IELTS Reading: The Life of Beethoven

This lesson is to practice the yes no not given question types in IELTS reading. Skim read the passage first – don’t take too long doing this, you only want to get the gist of the passage. Then read through the questions and prepare the paraphrases etc. Download free PDF of the passage and questions below: IELTS Reading Practice YNNG Beethoven

The Life of Beethoven

beethoven ielts reading

Composer Ludwig van Beethoven was born on or near December 16, 1770, in Bonn, Germany. His personal life was marked by a struggle against deafness. The fact that Beethoven composed his most beautiful and extraordinary music while deaf is an almost superhuman feat of creative genius. He is widely considered the greatest composer of all time.

Sometime between the births of his two younger brothers, Beethoven’s father began teaching him music with an extraordinary rigor and brutality that affected him for the rest of his life. Neighbors provided accounts of the small boy weeping while he played the clavier, standing atop a footstool to reach the keys, his father beating him for each hesitation or mistake. Qs

  1. It is not known exactly when Beethoven was born.
  2. Beethoven’s father was also a talented musician.
  3. Beethoven suffered due to his father’s cruelty.
  4. It is possible that his early sufferings at the hands of his father resulted in his remarkable genius.
  5. He studied instrumental works with Antonio Salieri.
  6. Beethoven’s  Symphony No. 3 was inspired by Napoleon.
  7. Beethoven’s  Symphony No. 3 was so groundbreaking that even his contemporaries did not know how to approach it.
  8. By around 1804, Beethoven could hardly follow a conversation with someone.
  9. Beethoven continued to write music even though he was going deaf.
  10. Beethoven’s life was full of great works and bliss.

On a near daily basis, Beethoven was flogged, locked in the cellar and deprived of sleep for extra hours of practice. He studied the violin and clavier with his father as well as taking additional lessons from organists around town. Whether in spite of or because of his father’s draconian methods, Beethoven was a prodigiously talented musician from his earliest days and displayed flashes of the creative imagination that would eventually reach farther than any composer’s before or since.

When the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II died in 1790, a 19-year-old Beethoven received the immense honor of composing a musical memorial in his honor. In 1792, with French revolutionary forces sweeping across the Rhineland into the Electorate of Cologne, Beethoven decided to leave his hometown for Vienna. In Vienna, Beethoven dedicated himself wholeheartedly to musical study with the most eminent musicians of the age. He studied piano with Haydn, vocal composition with Antonio Salieri and counterpoint with Johann Albrechtsberger. Qs

  1. It is not known exactly when Beethoven was born.
  2. Beethoven’s father was also a talented musician.
  3. Beethoven suffered due to his father’s cruelty.
  4. It is possible that his early sufferings at the hands of his father resulted in his remarkable genius.
  5. He studied instrumental works with Antonio Salieri.
  6. Beethoven’s  Symphony No. 3 was inspired by Napoleon.
  7. Beethoven’s  Symphony No. 3 was so groundbreaking that even his contemporaries did not know how to approach it.
  8. By around 1804, Beethoven could hardly follow a conversation with someone.
  9. Beethoven continued to write music even though he was going deaf.
  10. Beethoven’s life was full of great works and bliss.

In 1804, only weeks after Napoleon proclaimed himself Emperor, Beethoven debuted his Symphony No. 3 in Napoleon’s honor. It was his grandest and most original work to date — so unlike anything heard before that through weeks of rehearsal, the musicians could not figure out how to play it. At the same time as he was composing these great and immortal works, Beethoven was struggling to come to terms with a shocking and terrible fact, one that he tried desperately to conceal. He was going deaf. By the turn of the century, Beethoven struggled to make out the words spoken to him in conversation. Beethoven’s Ninth and final symphony, completed in 1824, remains the illustrious composer’s most towering achievement. The symphony’s famous choral finale is perhaps the most famous piece of music in history.

Despite his extraordinary output of beautiful music, Beethoven was frequently miserable throughout his adult life. Beethoven died on March 26, 1827, at the age of 56.

Questions 1- 10

Do the following statements agree with the claims of the writer? Write

  • yes – if the statement agrees with the claims of the writer
  • no – if the statement contradicts the claims of the writer
  • not given – if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this
  1. It is not known exactly when Beethoven was born.
  2. Beethoven’s father was also a talented musician.
  3. Beethoven suffered due to his father’s cruelty.
  4. It is possible that his early sufferings at the hands of his father resulted in his remarkable genius.
  5. He studied instrumental works with Antonio Salieri.
  6. Beethoven’s  Symphony No. 3 was inspired by Napoleon.
  7. Beethoven’s  Symphony No. 3 was so groundbreaking that even his contemporaries did not know how to approach it.
  8. By around 1804, Beethoven could hardly follow a conversation with someone.
  9. Beethoven continued to write music even though he was going deaf.
  10. Beethoven’s life was full of great works and bliss.
Answers
  1. Yes
  2. Not Given
  3. Yes
  4. Yes
  5. No
  6. Not Given
  7. Yes
  8. Yes
  9. Yes
  10. No

Passage from biography.com

 

Recommended

All true false not given and yes no not given questions for practice

Get my free lessons by email

Subscribe for free to get my new IELTS lessons sent to your email inbox.

Sharing is caring...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someonePin on Pinterest

IELTS Speaking: Musical Instruments Questions and Answers

It is possible to be asked about musical instruments in all parts of the IELTS speaking test. Below are some questions which mostly appear in part 1 but questions 4 to 5 can appear in part 1 and part 3. Two model answers are given below as well. This is topic currently being used in 2017.

You can vocabulary for types of musical instruments here: Musical Instruments Word List

Questions: IELTS Speaking Musical Instruments Topics

Check some possible questions for this topic:

  1. Did you ever learn a musical instrument as a child?
  2. If you could learn a musical instrument, what would you choose?
  3. If you had a child, what musical instrument would you encourage him/her to play?
  4. What traditional instruments are there in your country?
  5. Do you think traditional musical instruments have a place in modern society?
  6. How do you think traditional music could be made more popular?

Sample Answers for Part 1

Q. Did you ever learn a musical instrument as a child?

A. No, I didn’t but I always wish I had. If I had had the chance, I would have learned the guitar. The problem was that my parents thought it was more important to focus on school work than learn to play an instrument.

Q. If you could learn to play any musical instrument, what would you choose?

A. I think I’d probably go for the violin. It’s such a beautiful stringed instrument and I think the music that can be played on it, can be really haunting and moving. Yes, I’d definitely choose that one.

Sample Answer for Part 3

Do you think traditional instruments have a place in modern society?

Absolutely yes. Traditional instruments are part of our heritage and our identity. I believe that all school children should have the opportunity to learn to play one of them a part of their music lessons. For example, the tabla, which is like a pair of wooden hand drums, is a traditional instrument in our country and is part of most traditional songs. So, learning it would enable children to appreciate their country’s musical history more.

Recommended for IELTS Speaking:

Common Topics for Speaking Part 1

Free Video: Common Question Types in Speaking Part 1

Part 3 Common Mistakes

Current Topics in Speaking 2017

All Speaking Tips & Model Answers

Musical Instruments Vocabulary

All Vocabulary for IELTS

Main IELTS Pages

Develop your IELTS skills with tips, lessons, free videos and more.

Get my free lessons by email

Subscribe for free to get my new IELTS lessons sent to your email inbox.

Sharing is caring...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someonePin on Pinterest

Musical Instruments Vocabulary

Below is a list of common musical instruments divided by type. How many instruments do you know? Can you pronounce them all correctly?

  • How do you pronounce the word “guitar”? Answer
    The word guitar is pronounced /ɡɪˈtɑː/ . The “u” is a silent letter. See below to listen to the pronunciation.
  • What kind of instrument is the violin? Answer
    It’s a small stringed instrument made of wood.
  • What traditional instruments are there in your country? Answer
    Here are some examples of traditional musical instruments around the world: in India, there is the sitar (a stringed instrument), in China there is the gu-zheng ( a 21 stringed instrument), in Vietnam there is a bamboo xylophone ( percussion instrument), in Italy there is the mandolin (similar to a guitar), in Australia there is didgeridoo (a wind instrument made from the branch of a tree), in Egypt there is the sistrum ( a u-shaped framed drum) and in Scotland there are the bag pipes (a wind instrument), in Iraq there is the oud (a stringed instrument similar to a lute).    ……Please note that this answer is not an example of how to answer an IELTS question, it’s just some general information for you about instruments in your country – if your country has an instrument which is not in this list, please let me know. Liz 

Vocabulary Practice

Can you label the picture below?

musical instuments

Answers

Listen to the answers

  1. microphone
  2. record / vinyl
  3. accordion
  4. bugle
  5. drum
  6. flute
  7. guitar
  8. harmonica
  9. harp
  10. keyboard
  11. piano
  12. saxophone

 

Types of Musical Instruments

Stringed Instruments

  • guitar
  • violin
  • cello
  • viola
  • harp
  • banjo
  • electric guitar
  • fiddle
  • lute
  • sitar
Listen to Audio

 

Wind Instruments

  • flute
  • saxophone
  • trumpet
  • pipes
  • recorder
  • tuba
  • oboe
  • bagpipes
  • clarinet
  • bugle
  • harmonica
Listen to Audio

 

Key Board Instruments

  • piano
  • electronic keyboard
  • organ

Percussion Instruments

  • drums
  • triangles
  • xylophone / bamboo xylophone
  • wood blocks
  • accordion
Listen to Audio

Audio for both key board and percussion instruments

 

 Recommended

IELTS Speaking Part 1: Musical Instruments Questions and Answers (available from Feb 20th)

Sharing is caring...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail this to someonePin on Pinterest