CLEP Humanities Exam Answer Key

1. ANSWER: (E)

A recitative is musical speech that occurs during an opera, an aria is a more poetic musical speech during an opera with a fuller orchestral accompaniment, and an oratorio is a musical piece performed by an opera chorus. These elements are not part of the other musical forms listed.

2. ANSWER: (A)

Giselle is a two-act ballet with music by Adolphe Adam and choreography by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot. It was first performed in 1841. The other four choices are all operas.

3. ANSWER: (D)

Scat is a musical style in which the voice is used as an instrument, singing syllables rather than words. It was made popular by Louis Armstrong.

Syncopation is the term for accents put in unexpected places.

“Call and response” is a type of jazz music in which a leader sings a line and others respond sympathetically.

Chance music is a 20th century musical technique involving several elements, one of which may be performers sitting in silence for an entire piece.

Computer-generated music is another 20th century musical technique.

4. ANSWER: (A)

Frederic Chopin wrote exclusively for the piano.

Richard Wagner was famous for his operas.

Robert Schumann wrote for the piano and orchestras.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed for many instruments and wrote for orchestras and chamber music groups.

Felix Mendelssohn wrote for numerous instruments including the piano, and also for orchestras.

5. ANSWER: (B)

The lowest male voice is a bass, then baritone, and the highest is tenor. The lowest female voice is alto, then mezzo soprano, and the highest is soprano.

6. ANSWER: (D)

Major, minor, diminished, and augmented are the four possible types of triads, depending on the arrangement of major and minor thirds.

Key signatures refer to the scale a piece of music is based on and are indicated by letters (A, B-Flat, etc).

Scales can be classified as major, minor, diatonic, pentatonic, chromatic, or blues.

Dynamics refer to the intensity, or loudness, of a tone.

Syncopation refers to beats falling in unexpected or unaccented places in music.

7. ANSWER: (E)

Andante is a tempo marking meaning slow, graceful, or walking speed.

Forte means loud, fortissimo means very loud, mezzopiano means medium soft, and piano means soft.

8. ANSWER: (A)

Duration, frequency, intensity and timbre are the four ways that one sound can differ from another. Duration refers to how long a sound or a silence lasts and the rate at which one tone succeeds another. Frequency determines a note’s pitch, or how high or low it is. Intensity refers to how loud or soft a tone is. Timbre refers to the source of a musical sound, such as which instrument or voice is supplying it.

Texture refers to how melodies are presented within a piece.

An interval is the distance between two pitches.

Tempo is a measure of duration; it is the speed of the pulse (or beat) in a musical piece.

Dynamics is the music term for intensity.

9. ANSWER: (C)

The second movement of a symphony is often a slow movement.

Symphonies do generally have four movements, the first of which is usually in sonata form. The third movement is in ternary form, or having three parts diagrammed ABA. Symphonies are works performed by an entire orchestra.

10. ANSWER: (D)

Beethoven is famous for his nine symphonies, which expanded the elements of classical style. They are longer and composed for larger performing groups than Haydn’s or Mozart’s, who were also classical era composers. Bach composed during the Baroque period, while Tchaikovsky composed during the Romantic period.