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Tutor profile: Mariana W.

Inactive
Mariana W.
Adjunct Professor of Music History and Academic Author
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Questions

Subject: Writing

TutorMe
Question:

What is the best way to improve my writing skills?

Inactive
Mariana W.
Answer:

Having someone else read your writing is the best way to improve your skills. A second pair of eyes will catch simple mistakes like misspellings not caught by spellcheckers or missing words. More importantly, however, having someone else read your writing will make sure that you are communicating accurately and clearly. Sometimes sentences can be too long and convoluted, confusing the reader. The overall intent of paragraphs and the flow of entire essays should be logical to someone else.

Subject: Music Theory

TutorMe
Question:

How does the suspension of dissonant notes and extended harmonies impact the way we enjoy a piece of music?

Inactive
Mariana W.
Answer:

Musical composition is largely based on the idea of conflict and resolution. When notes conflict with one another resulting in a harsh sound, listeners are anxious until consonance is reasserted. We await a resolution and the longer it is postponed, the more interesting a composition becomes. Composers throughout history have worked with delaying the gratification of a resolving cadence, sometimes surprising listeners with a deceptive resolution and other times avoiding a resolution altogether. It is what makes music so interesting.

Subject: Music

TutorMe
Question:

How can studying songs help us to understand the socioeconomic history of our society?

Inactive
Mariana W.
Answer:

Songs are like time capsules, if we know how to unpack the historic clues that they provide. The lyrics can fairly easily communicate the writer's observations and emotions concerning contemporary events, while the accompanying music can also provide clues about how and where the song might have been performed at the time. Together with information about music dissemination and consumption, we can piece together what was happening at the time of composition and better understand the historic context. Examining songs in this manner can help improve our appreciation of history.

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