Arts Textbooks

Read more about Introduction to Philosophy: Aesthetic Theory and Practice

Introduction to Philosophy: Aesthetic Theory and Practice

Contributors: Saito , Sonderegger , and Kleesattel 

Publisher: Rebus Community

Aesthetic Theory and Practice offers fresh perspectives on canonical and emerging topics in aesthetics, and also brings attention to a number of culturally sensitive topics that are customarily silenced in introductions to philosophical aesthetics. The papers are heterogeneous in terms of length and degrees of difficulty, inviting the reader into the study of contemporary aesthetics, which spans a lifetime.

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Read more about Making and Being

Making and Being

Contributors: Jahoda and Woolard

Publisher: Pioneer Works Press

Making and Being offers a framework for teaching art that emphasizes contemplation, collaboration, and political economy. Authors Susan Jahoda and Caroline Woolard, two visual arts educators and members of the collective BFAMFAPhD*, share ideas and teaching strategies that they have adapted to spaces of learning which range widely, from self-organized workshops for professional artists to Foundations BFA and MFA thesis classes. This hands-on guide includes activities, worksheets, and assignments and is a critical resource for artists and art educators today. Making and Being is a book, a series of videos, a deck of cards, and an interactive website with freely downloadable content (click on links below to download worksheets, activities, and chapters as PDFs and editable Google Docs).

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Read more about Documentary Making for Digital Humanists

Documentary Making for Digital Humanists

Contributors: Reid and Sanders

Publisher: Open Book Publishers

This fluent and comprehensive field guide responds to increased interest, across the humanities, in the ways in which digital technologies can disrupt and open up new research and pedagogical avenues. It is designed to help scholars and students engage with their subjects using an audio-visual grammar, and to allow readers to efficiently gain the technical and theoretical skills necessary to create and disseminate their own trans-media projects.

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Read more about Ancient Greek I: A 21st Century Approach

Ancient Greek I: A 21st Century Approach

Contributor: Peek

Publisher: Open Book Publishers

In this elementary textbook, Philip S. Peek draws on his twenty-five years of teaching experience to present the ancient Greek language in an imaginative and accessible way that promotes creativity, deep learning, and diversity. The course is built on three pillars: memory, analysis, and logic. Readers memorize the top 250 most frequently occurring ancient Greek words, the essential word endings, the eight parts of speech, and the grammatical concepts they will most frequently encounter when reading authentic ancient texts. Analysis and logic exercises enable the translation and parsing of genuine ancient Greek sentences, with compelling reading selections in English and in Greek offering starting points for contemplation, debate, and reflection. A series of embedded Learning Tips help teachers and students to think in practical and imaginative ways about how they learn. This combination of memory-based learning and concept- and skill-based learning gradually builds the confidence of the reader, teaching them how to learn by guiding them from a familiarity with the basics to proficiency in reading this beautiful language. Ancient Greek I: A 21st-Century Approach is written for high-school and university students, but is an instructive and rewarding text for anyone who wishes to learn ancient Greek.

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Read more about Fundamentals of Music Theory

Fundamentals of Music Theory

Contributors: Moran, Edwards, Worth, Moir, and Kitchen

Publisher: University of Edinburgh

This open e-book is the result of a project funded by a University of Edinburgh Student Experience Grant, Open e-Textbooks for access to music education. The project was a collaboration between Open Educational Resources Service, and staff and student interns from the Reid School of Music. As a proof-of-concept endeavour, the project aimed to explore how effectively we could convert existing course content into convenient and reusable open formats suitable for use by staff and students both within and beyond the University. The resulting e-book presents open licensed educational materials that deal with the building blocks of musical stave (sometimes known as staff) notation, a language designed to communicate about musical ideas which is in use around the world. The resources in this e-book include video lectures and their transcripts, as well as supporting text explanations, examples and illustrations. The materials introduce topics such as the organisation of discrete pitches into scales and intervals, and temporal organisation of musical sounds as duration, in rhythm and metre. These rudiments are presented through an introduction to the elements of five-line stave notation, and through critical discussion of the advantages and limitations served by notational systems in the representation and analysis of musical sounds. This serves as the basis of further explanations, to illustrate musical concepts including key, time signature, harmonisation, cadence and modulation. We anticipate that subsequent versions of this e-book will update and develop the contents and presentation of the materials, following the success of this student-led collaboration.

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Read more about The Bright Continent: African Art History

The Bright Continent: African Art History

Contributor: Curnow

Publisher: MSL Academic Endeavors

This book aims to act as your map through the world of African art. As such, it will help you define the competencies you need to develop–visual analysis, research, noting what information is critical, asking questions, and writing down your observations–and provide opportunities for you to practice these skills until you are proficient. It will also expose you to new art forms and the worlds that produced them, enriching your understanding and appreciation.

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Read more about Storytelling on Screen: An Online Playback Theatre Archive and Guidebook

Storytelling on Screen: An Online Playback Theatre Archive and Guidebook

Contributors: Rosin, Vogel, and Lebron

Publisher: Virginia Tech Publishing

Playback Theatre is a form of community-centered storytelling theater where the audience tells stories, which are then reflected by a company of actors and musicians. Storytelling on Screen: An Online Playback Theatre Archive and Guidebook is an open education resource consisting of a collection of full-length recordings of online Playback Theatre performances, and a 55-page explanatory guidebook. The guidebook, featuring a foreword by Playback Theatre co-founder, Jo Salas, explains the adaptation to online performances and some of the key concepts, roles, and forms involved in online Playback Theatre. The resource as a whole is suitable for a wide range of theatre students in courses such as applied theatre, theatre for social justice, improvisation, theatre appreciation, or acting. The guidebook contains hyperlinks to specific sections of the archive where students can see a given form or concept in action, allowing for a comparison of how different companies approach a given form.

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Read more about Guide to Byzantine Art

Guide to Byzantine Art

Contributors: Freeman and McClanan 

Publisher: Smarthistory

The “Beginner’s guide” introduces foundational concepts, such as the chronology of Byzantine history, sacred imagery, and wearable objects. Subsequent sections are arranged chronologically, covering the Early Byzantine period (c. 330–700), the Iconoclastic Controversy (c. 700s–843), the Middle Byzantine period (843–1204), the Latin Empire (c. 1204–1261), and the Late Byzantine period (c. 1261–1453) and beyond.

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Read more about Music in World Cultures

Music in World Cultures

Contributors: Mihalka  and Hunter

Publisher: University of Arkansas

This text provides just a small sampling of some of the various musical styles and traditions that might be found, though the skills developed in this course can be applied to any type of music.

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Read more about Fundamentals, Function, and Form: Theory and Analysis of Tonal Western Art Music

Fundamentals, Function, and Form: Theory and Analysis of Tonal Western Art Music

Contributor: Mount 

Publisher: Milne Open Textbooks

Fundamentals, Function, and Form by Andre Mount—with editorial and pedagogical input from Lee Rothfarb—provides its readers with a comprehensive study of the theory and analysis of tonal Western art music. Mount begins by building a strong foundation in the understanding of rhythm, meter, and pitch as well as the notational conventions associated with each. From there, he guides the reader through an exploration of polyphony—the simultaneous sounding of multiple independent melodies—and an increasingly rich array of different sonorites that grow out of this practice. The book culminates with a discussion of musical form, engaging with artistic works in their entirety by considering the interaction of harmonic and thematic elements, but also such other musical dimensions as rhythm, meter, texture, and expression. Along the way, Mount supplements the text with over eight hundred musical examples which, in the online version of the text, include embedded audio files for immediate aural reinforcement of theoretical concepts. Most of these examples are drawn from the literature, including nearly 200 excerpts by women and other underrepresented groups. The reader is also given the opportunity to check their understanding of the text with interactive exercises at every step of the way. Fundamentals, Function, and Form was written with the undergraduate music student in mind, but self-guided readers would also be rewarded with a deep understanding of this musical tradition.

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