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This is an IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer from Cambridge 14 (a book of real past tests) about the topic of music and how that can bring together people of different generations.

Some questions are really boring and a tough slog to write about but not this one! I think this topic is actually interesting and lends itself to some fun examples.

Keep reading to see exactly how I (a former IELTS examiner) handled it as well as vocabulary activities, pronunciation and more!

If you need some review on structures your can read about IELTS Task 2 Writing structure here.

Here are some other IELTS Task 2 Writing Sample Answers that I wrote!

 

 

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer: Music Bringing People Together (IELTS Cambridge 14)

Some people say that music is a good way of bringing people of different cultures and ages together.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?

Music has always been a key distinguisher of culture but many believe that it can also bridge cultural gaps and differences in age. Though I think some people overstate the impact of music leveling the differences between generations, I strongly believe that it brings people of different cultures together by expressing universal sentiments.

The main reason that I believe music is not a particularly good unifier in terms of generational disparity is that people tend to enjoy the music from their formative years and disdain whatever is currently relevant. Though there are of course exceptions, most people would recognise the mostly accurate stereotype of an old person complaining about the music that youths listen to nowadays. For example, in America some of the most popular artists today include Kanye West, Taylor Swift, and Rihanna. These artists differ greatly from past musicians. Kanye is a brash rapper with controversial opinions whose music constantly shifts and redefines genre. Taylor Swift and Rihanna write sugary pop songs that become ubiquitous in cafes and on the radio. Older people prefer what they used to listen to, whether that be intricate melodies and insightful writing of The Beatles or the raw sincerity of old school rap. The differences between the generations are reflected and augmented rather than mediated due to the different personalities and styles of modern music.

Although music does little to alleviate generational barriers, it does help cultures relate through universal, human perspectives. What I mean by this is that even though people may not understand another culture they can still understand the messages of the music. One great example of this is the music of Bob Marley. Bob Marley is from a small Carribbean country called Jamaica, a country whose culture has become influential around the world. This is because he expressed universal feelings of love, empathy, and positivity against the backdrop of a nation experiencing political and economic upheaval. His resilience against this pulses through his infectious music and has translated across cultural divides. An Asian person, who might not have any firsthand experience with different races or cultures, can still identify with Bob Marley and enjoy his music. This connection based entirely on music brings together people of disparate cultures through an emotional and intellectual bonding on common issues.

In conclusion, although music may actually do more to divide the young and old it definitely uses its universality to bring together different cultures. It is especially important at a time when the world appears to be more divided than ever that we find common ground to build cross-cultural relationships upon.

IELTS Examiner Sample Answer Analysis

1. Music has always been a key distinguisher of culture but many believe that it can also bridge cultural gaps and differences in age. 2. Though I think some people overstate the impact of music leveling the differences between generations, I strongly believe that it brings people of different cultures together by expressing universal sentiments.

1. The first sentence says the topic for the essay. Keep it simple for this one – it’s not a very important sentence.

2. Then write your opinion – make it 100% clearn – don’t sit in the middle unless if you want to risk band 5 for task achievement! (Note: I kind of sat in the middle but I did it very carefully – read on to see how…)

 

1. The main reason that I believe music is not a particularly good unifier in terms of generational disparity is that people tend to enjoy the music from their formative years and disdain whatever is currently relevant. 2. Though there are of course exceptions, most people would recognise the mostly accurate stereotype of an old person complaining about the music that youths listen to nowadays. 3. For example, in America some of the most popular artists today include Kanye West, Taylor Swift, and Rihanna. 4. These artists differ greatly from past musicians. 5. Kanye is a brash rapper with controversial opinions whose music constantly shifts and redefines genre. 6. Taylor Swift and Rihanna write sugary pop songs that become ubiquitous in cafes and on the radio. 7. Older people prefer what they used to listen to, whether that be intricate melodies and insightful writing of The Beatles or the raw sincerity of old school rap. 8. The differences between the generations are reflected and augmented rather than mediated due to the different personalities and styles of modern music.

1. My first sentence is a topic sentence for the paragraph with my relevant main idea: music doesn’t really bring people together.

2. The second sentence explains my main idea and references a common example.

3. My third sentence begins a more specific example of artists today.

4. The fourth sentence continues to the example by contrasting them to past artists.

5. The fifth sentence focuses on Kanye to show the differences between generations.

6. My sixth sentence focuses on Rihanna and Taylor Swift. In hindsight this essay might be getting too long…

7. The seventh sentence contrasts it with the specific examples of older musicians.

8. Finally I conclude by relating it to my main idea. This paragraph is a bit too long – try to stick to about 5 sentences.

1. Although music does little to alleviate generational barriers, it does help cultures relate through universal, human perspectives. 2. What I mean by this is that even though people may not understand another culture they can still understand the messages of the music. 3. One great example of this is the music of Bob Marley. Bob Marley is from a small Carribbean country called Jamaica, a country whose culture has become influential around the world. 4. This is because he expressed universal feelings of love, empathy, and positivity against the backdrop of a nation experiencing political and economic upheaval. 5. His resilience against this pulses through his infectious music and has translated across cultural divides. 6. An Asian person, who might not have any firsthand experience with different races or cultures, can still identify with Bob Marley and enjoy his music. 7. This connection based entirely on music brings together people of disparate cultures through an emotional and intellectual bonding on common issues.

1. My first sentence is another topic sentence that states a main idea for the other viewpoint: people can relate to different cultures through music.

2. The second sentence clarifies my main idea. You don’t always need to do this – sometimes you can just start on your example (and not end up with a seven sentence paragraph). 

3. The third sentence begins another specific, detailed example (about Bob Marley this time).

4. My fourth sentence describes how he has managed to bridge cultural divides.

5. The fifth sentence further develops the example.

6. The sixth sentence describes specifically how he could connect with someone from another culture.

7. My sixth sentence concludes the paragraph by summarising the impact across cultures of his music.

1. In conclusion, although music may actually do more to divide the young and old it definitely uses its universality to bring together different cultures. 2. It is especially important at a time when the world appears to be more divided than ever that we find common ground to build cross-cultural relationships upon.

1. The first sentence restates my opinion. Even though I agree with half and disagree with the other half this is not sitting in the middle. I have clear opinions about how music impacts generations and cultures. Sitting in the middle would just be saying that it is good for some reasons and not good for other ones without a clear chosen side – that would be band 5!

2. My second sentence adds an extra detail that a lot of examiners require for band 7 and above.

Sample Answer Vocabulary

What do the words in bold mean? If you’re not sure, don’t use a dictionary – try to figure out the meaning from the whole sentence then check your answers below!

Music has always been a key distinguisher of culture but many believe that it can also bridge cultural gaps and differences in age. Though I think some people overstate the impact of music leveling the differences between generations, I strongly believe that it brings people of different cultures together by expressing universal sentiments.

The main reason that I believe music is not a particularly good unifier in terms of generational disparity is that people tend to enjoy the music from their formative years and disdain whatever is currently relevant. Though there are of course exceptions, most people would recognise the mostly accurate stereotype of an old person complaining about the music that youths listen to nowadays. For example, in America some of the most popular artists today include Kanye West, Taylor Swift, and Rihanna. These artists differ greatly from past musicians. Kanye is a brash rapper with controversial opinions whose music constantly shifts and redefines genre. Taylor Swift and Rihanna write sugary pop songs that become ubiquitous in cafes and on the radio. Older people prefer what they used to listen to, whether that be intricate melodies and insightful writing of The Beatles or the raw sincerity of old school rap. The differences between the generations are reflected and augmented rather than mediated due to the different personalities and styles of modern music.

Although music does little to alleviate generational barriers, it does help cultures relate through universal, human perspectives. What I mean by this is that even though people may not understand another culture they can still understand the messages of the music. One great example of this is the music of Bob Marley. Bob Marley is from a small Carribbean country called Jamaica, a country whose culture has become influential around the world. This is because he expressed universal feelings of love, empathy, and positivity against the backdrop of a nation experiencing political and economic upheaval. His resilience against this pulses through his infectious music and has translated across cultural divides. An Asian person, who might not have any firsthand experience with different races or cultures, can still identify with Bob Marley and enjoy his music. This connection based entirely on music brings together people of disparate cultures through an emotional and intellectual bonding on common issues.

In conclusion, although music may actually do more to divide the young and old it definitely uses its universality to bring together different cultures. It is especially important at a time when the world appears to be more divided than ever that we find common ground to build cross-cultural relationships upon.

Answers:

key distinguisher: main way to separate/define

bridge cultural gaps: bring together different countries/cultures

overstate: make something sound more important than it really is

leveling the differences: getting rid of what is different – making more similar

universal sentiments: ideas that people all over the world feel/believe in

unifier: brings together

generational disparity: differences between generations/ages

formative years: impressionable ages

disdain: look down on

currently relevant: important now

stereotype: a common belief often incorrect about a group of people

differ greatly: not at all the same

brash: overconfident

controversial opinions: views that many people would disagree with

constantly shifts: always changes

redefines genre: innovates the type of music/film

sugary pop songs: pop music that sounds good to the ear

ubiquitous: common

intricate melodies: complicated musical rhythm

insightful writing: meaningful lyrics

raw sincerity: very honest

old school rap: hip-hop from the 90s

augmented: made better/stronger

mediated: filtered through

alleviate generational barriers: improve differences between age groups

universal, human perspectives: beliefs common to all humanity

empathy: the ability to understand other people’s feelings

against the backdrop: in the context of

political and economic upheaval: lots of changes related to the government and economy

resilience: able to bounce back, strong

pulses: moves through

infectious music: music that you can’t get out of your head

translated across cultural divides: can be understood by different cultures

firsthand experience: what you see yourself (not reported by someone else)

disparate cultures: different cultures

emotional and intellectual bonding: connecting in terms of feeling and thinking

universality: applies to the whole world

common ground: related/relevant to everyone

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

Music has always been a __________________ of culture but many believe that it can also __________________ and differences in age. Though I think some people __________________ the impact of music __________________ between generations, I strongly believe that it brings people of different cultures together by expressing __________________.

The main reason that I believe music is not a particularly good __________________ in terms of __________________ is that people tend to enjoy the music from their __________________ and __________________ whatever is __________________. Though there are of course exceptions, most people would recognise the mostly accurate __________________ of an old person complaining about the music that youths listen to nowadays. For example, in America some of the most popular artists today include Kanye West, Taylor Swift, and Rihanna. These artists __________________ from past musicians. Kanye is a __________________ rapper with __________________ whose music __________________ and __________________. Taylor Swift and Rihanna write __________________ that become __________________ in cafes and on the radio. Older people prefer what they used to listen to, whether that be __________________ and __________________ of The Beatles or the __________________ of __________________. The differences between the generations are reflected and __________________ rather than __________________ due to the different personalities and styles of modern music.

Although music does little to __________________, it does help cultures relate through __________________. What I mean by this is that even though people may not understand another culture they can still understand the messages of the music. One great example of this is the music of Bob Marley. Bob Marley is from a small Carribbean country called Jamaica, a country whose culture has become influential around the world. This is because he expressed universal feelings of love, __________________, and positivity __________________ of a nation experiencing __________________. His __________________ against this __________________ through his __________________ and has __________________. An Asian person, who might not have any __________________ with different races or cultures, can still identify with Bob Marley and enjoy his music. This connection based entirely on music brings together people of __________________ through an __________________ on common issues.

In conclusion, although music may actually do more to divide the young and old it definitely uses its __________________ to bring together different cultures. It is especially important at a time when the world appears to be more divided than ever that we find __________________ to build cross-cultural relationships upon.

Links from YouTube and Articles

Bob Marley Documentary

Kanye, Rihanna and Paul McCartney!

The Secrets of Mozart’s Magic Flute

No Woman, No Cry

Comment below – What kind of music do you like to listen to?

I’m really keen on…

My favourite at the moment is…

I’ve been getting into…

The new album from ____ is …

 

If you want more helpful resources check out my private Facebook group, my YouTube channel and my Instagram – keep up to date with your English and your IELTS (and up to date with me)!


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