IELTS Speaking test: Music

IELTS Speaking Music

Recently one of our students was very happy about the IELTS Speaking test. He told us that he was asked questions on a rare topic on IELTS: music. But, since we had practised some questions on music a day before, he could answer all questions without hesitation. So, today we are going to publish some sample questions and their answers for your benefit. We hope you like them.

IELTS Speaking Part 1

Music

How often do you listen to music?

If I have to put it in frequency, I would say I listen to music once a week. I don’t hate music, but I don’t love it either. So, on a weekend when I get some time off or need a distraction from my work, I put on some of my favourite songs.  

When do you listen to music?

I don’t have a particular time for listening to music. However, I listen to music while doing things like my job, college assignments, and evening exercises. I will, however, listen to some music before I go to sleep. 

What’s your favourite kind of music?

I mostly listen to Indian rap, hip hop or Metal. I find these music genres to be highly invigorating as well as calming. I sometimes also listen to EDM while writing as it increases my writing speed and allows me to focus on the work.

Is music an important subject at school in your country?

No. although the government and the people praise the world of music, the subject itself is not considered to be a significant one. It is not considered a ‘normal’ field of study and, therefore, not taken seriously. 

What kinds of music are (most) popular in your country?

People are huge fans of Bollywood music. Another favourite genre is ‘Gully’ or street rap. Earlier, Indie music was a lot popular. However, that has faded, and its place has been taken by Folk music. 

Do you like to listen to live music?

I do absolutely love live concerts; they could be Indian classical music or rock music. I find that musicians who can attract large crowds can show some flashes of genius inspired by an enthusiastic audience. Such experiences can never be recreated in an isolated studio. 

Is live music popular in your country?

Well, yes and no. As said earlier, some live performing artists can pull crowds, and those their concerts are very popular. However, not every musician has that charm.

Have you ever been to a concert before? / Have you ever been to a musical performance?

I have been to one concert. It was supposed to be the Sunburn festival in Pune. It featured a collection of world-famous and regional famous artists. I enjoyed the concert immensely. The artists played their favourite hits, and there was even was a lights show. 

Are your music tastes varied?

Yes. I don’t just listen to one particular genre. I am fond of several genres, like Indian rap and Hip Hop. I am also a huge fan of EDM music, and I find the beats somewhat hypnotic. I also like fasted paced beats. 

What is your favourite song?

I find the song Battle Tapes by Belgrade to be excellent. It is my current favourite.  I got hooked on the song after I first heard it play in an anime. I then listened to music and immediately made it my favourite. 

Do you like to sing along to your favourite songs?

No. I would rather listen in silence to the songs. I believe my voice is not trained enough to sing along, and frankly, I don’t want to ruin my favourite song. 

Are you learning to play a musical instrument at the moment?    

I do not have time currently to learn a new musical instrument. However, I have learnt a western musical instrument and an Indian one in the past. I find my playing experience to be adequate. 

Would you like to learn a musical instrument in the future?

I am looking forward to learning any percussion instrument such as Indian Tabla or Western drums. I believe that these instruments have a natural rhythm to them.

How playing an instrument benefits your brain?

IELTS Speaking Part 2

Cue Card on Music

Talk about a musical instrument you would like to be able to play but have never tried.

You should say:

  • What the instrument looks like
  • What it sounds like
  • What kinds of people it is popular with
  • And say if you think you will ever try to play that instrument or not, and why

Answer

Out of all the musical instruments in the world, I am fascinated with the Sitar. This instrument originates from India, and its name means thirty strings, but in reality it can only have up to twenty strings. It belongs to the lute family of musical instruments and has a pear-shaped gourd body with a long wide hollow neck with side and front tunable frets and strings. 

Being a string instrument, the sitar’s sounds can best be described as a natural reverb. This sound is one of the most defining features of Indian classical music.

The Sitar is very popular with people who listen to Indian classical music. It can complement almost all kinds of styles of singing within Indian classical music due to its versatility. At the same time, Sitar is known as a difficult instrument to learn. It is perhaps for this reason only that the Sitar has not gained more popularity.

Although I wish to learn this instrument someday, the steep learning curve discourages even me. Yet considering the heavenly sounds of it, I am determined to learn it in the near future.

If you wish to know more about the Sitar, watch the video.

IELTS Speaking Part 3

How does the current pop music compare to that when you were growing up?

Due to modernism, pop music has completely changed compared to when I was growing up. Currently, pop singers mostly focus on materialistic things than before when they focused on the more abstract concept of love-hate and the universe. 

Is foreign music or music from your country more popular with people your age?

A lot of people my age listen to foreign music more than they listen to local songs because of the decline in the quality of music in my country. Additionally, local artists have failed to innovate when they should have. On the other hand, western music seems to be re-inventing itself every day, so the youth favours it more.

Let’s move on to the role of government in music. 

Do you think is it necessary for the government to require all children to learn music?

I do not think that the government must ask all children to learn about music because music is an intrinsic quality. It cannot be forced on people. Only those who wish to learn music should be encouraged. Additionally, forcing children to learn music will only make them rebel and refuse to learn it. 

Do you think the government needs to do more to preserve traditional music? What could they do?

I do not think that traditional music needs any help in getting preserved. Indian traditional music has plenty of listeners. It is also famous around the world, and people have been fans of this genre for centuries. 

Finally, let’s talk about the illegal downloading of music. 

There’s a lot of pirated music. Do you agree that we should support official music?

While I agree that we should aid official music, I feel that music piracy has declined with the advent of streaming services. Additionally, all the websites that used to pirate music have been shut down, and their servers are destroyed. This means that while piracy is still there, the amount of piracy is small enough not to affect the industry as a whole. 

What are some possible advantages and disadvantages of being stricter about the illegal downloading of music?

The advantage of a stricter law about music privacy is that there has been a stark reduction in piracy. This has led to the artists generating higher profits. On the other hand, those who cannot afford to buy music and therefore had to pirate it have been forced to pay a fine that costs more than the music. 

Do you think CDs will have any role in the music industry in the future?

No. With better storage devices and online music streaming, I feel that CDs have no role in the future music industry. Also, these modern devices can store a virtually unlimited number of songs. On the other hand, CD players and CDs are outdated as they are bulky and difficult to carry. So, I don’t see CDs coming back in fashion again.

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