One of the questions of interest in the study of the evolution of spiders is whether the weaving of orb webs evolved only once or several times. About half the 35,000 known kinds of spiders make webs; a third of the web weavers make orb webs. Since most orb weavers belong either to the Araneidae or the Uloboridae families, the origin of the orb web can be determined only by ascertaining whether the families are related.
Recent taxonomic analysis of individuals from both families indicates that the families evolved from different ancestors, thereby contradicting Wiehle’s theory. This theory postulates that the families must be related, based on the assumption that complex behavior, such as web building, could evolve only once. According to Kullman, web structure is the only characteristic that suggests a relationship between families. The families differ in appearance, structure of body hair, and arrangement of eyes. Only Uloborids lack venom glands. Further identification and study of characteristic features will undoubtedly answer the question of the evolution of the orb web.
17. The primary purpose of the passage is to
(A) settle the question of whether orb webs evolved once or more than once
(B) describe scientific speculation concerning an issue related to the evolution of orb webs
(C) analyze the differences between the characteristic features of spiders in the Araneidae and Uloboridae families
(D) question the methods used by earlier investigators of the habits of spiders
(E) demonstrate that Araneidae spiders are not related to Uloboridae spiders
18. It can be inferred from the passage that all orb-weaving spiders belong to types of spiders that
(A) lack venom glands
(B) are included either in the Uloboridae or Araneidae families
(C) share few characteristic features with other spider types
(D) comprise less than a third of all known types of spiders
(E) are more recently evolved than other types of spiders
19. According to the passage, members of the Araneidae family can be distinguished from members of the Uloboridae family by all of the following EXCEPT:
(A) the presence of venom glands
(B) the type of web they spin
(C) the structure of their body hair
(D) the arrangement of their eyes
(E) their appearance
20. Which of the following statements, if true, most weakens Wiehle’s theory that complex behavior could evolve only once?
(A) Horses, introduced to the New World by the Spaniards, thrived under diverse climatic conditions.
(B) Plants of the Palmaceae family, descendants of a common ancestor, evolved unique seed forms even though the plants occupy similar habitats throughout the world.
(C) All mammals are descended from a small, rodentlike animal whose physical characteristics in some form are found in all its descendants.
(D) Plants in the Cactaceae and Euphorbiaceae families, although they often look alike and have developed similar mechanisms to meet the rigors of the desert, evolved independently.
(E) The Cuban anole, which was recently introduced in the Florida wilds, is quickly replacing the native Florida chameleon because the anole has no competitors.
“Popular art” has a number of meanings, impossible to define with any precision, which range from folklore to junk. The poles are clear enough, but the middle tends to blur. The Hollywood Western of the 1930’s, for example, has elements of folklore, but is closer to junk than to high art or folk art. There can be great trash, just as there is bad high art. The musicals of George Gershwin are great popular art, never aspiring to high art. Schubert and Brahms, however, used elements of popular music—folk themes—in works clearly intended as high art. The case of Verdi is a different one: he took a popular genre—bourgeois melodrama set to music (an accurate definition of nineteenth-century opera)—and, without altering its fundamental nature, transmuted it into high art. This remains one of the greatest achievements in music, and one that cannot be fully appreciated without recognizing the essential trashiness of the genre.
As an example of such a transmutation, consider what Verdi made of the typical political elements of nineteenth-century opera. Generally in the plots of these operas, a hero or heroine—usually portrayed only as an individual, unfettered by class—is caught between the immoral corruption of the aristocracy and the doctrinaire rigidity or secret greed of the leaders of the proletariat. Verdi transforms this naive and unlikely formulation with music of extraordinary energy and rhythmic vitality, music more subtle than it seems at first hearing. There are scenes and arias that still sound like calls to arms and were clearly understood as such when they were first performed. Such pieces lend an immediacy to the otherwise veiled political message of these operas and call up (call up: v.召唤, 使想起) feelings beyond those of the opera itself.
Or consider Verdi’s treatment of character. Before Verdi, there were rarely any characters at all in musical drama, only a series of situations which allowed the singers to express a series of emotional states. Any attempt to find coherent psychological portrayal in these operas is misplaced ingenuity. The only coherence was the singer’s vocal technique: when the cast changed, new arias were almost always substituted, generally adapted from other operas. Verdi’s characters, on the other hand, have genuine consistency and integrity, even if, in many cases, the consistency is that of pasteboard melodrama. The integrity of the character is achieved through the music: once he had become established, Verdi did not rewrite his music for different singers or countenance alterations or substitutions of somebody else’s arias in one of his operas, as every eighteenth-century composer had done. When he revised an opera, it was only for dramatic economy and effectiveness.
21. The author refers to Schubert and Brahms in order to suggest
(A) that their achievements are no less substantial than those of Verdi
(B) that their works are examples of great trash
(C) the extent to which Schubert and Brahms influenced the later compositions of Verdi
(D) a contrast between the conventions of nineteenth-century opera and those of other musical forms
(E) that popular music could be employed in compositions intended as high art
22. According to the passage, the immediacy of the political message in Verdi’s operas stems from the
(A) vitality and subtlety of the music
(B) audience’s familiarity with earlier operas
(C) portrayal of heightened emotional states
(D) individual talents of the singers
(E) verisimilitude of the characters
23. According to the passage, all of the following characterize musical drama before Verdi EXCEPT:
(A) arias tailored to a particular singer’s ability
(B) adaptation of music from other operas
(C) psychological inconsistency in the portrayal of characters
(D) expression of emotional states in a series of dramatic situations
(E) music used for the purpose of defining a character
24. It can be inferred that the author regards Verdi’s revisions to his operas with
(A) regret that the original music and texts were altered
(B) concern that many of the revisions altered the plots of the original work
(C) approval for the intentions that motivated the revisions
(D) puzzlement, since the revisions seem largely insignificant
(E) enthusiasm, since the revisions were aimed at reducing the conventionality of the operas’ plots
25. According to the passage, one of Verdi’s achievements within the framework of nineteenth-century opera and its conventions was to
(A) limit the extent to which singers influenced the musical compositions and performance of his operas
(B) use his operas primarily as forums to protest both the moral corruption and dogmatic rigidity of the political leaders of his time
(C) portray psychologically complex characters shaped by the political environment surrounding them
(D) incorporate elements of folklore into both the music and plots of his operas
(E) introduce political elements into an art form that had traditionally avoided political content
26. Which of the following best describes the relationship of the first paragraph of the passage to the passage as a whole?
(A) It provides a group of specific examples from which generalizations are drawn later in the passage.
(B) It leads to an assertion that is supported by examples later in the passage.
(C) It defines terms and relationships that are challenged in an argument later in the passage.
(D) It briefly compares and contrasts several achievements that are examined in detail later in the passage.
(E) It explains a method of judging a work of art, a method that is used later in the passage.
27. It can be inferred that the author regards the independence from social class of the heroes and heroines of nineteenth-century opera as
(A) an idealized but fundamentally accurate portrayal of bourgeois life
(B) a plot convention with no real connection to political reality
(C) a plot refinement unique to Verdi
(D) a symbolic representation of the position of the bourgeoisie relative to the aristocracy and the proletariat
(E) a convention largely seen as irrelevant by audiences