2017年12月英语四六级考试必背优秀范文(12)

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2017年12月英语四六级考试必背优秀范文(12)

  23 Ford

  Although Henry Ford’s name is closely associated with the concept of mass production, he should receive equal credit for introducing labor practices as early as 1913 that would be considered advanced even by today’s standards. Safety measures were improved, and the work day was reduced to eight hours, compared with the ten-or twelve-hour day common at the time. In order to accommodate the shorter work day, the entire factory was converted from two to three shifts.

  In addition, sick leaves as well as improved medical care for those injured on the job were instituted. The Ford Motor Company was one of the first factories to develop a technical school to train specialized skilled laborers and an English language school for immigrants. Some efforts were even made to hire the handicapped and provide jobs for former convicts.

  The most widely acclaimed innovation was the five-dollar-a-day minimum wage that was offered in order to recruit and retain the best mechanics and to discourage the growth of labor unions. Ford explained the new wage policy in terms of efficiency and profit sharing. He also mentioned the fact that his employees would be able to purchase the automobiles that they produced – in effect creating a market for the product. In order to qualify for the minimum wage, an employee had to establish a decent home and demonstrate good personal habits, including sobriety, thriftiness, industriousness, and dependability. Although some criticism was directed at Ford for involving himself too much in the personal lives of his employees, there can be no doubt that, at a time when immigrants were being taken advantage of in frightful ways, Henry Ford was helping many people to establish themselves in America.

  24.Piano

  The ancestry of the piano can be traced to the early keyboard instruments of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries --- the spinet, the dulcimer, and the virginal. In the seventeenth century the organ, the clavichord, and the harpsichord became the chief instruments of the keyboard group, a supremacy they maintained until the piano supplanted them at the end of the eighteenth century. The clavichord’s tone was metallic and never powerful; nevertheless, because of the variety of tone possible to it, many composers found the clavichord a sympathetic instrument for intimate chamber music. The harpsichord with its bright, vigorous tone was the favorite instrument for supporting the bass of the small orchestra of the period and for concert use, but the character of the tone could not be varied save by mechanical or structural devices.

  The piano was perfected in the early eighteenth century by a harpsichord maker in Italy (though musicologists point out several previous instances of the instrument). This instrument was called a piano e forte (sort and loud), to indicate its dynamic versatility; its strings were struck by a recoiling hammer with a felt-padded head. The wires were much heavier in the earlier instruments. A series of mechanical improvements continuing well into the nineteenth century, including the introduction of pedals to sustain tone or to soften it, the perfection of a metal frame, and steel wire of the finest quality, finally produced an instrument capable of myriad tonal effects from the most delicate harmonies to an almost orchestral fullness of sound, from a liquid, singing tone to a sharp, percussive brilliance.

  NOTE:

  Musical Instruments

  1.The strings (弦乐)

  1) plectrum: harp, lute, guitar, mandolin;

  2) keyboard: clavichord, harpsichord, piano;

  3) bow: violin, viola, cello, double bass.

  2. The Wood(木管)—winds : piccolo, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, English horn;

  3. the brass(铜管): French horn, trumpet, trombone, cornet, tuba, bugle, saxophone;

  4.the percussion(打击组): kettle drum, bass drum, snare drum, castanet, xylophone, celesta, cymbal, tambourine.

  .

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