The performing arts include music, theater, and dance. The art of
music is all about sound. Its elements include rhythm, pitch, and
dynamics, as well as texture and timbre. Music, as an art, involves
musical performances as well as music education and composition.
Musical compositions and performances may be intended for ceremonial or
religious purposes; other music is composed simply for entertainment and
The art of theater involves actors who perform and play out stories in
front of audiences. Theatrical performances may include dialogue,
dance, and sound. Dramatic plays, ballet performances, and operas
are all examples of the performing arts. The Library of Congress
features an online Performing Arts Encyclopedia.
Musical instruments, used in many artistic performances, are devices that
produce musical sounds. The primary types of musical instruments,
based on how they produce sound, are percussion instruments, stringed
instruments, and wind instruments. Many types of musical instruments
are used in various cultures throughout the world, but guitars and
musical keyboards are the
most popular musical instruments in the United States.