Quiz Questions

Multiple Choice

1. The basic property of all music is

a. sound
b. song
c. melody
d. rhythm

2. A tone possesses

a. duration
b. frequency
c. timbre
d. all of the above

3. Sounds that have the potential to be music are

a. any and all sounds
b. sounds of a certain pitch
c. sounds of a certain rhythm
d. sounds with a cultural meaning

4. Music is

a. an animal phenomenon
b. a human phenomenon
c. performed by birds and whales
d. all of the above

5. The two basic processes involved in determining what is and what is not music are

a. sound and silence
b. duration and frequency
c. timbre and frequency
d. intention and perception

6. The HIP (human intention and perception) approach emphasizes

a. exclusiveness over inclusiveness
b. inclusiveness over exclusiveness
c. that music is inseparable from the people who make and experience it
d. B and C, but not A

7. The term “music”

a. is inescapably tied to Western culture and its assumptions
b. is inescapbly ethnocentric to some degree
c. exists in some form (either “as is” or in translation) in every human language
d. A and B, but not C

8. A tone

a. is a sound whose principal identity is defined (by people) as a musical identity
b. is a sound that can only have a musical identity
c. only exists as such when it is sung or is played on specific music instruments
d. is a sound that all people agree has musical qualities in all contexts

9. Qur’anic recitation

a. is indisputably a form of music, even though many Muslims would claim that it is not
b. is not music from orthodox Muslim perspectives, but does exhibit qualities (e.g., melodic, rhythmic) that make it sound musical to non-Muslims
c. was the basis of John Cage’s 4’33”
d. is only considered by Muslims to be music when it is performed outside of a mosque

10. The best way to figure out whether something is or is not music is to

a. ask a music professor or a professional musician
b. make your decision on the basis of whether it is of high or low musical quality
c. determine whether there are people who intended it to be music or who perceive it as music
d. determine whether it has the requisite types of rhythms, melodies, and harmonies to qualify as music


1. The “musical elements” you perceive during a performance of John Cage’s piece 4’33” in a concert hall might include the
a. humming of the air-conditioning system
b. coughing of someone in the audience
c. creaking of seats in the audience
d. all of the above
Answer: d

2. This example (disk 1, track 1) by a well-known Brazilian band was used to
a. start a riot at a song contest
b. help McDonalds sell hamburgers
c. challenge listeners’ conception of silence
d. recite the Qur’an
Answer: b

3. Which of the following is FALSE regarding this example (disk 1, track 2, “Ode to Joy”)
a. It is comprised of tones and each tone has duration, frequency, amplitude and timbre
b. It is intended to be perceived as music by its performers
c. It is understood and appreciated by all people everywhere
d. It is a form of humanly organized sound
Answer: c

4. This piece (disk 1, track 3, “Manzairaku”) is an example of
a. Japanese gagaku
b. Qur’anic chant
c. John Cage’s 4’33”
d. None of the above
Answer: a

5. This example (disk 1, track 4, “Khawatim Soorat: Al baqara”)
a. is practiced by Muslims
b. is humanly organized sound
c. is not considered music by its practitioners
d. all of the above
Answer: a


1. How do the five propositions presented in this chapter help to define “music?” Provide specific examples that help to explain your answer.

2. Do you think that John Cage’s 4’33” should be considered a musical composition? Why or why not?

3. How can your ethnocentrism affect your perception and definition of music? Provide an alternate response to this question from a different cultural perspective.