What events qualify?

Any concert, exhibit, or dramatic performance which involves the presentation of works created in Europe outside of England during the 18th or 19th centuries. For instance, exploring the relevant galleries of a major art museum in a nearby city, perhaps when you are traveling, qualifies as does attending a production of a play by Ibsen, Chekhov, or Pirandello. Any classical music concert involving a substantial amount of music composed by European 18th or 19th century composers qualifies. For a list of recommended cultural events, click here. Look up the names of artists, writers, and composers in Wikipedia if you are not sure when or where they lived.

What do I write?

Write about what you saw and heard. Do not simply copy program notes or merely summarize the plot of a play or opera. Write about your own personal experience of viewing the art or listening to the music or attending the play. What was the setting? How well done was the material? Were there any special approaches? Describe two or three individual musical pieces, works of art, or moments in a play. If you are discussing a musical performance, focus on what instruments were used, whether there was a conductor, how the musicians were arranged, what the harmonies and melodies were like, how the music sounded in the room. For a play, describe costumes, sets, actors, staging, lighting, etc. Did this production take any special approach to the play (set it in a different period, for instance)? Did certain aspects, like humor, or visual appeal, seem to be emphasized? It is particularly important not to treat operas as if they were simply plays: describe the music and how the instrumentalists and singers performed it. Include comments on dancing and stage movement. If you are viewing an art exhibit, describe not only the subjects painted, but the artistic technique: coloring, lighting, point of view, etc. Note any themes that connect works. After you have thoroughly described the experience, briefly react to it. How did it make you feel? Did you enjoy it? Explain why or why not. Add any other comments you wish, but this is not a review: comments about your personal taste should make up only a very small part of the paper. The minimum length of this assignment is 600 words, but you can write as much as you wish.

When is it due?

One week after the event, and no later than the end of the semester. Return to Off-Campus Syllabus

Last revised 1/14/08