English Music Idioms: Quiz and Audio Lesson | DailyStep English

English Music Idioms: Quiz and Audio Lesson

Do you know these 5 English Music Idioms?

English Music IdiomsTake this free DailyStep English Quiz and Audio Lesson to learn these 5 great English idioms related to music.  Face the music? Call the tune? Can you use these and other music-related idioms in conversation?  Check your understanding here:

First, take this FREE QUIZ :

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How did you do in the Music Idioms quiz?
 Listen to this lesson, to check that you can use these idioms properly!

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Music Idioms (part 1)
By Jane Lawson at DailyStep.com

Idiom:
1.  Change your tune

Meaning:

Change your opinion about someone or something


Examples: 1. He was not happy about the plans for the new road, but changed his tune when he realised it would bring more customers to his shop.
Note: this is a common way to use this idiom - when someone changes their mind because it will bring them an advantage.

2. You have really changed your tune about this place - you used to hate it!  Now you keep saying how much you love it here.

Note:  When musicians change their tune, they start playing different music.


2. Face the music


Confront the unpleasant consequences of your actions


Examples: 1. When the newspaper published details of his deception, the politician had face the music and resign.
2. After he escaped from prison, he decided to face the music rather than spend the rest of his life in hiding. So he went to the police station and handed himself in.

 

Note:  There are 2 theories about the origin of this idiom. One is that when an actor in a musical ‘faces the music’ (i.e. the orchestra), he is also facing the audience, who may be hostile! The other theory is that when a soldier was dismissed in disgrace from the military, his dismissal would be accompanied by a band playing music.


3.Play it by ear


Decide how to act or react in a situation as it develops, rather than planning in advance


Examples:  1. I haven’t prepared at all for the meeting - I will have to play it by ear and hope for the best!
2. I’m not sure how long we will stay in one place while we are travelling. We will  just play it by ear, as we don't have a particular schedule.

 

Note: If a musician plays music by ear, he does not know it in advance and also does not have the written music. So he plays the music by listening carefully to the tune.


4.  Blow the whistle on someone or something


Bring something bad to the attention of someone else, in order to prevent it from happening again


Examples: 1. After he blew the whistle on the terrible conditions for the factory workers, the factory owners were forced to make improvements. But then he was fired for being the whistleblower!

2. The company stopped using such poisonous chemicals after workers blew the whistle and alerted the government.

Note: People used to blow whistles in order to alert others of danger and to call for help.


5. Call the tune


Be the person who decides when and how something will happen


Examples: 1. John calls the tune around here so you will need to consult him about it.

2. It was clear to us that his wife called the tune when it came to decisions about the house.

Note: the idiom ‘call the shots’ has exactly the same meaning.

This idiom comes from the proverb: He who pays the piper calls the tune. This means: The person who pays the musician can choose the music.

 
Now, try to use these idioms in some sentences of your own, which are true to your own life, as this will help you to remember them better. Next,  listen to the free audio summaries of DailyStep Audio Lessons.

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English Music Idioms - Free Quiz and Audio Lesson -  DailyStep English