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Tutor profile: Andrew C.

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Andrew C.
Professional Music Theory Teacher, Pianist, Composer
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Questions

Subject: Music Theory

TutorMe
Question:

Can you please explain the procedures of resolving a supertonic seventh chord?

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Andrew C.
Answer:

In four part harmony, the rules for resolving a supertonic seventh chord are the same as resolving any diatonic seventh chord. The seventh must not only fall by step, but must also be prepared by common tone. The seventh may be suspended through a tonic harmony (as the seventh of the supertonic chord is the tonic of the key in which it exits). The Supertonic seventh chord should most commonly resolve to V of V7. In minor keys the supertonic seventh chord is half diminished and is provides a solution to harmonizing melodies root position supertonic chord.

Subject: Music

TutorMe
Question:

Common Question I've been asked: Why don't professional pianists also compose great music anymore?

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Andrew C.
Answer:

Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven were all gifted and trained improvisors. As students, they were expected to read and elaborate on figured bass, transpose on demand, and even ornament and expand the compositions of other composers. Today, reading figured bass at sight, improvising, and adding ornamentation has become a specialization among classically trained keyboard players and is no longer the norm. Not everyone takes the time to learn these skills. Instead, most pianists today focus their efforts on simply learning the vast amount of repertoire we already have. While they gain virtuosic abilities, the craftsmanship required to construct formal pieces cannot be absorbed by simply performing music. Engraving may also play a factor. Bach, notably, had to literally copy out the scores he wanted from the library by hand in order to take them home to practice as a child. In doing so he would naturally acquire the composition techniques within the work he was copying. Today, obviously, pianists can just print the pieces they want to play. They don’t have to copy out every note by hand.

Subject: Art History

TutorMe
Question:

Common Question I'm asked: How did Beethoven Composer music despite being deaf?

Inactive
Andrew C.
Answer:

Beethoven (b.1970) wasn't completely deaf until his later years. His hearing loss is attributed to lead poisoning, trace amounts of which were common in house hold items back in his day. Despite his gradual decline in hearing, his audiation abilities were not affected. Audiation is the term we use to describe how composers hear music in their heads in a similar fashion to how writers hear words and sentences in their heads. The skill of audiation is developed and strengthened through the practice of score study and ear training.

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