Cultural Events Assignment

You will attend a cultural event from the suggestions you will be given in class and write a brief cultural report describing the event and giving your reaction to it. The goal of this assignment is to introduce you to the ready availability of experiences reflecting historical and international artistic creativity on this campus. The report must be explicit enough to convey your experience of the event, and not be merely a listing of numbers performed. It must also include an explicit description of the final part of the performance to document that you attended the entire event. If there is an encore, stay for it. If the event is followed by a question and answer period, include it.

Write at least 600 words reporting on your event. Cover the following points: What non-U.S. culture or cultures did it cover? Relate if you can the event to anything we study in this class. For musical events, like operas and symphony concerts, be sure to write about how the music sounded in some detail. Tell us what the event looked like. In no more than one brief paragraph evaluate it: tell us how well you thought it was performed and why it appealed or did not appeal to you. These will be graded pass-fail and are due within one week after the event reported on takes place. In exceptional cases, performances other than those announced in class may be approved for credit, but only by advance arrangement with the teacher. Qualifying events should either have some aspect of international culture (that is, not be exclusively American in origin) or present material which originated before 1500. A more detailed list of events is available on the World Wide Web at Those followed by (PB) may be used for this assignment. You will also find much more detailed information about events and locales there. If you are traveling--say during a vacation--and attend an event you would like to use, be sure to ask me about it before writing it up. Only events marked with a (PB) may be reported on without advance permission.

Tips for attending and reporting on cultural events:

Please note that for theater, dance and classical music performances, latecomers are not usually admitted once the performance has begun until there is a designated break or intermission. It is also important to get there early because Music Department performances in particular often run out of programs. Latecomers may not be able to get the information they need to write their reports. (However, you can often find programs left behind by audience members after the performance.)

Audience members are expected to remain attentive and silent during performances, reserving comments for intermissions. The only exception is in folk performances, where performers sometimes invite the audience to participate. To avoid disturbing others, including the performers, do not leave in the middle of a performance unless there is an emergency. Classical music performances often group a number of short works together. Audience members normally applaud only at the end of the last piece in a group. To avoid embarrassing yourself, wait to see whether most of the audience has started to applaud when you are in doubt. However, is traditional to applaud at the end of solos during a jazz performance. Similarly, classical works are often divided into movements or sections. A symphony, for instance, usually has four movements. Applause is given only after all the movements in a piece are done. (The same is true of a series of short pieces performed as a set, like a series of songs.) Do not call instrumental movements "pieces" in your reports and do not call instrumental pieces "songs," or imply that music is only instrumental (as in "there was no music, only singing").

Here is how to interpret the notes on a typical piece in a music program. Let's say the program says something like this: