It is difficult to live without music. We hear music everywhere: in the streets, at home, over the radio and on TV, in the shops, in the parks and in the concert halls, at the seaside.
We can't live without music. We like to listen to music, we enjoy to dance to music, we play musical instruments.
A music lesson is one of the favourite subjects at school.
The teacher of music tells the pupils about famous composers and teaches them to sing songs. Pupils prepare concerts for school holidays, learn new songs, play different musical instruments.
Some people are interested in music very much. Children can learn at music schools if they are capable and fond of music. They study there for seven years
Music is a combination of many sounds. It reflects our mood and emotions.
There are numerous folk groups in our country. It is interesting to listen to their music and songs.
Last week my friends and I visited a concert of folk music. Artists danced folk dances and sang folk songs. This concert made a great impression on us.
Both classical and modern music are popular in our country. My friend Mike and I are fond of classical music. Sometimes we spend our free time, listening to music by Wolfgang Mozart and other composers. His "Fourth Symphony" and the "Sixth Symphony" by Shostakovich impressed us very much.
Nowadays young people prefer modern music. If you want to listen to modern music you can attend the music halls and the concerts of popular groups and singers.
I like to listen to the songs by our popular singers Julian, Alla Pugacheva and Valery Leontyev. They are talented and skilled singers and composers and I like to visit their concerts. My friends and I buy tickets beforehand and often take flowers for our favourite singers.
As to foreign songs I prefer to listen to Adriano Chelentano. He is an Italian ginger and actor. He is popular not only in his native land but also in other countries.
VISITING THEATRES Text I
There are many theatres in our country, but the most famous of them are in Moscow. If you want to visit a theatre you have to buy a ticket.
Now you have bought the ticket. You pass through an entrance and go to the cloak-room. Then you go to the hall. There are rows of seats there. You can see the pit near the stage. There are boxes on both sides of the pit.
A dress-circle is higher than the pit. The balconies are higher than the dress-circle. There is a beautiful chandelier in the hall.
I am a theatre-goer. I prefer to visit drama theatres and the Bolshoi Theatre.
As I like to sit in the pit, I try to buy a ticket beforehand. I usually look through a playbill before going to theatres.
Two months ago I saw "Three Sisters" by Chekhov in Moscow Art Theatre. The play was splendid. The main role was played by Tatyana Doronina. I like this actress. I think, she is talented. When the curtain rose, we saw a nice scenery and the spectators began to applaud. It was a storm of applause. I can say that during this performance all the actors and actresses were playing excellently. On the way home we discussed the performance with my friends.
I usually go to the theatre with my friends.
VISITING THEATRES Text II
There are many theatres in our country. If you want to see a performance or a play you must go to the theatre. You can see dramas, tragedies or comedies there. We have some famous theatres in Moscow. For example, the Bolshoi and the Maly Theatres are famous theatres all over the world.
All theatres differ from each other. They have their plays, their actors, actresses. But on the other hand all theatres have a box-office, a cloak-room and almost all theatre performances begin at the same time in all theatres.
There is a popular theatre for children in Moscow. It is the Children's Musical Theatre. Children, pupils and their parents like to go there. You can see many interesting plays in this theatre.
If I want to go to the theatre, first of all, I have to buy a ticket. If it is an interesting and popular performance it is difficult to buy a ticket at once. That's why I have to buy a ticket beforehand. Now I have a ticket. I go to the theatre, leave my coat in the cloak-room. Then I go to the foyer. It is interesting to see the photos of the famous and popular actors and actresses on the walls. I want to know who plays in this performance and I buy a programme. The performance begins at 7 o'clock in the evening after the third bell. My seat is near the stage. I like the performance and I applaud the actors and actresses. The performance has got two parts. During the interval I usually go to the cafe to have a cake and drink a cup of tea or a cup of coffee, or a glass of lemonade. I like to discuss the play if I see it with my friends.
There are many theatres in London, too. English people are theatre-lovers. Now there are more than fifty theatres in the West End of London.
There are some leading theatres in London. They are the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Old Vic (Old Victoria Theatre) and the National Theatre. It is a good tradition in England to visit theatres on a birthday or an anniversary.
The Lumiere brothers made their first film in 1895. This film was demonstrated in one famous cafe in Paris.
The first films were silent and short, but they were popular among people.
The USA was the leader in the production of films. The first sound film appeared in 1927. Soon coloured films appeared.
Cinematography has a long history in our country too.
Some years ago it was popular to go to the cinemas in Moscow. It was difficult to buy a ticket for a good film and we had to stand in a queue for hours.
But now we prefer to stay at home and watch TV and video films.
In England the cinema is usually called "the pictures". The prices of cinema seats in London are high. In the past cinemas were more popular than they are now. It is interesting that in some towns in Britain the cinemas are closed on Sundays.
I like to see documentary films best of all. Some of them are rather interesting, because they tell us the truth about the history of our country.
I like to see films about school life. As I study at school, such films are connected 0th me. It is interesting to see films about school life in England, France, Spain and in the USA. It is interesting to know about foreign education and to see their schools.
My favourite Russian film is "Moscow doesn't believe in tears". It is the true story about the girl. She leaves her village for Moscow. This film tells us about her difficulties, about her wish to live in the capital, about her friends. I am sure that it is a kind and a clever film.
17. Museums and picture galleries
THE BRITISH MUSEUM
There are many interesting museums in London.
The British Museum was founded in 1753. One doctor Ganse Sloan had a big collection of paintings. He bequeathed it to the state. Now the British Museum is one of the biggest museums in the world. One can see many subjects of primitive art and antique culture. It is interesting to notice that there are a lot of old money, medals, manuscripts, coins, engravings.
It is necessary to pay attention to a very old original stone in the British Museum with Egyptian letters on it.
The British Museum in London has a very big library. Many famous scientists, writers and politicians worked there.
Such famous writers as Charles Dickens, Bernard Show read different books and wrote their own books in the British Library.
There is a huge reading-room in the British Library. The diameter of this dome is 47 metres.
There are more 10 million books in this library. The British Library has a copy of each book which has been printed in Great Britain since 1757.
It will be 250 years from the founding of the British Museum in 2003.
THE TATE GALLERY
There are many sights in London. They are Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge, Albert Hall (one of the biggest concert halls in London), Trafalgar Square and others.
If you are fond of paintings you'll go to the Tate Gallery.
This gallery was founded in 1897. Most of the National Gallery collections of British paintings were taken to the Tate Gallery.
There are about 300 oils and 19,000 water-colours and drawings.
There are a lot of paintings by the 16th century English artists there. You can also see many works by the English painter William Turner. Most of his paintings are connected with the sea theme.
You can see many paintings by foreign artists of the 19-20th centuries in the Tate Gallery. There are some paintings by impressionists and post-impressionists there.
In the Tate Gallery one can see works by modern painters, Pablo Picasso among them.
There are many interesting sculptures there. The collection is rather big. Henry Moore's works can be seen in this gallery. He was a famous British sculptor.
The paintings of this gallery impress everyone who visits it.
THE TRETYAKOV GALLERY
There are many interesting galleries in our country. The Tretyakov Gallery is one of the famous and well-known picture galleries in our country and all over the world.
The State Tretyakov Gallery is situated in a Russian-looking building in the centre of Moscow. This gallery is named after its founder Peter Tretyakov. He began to collect Russian paintings in 1856. He wanted these paintings to be seen by people.
This gallery and collections of paintings were nationalized in 1918.
The first works in Tretyakov's collection were the paintings of the "Peredvizhniki". The collector bought paintings "Morning in a Pine Wood" by Shish-kin and "Ivan Tsarevich on the Grey Wolf" by Vasnetsov.
The gallery has got many halls. There are halls devoted to the great Russian painters of the 18th and 19th centuries. We can see pictures by such painters as Serov, Repin, Ivanov, Levitan and others.
You can see the landscapes "After Rain" and "Golden Autumn". These paintings by Levitan are beautiful. I like to see his paintings because he is one of my favourite artists. I compare his painting "Golden Autumn" with the poem "Autumn" by Pushkin.
There are some paintings by Repin in the Tretyakov Gallery. His paintings are connected with the history of our country. For example, his painting "Ivan Grozny Murders His Son Ivan". There are some portraits of Lev Tolstoy and a self-portrait of Repin in this hall.
I like the painting "Trinity" by Andrei Rublyov. This work reflects the life and soul of the Russian people.
This gallery has many new exhibits now. You can see works of the painters of the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century there. I like works by Gerasimov. I think that he is a very talented painter.
BOOKS IN OUR LIFE
Books... I think that we can't live without them.
I consider that books are with us during all our life. When I was a child my parents read them to me. I was pleased to listen to the stories and tales. I learned a lot of interesting things from books. I remember, I liked thick books.
Later I could read myself. I like to read books about animals, nature and children.
I like to get presents on my birthday. I am happy if it is a book. It doesn't matter what kind of book it is. I like to read almost all books. If I have got time I like to spend it with my favourite book. When I was fifteen I was fond of reading too.
But I preferred to read books about travels. I travelled with the heroes of the stories. I saw many interesting places and learned a lot of important facts about other countries and people.
Now I like to read books on science. You can learn many things from books. I am sure that books play a very important role in my life.
Our family has got many books. All the members of our family buy books and read them. My mother says that books help us in self-education.
In ancient times books were written by hand. It was difficult to write a book with a pen. Then printing came into our life. Printing played an important role in the development of literature and culture.
Now there are a lot of books in the shops, there are many books in our flats. But it is difficult to buy all books which we want to read. That's why we get books in public libraries.
There are some problems in our life and sometimes it is difficult to solve them. I think that books can help us. Last year I read a very interesting book "An American Tragedy" by Theodore Dreiser. This novel was published at the beginning of the 20th century. The novel describes the tragic fate of a boy and a girl, Clyde and Roberta by name. It is a sad story. This novel was written many years ago, but it is popular nowadays. Books must be our friends during all our life.
19. Problems of city and country life
Where would you prefer to live in the city or in the country?
If I could choose where to live I would have the best of both places as each of them has its own advantages to say nothing of disadvantages.
What are the advantages of living in the modern city?
Life in the city is much easier than in the country - developed transport system, sewerage system, information, sports, shopping malls, etc. Modern men are too sophisticated for simple country pleasures. There is far more entertainment in the city than in the country. Cities offer high concentration of good things in life: big stores, restaurants, theatres, cinema, art galleries. Life is more convenient in a city: services are always better here. In the city people are more open-minded. It is possible to go out, make friends and never be cut off from them by weather conditions. Generally, people do not mind what you do in the city. In the city people have more chances to be employed, as the range of jobs is greater than in a village. Besides in the city people have more chances to succeed. Moreover, life is never dull in the city, people always have something to do here. The objections to city living are not convincing enough. People easily adapt to various inconveniences of city life. For example, noise and traffic are hardly noticeable to city-dwellers. In the city especially in our country people live in apartments with central heating, telephone, gas, electricity, radio, TV the Internet. Most people love cities. In 330 BC Aristotle wrote that by nature man belonged to a city. Many people love the busy city life. It is enough for them to visit a country at week-ends.
What brought about the growth of cities over the centuries?
Cities grew over the centuries because they served aims that could not have been served otherwise. Two thousand years ago most people lived in the countryside. It was not their choice. Today, almost half of humanity lives in cities. It does so because it wants to. Man has always lived in groups. It makes life safer and easier. Geography - rich soil, a safe harbour or navigable river, ample fresh water, easy defence, coal - was the start of many towns. In Europe towns grew over the strongholds of a local lord. Most of them developed as buying and selling centres; trade needed a market, and markets needed people.
How did towns serve their inhabitants?
Towns served their citizens very well if they in turn were served by them. During the Middle Ages when harvest failed, the nearby town offered hope of survival. All successful towns satisfied economic needs. For a peasant town was the only place where he might make a fortune. In the new industrial order, the city was the nerve centre, brining to a focus all dynamic economic forces: vast accumulation of capital, business and financial institutions, spreading railroad yards, factories, and armies of manual and clerical workers. For example, in the USA villages, attracting people from the countryside and from the land across the seas, grew into towns and towns into cities almost overnight.
Are there any disadvantages of living in the city?
Pollution is the greatest disadvantage of the city life of today. Polluted air is hanging like a brown cloud over cities. Dirt and smoke are pouring from the buildings of cites and factories. Polluted urban air causes respiratory distress, particularly in children, and elderly people. The increased number of motor vehicles not only jam the city streets but pollute the city air as well. Cars give a collection of pollutants. In bright, calm weather, sunlight turns the chemicals into a poison smog. All big cities have problems with air pollution. There was still nothing anywhere like "killer-smog" which caused some 3000-4000 deaths in London in December 1952. Mexico city's air is famously filthy, as is that of many Indian, Chinese, and East European cities. The exceeding output of industries and urban communities is harmful to the city aquatic systems. The result is a foul-smelling body of water running for a bath or dish washing. Noise pollution is the problem of big cities too. Urban garbage - like food, paper, and cans - on the ground or in the street is one more problem of cities. People don't always put their garbage in the garbage can. Urban garbage is ugly. It makes the city look dirty, and it spoils the view.
What are other disadvantages of living in a big city?
There are lots of other disadvantages of living in a big city. Today's cities are ballooning. Bombay in 1960 was a jam-packed city of 4m people. Now Mexico city holds around 18m people. "The rush-hour" with crowded streets, packed trains, full buses that happens twice a day is one of them. Cost of living is very high in the cities. In addition, people live under constant threat; life is not quiet in the cities, it causes stresses and heart decease. In the city people loose touch with land, rhythms of nature. Everyone who cares about his health tries to move out from the city. Cities are not fit to live in, man are born for countryside. Most people in Europe and America try to live in non-industrial cities, which are set down near big cities and can not be killed by pollution and traffic.
Do you like to stay in the countryside?
Yes, I do. I like to stay in the countryside.
Why do you like to stay in the countryside?
Well, in the countryside I enjoy such simple things of primary importance as sunlight and fresh air. Besides, living in the countryside is cheaper and safer than in a city. It provides people with more security. There is less crime and, of course, there is less traffic there. Life in the countryside is quiet, peaceful, and healthy. I like to be close to nature. Here people are friendly and it is much more pleasant in the countryside than in the city. Unfortunately, life in the countryside is rather hard. Working and living conditions are difficult, social and cultural life in the countryside is not full of entertainment. And annually more and more young people flee from the countryside for a better life in the city.
Is it difficult to find a job in the countryside?
Certainly, the problem of employment in the countryside is very crucial today. It is especially acute for the young people and professionals. As a rule there are few labour places for skilled agricultural workers and less for professionals. Although villages do need teachers and physicians, they can not provide them with the necessary facilities. There are few schools and clinics in the countryside. Sometimes there is one secondary school for several villages and children have to walk ten kilometres to study there. Usually either the village community is too poor to provide the children with a bus or the roads are too bad for the bus to run off them.
Can this problem be solved?
Surely, people should always be optimists and hope for a better life. Where there is a will there is a way. Nowadays we can witness the revival of some villages. So far they are few but annually their number is increasing.
20. International organizations and international co-operation
What international organizations do you know?
The formation of international organizations has been a 20th- century phenomenon. Nowadays there are more than 2,500 international organizations. Among them are more than 130 intergovernmental unions. The United Nations Organization is the most notable. Other important organizations are the European Economic Community, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organization of American States, and the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance.
Why did people create international organizations?
The creation of international organizations on a wide scale in the 20th-century is the result of the progress in the technology of communication, transportation, warfare, and the spread of industrialization. These developments gave rise to a sense of interdependence among the peoples of the world, and made people recognize the importance of international co-operation to avoid the dangers, solve the problems, and use the opportunities which confront the society of nations on a world-wide scale. Some organizations are concerned only with single and relatively narrow problems, while others, such as the United Nations and the UNESCO, deal with a great variety of matters. Moreover, international organizations function as either intergovernmental or nongovernmental agencies.
Can you dwell on one of the international organizations?
Yes, I can tell you about the European Union.
When was the European Union created?
The European Union was created November 1, 1993 out of the European Economic Community.
How did the European Economic Community come into being?
The European Economic Community (EEC) was founded in 1957-58 to oversee the economic integration of the nations of Western Europe. In 1967 the EEC united together with the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Atomic Energy Community to form the European Communities, or EC.
What are member-states of the European Union?
The European Union is an organization of most of the states of western Europe that works toward and oversees the economic and political integration of these states. The European Union consists of the European Community. The original members of the EEC were Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Denmark, Ireland, and the United Kingdom joined in 1973. Greece was admitted in 1981. Portugal and Spain entered in 1986. The former East Germany entered as part of re unified Germany in 1990. Greenland, a dependent state of Den mark that had been brought into the EC when under full Danish rule, withdrew in 1985. The Maastricht Treaty paved the way for other European countries to join the EU. Austria, Finland, and Sweden - all members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) - became members of the EU in 1995.
How often do the members of the European Union meet?
The European Union General Assembly meets once in four years. As a rule the European Union member-states have regular annual meetings.
What role do the international organizations play today?
The influence of the international organizations is great. They deal with political, social, and economic problems. They are concerned with the environmental problems as well. For example, such international organization as the United Nations is aimed at modifications of the national and international laws for the good of the people. The chief modification introduced by the United Nations Charter is the limitation of the rights of subjects of international law under international customary law to threaten or resort to armed reprisals and war.
What are the results of the activity of the international organizations?
The results of the activity of the international organizations are significant The UN General Assembly passed a number of resolutions and declarations. They are the Nuremberg Principles that dealt with crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity; genocide; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the right of peoples and nations to self-determination; permanent sovereignty over natural resources; denuclearization; and non-intervention. The most important of them is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This general agreement that all human beings are entitled to some basic rights marked the birth of the international and universal recognition of human rights.