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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of music and society from the real IELTS exam.

It is a similar to another question about music that you can read here.

The question is very tricky because it is hard to think of clear specific examples and relevant main ideas.

Read what I did with it below!

Be sure to check out my online courses and corrections as well!

Dave

Before reading, listen to the audio and take notes:

IELTS Writing Task 2 Sample Answer Essay: Music & Society (Real Past IELTS Exam/Test)

Many people believe that music is just a form of entertainment, whilst others believe that music has a much larger impact on society today.

Discuss both views and give your own opinion. 

Real Past IELTS Exam/Test

There are those who claim that music is solely for entertainment purposes while others feel it has larger societal implications. In my opinion, ostensibly most people listen to music for fun, however it still opens up pathways for fringe elements of society to become mainstream.

Those that argue for the narrower view of music can easily highlight the ways in which music is consumed today. People listen to music at parties, nightclubs, and weddings to dance and enjoy themselves. They listen using streaming services like YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify to relax throughout the average day. The end result of all that listening is not that individuals think deeply about the lyrics or in any way question their actions, attitudes, or prejudices. Moreso than narrative forms of entertainment like movies and books, music is almost purely for entertainment and rarely rises above the level of subconscious enjoyment.

While there is some truth to the argument above, music turns a positive spotlight on previously underrepresented demographic groups. People do not simply listen to music; they are also apt to follow and admire their favourite artists. One of the best examples of this is the championing of LGBT lifestyles. Elton John was an early example of an artist whose sexuality was fluid at a time when many viewed this behaviour as deviant. He did not come out as gay until much later but his influence on aspiring artists and the average listener was immense. Today, there are many artists who are openly gay and this not only reduces bigotry in general by undermining its logic but also inspires others to come out. A person listening to and following artists in any genre today accepts these once alternative lifestyles as the norm.

In conclusion, music has an important role to play in society by giving voice to previously silent groups. In the same way that music broke down racial barriers in the 20th century, the 21st century will be the century of inclusion.

Word Count: 330

Analysis

1. There are those who claim that music is solely for entertainment purposes while others feel it has larger societal implications. 2. In my opinion, ostensibly most people listen to music for fun, however it still opens up pathways for fringe elements of society to become mainstream.

  1. Paraphrase the overall topic for the whole essay.
  2. Write your opinion – make it clear so the examiner knows which side you support!

1. Those that argue for the narrower view of music can easily highlight the ways in which music is consumed today. 2. People listen to music at parties, nightclubs, and weddings to dance and enjoy themselves. 3. They listen using streaming services like YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify to relax throughout the average day. 4. The end result of all that listening is not that individuals think deeply about the lyrics or in any way question their actions, attitudes, or prejudices. 5. Moreso than narrative forms of entertainment like movies and books, music is almost purely for entertainment and rarely rises above the level of subconscious enjoyment.

  1. Write a clear topic sentence with a main idea at the end.
  2. Develop your main idea with specific information.
  3. Keep mentioning specific examples such as real streaming services.
  4. State the result to continue developing the main idea.
  5. Relate it back to the overall topic/your main idea to finish development.

1. While there is some truth to the argument above, music turns a positive spotlight on previously underrepresented demographic groups. 2. People do not simply listen to music; they are also apt to follow and admire their favourite artists. 3. One of the best examples of this is the championing of LGBT lifestyles. 4. Elton John was an early example of an artist whose sexuality was fluid at a time when many viewed this behaviour as deviant. 5. He did not come out as gay until much later but his influence on aspiring artists and the average listener was immense. 6. Today, there are many artists who are openly gay and this not only reduces bigotry in general by undermining its logic but also inspires others to come out. 7. A person listening to and following artists in any genre today accepts these once alternative lifestyles as the norm.

  1. Write another topic sentence with a new main idea.
  2. Start to explain your main idea.
  3. Here I begin a very specific example.
  4. Use a real artist or song if possible!
  5. Develop the example – don’t run away from it.
  6. Keep developing it.
  7. Finish developing your example and generalise it a bit.

1. In conclusion, music has an important role to play in society by giving voice to previously silent groups. 2. In the same way that music broke down racial barriers in the 20th century, the 21st century will be the century of inclusion.

  1. Repeat your opinion.
  2. Add in final detail/thought to get full marks from the IELTS examiner.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean?

There are those who claim that music is solely for entertainment purposes while others feel it has larger societal implications. In my opinion, ostensibly most people listen to music for fun, however it still opens up pathways for fringe elements of society to become mainstream.

Those that argue for the narrower view of music can easily highlight the ways in which music is consumed today. People listen to music at parties, nightclubs, and weddings to dance and enjoy themselves. They listen using streaming services like YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify to relax throughout the average day. The end result of all that listening is not that individuals think deeply about the lyrics or in any way question their actions, attitudes, or prejudices. Moreso than narrative forms of entertainment like movies and books, music is almost purely for entertainment and rarely rises above the level of subconscious enjoyment.

While there is some truth to the argument above, music turns a positive spotlight on previously underrepresented demographic groups. People do not simply listen to music; they are also apt to follow and admire their favourite artists. One of the best examples of this is the championing of LGBT lifestyles. Elton John was an early example of an artist whose sexuality was fluid at a time when many viewed this behaviour as deviant. He did not come out as gay until much later but his influence on aspiring artists and the average listener was immense. Today, there are many artists who are openly gay and this not only reduces bigotry in general by undermining its logic but also inspires others to come out. A person listening to and following artists in any genre today accepts these once alternative lifestyles as the norm.

In conclusion, music has an important role to play in society by giving voice to previously silent groups. In the same way that music broke down racial barriers in the 20th century, the 21st century will be the century of inclusion.

Answers

claim argue

solely only

larger societal implications bigger effect on everyone

ostensibly seemingly

opens up pathways makes it possible

fringe elements outside areas

mainstream popular culture

narrower view more limited

easily highlight simple argument

consumed listened to

streaming services listening to/watching movies/music online

throughout during

average day normal day

end result final outcome

think deeply thoughtfully

question doubt

prejudices bigotry

moreso to a greater extent

narrative forms mediums with stories

purely entirely

rarely rises above the level of subconscious enjoyment isn’t often thought about

some truth not entirely false

positive spotlight good focus

previously underrepresented demographic groups in the past ignored types of people

apt to likely to

admire look up to

championing endorsing

LGBT lifestyles lesbian/gay/bi/trans ways of living

early example nascent instance

sexuality sexual orientation

fluid shifting

deviant outside the norm and wrong

come out as gay openly homosexual

aspiring artists people who want to work in art

average listener normal fan

immense massive

openly gay known homosexual

reduces bigotry in general decreases narrow-minded views

undermining doubting

logic reasons

inspires encourages

genre type of music/movie

accepts willing to acknowledge

once alternative lifestyles in the past outside the norm

the norm what is normal/common

giving voice allowing platforms for

in the same way that just as

broke down racial barriers reduce racism

inclusion accepting others

Pronunciation

kleɪm 
ˈsəʊlli 
ˈlɑːʤə səˈsaɪətl ˌɪmplɪˈkeɪʃənz 
ɒsˈtɛnsəbli 
ˈəʊpənz ʌp ˈpɑːθweɪz 
frɪnʤ ˈɛlɪmənts 
ˈmeɪnstriːm 
ˈnærəʊə vjuː 
ˈiːzɪli ˈhaɪˌlaɪt 
kənˈsjuːmd 
ˈstriːmɪŋ ˈsɜːvɪsɪz 
θru(ː)ˈaʊt 
ˈævərɪʤ deɪ 
ɛnd rɪˈzʌlt 
θɪŋk ˈdiːpli 
ˈkwɛsʧən 
ˈprɛʤʊdɪsɪz 
mɔː səʊ 
ˈnærətɪv fɔːmz 
ˈpjʊəli 
ˈreəli ˈraɪzɪz əˈbʌv ðə ˈlɛvl ɒv ˌsʌbˈkɒnʃəs ɪnˈʤɔɪmənt 
sʌm truːθ 
ˈpɒzətɪv ˈspɒtlaɪt 
ˈpriːviəsli underrepresented ˌdiːməˈgræfɪk gruːps 
æpt tuː 
ədˈmaɪə 
ˈʧæmpiənɪŋ 
ɛl-ʤiː-biː-tiː ˈlaɪfˌstaɪlz 
ˈɜːli ɪgˈzɑːmpl 
ˌsɛkʃʊˈæləti 
ˈflu(ː)ɪd 
ˈdiːvɪənt 
kʌm aʊt æz geɪ 
əsˈpaɪərɪŋ ˈɑːtɪsts 
ˈævərɪʤ ˈlɪsnə 
ɪˈmɛns 
ˈəʊpnli geɪ 
rɪˈdjuːsɪz ˈbɪgətri ɪn ˈʤɛnərəl 
ˌʌndəˈmaɪnɪŋ 
ˈlɒʤɪk 
ɪnˈspaɪəz 
ˈ(d)ʒɑːŋrə 
əkˈsɛpts 
wʌns ɔːlˈtɜːnətɪv ˈlaɪfˌstaɪlz 
ðə nɔːm 
ˈgɪvɪŋ vɔɪs 
ɪn ðə seɪm weɪ ðæt 
brəʊk daʊn ˈreɪʃəl ˈbærɪəz 
ɪnˈkluːʒən 

Listen and repeat:

Vocabulary Practice

Remember and fill in the blanks:

There are those who c__________ that music is s__________ for entertainment purposes while others feel it has l__________________. In my opinion, o_____________ most people listen to music for fun, however it still o________________ for f______________ of society to become m_______________.

Those that argue for the n_______________ of music can e___________________ the ways in which music is c_________________ today. People listen to music at parties, nightclubs, and weddings to dance and enjoy themselves. They listen using s____________________ like YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify to relax t________________ the a___________________. The e_______________ of all that listening is not that individuals t________________ about the lyrics or in any way q_______________ their actions, attitudes, or p_____________. M____________ than n______________ of entertainment like movies and books, music is almost p_______________ for entertainment and r_________________________________.

While there is s_____________ to the argument above, music turns a p__________________ on p___________________________________________________. People do not simply listen to music; they are also a_____________ follow and a_________ their favourite artists. One of the best examples of this is the c___________________ of L_______________. Elton John was an e_________________ of an artist whose s______________ was f____________ at a time when many viewed this behaviour as d___________. He did not c______________ until much later but his influence on a________________ and the a______________ was i_____________. Today, there are many artists who are o____________ and this not only r___________________ by u_____________ its l________ but also i__________ others to come out. A person listening to and following artists in any g___________ today a_________ these o_______________________ as t__________.

In conclusion, music has an important role to play in society by g_______________ to previously silent groups. I_______________________ music b______________________ in the 20th century, the 21st century will be the century of i_________________.

Listen and check:

Listening Practice

Watch the video below to learn more about gay rights:

Reading Practice

Read some examples here of socially important/defining songs:

https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2019/12/songs-of-the-decade-2010s

Speaking Practice

Answer the following questions about music from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Music

  1. Do you like music?
  2. Which types of music do you like?
  3. Would you like to learn a musical instrument?
  4. Do you prefer listening to music by yourself or with someone else?

Writing Practice

Answer this similar question then check my sample answer:

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?

Recent IELTS Exam/Test

Dont miss your chance to learn the facts about IELTS and improve your English with my online courses, guaranteed!


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