Introduction to Fine Arts course


FA 150: Introduction to Fine Arts Syllabus (partial)

Introduction to the Course

Greetings students!

I would like to welcome you to this humanities course on fine arts. The textbook for this course has gone through many editions and continues to improve with each revision. You should use the 9th edition of the textbook.

There are many photographs, color and black and white, in the textbook. You will need to take the time to study the photographs as well as the written text. This may be a different approach for you, but it is crucial in this course. We tend to look quickly at advertisements or simply scan photographs in magazines. Do not use that approach here—take the time to look carefully and thoroughly at each of the photograph examples. You also have a music CD available with this course, and the text will guide you to listen to the appropriate selections. Be sure to play the music more than once so that you hear what Sporre is directing you to listen for in the selection. There is a Humanities CD that is available with the text that is helpful but not essential to this course. Use it to gain access to more examples of the arts described in the text. In this course, you will be asked to focus your attention and use your senses fully.

I think you will find the Sporre text easy to read and understand. After you have completed your reading for a lesson, do the lesson assignments and submit your work. Always keep a copy of everything you submit, and be sure to submit the materials correctly—otherwise they may be returned to you or graded incorrectly.

Course Outline

Lesson 1 Introduction
Lesson 2 Music: blog and paper
Lesson 3 Theatre: blog and paper
Lesson 4 Music: a temporal art
Lesson 5 Theatre: the art of time and space
Lesson 6 Dance: ballet, modern dance and folk dance
Lesson 7 Visual Arts: painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, and sculpture
Lesson 8 Visual Arts: blog and paper
Lesson 9 Architecture: the art of sheltering
Lesson 10 Final Exam

Required Textbook

Musical Compact Disc
Benton, Janetta Rebold. Arts and Culture: An Introduction to the Humanities. CD-ROM. Prentice Hall, 1999. ISBN 0-13-789397-3.


Sporre, Dennis J. Perceiving the Arts: An Introduction to the Humanities. 9th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003. ISBN-10: 0-13-604569-3 or ISBN 13: 978-0-13-604569-4.

Click on the textbook button to order your textbooks.

Assignments and Grading

Assignments 260 points
Quizzes 120 points
Exam   60 points
Total 440 points

Your grade for each lesson depends on completing and submitting all assignments as directed in this syllabus. Your final grade is determined by the grades you earned for the lessons. Standard university grading is used to determine the grades for each lesson and the final grade:

A 396-440 (90%–100%)
B 352-395 (80%–89%)
C 308-351 (70%–79%)
D 264-307 (60%–69%)
F Below 264

All of the questions on the exam are taken from the previous lessons, so preparing for the exam is straightforward.

Please read the following very carefully:

  • You will be attending outside events for the assignments in lessons 2, 3, and 8.
  • Attend events after completing the preparation lessons (e.g., complete lesson 7 before going to an art gallery (lesson 8); complete lesson 4 before attending the music event; complete lessons 5 and 6 before attending the theatre event).
  • Read lesson 2 so you will know how to choose a musical event to attend and read lesson 3 so you will know how to choose a theatre event.
  • After you have attended the events go back and complete these lessons for your paper and blog.
  • The assignments for lesson 2, 3, and 8 are due at the end of the term but I want you to have as much time as possible to choose and attend the events. (This is especially important in the summer term because it is short.)
  • You MUST include the program and ticket for each event otherwise you may lose points or have to redo the assignments.
  • You may use a musical theatre event for either lesson 2 or 3.
  • If you use a musical theatre event for lesson 2 (music) then you must use a non-musical theatre event for lesson 3 (theatre).
  • Check the university schedule for art, music, and theatre events as well as you local community. In Grand Forks, the North Dakota Museum of Art holds music events as well as art shows. The Opera House has wonderful music and theatre events and the Firehouse Theatre always has plays worth seeing in a smaller venue. Check nearby cities as well. 

Begin your search early in the semester so you know what is happening in your community and you don’t miss out on an event that you would especially like to attend. The music events should be fine art in nature, in other words, not popular, country, or jazz. This is your opportunity to expand your experiences and attend a performance you might not normally choose.

Check the calendar (click the Calendar button on the left), for dates to complete your lessons and allow yourself time to locate a venue and write your paper for the three major assignments. Note the exam dates as well, and complete the proctor form and exam request form in advance of the scheduled exam.

Scholastic Dishonesty

Students enrolled in this course are expected to be aware of the seriousness of scholastic dishonesty. Unacceptable behavior such as submitting someone else’s work as your own, cheating on exams, or plagiarizing can result in failure of the course or other sanctions. For a more detailed description of these policies, please refer to the UND Code of Student Life, Section 3-3 at

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