Tutor profile: Sydney Marie H.
How do we know something is music?
A lot of people have different ideas about what counts as "music". One person may love a certain musician's song, while another person may think that song is just noise! Although music can be hard to define, my favorite definition is this: "Music is organized sound over time with intent." But what does that MEAN? Some people make really strange music without any instruments at all, like playing on trash cans. How do we decide if it should count as music or not? Here's an example we can try out... ----- Let's say that there is a person sitting on the ground with a small metal pipe, and they are hitting a piece of wood to make a ringing, banging sound. We can ask ourselves three questions to see if that meets our definition of music! 1. "Is the sound ORGANIZED in any particular way?" Answer: If they are thinking about the way the pipe is hitting the wood, and they are making it happen at certain times for a certain sound, they are ORGANIZING the sound, even if they're just making it up on the spot! YES. 2. "Is the sound played over any particular amount of TIME?" Answer: If they are sitting down and hitting the wood with the pipe for any amount of time (more than just once), then YES. 3. "Is the sound being made with actual INTENT?" Answer: If the person is hitting the wood with the pipe for the purpose of making music, or to express an emotion or sense, then YES. So in this example: YES! It may not be a musical instrument, but the man is using a metal pipe and piece of wood to make HIS version of music! This leaves us the opportunity to think outside the box and try new things with music. ----- Let's change the scenario a bit to decide when our example might NOT count as music. Imagine that our metal pole just happened to be tied up next to a piece of wood. Every now and then, the wind would blow it into the wood, and it would make a banging sound. You might be able to argue that the sound is somewhat ORGANIZED, but that's debatable. And yes, the sound is still happening over a certain amount of TIME. But there is no intent behind the banging at all! It's just happening by chance. So while someone might hear the ringing and banging sound and say that it "sounds musical", by our definition, it doesn't count as actual music. ----- Remember: Music is an art, and it is all subjective. It's up to YOU to come up with a definition that works for you!
What is the difference between a metaphor and a simile?
A metaphor and a simile both show similarities between two different things. They are often interchangeable, but there is a very subtle difference. Usually, the difference only comes down to one or two words! METAPHORS are broad. They usually describe the sense or aspects of one thing in order to describe something else entirely. Example: "Her eyes were an ocean shining under the morning sun." Obviously, her eyes weren't ACTUALLY oceans. But we know what the writer is saying about her eyes because we know what an ocean looks like: blue, sparkling, and beautiful! That's what he's trying to say her eyes looked like. SIMILE: Similes are metaphors, but they are more exact and obvious. You can usually tell a simile because they often include one word that other metaphors do not: "like". Let's rewrite the above sentence as a simile... Example: "Her eyes were like an ocean shining under the morning sun." Did you catch that? The only thing we changed has we added the word "like" in right before the metaphor. Here's an easy way to remember whether something is a simile or a metaphor. Let's try a sample question! ------ QUESTION: Both of the following sentences are metaphors. Which one is also a simile? Sentence #1. "I am a dog, loyal to my friends and happy wherever I go!" Sentence #2. "I am like a dog, loyal to my friends and happy wherever I go!" ------ ANSWER: Sentence #2 is the simile! You can tell because the writer uses the word "like" to point out, very clearly, that he is describing himself using a metaphor. ------ An easy way to remember this is that if you're using a METaphor, you are saying "ME, Too!". ("I am a dog too!") If you are using a SIMILe, you are saying you are SIMILar. ("I am similar to a dog!") Fun Fact: All similes are metaphors, but not all metaphors are similes!
Fill in the following blanks with either "affect" or "effect" to properly complete the sentence. 1. "Rebecca's sour mood had a negative ______ on the party." 2. "Joe wished that Rebecca hadn't allowed her sour mood to ______ the party so much."
Correct Answers: 1: "effect". 2: "affect". It's often difficult to remember when to properly use "effect" and "affect". The most basic rule is that "affect" is the verb and "effect" is the consequence of that verb. An easy way to remember the basic rule is to think of the acronym "RAVEN": "Remember: Affect = Verb. Effect = Noun". R-A-V-E-N. Let's break each one down even more so you'll never forget again! AFFECT: In most situations, "affect" is the verb. It is usually an action word which means "to influence something". (You can also remember that "affect" is an ACTION, and "affect" and "action' both start with the letter "A"!) How can you test if it's proper to use "affect"? Well, let's try going back to our example sentence: "Joe wished that Rebecca hadn't allowed her sour mood to AFFECT the party so much." If we replace the word "AFFECT" with an actual verb, it still makes sense. When we say that Rebecca's mood "affected" the party, we mean it happened in a negative way. So let's say that her mood negatively affected the party by "darkening" it and change the sentence... "Joe wished that Rebecca hadn't allowed her sour mood to DARKEN the party so much. See? It still makes sense with a verb, so we know that the proper word is "affect"! EFFECT: "Effect" is typically a noun, meaning it is the consequence or result of something else. A good test is that if there is a grammatical article (such as "a/an/the") in front, the correct word is "Effect". Even if it doesn't have an article in front, you probably COULD put the article there without it sounding strange. For example, you could tell a story about a bee stinging a dog, like this: "The bee STUNG the dog. The PAIN was terrible!" You could also use "affect" and "effect" to tell the story. Remember, "affect" is the verb and "effect" is the consequence of that verb. "The bee AFFECTED The dog. The EFFECT was terrible!"
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