Miles Davis Reading Ielts Answers and Questions

The Blog post contains the following IELTS Reading Questions:

  • IELTS Reading True/False/Not given.
  • IELTS Reading Matching Headings

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IELTS Reading Test – Miles Davis

Miles Davis

A. Miles Davis got his first trumpet at the age of thirteen. Lessons were arranged with a musical odyssey and a local trumpet player. Early lessons helped Davis in shaping his signature sound with the support of his father. Although most trumpeters of his era preferred to use vibrato (it is a musical effect that consists of regular change of pitch), Davis’s mentor taught him to play only a straight tone. If Davis used vibrato, his mentor would punish him and make him repeat the same lesson many times. This made a life-long impact on his style of tone. He played using the straight tone continuously in his career. He once said that ‘If I can’t get that sound, I can’t play anything.’

B. In 1944, Davis graduated from high school and moved to New York City. He continued his musical education journey, both in the classrooms and clubs. He was enrolled in the prestigious Julliard school of music; however, it didn’t last very long. He soon dropped out because he noticed that the mentors paid more attention to European repertoire with no jazz. He later also acknowledged that school could not help him develop his trumpet playing techniques and a solid foundation of music theory. In the early stage of his learning, the training was in performance in the clubs and jams sessions. He played with established members of jazz, like Thelonious Monk, Coleman Hawkins, and Lockjaw Davis.

C. Davis collaborated with nine instrument players in the late 1940s. It included a tuba player and a French Horn to create the album “The Birth of Cool”. The album was renowned for the incomplete sounds, which later became ‘cool’ jazz. The popular jazz was all about shrieking vocals, sharp horn blasts and rollicking beats, whereas Davis’s album has a different kind of sound – hushed drums, light horn-playing, and formal arrangement. In the beginning, it didn’t receive much popularity, but later it set history in the jazz nation. In 1958, his recording “Kind of Blue” made him one of the most innovative musicians of the era.
D. Davis’ style of playing seemed very effortless and breezy, but the ease was not carried onto the rest of his life. In the 1950s, he was struggling with great personal issues. After returning from Paris, he suffered from depression for a very long time. This unwinded relationship included musical partnerships that broke due to creative disputes and romance with a French actress. The music critics praised his collaborators, such as Dave Brubeck and Gerry Mulligan, for his “cool” tradition. Davis was frustrated by it, as the collaborators didn’t give credit to him for introducing the incredible sound in the first place.

E. Davis finally got out of his signature jazz sound and began to explore various kinds of musical styles in the latter decade of his career. He was influenced by funk performers such as the family stone and sly in the 1960s. He expanded the style into the jazz-rock fusion genre in the 1970s. The use of electronics (instruments and recordings) was incorporated into his sound. Davis went beyond his boundaries and covered many pop anthems, such as Micheal Jackson’s Human Nature, and Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time by the 1980s. He even debuted in some movies.

F. He was not supported when he was changing. His recordings were highly criticised by the term ‘not true jazz’ or ‘corrupting influence’ of record companies. Davis stayed unaffected by the criticism. He said that what he created earlier was in the moment, and he no longer wishes to create them anymore. He believed that staying inert would damage his ability to create new music. This evolution of music allowed Davis to release his full musical ability.

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Questions 1-6

Choose the correct heading for paragraphs A to F from the list of headings below. Write the correct number, i to ix, in the space given for questions 1 to 6.

1. Paragraph A
2. Paragraph B
3. Paragraph C
4. Paragraph D
5. Paragraph E
6. Paragraph F

List of headings:

i. A legacy is established
ii. Formal education unhelpful  
iii. An education in two parts  
iv. Branching out in new directions 
v. Childhood and family life 
vi. Change necessary to stay creative 
vii. Conflicted opinions over Davis’ earlier work 
viii. Davis’ unique style of trumpet playing  
ix. Personal and professional struggles 

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Questions 7-13

  • TRUE: If the sentence is right according to the information
  • FALSE: If the sentence is wrong according to the information
  • NOT GIVEN: If there no information is given in the passage

7. Davis’s music teacher wanted him to play with vibrato instead of trumpet.
8. According to Davis, his musical abilities improved while studying at Julliard.
9. In New York, playing in jazz clubs was the best way to become famous.
10. The Birth of Cool displayed music that was faster and louder than most jazz in that era.
11. Davis’s troubles negatively impacted his trumpet playing.
12. Davis felt that his contribution to cool jazz had not been appreciated.
13. Davis wanted to keep the jazz sound pure and traditional.

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Answers for Miles Davis

2. Answer: III
3. Answer: I
4. Answer: IX
5. Answer: IV
6. Answer: VI
7. Answer: False
8. Answer: False
9. Answer: Not given
10. Answer: False
11. Answer: Not given
12. Answer: True
13. Answer: False


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