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College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Fine or Performing Arts Course Suggestions (BA)

BA General Education Requirement: 3 Hours

Interdisciplinary | Art and Art History | Music | Theatre and Film


LIBA 130. Introduction to the Fine Arts, proposed by the departments of art and art history, music, and theatre arts, is an interdisciplinary introduction to the arts emphasizes the concepts that the different art forms share and the role of the arts in society with an examination of the vocabulary, composition, history, and shifting trends unique to these forms of expression. It is designed for students to develop a lifelong curiosity about the arts and to understand the arts vital role arts in society. After exploring the elements of individual art forms, the course will focus on a variety of different themes, including beauty, humanism, censorship, popular culture, collaboration, technology, and rituals. Students will engage with the arts on campus and in the wider world by attending events, then describing their impressions using the ideas learned in class. Each week they will create an art collection of posts with contemporary images, audio or video related to the week’s topic. By commenting on each other’s postings, students will sharpen their ability to engage others with their observations. At the end of the semester, student teams will present their synthesized art collection.

Art and Art History

Only art history courses will fulfill this requirement, not art studio courses.

AH 101. Introduction to Western Art. This course is an introductory survey of painting, sculpture, and architecture in the Western world. It is designed to introduce students to the study of various styles of Western art. Students will: analyze the basic vocabulary of visual elements (line, shape, light, value, color, texture, mass, and space) and principles of design (proportion & scale, unity & variety, balance & rhythm, and emphasis & focal point); recognize and discuss the materials (media) used to make art; and place works of art in their historical context. Writing Assignment EXAMPLE: “Drawing upon the knowledge that you have gathered through lectures and your reading in the textbook, Understanding Art, examine and report on a single work of art that you viewed at the University Museums here on campus.” Special note: This course will not count toward the art major.

AH 102. Introduction to Non-Western Art. This is an introductory survey of the art of non-Western cultures including monuments and cultural artifacts. It addresses art in context to identify the social, political, economic, and religious forces that influenced its production, significance, use, and meaning. The study of non-Western art requires attention to various religious and ritualistic practices. Students are challenged to examine their often-overlooked relationship to the non-Western world. Special note: This course will not count toward the art history major.

AH 201. History of Art I. This course provides a survey of art history from prehistoric and ancient cultures through the Middle Ages. It includes representative examples and styles of art and architecture of Western and non-Western cultures. It is the intent of this course to expose students to the history of art, both as a body of knowledge and as an academic discipline, by means of a chronological and thematic survey of material culture from Prehistory to the Middle Ages. A variety of aesthetic styles, contextual perspectives, artists, and exemplary works of architecture, sculpture, painting, and the decorative arts will be examined and considered. Writing Assignment EXAMPLE: “Compare/contrast the structure & function of Egyptian temples with those of Greek temples. Cite specific examples to illustrate your discussion.”

AH 202. History of Art II. This course is a survey of representative movements and masters in the historical development of Western and non-Western painting, sculpture and architecture from the Renaissance through the present. It is the intent of this course to expose students to the history of art, both as a body of knowledge and as an academic discipline, by means of a chronological and thematic survey of material culture from the end of the Middle Ages to the present. A variety of aesthetic styles, contextual perspectives, artists, and exemplary works of architecture, sculpture, painting, and the decorative arts will be examined and considered.  Writing Assignment EXAMPLE: “It has been said that architecture changed more radically during the last decades of the 19th century than in the preceding four centuries. What do you think is meant by that statement? Is this statement justified? Support your answer with a discussion of relevant examples.”


Only four music courses fulfill the fine arts requirement: MUS 102 teaches more general music fundamentals; MUS 103 and 104 are music appreciation courses; MUS 105 is for music majors/minors only.

MUS 102. Fundamentals of Music Theory. This course covers the fundamental concepts and principles of harmonic, melodic, and rhythmic structures, including their notation and interpretation. This is not a music appreciation course. It is a ‘nuts and bolts’ music course, in which students gain an initial ability to read music, see how musical scales and simple compositions are developed, and begin at a very cursory level to analyze musical works. No previous instruction in music is required, however much student interaction is required in this course. Special note: This course may not be used to satisfy requirements for music majors or minors.

MUS 103. Introduction to Music. This is a general music appreciation course. Students study elementary music elements and basic terminology, with an emphasis on identification of the major music styles from Western civilization. Students will gain a general overview of musical eras and styles, devote a great deal of time to listening, learn the backgrounds of great composers and compositions, and trace the development of Western music from the Middle Ages through the 20th century. Special note: This course may not be used to satisfy the requirements for music majors or minors.

MUS 104. Introduction to World Music Cultures. This is also a general music appreciation course.  Students survey the musical cultures of Africa, African America, Latin America, Native America, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Southeastern Europe. The course shows linkages between musical styles and cultures in various regions of the world.  A much greater emphasis is placed upon non-traditional, and especially non-Western music, meaning that much of what is heard may seem unusual to our Western-trained ears. The course does not deal greatly in musical theory, since music of certain cultures is not easily analyzed using traditional Western theoretical processes.

MUS 105. Music Theory and Analysis I. This course includes theory fundamentals; an introduction to musical skills through solfege (sight singing, ear training, rhythm, memory, dictation, improvisation); and the study of diatonic harmony through part-writing and analysis. As a basic theory course, it is the initial course taken by all music majors. It presupposes a rudimentary understanding of theory (differing from MUS 102) and builds upon that knowledge to begin development of analytical skills.  Additionally, aural skills are developed in the course, primarily centering upon sight-singing ability. Students will be required to learn a solfege system of note reading and will be required to perform sight-reading exercises, both individually and in groups.

Theatre and Film

Only the following 3 courses from the Department of Theatre and Film will fulfill the fine or performing arts requirement.

DANC 200. Dance Appreciation. Dance Appreciation is a one-semester course that investigates dance in relationship to culture, as it correlates to ritual, religion, courtship and the performing arts. The course will take the student through the evolution of dance into an art form. The main content areas include dance and culture, the art of dance and aesthetics, the development of concert dance (including ballet, modern, and jazz), and dance in contemporary society. Special Note: This course is generally taught during intersession and summer school.

THEA 201. Appreciation of the Theatre. Through this course, students develop an appreciation of the theatre as performance art and develop perceptive audience standards through demonstrations of the unique characteristics of theatre. The course is a survey of the varieties and styles of theatrical arts and crafts and their means of production; the functions of theatre artists; the form and structure of the play; and, a survey of the history of theatre. The students will be required to see a number of on-campus theatre productions during the semester as illustrations of the topics discussed in class. Special note: This course is for non-theatre majors only and will not count towards theatre arts major or minor.

THEA 202. Introduction to Cinema. This course introduces students to major methods of film analysis and important moments in cinema history, while offering a behind-the-scenes look at how films are made. An emphasis is placed on studio and independent filmmaking in the U.S. and on the methods and theories that have most influenced these filmmakers.