An Overview of the Arts: Painting, Music, Theater and Dance

Painting, music, theater and dance all fit in to the vast category of humanities. I am going to enlighten you about the different kinds of paint that different artists use and all the elements they need to paint a masterpiece. Then I am going to tell you about music. I am going to briefly go over different types of music and essential elements needed to create a perfect piece. Third, I would like to acquaint you with the way theater works. I would like to go into detail about different types of plays and performance. Finally, I am going to explore the world of dance with you.

First, there are five main different kinds of paints used by most artists. They are oils, watercolor, gouache, tempera, acrylics and fresco. Oil paints were created in the fifteens century, oils paints seem to be the most popular, because the paint dries slowly and can be reworked. Oil paints also give much different choice for textures. Watercolor is a wide category that contains any medium that uses water to make it thinner. Watercolors have a down side because the artist must take care not to overlap colors; if they do the overlap will show. Some artists mix gouache with watercolor of pigment suspended in water. Gouache dries lighter than it appears when its wet, that may make it difficult to match colors while painting, if done in multiple sittings. Tempera is another kind of watercolor. Tempera has been used for hundreds of years. The Egyptians used it and it is still used today. Tempera dries quickly and is very easy to shape. Tempera paint contrast with acrylics. All most all acrylics dissolve in water. Acrylics give artist many different options when it comes to color and technique. Finally, fresco use suspended pigment and is put on to wet plaster. Fresco is a wall paint that has been used by many famous artists in history. Such as the Sixteenth Chapel painted by Michelangelo.

A line is a fundamental part of design. A line is redefined by four different parts which are length; color edge and implication of continue direction. Value is the second element that I'm going to discuses. Value is the lightness or darkness of a color. Value is also called tone. Basically the lighter colors (white) have the most value and the darker the color the less the value it holds. The third element is texture. Texture can be broken into two parts physical texture and visual texture. Texture can be from lumps in the paint and scratches on the canvass. Texture can also be smoothness to a three dimensional painting. Finally, hues that are sometimes also referred to as color. Color uses a twelve part color wheel that is made of three main colors, red, blue and yellow. These colors are mixed and form secondary colors.

Second, music has many different forms such as concerto, sonata, suite, symphony, fugue, opera and motet. Concert is normally a chorus with one, or more soloist and instrumental ensemble that has several movements. The most common kind of concerto is a solo instrument with a full orchestra. A concerto has three movements, the first fast, the second is slow and the third is fast. The opening movements are normally bold and strong. The slow movements have more lyrics than the fast movements. The third movement is usually like a dance. A sonata is an instrumental composition that contains several movements. The sonata is written for one to eight instrumental players. Suite is an instrumental composition containing a series of different movements. Suites were developed around the 16th century. Symphony is also an orchestra composition. Symphony is normally four movement's longs and is normally twenty-five to forty- five minutes long. The symphony was developed around the eighteenth century. Fugue is a composition, technique, in which a theme is extended and developed. One person performs a movement or says a few words, and then someone else enters and does the same. Opera is a form of dramatic art. Opera reveals the plot through song rather than speaking.

In order to put all the notes together and create a beautiful peace of music we must first understand pitch, tempo, duration, rhythm, melody, harmony and texture. Pitch refers to the highness and lowness of each sound we hear. Tempo is the rate of speed that the music is going. Duration is the amount of time a vibration last with out stopping. Rhythm is a pattern of duration that's phenomenally present in music. Melody is the organization of musical tone that occurs one after another. Harmony is when two or more tones sound at once. Texture is usually used to rate the overall sound of a piece and is sometimes described as loose or closed texture. There are several types of textures for example monophony and homophony there are several other types of textures al well. Monophony or Monophonic` is a type of texture. Monophony occurs when the same note is sung or played at the same time. Homophony is also another type of texture.

Third, theater uses many different techniques of execution such as tragedy, comedy, tragicomedy, melodrama and performing arts. When most people think of tragedy they think of play or movies with unhappy endings. Tragedy has changed a great deal over the years. When one hears the word comedy they usually associate it with funniness, and laughing. Actually comedy includes a wide rang of theatrical approach, from high comedy (very funny) to slapstick comedy which is like an action movie mixed with a comedy.

Tragicomedy is just as the name says it's a tragedy mixed with a comedy and is designed to mix emotions. Melodrama is also another from of theater that is mixed. It appeared in the late eighteenth century. Melodrama uses a serous situation that arouses suspense and some times hate. Performing arts was created in the late twentieth century. Performing arts pushes away from traditional theater.

We need seven main elements in order to put a theatrical performance together: script, plot, exposition, complication, foreshowing, discovery, reversal and finally actors. The playwright creates the script. A script contains all the dialogue to be used by the actors. The dialogue is also known as what is spoken. The plot is the structure of the play. The plot determines how the play works, how each act is put together and how they move from one act to another. Exposition gives all the essential background information. During the exposition process the playwright introduces the characters, personalities, backgrounds and relationships. Complication is the conflict or the drama. This is usually the part of the play where a problem arises, for example someone is killed, or something is missing. Foreshowing keeps the audiences informed about where they are and what is going to happen in the future. Foreshadowing also help to keep actions logical and avoid confusion. Discovery is the part of the play that shows the character and their personalities, feeling and relationships. A play cannot go on with out discovery. Reversal is the turn of fate or fortune. For example a pour girl turning into the queen is a turn of fate. Finally, a play cannot go on with out actors and actress. Actors have two elements that bring plays to life; these two elements are as follows. First, actors enhance our response to the play by speech. The second element actors have is he or she gives their character movement and brings them to life.

Finally, there are several different types of dance. I am going to discuss five types of dance with you. Ballet is somewhat if a theatrical kind of dance. Modern dance covers many kinds of dances, that where created in the twentieth century. Ritual dance are normally about topics of certain countries. Folk dance is kind of like folk music, we are uncertain of who and when it was created. Jazz dance is believed to come from Africa. Today Jazz dance appears in a verity of forms.

Dance has been around for years and has many forms. But in order to put it all together we need the elements of: formalized movement, line or form, rhythm, mime, idea content, music, and mise-en-scence. Let me start with formalized movement. Formalized movement can best be seen in ballet. Most modern dance lacks formalized movement, line, form, and repetition all apply to how the human body is used. Rhythm is how each step flows with the next step, just as in music. Mime is also known as mimetic. In dance if sign language is used or a dancers moves are associated with people or animals they are miming.

Music and dance depends on each other, it can be very difficult to create a dance with out music. Movement during a dance are usually created from the music, they go together.

Mise-en-scence is constructed of visual and theoretical movement. It is a dance but has props sets, and actors just like a play. Dance requires many elements to put on a spectacular presentation.

In closing painting is when you place pigment (paint) onto a surface. Remember there are several different kinds of paint and each are used for a different purpose. Music is a complex equation with notes, pitch and harmony and much more. Theater is a performing art. It involves actors and actress, putting of a play. Plays requires many elements in order to be successful. Dance is sometimes includes in theatrics and almost always music. Painting, music, theatrics, and dance are all in the vast category of humanities and each require its own discipline.

Dennis J. Sporre, (2006) Perceiving the Arts an Introduction to the humanities eighth edition

Sporre has written several books about humanities and goes in to great detail in her writing. I found a great deal of information in this book. It covered a great deal of material; it was very informative but not very interesting.

John Lovett (n.d.) retrieved from http://www.johnlovett.com February 2006

Lovett is a professional painter; he offers a verity of painting class. His web site lists all the classes he offers and some of his technique for painting. Lovett was born in Australia; he attended art school in new castle. He was been painting since he was a child. He father was also a painter.