Finals Survey Of Humanalites

Final Assignment

For your final, you will select an album, a film, or theatrical performance to analyze from the approved list that follows.  This task is similar to the midterm.  However, these are larger works, and your analysis will necessarily be more in-depth.  Like the midterm, this analysis should be your own, unique thoughts and ideas.  Please do not use outside source material for your assignment. 

Your task is to create an informative and visually attractive PowerPoint presentation.  Your PowerPoint is due by Saturday at noon on week 8.  You should post your PowerPoint to the final forum link in Moodle link on our week 8 page.  Your PowerPoint should include the following:

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Slide 1:  Include your name and the discipline you’re going to focus on (music, theater, cinema).

Slide 2:  Identify the artist, show a clip or visual representation of your selection, and discuss why you find the work inspiring.  Why did you choose it? 

Slide 3:  Give your reader information about the work.  What is it? 

  • If it’s music, is it an album, a symphony, an opera?  What is its form and genre—classical, jazz, fusion, rock, rap? 
  • If it’s a theatrical work, is it a play, a musical, or improv?
  • If it’s cinema, what is its genre—narrative, documentary or absolute?  Is there a more specific sub-genre you can identify?

Slide 4 and 5:  Each of these endeavors has a creative director.  In these slides, you will discuss the choices that those creative directors made.  What are the elements you notice in the work?  What are the moving pieces? How is it put together? 

  • If it’s music, is the piece instrumental, vocal, or a combination?  What instruments are employed?  What is the timber and tone of the piece?  What do you notice about beat, tempo, melody, harmony, texture, and dynamics? 
  • If it’s a theatrical work, what do you notice about theater type, scene, set design, costuming, and lighting?  Are there discernable acts?  How does the plot unfold?  Can you identify the plot elements of complication, reversal, climax, and denouement. 
  • It it’s a film, what do you notice about the mise-en-scene?  What do you notice about the types of shots the director employs?  What do you notice about the editing and the kinds of cuts he/she uses?  Do you see anything interesting or important with lighting? 

Slide 6 and 7: In these slides, discuss how the work stimulates the senses.  In the context of a larger work, like these, this is how all of the individual elements come together to create a whole experience. 

  • If it’s music, how does the composition flow?  How does one song transition to the next?  Does an upbeat tempo lead to a more somber offering?  What is the effect of this juxtaposition?  Is there a message to the album, opera, or symphony?  What is that message?  What does the artist/composer want you to know or understand?  How can you tell?  What aspects of the composition contribute to this idea?
  • If it’s a theatrical work, how does one act move to the next?  Is the production theatrical in nature or realistic and life like?  Does the actors do a good job revealing each character’s motivations?  What do you notice about the mood in the work?  Can you identify a place where the mood changes in the work?  What causes this change?  It is lighting, or dialogue, or staging?  What message do you think the playwright wanted to send?  How can you tell?  What aspects of the production contribute to this idea?
  • If it’s a film, consider the story.  How does the story unfold?  Consider the camera work and the different editing decisions.  What message do you think the director wants to send this film?  How do you know?  What shots contribute to this message?  What images help send this message?  How does editing convey this idea?  What do you notice about lighting or sound that helps send this message?

Slide 8: What is the overall experience of the work?  How does it make you feel?  Rate the work on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, five stars being the best.  What aspect did you find enjoyable?  What aspects were less so?  Would you recommend it to a friend?

Remember, this is a final assignment, so it’s heavily weighted.  Please devote an appropriate amount of time and effort to this task.  You will be graded on the content of each slide, the imagery on your slides, and the conventions of your text.  Please refer to the rubric for more detail. 

You MUST choose from this list.  If you want to analyze a different work, you MUST ask for approval from your professor no later than Week 6.

Musical Albums:

The Beatles                        The White Album (1968) 

Pink Floyd                           Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

Bob Marley                         Legend (1984)

Madonna                            Like a Virgin (1984)

Public Enemy                      It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)         

Pearl Jam                           Ten (1991)

Nirvana                               Nevermind (1991)

Cranberries                         No Need to Argue (1994)

The Notorious BIG               Life After Death (1997)

Radiohead                           OK Computer (1997)

Beyonce                             Lemonade (2016)

Justin Timberlake                Man of the Woods (2018)


Tchaikovsky                        Swan Lake

Vivaldi                                Four Seasons


Mozart                                 The Magic Flute (1791)

Mozart                                 The Marriage of Figaro (1786)

Johann Strauss II                  Die fledermaus (1874)


Psycho (1960)

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Fargo (1996)

Gladiator (2000)

Moulin Rouge! (2001)

Collateral (2004)

The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio (2005)

Carol (2015)

La La Land (2016)

The Shape of Water (2017)

Get Out (2017)



Death of a Salesman

West Side Story



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