Tutor profile: Jessica P.
Subject: Music Theory
Why can't I call an E flat a D sharp whenever I want?
Each musical scale uses exactly one of each letter from A to G. The C scale has no sharps or flats and simply goes C - D - E - F - G - A - B, and then C again at the top. One scale that includes E flat is the B flat scale. It goes B flat - C - D - E flat - F - G - A - B flat. Again, every letter gets used exactly once. If a piece of music is in this key, you will see E flats and also Ds. If you changed the E flats to D sharps, it wouldn't be a note in your original scale. Plus, it would mess with the rule of only using a letter name once. Your new scale would go B flat - C - D - D sharp - F - G - A - B flat, which has D twice! This gets more important when you look at chords. If a chord has an E flat in it, this will make certain intervals with the notes around it. For example, E flat is a third away from C, but D sharp is only a second. Even though the note sounds the same, we have to analyze it differently depending on how it is written.
What keys is Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus in?
The key signature for Ave Verum Corpus is D Major. There are two sharps: F and C. The piece starts out in this key of D Major and stays there through measure 10. In measure 12, we start seeing G sharps. These are not in the key signature, and since there are so many accidentals in a row, it signals a change in key. Adding G sharp with F and C gives us the key of A Major. This is confirmed by the A triad in measure 18. The next section is measures 22-29. It has many F naturals and C naturals with B flats added in. The options for a key with only B flat are F Major and D minor. This section does both: first four bars in F Major ending with an F triad in measure 25, and then four measures in D minor. The shift to the relative minor can be seen by the C sharps being added back in, and then finally we return to D Major by the end of the phrase with a half cadence on A. The rest of the piece stays in D Major. There are very few accidentals – mostly for chromatic steps.
Why is the wedding bed important in Homer's Odyssey?
Odysseus built his and Penelope's bed into a living tree, with the branches as bedposts. It is a symbol of the strength of their marriage and affection. When Penelope implies it has been cut down, she is tricking Odysseus into revealing whether he cares about the bed – and her. Odysseus is shocked and angry that she could have moved the bed, thus showing that he is still the man she married at heart. This is why Penelope waits to embrace him until after the confrontation over the bed, because only then does she know that he still loves her.
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