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more about across the muses

Each Across The Muses feature explores either: 1) a single art that incorporates or melds two or more different arts, 2) distinct multiple arts that all share some single aspect of art, 3) two or more different arts that profit from comparison, or 4) the arts generally.

about Melded arts

As the term is used here, a melded art is an art form that combines or incorporates two or more separate and distinct arts into a single new and different kind of art form. Two examples are opera and film.

  1. Opera was invented in the late 16th century by a group of wealthy aristocrats in the city-state of Florence who sought to reproduce ancient Greek dramas. Since it was clear to them that music had been used in Greek drama, they incorporated the practice of reciting the text of their plays to a musical accompaniment. This led to the practice of singing the words, today called recitativo.

After Florence, musicians, critics, patrons, and others further embellished early opera by gradually fusing formerly independent primary art forms such as orchestral music, drama, voice, ballet, and stage along with secondary art forms like painting, set design, lighting, and costume.

  1. William Friese-Green, an Englishman from Bristol, is credited with inventing the first moving image camera. When Edison and his co-inventor, W.K.L. Dickson, developed the first commercially successful modern motion picture system between 1888 and 1893, movies incorporated plot and action and began to "grow like Topsy." Other art forms were added as technology advances permitted until today film is a melding of primary art forms such as visual art, music, drama, poetry, voice, and ballet, and secondary art forms such as painting, set design, lighting, and costume.

The Muse would argue that opera or film are more than the sum of their parts; they are each art forms in their own right, each distinct from any of its components and requiring its own techniques. Not only are they different from their constituents; the two art forms are uniquely different from each other. Clearly, opera is not film.

Of course, not all the art forms that are melded within operas or movies are employed in every single opera or movie, but that changes nothing; all the constituent art forms have been melded in one or another opera or in one or another movie at one or another time.

about multiple arts that employ some single aspect of art

Opera and film both employ dramatic action, prose, poetry, set design, costumery, and other aspects of their art. The different ways in which these two art forms employ any one of these aspects or any group of such aspects can be fruitfully studied, analyzed, and compared, producing insights about the art form or the aspect. For example, the difference in the way costumes are designed in opera and film can reveal much about costume design in opera, in film, and about costume design generally.

about Multiple arts that profit from comparison

Opera or movies can be studied, analyzed, and compared, producing new insights about each of the arts or about art generally.

about the arts generally

In her capacity as The Muse Of the WorldWide Web, Electricka has the honor of presenting features that treat the world of the arts at large; subjects that are normally the responsibility of more than one of her cohort muses also come under her wing.

Thus, the feature Today In The Arts, which everyday recalls and celebrates an event, work, personality, or other aspect of the arts that is worth remembering, is her baby, even though the item celebrated on a particular day might fall within the domain of one of her cohorts.

To get a better idea of this kind of Across The Muses feature, Electricka invites you to visit examples. Click the name of the feature to visit the feature:

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