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PrepTest 78, Passage 2, Question 12


The primary function of the third paragraph is two, so this is a specific reference, primary function question that is particularly interested in the third paragraph. So let's revisit our recap of that. So in the third paragraph, the author is asserting that sociohistorical critics like Taruskin really focus on art that mirrored one's ideas and way of life and analyzed how this art reflected the ideology of the elite.

So there are two sort of ways in which it's discussed in the passage in which art is produced. And Taruskin and his followers sort of focused on that second way in which art was created and created by the elite to try to advance the notion or their sort of shared values of the elite class, and that the elite informed and directed the author's work.

So those were some of the assumptions that Taruskin made about that sort of second way of or second reason that art was commissioned. But the author raises some subtle objections here and says that in order for this to be true that the elites needed to first have a consensus about their identity. And it needed to be sort of eliminated or resolved that artists didn't subvert the ideas of the patrons for their own reasons.

So the author interjects and says by Taruskin sort of advancing the viewpoint in the way that he is, hes assuming these two things. So the correct answer here is B, identify assumptions relied upon by a type of analysis referred to in the first paragraph. So most social historical interpretations of art view a body of work as a production of a class generally as a dominant governing class imposing its ideas.

So this is the beginning of the first paragraph. And then we get the example of Richard Taruskin. And his writing in the Oxford History of the Western music that one of the defining characteristics of high art is that it is produced by and for the political and social elites. So what Taruskin and others fail to clarify however, is that there are two different ways that art historically was produced by and for political and social release.

So that's that first paragraph that we're referencing here in our answer choice. So as we see in the third paragraph, the author specifically mentions Taruskin's preference for analyzing art and addressing the assumptions that Taruskin had when approaching art from this viewpoint, which was that he assumed the elite had a recognizable identity and that artists did not somehow subvert the ideas of the elite for their own reasons.

So this is our correct answer choice.

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