Academic Catalog 2020–2021

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Performing Arts Courses

PFA101 Appreciation of Performing Arts

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course is an introduction to the Performing Arts in its three main strands, Theater, Dance and Music. Students will be exposed to selective artists that have shaped the world of performance from the beginning (birth of performance) of ritual performance until modern Multimedia performances. 

PFA210 Western Music Appreciation

[3–0, 3 cr.]

An introduction to the basics of music theory, with an emphasis on reading, writing, and practical musicianship. The written aspects of the course include pitch and rhythm notation, scales, keys, and the circles of fifths, intervals, chords, chord progressions, and simple harmonic analysis. 

PFA211 Survey of Western Music

[3–0, 3 cr.]

Designed for non-Music/Performing Arts majors, this course provides a wide variety of musical styles and stylistic periods. The emphasis is on perceptive listening along with expository readings. The basic concepts of music such as melody, harmony, rhythm, counterpoint, and form are studied through investigation of the historical and contemporary masterpieces of the Western classical tradition and of various “popular” traditions. The different styles and types of music are considered not only in light of the cultural values they embody, but also in relation to present-day cultural and musical values. 

PFA212 Survey of Middle Eastern Music

[3–0, 3 cr.]

Designed for non-Music/Performing Arts majors, this course is a survey of the historical sources, and the development of the underlying principles, forms, modes, and rhythms, of Middle Eastern music. Readings as well as recordings of music and live vocal or instrumental performances will be used to illustrate important styles, modes, and instrumentation. Music is studied in the context of the general Middle Eastern culture.

PFA214 Oriental Music Appreciation

[3–0, 3 cr.]

An introduction to the basics of music theory, with an emphasis on reading, writing, and practical musicianship.  The written aspects of the course include pitch and rhythm notation/iqa, maqams, differences between the maqams’ interpretation according to cultures, keys, relationship between lyrics and music, and simple melodic analysis.  

PFA221 Theories of Body in Performance

[3–0, 3 cr.]

An introduction to body movement theories such as Laban Movement Analysis and Bartenieff Fundamentals and their applications to movement description, observation, and execution. Through the cultivation of a vital, conscious relationship with one’s body, dancers, actors and musicians will become aware of personal movement patterns that help and/or hinder expressive potential.  

PFA222 Art of Dance

[3–0, 3 cr.]

A survey of dance forms from around the world, and the numerous ways in which dance serves as an expression of culture.  Specific dance makers/choreographers and performers will be examined, with an emphasis on their cultural context.  The course will acquaint students with the formal properties of various dance forms and their development.

PFA241 Introduction to Acting

[1–2, 3 cr.]

An Introduction to the actor’s technique and performer’s skills, exploring the elements necessary to begin training as an actor for the stage, the screen and other venues. Focus will be on physical and vocal exercises, improvisations, scene study.

PFA242 Art of Theater

[3–0, 3 cr.]

An introduction to the theater from its ancient origins to the present: history, dramatic literature, production, design, acting, direction, etc…

Prerequisite(s): ENG101 Academic English I (Can be taken concurrently)

PFA244 Stage Production & Design

[1.5–2, 3 cr.]

An introduction to the technical theater production processes including theater design principles, scenery construction, fundamentals of stage lighting, sound and multi–media together with house management procedures.

PFA249 Theater in Lebanon and the Arab World

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course covers the world of Lebanese and Arab Theater from its earliest founders until its modern festivals and avant-garde productions.

PFA252 Lebanese Musical Theater

[3–0, 3 cr.]

An overview of prominent musical works and the art of theater in the Lebanese heritage from Maroun Al-Naqqash to the Rahbani brothers. It explores the intimate relationship between song and colloquial poetry (‘Ammiyya’).

Prerequisite(s)Knowledge of Arabic reading and writing.

PFA310 Theater in Performance

[1–2, 3 cr.]

This course is about experiencing theater making processes and leads to a theater production where students take on major roles as actors and/or production crew members, such as house managers, designers or operators. All work is done under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated for credit. 

PFA311 Ear Training, Sight Singing and Music Theory

[1–2, 3 cr.]

This course covers the basic rhythmic, harmonic, melodic, and formal practices of music. Topics include diatonic harmony, simple counterpoint in two parts, and tones of figuration. The coursework combines composition, listening, analysis, work in sight-singing, and keyboard musicianship.

PFA313 Introduction to Music Composition

[1–2, 3 cr.]

Through a progressive series of composition projects, students investigate the sonic organization of musical works and performances, focusing on fundamental questions of unity and variety. Weekly listening, reading, and composition and orchestration assignments draw on a broad range of musical styles and intellectual traditions, from various cultures and historical periods. This course develops specific compositional techniques and structural procedures modelling a wide range of music genres within the Western Music/Commercial/Jazz and Oriental idiom.

Prerequisite(s): PFA 210 or PFA214

PFA314 World Music History

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course covers the many musical characteristics, techniques, styles, terms, and methods found in a world music tradition. It examines critical issues related to the social and cultural history of the geographical area and how its history influenced the creation and development of the music. The course attempts to align social and historical issues with the corresponding musical developments within the genre. 

PFA315 Music/Vocal Ensemble

[1–2, 3 cr.]

Open to all instrumentalists, vocalists, music composers and DJs, this course is designed to help the student to develop his/her own creative voice. This performance class works towards combining Western and Oriental instruments and their musical composition forms. May be repeated for credit.

PFA316 Dance Repertory Performance

[1–2, 3 cr.]

Students experience a variety of approaches to making and performing dance through intensive choreographic residencies with professional choreographers from the region and abroad. The course culminates in a dance concert of the accumulated pieces worked on during the semester. May be repeated for credit.

PFA317 Recording and Sound Reinforcement Techniques

[1–2, 3 cr.]

This course starts with an introduction to multi-track recording and production techniques. Then, students create and edit soundtracks and audio for digital video, music and/or film. Finally, the course covers basic concepts of live sound engineering for front of house mix and stage monitors. Exercises will be related to actual productions such as student films, plays, live events, etc.

PFA318 Writing Music for Visual Media

[1–2, 3 cr.]

This course covers sound design, sound effects, and music composition for film and visual media. It offers a comprehensive overview defining and encapsulating concepts, issues and applications regarding the use of sound effects and the process of composing music for cinematic arts, theater, dance and new media. Course work includes basic exercises in electroacoustic orchestration, electronic compositions, notation software sequencing and film scoring software and final project.

Prerequisite(s):  PFA210 or PFA214

PFA321 Dance Improvisation

[1–2, 3 cr.]

This course explores spontaneous body movement with the purpose of increasing body and spatial awareness, movement invention, performance applications and movement creativity.

Prerequisite(s):  PFA 221 Theories of Body in Performance

PFA322 Dance History and Criticism

[3–0, 3 cr.]

The study of world dance forms in terms of the numerous ways dance functions as an expression of culture. This course explores the impulse for dance in any culture by looking at the practices which gave rise to specific dance forms. It also studies the formal properties of various dance forms, how they developed, and how they have changed to keep up with the times. Course outcomes include understanding and appreciating dance as an art form. Emphasis will be placed on examining the culture and identity of specific dance makers/choreographers and performers.

Prerequisite(s):  PFA222 Art of Dance

PFA323 Music Rhythmic Training for Dance

[3–0, 3 cr.]

The study of music theory including meter, rhythm, phrasing, melody, harmony and its relationship to dance.

PFA338 Performing Arts Workshop

[3 cr.]

This course covers the various aspects of performing arts activities and skills that are not covered in other professional electives. Focus is on specific current issues and techniques that arise in the various fields of performance. May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisite: Junior Standing

PFA342 Principles of Performing Arts Productions

[1–2, 3 cr.]

This course covers principles and techniques of creating a performing arts production, including researching, directing, producing, collaboration, teamwork, promotion, location scouting, audience analysis and interaction, theater semiotics, site specific performance, coherence construction, and visual paradigm.

Prerequisite(s): PFA242 or PFA221 and Junior Standing

PFA343 Advanced Acting

[1–2, 3 cr.]

This course covers advanced acting theory and practice. Students learn and experience concepts and techniques as applied to the screen, the stage and other venues.

Prerequisite(s):  PFA 241 

PFA418 Performing Arts Productions

[3 cr.]

Students implement the skills learned in the Principles of Performing Arts Productions course (PFA 342) by producing a small scale performance event. They will be responsible for all aspects of the performance from start to stage and may select from one of three strands (acting, dance, music) or combine two or all of them. Coursework may be considered a prelude to the capstone project.

Prerequisite: PFA342

PFA421 Dance Composition

[1–2, 3 cr.]

This course covers principles of dance theory and composition with emphasis on the application of spatial, temporal, dynamic, and dramatic elements in choreography. Course work leads up to a dance concert presented at the end of the semester.

Prerequisite:  PFA221 Theories of Body in Performance

PFA442 Play Production

[1–2, 3 cr.]

A study of the major theatrical movements. It covers the analysis of the structure of the three-act play, and involves the production of a play. 

Prerequisite(s): PFA342 Principles of Performing Arts Productions and ENG202 Advanced Academic English

PFA445 Performing Arts Teaching Methods

[0–3, 3 cr.]

This course covers the major theories and methods of teaching in the performing arts at the pre-university level, including course design, lesson planning, learning assessment methods, and teaching/learning methods that emphasize student engagement, critical thinking, and experiential learning.

Pre-requisite: PFA342 Principles of Performing Arts Productions.

PFA488 Topics in Performing Arts

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course covers broad conceptual and theoretical topics in performing arts that are not covered by any other performing arts course. May be repeated for credit.

Prerequisite(s):  Junior Standing.

PFA498 Internship

[1–0, 1 cr.]

The course covers professional performing arts work in an off-campus setting appropriate to the student’s emphasis, providing experience not available in the curriculum and must be implemented in the summer of the Junior year. Students are required to complete at least two months of full-time work at a recognized institution.

Prerequisite(s): Junior standing and PFA342

PFA499 Capstone Project

[3–0, 3 cr.]

This course aims to create a new experimental art project through the contribution of all participants.  The final project will be a show/concert/installation/ or a series of shows open to the public. Students are encouraged to participate in a multidisciplinary project with filmmakers, animators, managers, businessman, entrepreneurs, choreographers, directors, actors, set and lighting designers, visual artists, musicians, computer programmers, fashion designers, dancers, architects and writers among others across LAU campuses.

Prerequisite(s): Senior standing and PFA342