GMAT RC Question

The blues–a neologism attributed to the American writer Washington Irving (author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow) in 1807–evolved from African American folk music. Its beginnings can be traced to songs sung in the fields and around slave quart…

The blues—a neologism attributed to the American writer Washington Irving (author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow) in 1807—evolved from African American folk music. Its beginnings can be traced to songs sung in the fields and around slave quarters on southern plantations, songs of pain and suffering, of injustice, of longing for a better life. A fundamental principle of the blues, however, is that the music be cathartic. Listening to the blues will drive the blues away; it is music that has the power to overcome sadness. Thus, “the blues” is something of a misnomer, for the music is moving but not melancholy; it is, in fact, music born of hope, not despair.

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1. The word neologism in line 1 means a

A. mistake

B. characteristic of blues

C. new word

D. musical score

E. pen name

2. According to the passage, the primary purpose of blues music is to

A. celebrate African American roots.

B. lift the spirits of the listener.

C. record African American history.

D. inspire listeners to improve their lives.

E. preserve the tradition of folk music.


What is the answer?