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|100 Words Encountered in|
|Fine Arts & Music|
Click word for detail
elegantrefined and tasteful in appearance, behavior or style
other common meaning(s) — as in: an elegant gown
She was an elegant bride.
abstractnot representing or imitating external reality or the objects of nature
other common meaning(s) — as in: abstract art
She is an abstract painter.
subtleunderstated so as not to draw attention to itself
other common meaning(s) — as in: a subtle shade of blue
a subtle, but unmistakable warning
bronzea reddish brown metal that is made of copper and (usually) tin
the reddish-brown color of the metal (such as a bronze tan)
something made of the alloy — such as a sculpture
She received the bronze medal at the Olympics.
contemporarycharacteristic of or belonging to the present time
other common meaning(s) — as in: contemporary design
It’s easier to find outstanding books when selecting from those that have been in print for a long time, but were it not for that I would prefer modern literature with its contemporary language, issues, and ideas.
The recession in Asia was contemporaneous with that in the United States.
Children acquire language at an amazing rate.
Renaissancethe period of European history known for a revival of intellectual and artistic achievement (14th through mid-17th centuries)
other common meaning(s) — (with an uppercase "R")
We’re visiting the museum to see the exhibit of Renaissance art.
The story takes place during medieval times.
expositiona systematic interpretation or explanation of a specific topic
a collection of things (goods or works of art etc.) on public display
It was displayed at the famous exposition in Paris in 1900.
China recently emerged as a world power.
aestheticrelated to beauty or good taste — often referring to one’s appreciation of beauty or one’s sense of what is beautiful
beautiful or tasteful
It was not aesthetically pleasing.
Some people think she’s pretentious, but I admire her ambition.
conventionsomething regarded as normal or typical
other common meaning(s) — as in: conventional behavior
It was once conventional wisdom that the earth was flat.
The audience loved the performance and called for one encore after another.
transparentable to be seen through with clarity
other common meaning(s) — as in: transparent shower door
The transparent shower door shows water spots.
opaquenot able to see through at all
other common meaning(s) — as in: opaque shower door
They are engineering a window that can convert from transparent to opaque with the push of a button.
We saw the film’s world premiere in Hollywood.
To make things better, to enjoy each other’s company, and to empathize are essence of humanity.
renderto portray or create something in a particular way; or to interpret, translate, or extract from
(see word notes for more detailed definitions based on context)
other common meaning(s) — as in: rendered with, or rendered from
The pianist rendered the Beethoven sonata beautifully.
The children’s well-being is paramount.
mosaicart consisting of a design made of small pieces of colored stone or glass
or more rarely:
anything comprised of many differing parts of equal importance, but varying appearance
The museum preserved a beautiful mosaic floor.
Jazz is his favorite musical genre.
explicitprecise and clear so there is no confusion or doubt about what was/is said
other common meaning(s) — as in: explicit instructions
She gave us explicit instructions.
explicitexpressing or displaying sexual activity or nudity in a manner that leaves little to the imagination
other common meaning(s) — as in: explicit photos and pornography
The computer has a filter that blocks explicit photos and pornography.
She is a popular opera singer.
patronsomeone who contributes money to an organization
a supporter of an organization or person
other common meaning(s) — as in: a patron of the arts
She is well known as a patron of the arts in our city.
prominentwell-known — especially of a person who is respected
conspicuous (easily noticed) because of position or importance
She is a prominent member of our community.
flourishto thrive (grow or develop well)
other common meaning(s) — as in: the business is flourishing
The children are flourishing.
flourisha showy gesture
the act of waving — a hand or an item
other common meaning(s) — as in: dismissed them with a flourish
She entered with a great flourish.
The architect used long vertical lines to pull the eye upward.
Paintings in which horizontal lines dominate, tend to be relaxing.
coherentsensible and clear; or describing parts as fitting together in a consistent or pleasing manner
She is more coherent now than she was just after the accident an hour ago.
The college wants a diverse student body.
musethe source of an artist’s inspiration - especially a person or mythological goddess
other common meaning(s) — as in: She was his muse
She was his muse. He hasn’t written anything of quality since she left.
successorreplacement — typically a person who takes the job of another person, but it can also be a thing that replaces something else
He was President Lincoln’s successor.
The second picture has more pixels, but the human eye can’t discern the difference.
accompanyto travel along with; or to be present with at the same time and/or location
to perform with
The nurse accompanied the old woman everywhere.
animatemake more lively (or bring to life)
in film: to create a set of gradually changing pictures to simulate movement when played in series (a cartoon)
She won an award for best animated cartoon.
postmodernismusually used to describe the period of art which followed the modern period and which responded to the modern period by dismissing the importance of logic, simplicity, and order
other common meaning(s) — with regard to art
She uses words as a prominent part of her paintings as is sometimes done in postmodern art.
postmodernismdismissing conventional ideas about the importance of logic, simplicity, and order in music — often experimental or eclectic by combining different forms and genres of music
other common meaning(s) — with regard to music
Her music does not respect boundaries between sonorities as is sometimes done in postmodern music.
harmoniouspleasing — especially of music or sound
other common meaning(s) — as in: soothing, harmonious music
The changes created a more harmonious melody.
tapestrya heavy fabric with a woven picture or design — often hung on a wall for display
other common meaning(s) — as in: the tapestry hangs in the museum
The tapestry depicts the building of the Notre Dame Cathedral.
symphonya long and complex piece of music — typically for full orchestra in four parts;
or: an orchestra that plays such; or such a performance
We heard the Vienna Symphony.
Mozartprolific Austrian composer and child prodigy; widely considered to be one of the masters of the classical style (1756-1791) — as in: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
She loves the 21st piano concerto by Mozart.
derivativesomething developed from something else such as:
a highly derivative prose style
Cupid is the Roman counterpart to the Greek Eros.
In Roman mythology, Venus is the counterpart to the Greek Aphrodite.
Dionysus is the Greek counterpart to the better known Roman Bacchus.
Jupiter is the Roman counterpart to the Greek Zeus.
Herculesmythological Roman hero famous for his strength and for performing 12 immense labors to gain immortality
Heracles is the Greek mythological equivalent of the Roman Hercules.
fortea description in music: to be played relatively loudly
other common meaning(s) — as in: forte mezzo
the forte passages in the composition
Richard WagnerGerman composer, music theorist, and essayist, primarily known for his groundbreaking symphonic-operas (1813-1883)
Wagner built his own opera house to better stage works as he imagined them.
with Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos playing in the background
MedusaGreek mythology: a woman with snakes for hair and the ability to turn people to stone if they looked at her — from Greek mythology
The fashion company, Versace, uses the image of Medusa as a trademark.
PandoraGreek mythology: the first woman; she was presented with a container of humanity’s evils and of hope
Pandora’s box is frequently referenced in Western culture.
PegasusGreek mythology: the immortal winged horse; as the flying horse of the Muses it is a symbol of highflying imagination — from Greek mythology
Pegasus is the mascot of TriStar Pictures.
polyphonichaving two or more independent but harmonically related melodies
other common meaning(s) — as in: polyphonic music
It’s a recording of a polyphonic song written during the late Middle Ages.
staccatoin music, the separating notes by cutting them short and crisp
sounds that are short and crisp — as in: played it staccato
I love the music’s staccato notes.
crescendoa gradual increase in intensity; or the time of maximum intensity — especially in the loudness of music
Campaigning reached a crescendo the day before the election.
rondoa musical form in which one recurring theme is interspersed with a series of new themes; often used in the last movement of a sonata
The most common rondo forms are ABACA and ABACABA.
She made a perceptive observation.
ThaliaGreek mythology: the Muse of comedy and pastoral poetry
Greek mythology: one of the three Graces
Thalia is often shown holding a comic mask.
The Labyrinth was built to hold the Minotaur.
Florencecity in central Italy that was the center of the Italian Renaissance from 14th to 16th centuries; provincial capital of Tuscany
Florence attracts millions of tourists each year.
themea basic idea that underlies what is being said or done — especially in a literary or artistic work
other common meaning(s) — as in: theme of the novel
The party had a 1950’s theme.
the book was released to great acclaim
She is opposed, but will ultimately acquiesce to the will of the majority.
She is an exceptionally adroit pianist.
He is an aficionado of fine cigars.
allegorya fictional story whose characters, items, or events are symbolic to express a deeper meaning
In Plato’s allegory, the prisoners in the cave represent people living in ignorance.
She doesn’t think of him in an amorous way.
An anarchist group claimed responsibility for the explosion.
Her autobiography is sprinkled with amusing anecdotes.
anonymousan unknown person, or of an unknown person — such as an unknown author, or donation of an unknown person
other common meaning(s) — as in: an anonymous author
Everyone wonders who has been sending her anonymous love letters.
appreciateto increase in value
more common meaning(s) — as in: We hope our home will appreciate
The home appreciated in value.
other common meaning(s) — as in: apprehend the situation
She doesn’t yet apprehend the seriousness of the charge against her.
When I first started reading Shakespeare, it seemed archaic.
She identifies six boyfriend archetypes.
articulateclearly expressed with words; or the act of or ability to clearly express with words — as in: articulate her ideas
He is thoughtful and articulate.
With good weather and no traffic, we had an auspicious start on our journey.
austerea notable absence of luxury, comfort, or decoration
of a person: stern in manner; or practicing great self-denial
He took a vow of silence and leads an austere life at the monastery.
her latest album is a collection of love ballads.
The movie was banal, but it led to a fascinating conversation.
He calls himself a bard from Brooklyn.
She was obviously bemused by his questions.
It is our duty to bequeath a better world to our grandchildren.
The total bequest was over a million dollars.
She was betrothed on the day of her birth.
biennialoccurring once every two years
other common meaning(s) — as in: 6 biennial meetings a year
We see each other at biennial conventions.
bourgeoistypical of the middle class or their values and habits — typically used to show disapproval
in Marxist theory: the property-owning class
Our lifestyle upsets their bourgeois sensibilities.
burnishpolish and make shiny — especially metal
or more generally: to improve something — especially the impression that something makes
A cadaver is assigned to each medical student.
She described him as shallow and callow.
camouflagesomething that conceals or deceives — especially clothing or placement of plants parts or natural animal coloring that blends into the background
the act of concealing or deception
The troops camouflaged themselves before they went into enemy territory.
They were out carousing last night.
catholicuniversal or inclusive of a wide range of people or interests
more common meaning(s) — when uncapitalized
When the Apostles Creed uses the word "catholic", it does not reference the church headed by the Pope, but rather a universal church.
cavortto play in a lively, unrestrained manner — often to prance or jump around excitedly — sometimes implying sexual play
The puppies cavorted in the basket.
The country entered a period of civil war and chaos.
She’s a charlatan and a cheat.
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