazz.
       
        e) soul jazz. Eg: Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald
       
        f) Latin jazz.
       
        2.gospel music 福音音乐, 主要源于Nero spirituals. Eg. Dolly Parker, Mahalia Jackson
       
        3.Country and Western music. Eg. John Denver, Tammy Wynette, Kenny Rogers, etc.
       
        4. Rock music-----------a) rock and roll  eg: Elvis Prestley(US) , the Beatles(UK.)
       
        b)folk rock Eg: Bob Dylon, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Bruce Springsteen, Lionel Riche etc.
       
        c)punk rock
       
        d)acid rock
       
        e)rock jazz eg: M.J. McLaughlin
       
        f) Jurassic rock
       
        5.Music for easy listening (i.e. light music )

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