Humanities (Abridged)

Humanities Study Guide A composer is a person who wrote the music. They combine tempo, rhythm, and melody to represent an internal tune. The tempo is how fast or slow the music should be played or sung. Rhythm is the beat or unique combination of accents and duration of notes. Melody is the series of notes that take center stage to the audiences' ears. The typical arrangement of melody in songs follows an A-B-A format. For instance, an initial melody (A) is followed by a slightly different melody (B) and then the restatement of the first melody (A). All of these are played within a key or an agreed-upon scale consisting of certain intervals between notes. Also, a predetermined meter tells the musicians how many beats one musical note gets. Lastly, we occur chords or notes that, when played together, can represent an entire musical key. Guitarists generally play chords more than individual notes. Chords can have consonance or dissonance within them. Consonance is the sounds that two notes make that are usually appealing to the average ear. Dissonance is when two or more notes do not sound "good" to the average listener. They will clash in some way that is displeasing. When this happens, it creates contrast or variation in the sounds of the music. Usually, this contrast is achieved by a variety of musical instruments and the different colors they produce. One thing we cannot agree on is the purpose of music. Some believe it is for whimsical enjoyment, while others think it is challenging to the brain's growth and development. In the early days, people told stories through music and passed along lessons from generation to generation. Historically it has been used to define countries, praise God, and signal the start of war. Usually, the setting in which a performance is about to take place is a good indicator of the purpose of the performance. 1.6 Dance The ancient, culturally unique art form of dance can be challenging to define and describe to someone. Ultimately, dance is defined as the moving body shaping the space around it. The focus remains on the visual patterns the body makes that draws the audiences' attention. Dance is typically performed on a stage and contains some similarities to theater, such as music and a narrative. While some dancers improvise or make it up on the spot, most perform a choreographed piece. A choreographer is someone who designs and coordinates a dance, usually with multiple dancers involved. Most popular dances are trying to tell a story or evoke an emotion from the spectator. They may use a technique called mimetic, where they imitate real-life motions to convey their story. The art form of dance wholly includes rhythm and a pattern that the dancer's body follows. Historically, people have used dance as a part of ancient rituals and social venues. For example, African tribes beat drums and chant to celebrate a boy reaching manhood, or social court dances occurred during the Middle Ages as a way for families to connect with others and form new relationships. For this course, we will categorize dance into one of these groupings. Ballet is the ancient and demanding art form that highlights leaps, poses, and turns, with the intent to tell a story set to music. Those who aspire to be professional ballerinas must undergo rigorous, painful training that pushes the human body to its full potential. Popular dance includes traditional dances performed at ceremonies, social events, or religious services. In modern times, we could use the Macarena as an example of a social dance. These dances are highly, complex and require previously attained social knowledge. The last form is modern dance, which for us, is defined as a dance that focuses on freedom and self-expression. That is not to say that other dances do not allow the participants to express themselves; a high school prom is one example of these types of dances. ©2020 Achieve Page 8 of 14

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