Augmented fourth in minor
Question: I am wondering why composers use a raised fourth when moving to V during a piece in a minor key. Is it simply because the raised fourth is the leading tone to v and it strengthens the cadence/resolution? - Matthew

Answer: The first time I looked at this I thought you were thinking of the augmented fourth that would appear in a V7-i chord change, like this:

That would be just as you say, a strengthing of the resolution by raising the leading tone in minor. Pretty much standard procedure. But then an more attentive reading, i.e. when awake, discloses that you're talking about movement "to" the V chord, not from it. In that case maybe you're thinking of the raised 6th degree below (F# in this case). Maybe you're calling it a raised fourth because it's the fourth degree of what would be the major scale if the key were major. Is this getting too confused? If you're thinking of that then the F below was sharped to avoid making an augmented second with the G# - that is, it is a case of the "melodic minor" scale:

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