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Tutor profile: Benjamin F.

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Benjamin F.
Juilliard-Trained Cellist Offering Music Theory and History Tutoring
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Questions

Subject: Spanish

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Question:

How do you conjugate an irregular verb like "ser" in the preterite tense?

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Benjamin F.
Answer:

Not all irregular verbs are conjugated the same way in the preterite tense. That is what makes them irregular. With ser, though, it works as follows: Yo fui. Tú fuiste. Él/ella/usted fue. Nosotros fuimos. Vosotros fuisteis. Ellos/ellas/ustedes fueron.

Subject: Music Theory

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Question:

How does the tonic/dominant relationship work?

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Benjamin F.
Answer:

The chords I (tonic) and V (dominant) are the two most important tonal pillars in common practice Western music. The tonic is the "home" chord, where one expects a passage or piece of music to end, and the dominant is a point of musical tension that wants to resolve to the aforementioned tonic. The tonic triad (three-note chord) is made up of the first, third, and fifth notes of a scale, and the dominant contains the fifth, seventh, and second. In both triads, the initial note listed is known as the root of the chord, which is the fundamental pitch upon which the rest of the chord is based. When a dominant resolves to tonic, this is called a cadence, and is another crucial musical device. A strong cadence that definitively ends a piece will typically have the roots of the chords as the lowest notes, so that the bass line moves from the fifth note of the scale to the first.

Subject: Music

TutorMe
Question:

What were some of the main aspects of the Romantic era in music?

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Benjamin F.
Answer:

In the Romantic era, human emotion was heavily emphasized. Besides that, though, there was a focus on programmatic music, meant to evoke a specific scene or story. For examples, you can take a look at the tone poems of Richard Strauss, or the music of Hector Berlioz. A reverence for nature was another important facet of the Romantic period, much like in the literary movement, and can be found in places such as the art songs of Robert Schumann.

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