discussion question and peer reviews

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If it ain’t Baroque……..

STEVE JOBS:I always thought of myself as a humanities person as a kid, but I liked electronics. Then I read something that one of my heroes, Edwin Land of Polaroid, said about the importance of people who could stand at the intersection of humanities and sciences, and I decided that’s what I wanted to do.” and “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough — it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing.” (quotes from Isaacson, 2014). This week each of the two subjects covers both music and visual art from the 1600s/1700s. As you do one of the subjects below, keep in mind that sounds and visuals are two key aspects of a workplace environment and a sales environment, as well as for places we live and get entertained.

Watch Media

Doing this Week’s Discussion and Using the Book !

PRELIMINARIES: Each week our discussion has two subjects—you choose just one of them. Each one has different parts—be sure your main post reply covers all parts of the subject you choose. You might find it much easier if you use the posted TEMPLATE to organize your main response.

VERY IMPORTANT FOR YOUR MAIN POST: Don’t just wing it and google. There is an EXPLORE list under the subjects that suggests relevant pages/chapters of the book to consider and also some links to music and websites etc. You are expected to engage the book on these. (And—for Weeks 1-2, you get the free eChapters to do this in the Student Center—if still awaiting shipment of your book). So, be sure to use book and the EXPLORE list instead of random googling for information.

PARTICIPATION: Besides your main post work responding to the topic, you also are to do REPLY POSTING (that is what we mean by “participation”) to classmates. For full participation credit your replies to classmates must be SUBSTANTIVE—engage what they say and the material they are covering—don’t just cheerlead. You have a couple of options—TWO SHORT REPLY POSTS to classmates of 3-4 sentences apiece, one longer post of 7 or 8 sentences. Either can get you full participation credit; we recommend the two shorter posts because that makes the discussion thread more conversational. (If you do just one short post, you will be docked points on the grade—and perhaps the feedback will ask you to come back and add another post). In the last few quarters we have found that most students prefer doing the two shorter posts—and that is great with us.

Here is a template you may use (optional) to assist: Template_Week1_Discussion_HUM112.docx .


Please respond to either one of the following subjects, using the class text and sources under the Explore heading as the basis of your MAIN POST response; and don’t forget to do reply posts (see above) to classmates. Discuss all parts of the topic you choose. Above all—get involved in the learning and have fun doing this!

  • TOPIC OPTION ONE: MUSICListen to one composition—either by Monteverdi or Vivaldi (links in EXPLORE or this week’s Music folder) and read about that composer and the Baroque music style in chapter 21 of our class text (free eChapters in Student Center if needed). Identify the composer and the work and describe how it demonstrate qualities of the Baroque musical style, using some key terms from the text as well as your own comments. Compare it to a modern soundtrack or song that evokes a similar mood (even if the style is very different). VISUAL ARTSelect one of the Baroque painters named in chapter 22 (best examples: Rembrandt, Leyster, and Vermeer). Read about them in that chapter (free eChapters in Student Center this week) and choose one of their paintings either from the book or one of the websites listed. Identify the painting and artist and discuss the painting’s features that fit the “northern” Baroque style. Compare this art work or style to a modern film, type of film, or to some other modern visual art example or situation.
  • TOPIC OPTION TWO: VISUAL ART–Select one of the artists (painter or sculptor) named and discussed in chapter 21 (best examples: Bernini, Caravaggio, Pozzo, Gentileschi)–—and choose one of their works from the book or from one of the listed websites (under Explore). Identify the artist and the work and, using terms from the book, discuss the features of the “Italian” Baroque style in the work you selected. Comment with your own insights, likes, or dislikes. Compare this art work or style to a modern film, type of film, or to some other modern visual art example or situation. MUSIC—Read about J. S. Bach in chapter 22 of our book (free eChapters in Student Center) and listen to one of his composition (links are under Explore or in the Week 1 Music folder). Identify your selection. Using terms from the book, describe the key features of Bach’s baroque style of music and make your own comments about it. Compare it to a modern soundtrack or song that evokes a similar mood (even if the style is very different).



Monteverdi and Vivaldi and Bach:

  • Chapter 21 (pp. 707-710), Baroque music and composers; review the Week 1 “Music Folder”
  • Monteverdi’s Orfeo (Monteverdi Tu sé Morta lyrics with translation:… )
  • Vivaldi’s “Spring” from Vivaldi: A Man For All Seasons at… and (background and lyric translation at
  • For Bach—see several examples in the week 1 Music folder.

Baroque Visual Arts

  • Chapter 21 (pp. 689-691; 701-703) and Chapter 22 (pp. 715-720; 726-735); Baroque style and its characteristics; Baroque in the north
  • Baroque samples at Wk1VermeerAndLeysterPaintings.pdf and at…; (also see and click on the names of the artists to see their works)
  • Examples of Baroque paintings from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam at… (click on images; go full-screen; click “i” for info on the artist and date and painting)



Hello class,

The Baroque style grew from a religious transformation, thus creating dramatic use of light and dark to create theatrical effects to move the viewer. The artist of this era were highly and technically skilled and masters of their craft.

Johannes Vermeer (1635-1675) was a dutch painter for the golden age. His paintings depicted everyday life of the middle class. He was famously noted for his use of light and color using several different pigments for his oil on canvas paintings. He moved from biblical scenes to everyday life while displaying the most minutiae details in his paintings. You can see the writing on the globe in the back ground in his painting “The Geographer” (1668-1669). He never explained his paintings, he let the audience decide the meaning of the painting. His baroque style appeal to the emotions with intensity, energy and movement. Again, by using the effects of light and providing drama to draw a person in. Rembrandt and Van Gogh also used his technique of light in their painting. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a current artist that creates paintings in the manner of Vermeer.

Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) was the musical director at Saint Mark’s in Venice as well as a trained violinist. He created and produced the first opera, adding text to music. An opera consists of several smaller works all rolled into one production. After listening to “Tu se’” morta – You are dead. It was Greek mythology of Orpheus and Eurydioe, his love. She died from a snake bite. When listening you can hear the monody, of the solo voice and basso continuo – meaning continuous bass. He incorporated instruments into the music. Using viols, trombones and trumpets. Monteverdi considered harmony to be the mistress of text. Fast forward to today, his music reminds me of Andreas Vollenweider’s “Down to the Moon” which is my favorite album. Andreas is a swedish harpist, who music is beautiful, mystical and transformative. You can easily use his music as a backdrop to a video. It takes you to a different place and time.


Hello Everyone,

Vivaldi specialized in composing concertos, a three-movement secular form of instrumental music, popular at court, which had already been established, largely by Corelli (p709). In the course of his career, Vivaldi composed nearly 600 concertos—for violin, cello, flute, piccolo, oboe, bassoon, trumpet, guitar, and even recorder. Most of these were performed by the Ospedale ensemble. The most famous is a group of four violin concertos, one for each season of the year, called The Four Seasons (p710). I have heard The Four Seasons music in passed movies that I have watched. I also heard similar music been played by my children high school and college band. I’m not into this type of music, but I can see how it can be relaxing in stressful times.

Judith Leyster (1609–60) was one of the popular genre painters of the day of Haarlem (p726). We do not know much about her life, but she was admitted to the Haarlem painter’s guild in 1633, in her early twenties, and married another genre painter, Jan Miense Molenaer, in 1636 (p726). The reason why I chose to write about Judith Leyster is that of her painting called The Proposition. A woman sits quietly, intent on her needlework, as a lusty man leans over her, grinning. His left hand rests on her shoulder and his right offer her a handful of coins. Even as she ignores his clear proposition, her virtue is compromised. Perhaps her physical safety is in jeopardy as well, for the man’s good humor will probably crumble under her rejection of him—a premonition signaled by the tension, even pain, evident in her concentration (p727). The paintings interested me because it showed how women were and still are being treated by certain men in this world. Not knowing what women were dealing with during that time but the painting gave me a good idea of what women were going through at that time.


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