Arts Textbooks

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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Read more about Music Theory for the 21st-Century Classroom

Music Theory for the 21st-Century Classroom

Contributor: Hutchinson

Publisher: Robert Hutchinson

Music Theory for the 21st–Century Classroom is an openly–licensed online four–semester college music theory textbook. This text differs from other music theory textbooks by focusing less on four–part (SATB) voiceleading and more on relating harmony to the phrase. Also, in traditional music theory textbooks, there is little emphasis on motivic analysis and analysis of melodic units smaller than the phrase. In my opinion, this led to students having difficulty with creating melodies, since the training they are given is typically to write a “melody” in quarter notes in the soprano voice of part writing exercises. When the assignments in those texts ask students to do more than this, the majority of the students struggle to create a melody with continuity and with appropriate placement of harmonies within a phrase because the text had not prepared them to do so.

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Read more about Guide to Italian art in the 1400s

Guide to Italian art in the 1400s

Contributors: Ezra, Harris, and Zucker

Publisher: Smarthistory

This book contains all of Smarthistory’s content for Italian art in the 1400s.

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Read more about Guide to Italian art in the 1300s

Guide to Italian art in the 1300s

Contributors: Ezra, Harris, and Zucker

Publisher: Smarthistory

This book contains all of Smarthistory’s content for Italian art in the 1300s.

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Read more about Brass Techniques and Pedagogy

Brass Techniques and Pedagogy

Contributor: Weidner

Publisher: Palni Press

Textbook for undergraduate brass methods course focusing on brass instrument techniques and pedagogy.

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Read more about Resonances: Engaging Music in Its Cultural Context

Resonances: Engaging Music in Its Cultural Context

Contributor: Morgan-Ellis

Publisher: University of North Georgia Press

Welcome to Resonances: Engaging Music in Its Cultural Context! Although this book is intended primarily for use in the college music appreciation classroom, it was designed with consideration for independent learners, advanced high school students, and experienced musicians. That is to say, it includes enough detail that expert guidance is not required and is written using broadly-accessible language. At the same time, it addresses advanced topics and positions music as a serious object of study.

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