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This module provides an overview on the subject of art appreciation for those entirely new to the subject. This is a complex topic to deal with and it is impossible to have a truly comprehensive discussion on the topic in such a brief essay. The student is advised to consult more advanced texts to gain further understanding of how to appreciate art more fully.

HUMANITIES: What is it? • The term Humanities comes from the Latin word, “humanitas” • It generally refers to art, literature, music, architecture, dance and the theatre—in which human subjectivity is emphasized and individual expressiveness is dramatized.

HOW IMPORTANT IS HUMANITIES • The fields of knowledge and study falling under humanities are dedicated to the pursuit of discovering and understanding the nature of man. • The humanities deal with man as a being of purpose, of values, loves, hates, ideas and sometimes as seer or prophet with divine inspiration. • The humanities aim at educating.

THE ARTS: What is it? • The word “art” usually refers to the so-called “fine arts” (e.g. pictorial, plastic, and building)– and to the so-called “minor arts” (everyday, useful, applied, and decorative arts) • The word “art” is derived from arti, which denotes craftsmanship, skill, mastery of form, inventiveness. • Art serves as a technical and creative record of human needs and achievements.

The word 'art' is often used in our daily lives. However, when we scrutinize the word in depth, defining what is art may not be as straight forward as it appears to be.
SOURCE: Atkins, R. (2010). Art Speak; A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements and Buzzwords.

In this module, we are dealing with the subject of aesthetic visual arts, which includes painting, sculpture, photography, and so on.

Aesthetic art, in my opinion, is something that expresses an opinion or emotion, in a beautiful manner. A work of art can express not only positive emotions, but also negative emotions like sadness and anger, but these must be done in a beautiful manner. An idea or emotion remains an idea or emotion in the realm of the mind until it is expressed. The expression and subsequent transmission requires a vehicle. In the case of visual arts, possible vehicles could be canvas or paper.

Art is very similar to spoken/ written language. Like art, language is a vehicle for the transmission of ideas. Each genre of art has its own rules and traditions, just like language has grammar and vocabulary. A baby is born with a potential to learn language, but he is not able to communicate in a particular language until he learns to use it. So the language of art needs to be learned too.

The definition of 'beautiful' is a fluid concept. Each generation of artists explores new frontiers and ads to the existing pool of artistic language. For example, if you were to ask someone from the Renaissance period to appraise Picasso's paintings, Picasso's works would most likely be too different from their current understanding of artistic norms for them to fully comprehend and appreciate. Furthermore, new forms and concepts of art have almost never been invented on their own, but rather have evolved from ideas based on previous developments in art. This is why studying existing canons of great art is very important.

*Some definitions of art according to philosophers:

• Art is that which brings life in harmony with the beauty of the world.-Plato

• Art is the whole spirit of man.-Ruskin

• Art is the medium by which the artist communicates himself to his fellows.-Charleston Noyes

• Art is anything made or done by man that affects or moves us so that we see or feel beauty in it.-Collins and Riley

How to tell what is good art?

Many people think art is subjective. The answer is: yes, it is. At the same time, however, there are still yardsticks we can use to measure the quality of the art, especially among works that belong to the same genre.

To understand how this works, let us use a simple analogy. If you come from a foreign land and have never eaten char kway teow (fried flat rice noodles), the first time you try the dish, you may not be able to tell whether it is good or bad. But after you've tried the dish from ten different stalls, you will probably be able to tell which is better, and you probably would be able to define what qualities make for a good plate of char kway teow. Therefore, in order to know good art when you see it, you need to have seen a lot of art - both good and bad - in order to make the comparison.

The fact is that mankind has been producing art for so long that the overall body of knowledge on art has become so complex that ordinary people cannot comprehend the scope of the subject without some form of structured education. Most people, however, continue to attempt to appraise art without investing the time and energy needed to understand the subject first.

The way to learn how to art appreciation is to look at more good art. In particular by familiarizing oneself with works of master artists. Over time, you will be able to assess for yourself what is good art and what is bad. It is also a good idea to receive formal instruction from a trained art teacher to cut short the learning curve. Ultimately, the key is to build a database of artistic knowledge and awareness for personal understanding.

SOURCE: Basa, R., and Garcia F. (2008). Basic Elements of Humanities. Censen Books and Research Center Manila.

The mechanics of expression via art work

If we show some apples to ten persons, and ask them to tell us what are their opinions about the apples, we will probably get ten different answers, although they are all looking at the same apples. The reality is that different people react differently to the same object or events.

The artist will have his/her own interpretations of things. In order to present this interpretation, the artist needs to decide on many things, e.g. the medium, the perspective, the composition, color, etc. After going through a process of decision making and execution, an artwork is produced. Over time, the artist develops a set of unique solutions that he/she is familiar with. This becomes the artist's style. In other words, the artist slowly coins his/her own artistic language. Most artists will start with an established master's language before molding his/her own identity.

The viewer, on the other hand, needs to reverse engineer and decode the messages hidden inside the artwork. This is why learning the artist's language is important. The viewer decodes the messages based on his/her own experiences and cultural backgrounds. For example, a Chinese may associate white color with death, while westerners may associate the color with purity.

Strategy: The five pillars of art appreciation

There are many ways of approaching the subject of art appreciation. Over here I shall introduce to you a set of strategies to get you started. Take note that this is just one set of strategy, there are many other different ways of dissecting art.

1. Subject matter: What is the subject matter of the art work about? Usually a work of art will have a main theme, which can often be known through its title. Almost anyone can create an idea or a theme in his/her own mind. But what makes an artist unique is in the rest of the four headings, which require technical skills.

2. Form: Form generally denotes how accurate the painted objects are presented. Note that there is a difference between inaccurate and exaggeration. Inaccurate is inability to capture forms, whereas exaggeration is conscious distortion to create desired effects.

3. Color: The artist can employ a variety of color schemes and techniques to achieve certain effects. Colors can contribute to the realism, or can be used to evoke certain emotions.

4. Lines/brushstrokes: Lines and brushstrokes are very important elements in both Chinese and Western art. It can be said that most pictures are constructed by lines and color patches. It may not be immediately obvious, but lines can be very expressive.

5. Composition: Composition is the way objects are arranged relative to one another in a visual picture. Although the way things are organized in a picture may look natural, in actual fact much careful considerations are put in to form a good composition. Composition can be used to create balance, sense of depth, or focus on the intended subject matter.

You can start analyzing master's works using these five pillars to build up your own 'database' of what is a good painting. Once you have understood the mechanics of a good painting, you can apply them to other paintings.

The above techniques dissect art from a technical perspective. Over here I will like to stress that the ultimate aim of art is not to flaunt technical expertise, but to express emotions in a sublime and beautiful manner. In order to understand high cultured art, it may be necessary to study deep into philosophical, historical and cultural disciplines. This may be even a more daunting task than to understand aesthetic technicalities. Thus what I am suggesting here is a short cut. It Is highly unlikely for an artist to be able to express powerful emotions but at the same time is poor in technical skills.

SOURCE: Coman, F.E. (2006). Treasures of Impressionism and Post Impressionism. National Gallery of Art. Abbeville Press Publishers, New York.
MAJOR AREAS OF ART ~Literary Arts Are those presented in the written mode and intended to be read. These include prose and poetry. (e.g. novels, short stories, sonnet, ballad, epic, essay) ~Visual Art Are those forms perceived by the eyes. These include painting, sculpture, and architecture ~Audio Visual Art Are those forms perceived by both ears (audio) and eyes (visual). They are called performing arts in as much as the artists render a performance in front of an audience.

FUNCTIONS OF THE ART • Personal/Individual Function • Social Function • Economic Function • Political Function • Historical Function • Cultural Function • Religious Function • Physical Function • Aesthetic Function

SOURCE: Menoy, Jesus Z. Introduction to the Humanities A Holistic Approach. Mandaluyong City: Books Atbp. Publishing Corp., 2009.

SOURCE: Di Yanni, Robert. (2010). Literature: Drama and Essay. New York Books Co.


Paintings have been existed since prehistoric times, but until recently they were highly expensive and thus were mainly used for artwork. It is generally defined as the application of pigments to surface. The pigment in powdered form is mixed with a binding agent or vehicle and a solvent or medium, to form paint—the liquid material that imparts, color to a surface.

TYPES OF PAINTING ← Fresco is the art of painting on plaster. Buon Fresco, or true Fresco is applied on damp lime plaster; Fresco Secco is painting on dry plaster. ← Encaustic consists of pigment in a wax vehicle that has been heated to a liquid state. ← Tempera is usually done in a wooden panel that has been made smooth with a plaster coating. ← Pastel pigment is bound to form a crayon which is applied directly to surface which is usually on paper. ← Oil consists of ground pigments mixed with linseed oil vehicle and turpentine medium or thinner. ← Acrylic is a mixture of pigment and a vehicle that can be thinned with water.

PAINTING STYLES ← Abstract same with calligraphy is a form of non-figurative art. ← Expressionism is an art derived from Cubism which is a development of decorative, individualistic, and personal expressiveness. ← Baroque originated from the Italian word “barucco” which is a philosophical term meaning “opposing” or “contradicting.” ← Impressionism is characterized by broken color and brushwork; this is a style of painting that originated in France. ← Modernism as an historical term ‘modern’ refers to a period dating roughly from 1860s through 1970 and to the style as well as the ideology of art produced during that era. ← Realism suggests copying of the actual appearance of objects, warts and all. ← Naturalism is a way of depicting objects as they might exist in other words; it implies a certain amount of improvement of the actual experience. o Symbolism is the practice where art production represents ideas by means of symbols, thus giving meanings to objects, events, and conditions. o Iconography and Iconology refers to the study of the meaning and interpretation of symbols and allegories. o Fauvism is described as using brilliant primary colors in favor of color illumination on subjects like pictures of comfort, joy, and leisure. o Cubism is a form of abstraction wherein objects are first reduced to cubes and then flattened into two dimensional shapes. o Suprematism is a peculiar abstraction where structure is subordinated to surface arrangement. o Surrealism is the opposite of abstraction, a modern art that attempts or portray the subconscious mind through unconventional means. o Impressionist refers to painters who portrayed effects of experience upon the conscience of the artist o Expressionist is where the artist used distortion of color and form to portray inner sensation and turmoil. o Rococo Painting came from the French word “rocaille” which means artificial art work and pierced shell work and are of elaborate designs. o Neo-Classicism denotes revival of classic ideals and forms in art whose themes are about heroic subjects and about sacrifice for a noble cause. o Romanticism is characterized of art works presenting idyllic landscape, stylized designs, and fluid sky.

ELEMENTS OF PAINTING ← Colors An important element color can be used to create color harmonies, contrasts, unity and variety in images as well as delineate space.

SOURCE: Estolan, Josefina V. et Al. (2005). Introduction to the Humanities (Arts of Fine Living). Mandaluyong city, National Book Store.

← Color Connotations ← White – pure, innocence, emptiness, calm, difference ← Red – radical emotions, anger, aggressive, excitement, welcoming ← Orange – unpredictable, warm, deteriorating, changing ← Green – raw, promising, immature, fresh, soothing, pleasant ← Yellow – cowardly, informal, sun ← Blue – clarity, severe, formal, low-spirited, reliable, sincere ← Purple – imperial, regal, articulate, showy

← Lines Lines can be straight, curved, or organic, and can vary in thickness (weight), and value.

1. Line – length without width or an extension of a point. There are two kinds of lines. • Static – because it suggests stillness • Dynamic – suggests force in motion 2. Size – refers to the magnitude or bulk of an object. 3. Shape – refers to the physical form or figure, which could imply weight or volume. 4. Texture – refers to the coarseness or the smoothness of a material. 5. Color – is the appearance or hue of an object with regard to the wavelength or light reflected by it.

← Texture Literally texture refers to a repeated pattern seen in some materials – fur of an animal, weave in fabric, etc., as represented in an image.

← Mass/Space Shapes or masses can be organic or geometric in nature and can be solid or empty.

← Perspective Light and dark used in shading and modeling forms in traditional art, as well as to delineate space.

Sculpture is any artwork made by the manipulation of materials resulting in a three-dimensional object. The sculpted figure of the Venus of Berekhat Ram, discovered in the Middle East in 1981, dates to 230,000 years BCE. It is the oldest example of artwork known. The crudely carved stone figure will fit in the palm of your hand. Its name derives from the similarity in form with so-called female fertility figures found throughout Europe, some of which date to 25,000 years ago. For example, the form of the Venus of Willendorf below shows remarkable skill in its carving, including arms draped over exaggerated breasts, an extended abdomen and elaborate patterning on the head, indicating either a braided hairstyle or type of woven cap. Just as remarkable, the figure has no facial detail to indicate identity. The meaning behind these figures is difficult to put into context because of the lack of any written record about them or other supporting materials. These earliest images are indicative of most of the cultural record in sculpture for thousands of years; singular figurative objects made within an iconographic context of myth, ritual or ceremony. It’s not until the Old Kingdom period of Egyptian sculpture, between 3100 and 2180 BCE that we start to see sculpture that reflects a resemblance of specific figures.

Types of Sculpture Sculpture can be freestanding, or self-supported, where the viewer can walk completely around the work to see it from all sides, or created in relief, where the primary form’s surface is raised above the surrounding material, such as the image on a coin. Bas-relief refers to a shallow extension of the image from its surroundings, high relief is where the most prominent elements of the composition are undercut and rendered at more than half in the round against the background. Rich, animated bas-relief sculpture exists at the Banteay Srei temple near Angor Wat, Cambodia. Here humans and mythic figures combine in depictions from ancient Hindu stories. The Shaw Memorial combines freestanding, bas and high relief elements in one masterful sculpture. The work memorializes Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts Fifty fourth regiment, the first African-American infantry unit to fight for the north in the civil war.

SOURCE: Marcos, Lucivilla L. (2010). Introduction to the Humanities & Visual Performing Arts. Mindshapers Co., Inc.

Methods 1. Carving uses the subtractive process to cut away areas from a larger mass, and is the oldest method used for three-dimensional work. Traditionally stone and wood were the most common materials because they were readily available and extremely durable.

Contemporary materials include foam, plastics and glass. Using chisels and other sharp tools, artists carve away material until the ultimate form of the work is achieved. A beautiful example of the carving process is seen in the Water and Moon Bodhisattva from 10th century China. The Bodhisattva, a Buddhist figure who has attained Enlightenment but decides to stay on earth to teach others, is exquisitely carved and painted. The figure is almost eight feet high, seated in an elegant pose on a lotus bloom, relaxed, staring straight ahead with a calm, benevolent look. The extended right arm and raised knee create a stable triangular composition. The sculptor carves the left arm to simulate muscle tension inherent when it supports the weight of the body. In another example, you can see the high degree of relief carved from an original wood block in this mask from the Pacific Northwest Coast Kwakwaka’ wakw culture. The mask was used in winter ceremonies where animals were said to take human form. It is extraordinary for masks to personify a natural event. This and other mythic figure masks are used in ritual and ceremony dances. The broad areas of paint give a heightened sense of character to this mask. Wood sculptures by contemporary artist Ursula von Rydingsvard are carved, glued and even burned. Many are massive, rough vessel forms that carry the visual evidence of their creation. Michelangelo’s masterpiece Statue of David from 1501 is carved and sanded to an idealized form that the artist releases from the massive block, a testament to human aesthetic brilliance.

2. Casting: The additive method of casting has been in use for over five thousand years. It’s a manufacturing process by which a liquid material is usually poured into a mold, which contains a hollow cavity of the desired shape, and then allowed to solidify.

One traditional method of bronze casting frequently used today is the lost wax process. Casting materials are usually metals but can be various cold setting materials that cure after mixing two or more components together; examples are epoxy, concrete, plaster and clay. Casting is most often used for making complex shapes that would be otherwise difficult or uneconomical to make by other methods. It’s a labor-intensive process that allows for the creation of multiples from an original object (similar to the medium of printmaking), each of which is extremely durable and exactly like its predecessor. A mold is usually destroyed after the desired number of castings has been made. Traditionally, bronze statues were placed atop pedestals to signify the importance of the figure depicted. A statue of William Seward (below), the U. S. Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln and who negotiated the purchase of the Alaska territories is set nearly eight feet high so viewers must look up at him. Standing next to the globe, he holds a roll of plans in his left hand. More contemporary bronze cast sculptures reflect their subjects through different cultural perspectives. The statue of rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix is set on the ground, his figure cast as if performing on stage. He’s on both of his knees, head thrown back, eyes shut and mouth open in mid-wail. His bell-bottom pants, frilly shirt unbuttoned halfway, necklace and headband give us a snapshot of 1960’s rock culture but also engage us with the subject at our level.

3. Modeling is a method that can be both additive and subtractive. The artist uses modeling to build up form with clay, plaster or other soft material that can be pushed, pulled, pinched or poured into place. The material then hardens into the finished work. Larger sculptures created with this method make use of an armature, an underlying structure of wire that sets the physical shape of the work. Although modeling is primarily an additive process, artists do remove material in the process. Modeling a form is often a preliminary step in the casting method. In 2010, Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti’s Walking Man (c. 1955), a bronze sculpture first modeled in clay, set a record for the highest price ever paid for a work of art at auction.

4. Construction, or Assemblage, uses found, manufactured or altered objects to build form. Artists weld, glue, bolt and wire individual pieces together. Sculptor Debra Butterfield transforms throw away objects into abstract sculptures of horses with scrap metal, wood and other found objects. She often casts these constructions in bronze.

Louise Nevelson used cut and shaped pieces of wood, gluing and nailing them together to form fantastic, complex compositions. Painted a single tone, (usually black or white), her sculptures are graphic, textural facades of shapes, patterns and shadow. Traditional African masks often combine different materials. The elaborate Kanaga Mask from Mali uses wood, fibers, animal hide and pigment to construct another worldly visage that changes from human to animal and back again. Some modern and contemporary sculptures incorporate movement, light and sound. Kinetic sculptures use ambient air currents or motors allowing them to move, changing in form as the viewer stands in place. The artist Alexander Calder is famous for his mobiles, whimsical, abstract works that are intricately balanced to move at the slightest wisp of air, while the sculptures of Jean Tinguely are contraption-like and, similar to Nevelson’s and Butterfield’s works, constructed of scraps often found in garbage dumps. His motorized works exhibit a mechanical aesthetic as they whir, rock and generate noises. Tinguely’s most famous work, Homage to New York, ran in the sculpture garden at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1960 as part of a performance by the artist. After several minutes, the work exploded and caught fire. The idea of generating sound as part of three-dimensional works has been utilized for hundreds of years, traditionally in musical instruments that carry a spiritual reference. Contemporary artists use sound to heighten the effect of sculpture or to direct recorded narratives. The cast bronze fountain by George Tsutakawa (below) uses water flow to produce a soft rushing sound. In this instance the sculpture also attracts the viewer by the motion of the water: a clear, fluid addition to an otherwise hard abstract surface. Doug Hollis’s A Sound Garden from 1982 creates sounds from hollow metal tubes atop grid like structures rising above the ground. In weather vane fashion, the tubes swing into the wind and resonate to specific pitch. The sound extends the aesthetic value of the work to include the sense of hearing and, together with the metal construction, creates a mechanical and psychological basis for the work.


Architecture is the art and science of designing buildings, bridges and structures to help us meet our personal and communal needs. Obviously Architecture is a complex matter since it falls under Art and Science. Architecture as an art aims to satisfy the aesthetic requirements of the buildings without disregarding the need for a sound structure with complete utilities. Architecture is also a vehicle for artistic expression in three dimensions. Thus, the architect is not only an artist but a mediator, a compromiser between the needs of the clients and the proper ties and aesthetic possibilities of the site.

TYPES OF ARCHITECTURAL CONSTRUCTIONS The type of construction to be employed determines the choice of materials to be used.

1. Post and Lintel This consists of two vertical posts for support (post) and a horizontal one (lintel). The prehistoric Stonehenge is an early example of Post and Lintel construction. Another example of post and lintel construction is the Parthenon in Athens, Greece.

2. The Arch Arches have many functions, including supporting other structures such as roofs, and serving as actual and symbolic gateways.

3. The Cantilever This is any structural part projecting horizontally and anchored at one end only.


1. Stone As a building material, stone is massive and virtually indestructible.
SOURCE: Marcos, Lucivilla L. (2010). Introduction to the Humanities & Visual Performing Arts. Mindshapers Co., Inc.

2. Wood Like stone, wood can be used as structural element or as a façade. 3. Cast Iron Cast iron as a building material was introduced in the nineteenth century industrialization. 4. Steel It is a strong metal of iron alloyed with small amounts of Carbon and a variety of other metals. 5. Concrete It is a manufactured mixture of cement and water with aggregate, of sand and stones which hardens rapidly by chemical combination to a stone like, water and fire resisting solid with great compressive strength. 6. Brick Brick compares favorably with some as a structural materials for its fine and weather resisting qualities and for the ease of production, transportation and lying.

THE PHILIPPINE ARCHITECTURE The Philippine Architecture evolved from the nipa hut which is commonly found in the countryside. Artists who contributed their works and services to the Center are: 1. Hernando Ocampo donated his painting “Genesis” with tapestry weaves in Kyoto, Japan utilized as the design for the curtains of the Center’s Theater for the Performing Arts; 2. Fernando Zobel, Arturo Luz and Cezar Legaspi did murals for various areas of the Center; 3. Vicente Manansala gave the bronze wall sculpture that dominates the entrance of the theater; 4. Pacita Keller designed the Philippine-made Capiz chandeliers in the Center’s foyer area; 5. Federico Aguilar Galvez evolved the curtains design for the smaller experimental theater; 6. Leonardo V. Locsin the architect of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. He is known for his bold modern and vigorous design of which are now imposing architectural landmarks in the most progressive business sectors of the country.

FAMOUS FILIPINO ARCHITECTS: 1. Leonardo V. Locsin – Cultural center of the Philippines 2. Jose Manosa – San Miguel Corporation Building 3. Francisco Manosa – Coconut Palace in Tagaytay, Cavite

DIFFERENT ARCHITECTURAL STYLES Egyptian Architecture (4000 – 2280 B.C.) Mesopotamia Architecture Greek Architecture (1100 – 100 B.C.) Roman Architecture (1000 B.C. – A.D. 4000) Byzantine Architecture (A.D. 200 – 1453) Baroque Architecture (1600 – 1750) Modern Architecture


Poetry – It is represented on the page in lines. It depends more on sound devices, such as rhyme and rhythm. It relies on heavily on figurative language. Figurative words and phrases communicate ideas beyond the literal meaning of words.

It is an artistic expression of an idea in a rhythmical pattern. It stirs the selection and stimulates the mind through its metrical rhythm, musical lines, sense impression and language. Poetry is a universal language that can be written and enjoyed by individuals of all ages from all walks of life because of its simplicity of form.

Poetry speaks of experience, beautiful or ugly, strange or common, noble or ignoble, actual or imaginary. It speaks of the inner need to live more fully and have greater awareness of the experience of others, as well as to understand one’s own better.


a. Sound – like song, poem use rhyme, rhythm and repetition to create special sound effects.

b. Shape – poet often play with the shape of words into suggest meaning. In this unit for example on poet runs together the words Eddie and bill. The new word suggests the closeness.

c. Idea – like other works of literature, poems are written to communicate idea, the images, shape and sounds of a poem work together to express the poets meaning.

SOURCE: Atkins, R. (2010). Art Speak; A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements and Buzzwords.

Division of Poetry

a. Lyric Poetry – song intended to be sung.

Kinds: 1. Ode – is a kind of lyric poetry which deal intended to praise. 2. Elegy – poem that is solemn, lament over death of a person. 3. Song – short lyric song intended to be sung. 4. Sonnet – a poem which has 14 lines. 5. Simple lyric – is a class that includes all lyrical poems that does not belong to other form of lyric originally composed of anyone.

b. Narrative – a poem which narrates a story.

Kinds: • Metrical Tale – narrates poem, real, imagery events about ordinary thought and simple language. • Metrical Romance – a narrative poem which deals about the knights and the ladies, etc.

c. Dramatic poetry – a poem intended to be dramatized. • Dramatic monologue


The creation of mental images usually involves the use of figures of speech. A figure speaks of one thing, usually an abstraction in terms of something else, something concrete and sensory. There is usually an observable association or similarity between the thing talked about and the terms used. Metaphor is the general term applied to several figures of association. A metaphor has two parts – the vehicle and tenor. The vehicle carries weight of comparison and the tenor is the implied meaning. In the poem Fog, the vehicle is the cat to which the fog is compared with its qualities of quiet movement, and the implied meaning is the quiet gathering of frog and its similarly silent dissipation over the harbor and city.

There are quite a number of figures of speech, but only about a dozen are frequently used. These are:

Simile – it consists of two different ideas or images in comparison and joined by “as” or “like”

Ex. May luv is like a red rose, that’s newly sprung in June”.

Metaphor – a direct comparison of two things or ideas where the meaning is implied.

Ex. “Life is a hound, Equivocal Comes to a bound Either to rend me Or befriend me, I cannot tell. R.Francis

Personification – giving personal/human attributes to inanimate objects or ideas.

Ex. “Leaves got up in a coil and hissed Blindly struck at my knees and missed.”

Apostrophe – a direct address to someone absent, long dead, or even to an inanimate object.

Ex. “Pack, clouds, away; and welcome, day! With night, we banish sorrow Sweet air, blow soft; mount, lark, aloft To give my love good morrow.”

Metonymy – the substitution of a word that relates to the thing or person to be named for the name itself; or the use of closely related thing to represent what is literally meant.

Ex. 1. “The crown will have an heir.” (Crown for ruler) 2. ”I shall read Shakespeare and Milton soon enough”. (Shakespeare and Milton would refer to the works of these authors.)

Synecdoche – the naming of parts to suggest the whole.

Ex. “Show your respect for snowy hair”. (Snowy hair refers to age/old people).

Hyperbole – an exaggeration used for artistic effect.

Ex. “Waves mountain high broke over the reefs.”

Irony – saying the opposite of what is meant.

Ex. “To cry like a baby, a fine way to act for a man your age.”

Allusion – a reference to any literary, biblical, historical, mythological, scientific event, character or place.

Ex. “Be no doubting Thomas or undecided Prince of Denmark.”

Antithesis – a contrast of words and ideas. Ex. “Look like an innocent flower, but be a serpent underneath.”

Paradox – a phrase or statement that on surface seems contradictory, but makes some kind of emotional sense.

Ex. “The screaming sound of silence pierced my brain”.

Litotes – a deliberate understatement used to affirm by negating its opposite.

Ex. “Even his plain dress, I find him not all displeasing.”

Oxymoron – putting together in one statement two contradictory terms.

Ex. “Such cruel kindness is your love for me.”

Onomatopoeia – the formation of use of words as hiss, buzz, cuckoo, having a sound that imitates what they denote.

Knowing the Sound Devices

The sound of words is important in making total sense, for no two words, no two sounds; ever have exactly the same meaning. For example, in the line from Milton:

“And I shall shortly be with them that rest.”

If the line is changed to something similar like “And I shall soon be with those who rest”, although the meaning is the same, the line is no longer the same kind of poetry. Poets carefully choose the words they use not only for their meanings but also for their sound. Specific sounds suggest certain ideas and feelings. Nasal [/m//n//ng/] suggest humming; liquid consonants [1//s//sh/] something soft, easy, and flowing; fricatives [f/f//v//O//6/] something lingering or continuous; while stops [/p//b//k//g//t//d/] imply an abrupt end or finality.

There are three categories under which we can study the uses of sounds in poetry: tone color or the sound of letters and words; rhythm, the sequence of sounds in a free pattern of accents; and meter, the sequence in a fixed pattern of accents.

Sound Devices

Repetition of Single Sounds

Subtle examples of tone color are found when single sounds are repeated.

Alliteration – the repetition of accented sounds that begin words.

Ex. “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary Over a many quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore While I nodded nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. Edgar Allan Poe

Assonance – the effect obtained from the repetition of accented vowel sounds as in foolish and crooning; race and make; free and easy.

Ex. “Break, break, break, On thy cold gray stones, O sea! And I would that my tongue could utter The thoughts that arise in me”

Consonance – is sometimes called “slant” rhyme. It is a general term for the effect produced by the repetition of accented consonant sounds when one of them is not at the beginning of a word. Often, both consonants occur at the ends of the word as in odds and ends, struts and frets. It is not as nearly obvious or common as alliteration, but it produces many subtle effects. For example in the Poe verse (The Raven) quoted above, dreary and weary, napping and tapping are in consonance.


(Shaffer, 2000) Form in poetry can be seen on two levels. On one level, poetry, like prose, can be grouped into many different genres or types based to a great extent on structural techniques (organizing principles) and subject matter. But because of the intensity of poetry (intensity of meaning, sound, and form), each poem should also be examined on a second level by identifying the elements of form that are unique to that individual poem.

Each poem’s meaning is to a greater or lesser degree affected by its form. Because economy of language and the other parameters within which the poet must work have such impact on the poem’s form, and conversely, the poem’s form can so greatly affect its language and meaning, this individualized approach is both necessary and greatly desirable.

Four common areas that you can examine to determine a poem’s form as it relates to and affects meaning are (1) rhythm, (2) rhyme scheme, (3) physical form, and (4) genre (defined by patterns of rhythm, rhyme, physical form, and subject).


Poetry has rhythm – a variation of stressed and unstressed sounds that has some type of regular pattern. Generally, the stressed sound or syllables (accents) recur regularly and, almost as natural consequence, cause grouping of the stressed sounds into units. In music, these units are often counted aloud by the piano student learning rhythm and are fundamental to the driving beat of hard rock, the toe-tapping cadence of a Texas two-step, and the slow rhythm of the blues. Rhythm can directly affect moods (and perhaps perceptions?), and different people prefer and enjoy or avoid and dislike different rhythms.

The musical unit became a “signature” of the late bandleader Lawrence Welk (whose program, The Lawrence Welk Show, has been syndicated on the Public Broadcasting System for many years). He would begin directing his orchestra to begin with a smile, a raised swirl of his baton, and “a-one-and-a-two-and-a…” The emphasis on musical units continued with the reggae music of 1970’s Jamaica and the rap music begun in the 1980s in New York City. Notice the strong regularity of this rap-style work:

So ya’ wanna do your best, But ya’ need a little rest. So your friends, they won’t be knowin’ To the party, you’ll be goin’.

As you examine poetic rhythm patterns, however you will also encounter variation. Sometimes the variation simply breaks the monotony of the “beat.” Sometimes it changes the mood and consequently affects the meaning. But at times, variation is used counter to the regular rhythm to the point that it becomes. “unrhythmical.”

Determining the rhythm in a poem is somewhat different from determining the accented syllables in everyday speech patterns. Natural rhythms of speech depend greatly upon such individual considerations as regional dialects. Prose rhythm is determined largely by the accents of the words as they would normally be spoken and by rhetorical accent, the emphasis placed on words and syllables because of their meaning. An example of rhetorical accent might be “Roger is so popular… Everybody knows Roger!” In “She gave the keys to you?” the rhetorical accent implies that the speaker is surprised at who is the recipient of the keys. Compare “She gave the keys to you?” which questions whether she really did give the keys, and “She gave the keys to you?” which questions who actually gave the keys. But metrical accent, the rhythm patterns found in poetry, is influenced by the varying levels of both syntax (word choice) and concepts that work within the tightly woven elements of poetic form.

Several factors will influence which syllables are stressed or accented in a line of poetry. These includes the normal accents associated with the word particularly in polysyllabic words, such as es-tab-lish (when the poet uses context to change the normal accent of a word, it is called wrenched accent); the grammatical function of the words (prepositions and articles are generally not stressed as strongly as nouns and verbs); rhetorical accents (stressed based on meaning); and metrical accents (stresses established in the context of the poem). The study of the rhythms and sounds of poetry is called prosody; the system used to described rhythm is called scansion. When you scan a line of poetry, you first identify which kind of foot is being used. A foot is the unit formed by a strong stress or accent and the weak stress (es) or unaccented syllable(s) that accompany it. You identify the type or kind that is being used as you “walk” along the individual line of poetry.

The type or kind that is being used as you “walk” along the individual line of poetry.

To illustrate, scan the first stanza of “The Wife of Usher’s Well.”

There lived a wife at Usher’s Well, And a wealthy wife was she; She had three stout and stalwart sons, And sent them o’er the sea.

The first step in scanning is to determine the accented or stressed syllable. This is done by placing an accent mark over each stressed syllable. (Remember that you are finding the “beat” of the poem”).

/ / / / There lived a wife at Usher’s Well, / / / And a wealthy wife was she; / / / / She had three stout and stalwart sons, / / / And sent them o’er the sea.

Next, identify the unstressed syllables by placing an X over each

X / X / X / X / There lived a wife at Usher’s Well, X X / X / X / And a wealthy wife was she; X / X / X / X / She had three stout and stalwart sons, X / X / X / And sent them o’er the sea.

Now look for a pattern. In this poem, there seems to be a pattern of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. Divide the groups of unstressed and stressed syllables into feet by using a slash mark (called a virgule).

X / X / X / X / There lived a wife at Usher’s Well, X X / X / X / And a wealthy wife was she; X / X / X / X / She had three stout and stalwart sons, X / X / X / And sent them o’er the sea.

At this point, you can identify what kind of foot is used in the poem. There are many different kinds of feet, but the most common to English poetry are illustrated by Lillian E. Myers in the following five stanzas called “Stressed and Unstressed”:

Stressed and Unstressed

Iambic foot (X /) unstressed, stressed X / X / X / X / Iambic is a line of verse, X / X / X / X / X / X / X / If this light rhymes you do rehearse, X / X / X / You’re sure to do no wrong. (Shaffer, 2000)

Meter (Constell)

Traditional poetry has measured rhythm – a regular verse or line pattern whose unit of measure is the foot. A foot usually contains one accented syllable and one or two unaccented syllables. Below are table of metrical feet, and line lengths – the number of feet in each poetic line.

Table of Metrical Feet

|Name of Foot |Pattern of Accent |
|iambi/iambic |X / |
|Trochee/trochaic |/ X |
|anapest/anapestic |X X / |
|dactyl/dactylic |/ X X |
|Spondee/spondaic |/ / X |

Table of Line Lengths

|Name of Feet/Line |Measure |
|One foot |Monometer |
|Two feet |Dimeter |
|Three feet |Trimester |
|Four feet |Tetrameter |
|Five feet |Pentameter |
|Six feet |Hexameter |
|Seven feet |Heptameter |
|Eight feet |Octameter |

To illustrate how foot is determined, here is a verse by Coleridge:

Trochee / trips from / long to / short.

From long to long in solemn sort.

Slow Spon / dee stalks; / strong foot / yet ill / able

Ever to / come up with / Dactyl tri / syllable./

Iam / bics march from short / to long;/

With a leap / and a bound / the swift Anapests throng./ (Constel)


Here is a listing of a few of the genres written in nonfiction with brief description of their characteristic structures, techniques, and subject matters. As you read a literary work, make a note of what structures, techniques, and organizing principles have been utilized that are characteristic of that genre. (Shaffer, 2000)

Genre: Essay


➢ Defined as brief prose composition ➢ Restricted topics ➢ Purpose: discussion or persuasion ➢ Often contains a thesis statement ➢ Addressed to general audience ➢ Two types: Formal essay – serious tone, scholarly, organized Informal essay – intimate tone, everyday topics, humor, less structure


The French writer Montaigne’s Essais appeared in 1580, and Francis Bacon began the English essay in 1597. Essays, especially the enlarged 1612 and 1625 editions include many aphorisms (concise statements intended to make a point). For examples of periodical essays, go to Joseph Addison and Sir Richard Steele (Tatler and Spectator – eighteenth century). Keep alert for their use of humor and satire. Other important British essayists include Jonathan Swift, Thomas Fuller, Abraham Cowley, John Locke, William Cowper, Robert Burton, Sir Thomas Browne, John Milton, Sir William Temple, John Drydenn, Daniel Defoe, and Anthony Ashley Cooper (Earl of Shaftesbury). Be sure to include some American essayists in your examination of the essay. Washington Irving’s Sketch-Book (1820) and Thoreau’s Walden provide excellent examples for comparison and contrast of styles. William F. Buckley, Jr., is a prolific modern essayist, and you can go to such magazines as The New Yorker and Scientific American as well as to other magazines and newsletters for essays on a wide range of topics.

Genre: Biography


➢ Defined as the story of a person’s life. ➢ Word first used by Dryden (1683) and defined as “the history of particular men’s lives”


To see how the biography genre changed over the years, compare the first English biography (William Roger’s life of Sir Thomas More) written in the sixteenth century with Boswell’s use of anecdote (using brief narration of single episodes to tell about interesting events in Johnson’s life) and Ana (gossip). The Pulitzer Prize has had a category for biographers and autobiographers since 1917.

Another genre that can be explored is the character. These short character sketches describe the ideal or sometimes less than ideal of humanity as demonstrated or embodied by the person being described. They often have such titles as “A Wise Man” or “A Glutton”. These were very popular in the early part of the seventeenth century. Richard Aldington’s A Book of Characters (1924) anthologizes the character, and you can find examples among the writings of Bishop Joseph Hall.

Genre: Autobiography


➢ Defined as the story of one’s own life ➢ Subtypes of autobiography: Diaries – an intimate account of day-to-day life, including thoughts. Journals – chronological logs of day-to-day events (also some scholarly periodicals such as The Journal of Medicine) Letters – notes and epistles; correspondence from one person to another Memoirs – recollections that center on certain other persons or events. Confessions – autobiographical recollections of matters that are normally held private. Examples

Autobiographies and memoirs are written to be published diaries, journals, and letters are more personal, with (in the case of letters especially) perhaps only a few people at most reading them. You may, in addition to looking at the most obvious autobiographies, such as those of Franklin and Adams, be interested in some letters written during various periods of literary history or written by noted writers (such as those of Charles Dickens of Lord Byron and perhaps the diary of Samuel Pepys).

Fiction is an imaginative literary narrative that can be in the form of prose, poetry, or drama. Most prose fiction falls into one of several types based primarily on length:

➢ Novel – an extended prose narrative that is fiction. The first English novel was Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson. (Generally, novel-length works are divided into chapters.) ➢ Novelette – shorter than the novel, more tightly structured. Sometimes called as short novel, it generally consists of about 15,000 to 50,000 words. ➢ Short story – ranges from 500 (in the short-short story) to 15,000 words. The short story is very tightly structured with a formal development. ➢ Anecdote – a narrative of a single episode (an incident).

SOURCE: Atkins, R. (2010). Art Speak; A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements and Buzzwords.

Kinds of Novel

1. Picaresque

Characteristics • Autobiographical – first person narrative • A rascal as main character who does not change • Adventurous episodes • Main character lives by wits • Generally lacks formal structure • Main character called a picaroon (picaro)

Examples The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Fielding’s Jonathan Wild, and Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders fit this genre.

2. Stream of Consciousness

Characteristics • Major technique : interior monologue • Reports the nonverbalized flow of thoughts of the character(s) • Thoughts are erratic , illogical • Introspection • Focus : inner consciousness

Examples Freudian psychology influenced the more modern examples. Examples of stream of consciousness are in the writings of James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Laurence Sterne. 3. Bildungsroman

Characteristics • German for “novel of formation” • Once called “apprenticeship novel” • Account of growing up • Called Kunstlerroman when the protagonist is an artist or writer

Examples James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Dickens’ Great Expectations are examples.

4. Regional

Characteristics • Setting (including regional dialects) has significant impact on character and on plot structure

Examples Some of the works of William Faulkner and Thomas Hardy fit this genre. Also, notice the way such writers as Mark Twain combine the regional Novel with other forms.

5. Social

Characteristics • Plot centers on social environment • Plot incorporates persuasive language – calls for social reform

Examples The Lost Generation during the decade after World War I ended produced many social novelists, such as John Steinbeck. Some other genres include the following: • Detective – also called crime stories, murder mysteries, and who-dunnits, the plot focuses on solving a crime, often murder (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie). • Psychological – plot tells not only what happens, but also why it happens, concentrating on motivation. • Problem – plot centers on solving a problem. • Novels of … a. Sensibility – plot focuses on emotion b. Character – plot focuses on character c. Manners – plot focuses on a social class d. Incident – plot focuses on episodes e. The Soil – plot focuses on rural regional struggle to survive

• Sociological – a type of problem novel, it purports to have the solutions for specified problems in society. • Propaganda – plot is subordinated to the role of a vehicle to put forth a particular doctrine. • Western – “Dime novels” set in the American West. • Gothic – plot centers on ghostly castles, medieval settings, and romantic knights bound by chivalry. • Epistolary – plot is carried out through a series of letters between or among the characters. • Science Fiction – plot centers on science fantasy, such as time machines, aliens, or mutants. • Suspense – also called “edge of your seat” stories. The plot keeps the reader in a somewhat sustained sense of suspense or anticipation. In serials in which there is a break in the plot between episodes, the reader or viewer may be left at a cliffhanger – a point at which the suspense level is high, this encouraging the reader for viewer to continue the story to see what happens. (A famous twentieth-century television cliffhanger is the “Who Shot J.R.?” episode in the American soap opera Dallas.) • Utopia – plot depends upon a fictional, perfect world. (Contrast Utopia with Dystopia, wherein the fictional world is far less than perfect, as in Orwell’s 1984.)

As previously mentioned, writers often blend elements (including the structure, technique, and subject matter) of more than one genre to create the desired effect(s) and to fulfill their purpose(s). Generally speaking, however, the shorter narratives require tighter, more economical structures. Examples of some shorter genres follow:

• Tale center on an outcome. As a result of this focus, the tale may not be as tightly structured as some of the other short narrative genres. Look to O. Henry’s work for some example tales. • Tall tales center on the exaggerated feats of (generally American heroes. Example includes such characters as Paul Bunyan and Davy Crockett (although some tall tales have been written in other countries). • Fables center on moral. The moral is often stated in an epigram put forth by the writer or one of the characters at the end (called a beast fable when the characters in the fable are talking animals). Examples include the famous fables of Aesop. • Folktales are narratives that originally were transmitted orally. Elements of the folktale are commonly found in tall tales and fables. • Parables teach a lesson by using very tightly structured allegory. As pointed out by Professors William Harmon and the late C. Hugh Holman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in A Handbook to Literature (MacMillan Publishing Company, 1992), the most famous parables are those of Jesus Christ (such as the “Prodigal Son,” the “Parable of the Sowers,” and the “Parable of the Workers”). • Legends relate the life of a hero or a person whose life is of legendary proportions. • Myths once were believed to be true, but are now accepted as fiction. These stories are generally of anonymous origin and include supernatural elements. (Shaffer, 2000)


We have examined various aspects of poetry and prose. In this section, our focus would be on drama, another form of literature. Drama is apparently different from poetry and prose narrative because it can both be read as text and watched on stage. While drama shares certain qualities and elements with the other forms of literature, it also has some unique features.

What is Drama?

You may wonder why we are raising this question. If you are asked this same question, you will definitely have an answer. One can guess that your answer will reflect your understanding of drama based on your exposure to it. Let us assume that each one of us will give different definitions based on a peculiar understanding of the subject. A better approach may be to examine the various ways drama has been defined, so we can note the qualities of drama that are highlighted.

In the everyday use of the word drama, the element of conflict is often given prominence. This particularly emerges from the way it is seen in the mass media. The dramatic is any situation which creates a sense of the unexpected or the abnormal. At other times, the dramatic is limited to that which involves action in the sense of demonstration. For instance, a teacher may be said to be dramatic if he injects life into his teaching by acting out situations and experiences that he is describing.

For our purpose, a broader and more universal understanding of the dramatic is needed. For a start, you should recognize the fact that drama involves some components which no informed examination can overlook. These components are ACTION, DIALOGUE and CONFLICT. Drama brings all these together to make a meaningful whole. We shall take a closer look at these aspects of drama in a moment. However, we must immediately admit that the ultimate experience of drama is the presentation on stage before an audience. This implies that it has a message to communicate and has some relevance to human experience. This is probably why the concept of MIMESIS or imitation is often emphasized in relation to drama. To say that drama is MIMETIC implies that it is imitative of reality. The mimetic impulse of drama is one feature that makes it appeal to people. In other words, it is the quality that makes it relevant. Let us for a moment consider the components of drama that we earlier identified.


This is what keeps the plot of a play moving. The play emerges from the enactment of actions before an audience. Acting generally generates other actions. Conflict evolves in the process until there is a climax under which the plot is finally terminated through the resolution or denouncement.


Drama is impossible without people. People who are allotted roles in a play are called characters. Character is an important component of drama as is DIALOGUE

The verbal exchanges among characters in a play help to realize the intention of a playwright. Just as a novelist narrates his story, the playwright depends on the interaction of characters to expand his ideas.

Characters are made to speak in such a way that the situations desired by the writer will be created. Even though the writer often supplies relevant background information, the characters always play out the writer's intentions in their action and verbal exchanges, With the exception of MIME that does not use dialogue, most forms of drama depend largely on dialogue. At times, some characters also embark on an extensive revelation of their minds to the audience; such bursts are called soliloquies. It is normal that characters be assigned the language that is appropriate to their social status in the drama.

SOURCE: Atkins, R. (2010). Art Speak; A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements and Buzzwords.


Conflict is another aspect of drama you will need to recognize. It naturally grows out of interaction of the characters. It is a product of the contending forces in a drama. The conflicting actions and tendencies manifest when the play reaches the climax. The conflict is eventually resolved at the end and is known as DENOUEMENT.

Origins of Drama

It may interest you to know that there have been debates as to the origins of drama. You should not be surprised at this. It is customary for scholars to advance arguments and counter-arguments on matters of interest. Scholarly debates are meant to help us to properly understand issues by scrutinizing them and subjecting them to critical assessment.

There are mainly three positions or theories that have been proposed to explain the origin of drama. Let us quickly add that there may not be only one explanation of drama in different parts of the world.

Ritual Origin Theory

The theory that insists on the ritual origin of drama is about the most influential. It suggests that the roots of drama may be traced to ritual observances. This ritual would normally involve a ceremony in which the priest played an important role at a designated location. The priest would also wear a special dress especially meant for the occasion. The role, dress and utterances of the priest will have parallels in the theatre. The case of the Dionysian ritual in ancient Greece has often been cited as a case point. This explains why the roots of Greek drama are generally traced to the ritual observances in the temple of Dionysus.

The Mimetic Impulse Theory

One other attempt at explaining the origin of drama suggests that we cannot divorce drama from the tendency to imitate actions and experiences, as a way of seeking to understand them better.

The Nature of Drama

You need to note that drama mirrors society. It has also developed and absorbed the major conditions of various dramatists over the ages. The unique identity of drama is that, like other forms of literature, it can be read and it can also be experienced on stage. But there are certain aspects of drama that mark it as different from the prose narrative which is realized through narration: drama only unfolds through dialogue. While the novel is also divided into chapters and a poem is written mostly in stanzas, drama is divided into Acts and Scenes. Interesting dramatic practice allows the dramatist a lot of latitude. There is no rule specifying how long a play can be. William Shakespeare made the five - act structure the standard for his plays. Many playwrights have since adopted other standards.

While dialogue is central to the advancement of action in acts and scenes, STAGE DIRECTORS help give shape to actions on stage and they represent the playwright's intervention. A few plays make use of the NARRATOR whose duty is to give some insight into actions to be anticipated.

In addition to the fact that a drama text can be read by an individual in the privacy of his residence, the AUDIENCE in the theatre can give immediate reaction to a play which is being presented on stage.

It is also possible to have a sense of PLOT in a play. Without a clear understanding of the story line, it is impossible to properly appreciate a play.

It is always necessary for you to try to identify the central character in a play that is called the PROTAGONIST.

In many cases, the actions in the play will revolve round the protagonist. All other characters in the play must also be seen and assessed to determine the role they are assigned. Most of the time, the language a character is allotted will reveal a lot about his social position, level of education, and so on.


You are embarking on an adventure through musical time, and this journey will be more pleasurable if you first become familiar with some basic musical concepts. Keep in mind that most new experiences require some initial adjustment and insight. The process is similar to visiting a distant country for the first time: You are instantly immersed in a different culture and surrounded by people who speak an unusual language or follow unfamiliar customs. This new experience could be either very exciting—or quite unbearable—depending on your perspective. If you were not prepared for this journey, your naive responses and actions might bring you embarrassment or instill the anger of others. Worst of all, you would get very little from a potentially rewarding experience.

These new ideas will be introduced gradually, systematically and actively, so for now; focus on learning the fundamental elements of music and their related terms. Listen carefully for these aspects in the music you hear, and—in time—you will attain a heightened understanding that will open your ears, mind and soul to the deeper levels of musical thought.

ELEMENT Basic Related Terms

Rhythm: (beat, meter, tempo, syncopation)

Dynamics: (forte, piano, [etc.], crescendo, decrescendo)

Melody: (pitch, theme, conjunct, disjunct)

Harmony: (chord, progression, consonance, dissonance, key, tonality, atonality)

Tone color: (register, range, instrumentation)

Texture: (monophonic, homophonic, polyphonic, imitation, counterpoint)

Form: (binary, ternary, strophic, through-composed)

SOURCE: Estolan, Josefina V. et Al. (2005). Introduction to the Humanities (Arts of Fine Living). Mandaluyong city, National Book Store.

Rhythm is the element of "TIME" in music. When you tap your foot to the music, you are "keeping the beat" or following the structural rhythmic pulse of the music. There are several important aspects of rhythm:
• DURATION: how long a sound (or silence) lasts.
• TEMPO: the speed of the BEAT.
(Note: Tempo indications are often designated by Italian terms):
Largo = "large" or labored (slow)
Adagio = slow
Andante = steady "walking" tempo
Moderato = moderate
Allegro = fast ("happy")
Presto = very fast

• METER: Beats organized into recognizable/recurring accent patterns. Meter can be seen or felt through the standard patterns used by conductors.
Other basic terms relating to Rhythm are:
Syncopation: an "off-the-beat" accent (between the counted numbers)
Ritardando: gradually SLOWING DOWN the tempo Accelerando: gradually SPEEDING UP the tempo
Rubato: freely and expressively making subtle changes in the tempo.
(a technique commonly encountered in music of the Romantic era)

All musical aspects relating to the relative loudness (or quietness) of music fall under the general element of DYNAMICS.
The terms used to describe dynamic levels are often in Italian: pianissimo [pp] = (very quiet) piano [p] = (quiet) mezzo-piano [mp] = (moderately quiet) mezzo-forte [mf ] = (moderately loud) forte [f ] = (loud) fortissimo [ff ] = (very loud)
Other basic terms relating to Dynamics are:
Crescendo: gradually getting LOUDER
Diminuendo (or decrescendo): gradually getting QUIETER
Accent: "punching" or "leaning into" a note harder to temporarily emphasize it.

Melody is the LINEAR/HORIZONTAL presentation of pitch (the word used to describe the highness or lowness of a musical sound). Many famous musical compositions have a memorable melody or theme.
THEME: a melody that is the basis for an extended musical work
Melodies can be derived from various scales (families of pitches) such as the traditional major and minor scales of tonal music, to more unusual ones such as the old church modes (of the Medieval and Renaissance periods: c. 500–1600), the chromatic scale and the whole tone scale (both used in popular and art-music styles of the late 19th and 20th-century periods), or unique scale systems devised in other cultures around the world.
Melodies can be described as:
• CONJUNCT (smooth; easy to sing or play)
• DISJUNCT (disjointedly ragged or jumpy; difficult to sing or play).

Harmony is the VERTICALIZATION of pitch. Often, harmony is thought of as the art of combining pitches into chords (several notes played simultaneously as a "block"). These chords are usually arranged into sentence-like patterns called chord progressions.
Harmony is often described in terms of its relative HARSHNESS:
• DISSONANCE: a harsh-sounding harmonic combination
• CONSONANCE: a smooth-sounding harmonic combination
Dissonant chords produce musical "tension" which is often "released" by resolving to consonant chords. Since we all have different opinions about consonance and dissonance, these terms are somewhat subjective.
Other basic terms relating to Harmony are:
Modality: harmony created out of the ancient Medieval/Renaissance modes.
Tonality: harmony that focuses on a "home" key center.
Atonality: modern harmony that AVOIDS any sense of a "home" key center.

TONE COLOR (or TIMBRE -pronounced "TAM-BER")
If you play a "C" on the piano and then sing that "C", you and the piano have obviously produced the same pitch; however, your voice has a different sound quality than the piano. Although the scientific principles of musical acoustics are beyond the scope of this course, it is safe to say that each musical instrument or voice produces its own characteristic pattern of “overtones,” which gives it a unique "tone color" or timbre. Composers use timbre much like painters use colors to evoke certain effects on a canvas. For example, the upper register (portion of the range or compass) of a clarinet produces tones that are brilliant and piercing; while it is lower register gives a rich and dark timbre. A variety of timbres can also be created by combining instruments and/or voices.

Texture refers to the number of individual musical lines (melodies) and the relationship these lines have to one another.
NOTE: Be careful not to confuse the number of musical lines with the number of performers producing the musical lines.
Monophonic (single-note) texture:
Music with only one note sounding at a time (having no harmony or accompaniment).
Homophonic texture:
Music with two or more notes sounding at a the same time, but generally featuring a prominent melody in the upper part, supported by a less intricate harmonic accompaniment underneath (often based on homogenous chords—BLOCKS of sound).
Polyphonic texture:
Music with two or more independent melodies sounding at the same time.
The most intricate types of polyphonic texture— canon and fugue—may introduce three, four, five or more independent melodies simultaneously!
This manner of writing is called COUNTERPOINT.

Imitative texture:
Imitation is a special type of polyphonic texture produced whenever a musical idea is ECHOED from "voice" to "voice". Although imitation can be used in monophonic styles, it is more prevalent in polyphonic art-music—especially from the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

The large-scale form of a musical composition can be projected via any combination of the musical elements previously studied. Traditionally, however, musical form in Western music has been primarily associated with the order of melodic, harmonic and rhythmic events (or the text) in a piece. Letters (i.e., A, B, C) are used to designate musical divisions brought about by the repetition of melodic material or the presentation of new, contrasting material. Some of the most common musical forms are described below:
BASIC FORMS (more sophisticated forms will be covered later in this book)
Strophic Form: a design in VOCAL music, in which the same music is used for several different verses (strophes) of words. [Example: "Deck the Halls" has many verses of words sung to the same music.]
Verse 1 . . . Verse 2 . . . Verse 3 (etc.)
Through-composed a structure in which there is no repeat or return of any large-scale musical section. [Example: Schubert's "Erlkönig".]
A B C D E . . .
Binary Form a two-part form in which both main sections are repeated (as indicated in the diagram by "repeat marks"). The basic premise of this form is CONTRAST.
Ternary Form a three-part form featuring a return of the initial music after a contrasting section. Symmetry and balance are achieved through this return of material.

Knowing the unique style traits of particular historical eras can greatly enhance your musical experiences by offering clues about what the composer was trying to express, and what you should listen for when hearing a piece.
The Six Historical Style-Periods of Western Art Music: Middle Ages (approximately 450-1450):
An era dominated by Catholic sacred music, which began as simple chant but grew in complexity in the 13th to 15th centuries by experiments in harmony and rhythm. Leading composers of the later Middle Ages include Pérotin and Machaut.
Renaissance (approximately 1450-1600):
A more personal style emerged in this era with a greater focus on Humanism, and a rebirth of learning and exploration. During this "golden age of vocal music," the leading composers include Josquin Desprez, Palestrina, and Weelkes.
Baroque (approximately 1600-1750):
This era—the last great age of aristocratic rule— is represented by extremely ornate and elaborate approaches to the arts. This era saw the rise of instrumental music, the invention of the modern violin family and the creation of the first orchestras. Great composers of the late Baroque include Vivaldi, Handel and JS Bach.
Classic (approximately 1750-1820):
The music of this politically turbulent era focused on structural unity, clarity and balance. The new expressive and dramatic approaches to composition and performance that were developed in this era became the standards that all "Classical" music are judged by great composers of the Classic era include Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven.
Romantic (approximately 1820-1900):
This era witnessed an explosion of flamboyance, nationalism, the rise of "superstar" performers, and concerts aimed at middle-class "paying" audiences. Orchestral, theatrical and soloist music grew to spectacular heights of personal expression. Among the leading Romantic composers are Berlioz, Chopin, and Wagner.
Modern (approximately 1900-present):
Since approximately 1900, art-music has been impacted by daring experimentation and advances in musical technology, as well as popular/non-Western influences. Leading composers of the early 20th century were Debussy, Schoenberg and Stravinsky, while many of the most prominent composers since 1950 have come from the US.


From earliest times people have used dance for various reasons – to entertain, to celebrate, to convey beliefs and feelings, or just for the sheer fun of it.

Dance is a form of expression that utilizes bodily movements that are usually rhythmic, patterned (although they may be improvised), and accompanied by music.


1. The Dancer

← Physical requirements

← The importance of training

← Differences among dancers

2. Basic Steps and Formations

← Ballet and modern dance

← Folk dance

← Social dance

3. Choreography

4. Dance Notation

5. Theatrical Elements

SOURCE: Estolan, Josefina V. et Al. (2005). Introduction to the Humanities (Arts of Fine Living). Mandaluyong city, National Book Store.


Climax and Resolution



Sequencing and Development





1. Ballet

2. Ethnological Dance

3. Social and Ballroom Dances

4. Modern Dances

5. Theatrical or Spectacular Dance

SOURCE: Marcos, Lucivilla L. (2010). Introduction to the Humanities & Visual Performing Arts. Mindshapers Co., Inc.


A. Books

Atkins, R. (2010). Art Speak; A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements and Buzzwords.

Basa, R., and Garcia F. (2008). Basic Elements of Humanities. Censen Books and Research Center Manila.

Coman, F.E. (2006). Treasures of Impressionism and Post Impressionism. National Gallery of Art. Abbeville Press Publishers, New York.

Di Yanni, Robert. (2010). Literature: Drama and Essay. New York Books Co.

Estolan, Josefina V. et Al. (2005). Introduction to the Humanities (Arts of Fine Living). Mandaluyong city, National Book Store.

Marcos, Lucivilla L. (2010). Introduction to the Humanities & Visual Performing Arts. Mindshapers Co., Inc.

B. Encyclopedia

Colliers Encyclopedia Vols. 9, 12, 2003.

Global Encyclopedia 2001.

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