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4 Disciplines of Visual and Performing Arts

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4 Disciplines of Visual and Performing Arts

Visual and performing arts enrich our lives in a variety of ways. They entertain us, educate us about the world, let us see our world in a different way, and help us record our world for future generations. There are many different forms of visual and performing arts. In this essay, I will discuss painting, music, theater, and dance.

Painting is the art of putting a medium on a flat surface with a brush. The mediums used to do this are as vast as the artist themselves. Some of these mediums are watercolor, tempera, fresco, and oil. Watercolor is a pigment that has been mixed with a water soluble substance. It is mixed by the brush and water. It creates a translucent quality that is not useful to an artist who wants to paint precise detail. Tempera is made by mixing pigment with egg yolk. It is then applied to a surface that has been prepared with gesso, a fine powdery plaster that is mixed with water. Tempera dries very quickly, and has a dry flat appearance when finished. Tempera is the oldest known paint. Fresco is made by adding pigment to lime water and then applied to a wet plaster wall. It dries very quickly like tempera, so the artist must work fast. It is the media that Michelangelo used to paint the Sistine Chapel. The tempera that is used in the masterpieces is not the same as tempera paint that is used my children in school. Oil paint is made by mixing powdered pigments in oil and turpentine. It can portray many textures with shadow, and provides a vast blending of colors. Oil paint dries very slowly. After its development, it was the medium of choice for most painters.

Painters use many elements to portray what they wish in their painting. Because painting is essentially making a two dimensional object seem three dimensional, artists must employ many different elements. A line, which is the most basic element in painting, delineates an area from point to point. It is used to outline a figure, or to provide direction to the painting. Color can describe a mood of a painting.

Balance in a painting can be achieved by the way the artist has positioned shapes and forms in the painting. It can be symmetrical, which is harmonious or asymmetrical which can add interest to the painting. Balance can also be used to establish the focal area in a painting.

Music is an art that requires a person to listen to it instead of just hearing it. There are many forms of music. There is popular music, which is music that is contemporary, consisting of rock and roll, jazz, and country. There is classical music which encompasses overture, fugue, sonata form, and symphony. An overture is an orchestral movement that introduces an opera or ballet. A fugue has a theme which is first stated, then repeated and varied in a composition. Sonata form is a musical form that has three parts, exposition, development, and recapitulation. A symphony is a major work for an orchestra, and is composed in four movements, one of which is in sonata form.

Music relies on many elements. Elements that are unique to this art form are tone, rhythm, tempo, melody, and dynamics. Tone is the definite frequency that dominates a piece of music. Rhythm is the relationship of sounds together in the music. We recognize rhythm in a piece of music by what note is accented and for how long – for example: ONE, two, three, four— as opposed to one, two, three, FOUR. Tempo is how fast the music is played. Terms that describe tempo are time value such as andante, or “at a walking pace”, or largo, which means slow. Melody is the recognizable group of notes in a composition that weave through the entire piece. Finally, the loudness or softness of a piece is referred to as dynamics. They provide interest to the composition. These elements are unique to this medium because music is a purely auditory art. Musicians employ these elements to convey the emotions that they want the listener to feel.

Dance is defined as a series of rhythmic steps and movements usually preformed to music. Dance has been used in history for many things. There is ritual dance, which is the oldest form of dance, is used for spiritual, practical, and to

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