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Entertainment & Pop Culture

Entertainment and leisure activities have been a part of all cultures in one form or another since the ancient times, whether the activity in question involved participating in a dance performance, attending a Broadway show, going to a music festival, or watching a movie.
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Featured content, January 18, 2021

Beyond the Cabbage: 10 Types of Kimchi
Dig into these Korean side dishes.
List / Entertainment & Pop Culture
Kkakdugi kimchi, cubed radish kimchi
Why Is a Baker’s Dozen 13?
It’s not like it’s lucky.
Demystified / Entertainment & Pop Culture
Bakers Dozen of Donuts, or Paczki's
9 Things You Didn’t Know Were Named After People
Wait, there was a real guy named “Henry Shrapnel”?
#WTFact / Entertainment & Pop Culture
Beef and cheese corn nachos served on a big plate ready to eat, mexican food
Who killed Tupac Shakur?
Who killed Tupac Shakur?
Companion / Entertainment & Pop Culture
American rapper and actor Tupac Shakur, 1993 (Lesane Parish Crooks, Tupac Amaru Shakur)
Opera
Opera, a staged drama set to music in its entirety, made up of vocal pieces with instrumental accompaniment and usually with...
Encyclopedia / Entertainment & Pop Culture
Il trovatore
Puppetry
Puppetry, the making and manipulation of puppets for use in some kind of theatrical show. A puppet is a figure—human, animal,...
Encyclopedia / Entertainment & Pop Culture
Guignol
Comedy
Comedy, type of drama or other art form the chief object of which, according to modern notions, is to amuse. It is contrasted...
Encyclopedia / Entertainment & Pop Culture
Keyboard instrument
Keyboard instrument, any musical instrument on which different notes can be sounded by pressing a series of keys, push buttons,...
Encyclopedia / Entertainment & Pop Culture
Moog electronic sound synthesizer

Entertainment & Pop Culture Quizzes

French composer Claude Debussy.
Famous Musical Works: Fact or Fiction?
From Beethoven’s "Eroica" to Richard Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelung, test the heights of your knowledge by sorting...
Young Mozart wearing court-dress. Mozart depicted aged 7, as a child prodigy standing by a keyboard. Knabenbild by Pietro Antonio Lorenzoni (attributed to), 1763, oils, in the Salzburg Mozarteum, Mozart House, Salzburg, Austria. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Lifting the Curtain on Composers: Fact or Fiction?
You may be familiar with his first six string quartets, but is it true that Ludwig van Beethoven was married six times? Lift...
Bagpipe musical instrument (wind instrument).
The Sound of Music: Fact or Fiction?
Is s sousaphone a bass horn made for marching? Is there a musical instrument made from a sheep? From guitar strings to steel...
Koto. Closeup of musician playing a wooden koto (musical instruments, stringed instrument, Japanese, plucked zither)
Oh, What Is That Sound: Fact or Fiction?
Do you know what a koto is? Is the piano a kind of stringed instrument? From plucking strings to tapping keys, you are sure...
Illustration of musical notes.classical music composer composition. Hompepage blog 2009, arts and entertainment, history and society
The ABCs of Music: Fact or Fiction?
Does the musical notation "Cm7" mean "C major seventh?" Take musical notes on chamber music, polyphony, and more in this...
Glockenspiel. Musical instrument, percussion instrument, idiophone, metallophone, orchestral instrument, symphony instrument.
Music 101: Fact or Fiction?
Does the term "dynamic range" refer to how loudly and softly an instrument can play? From harmony to tempo, get in tune with...
Polish composer Frederic Chopin.
Music Composers: Fact or Fiction?
You may be familiar with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but how much do you know about Frédéric Chopin? Compose your own symphony...
Music. Musical instrument. Drum. Percussion instrument. Talking drum. Drummer plays the talking drum, an hourglass-shaped drum from West Africa that mimics the tone and prosody of human speech.
Musical Instruments: Fact or Fiction?
Can talking drums be heard from a long distance away? Is the word "piano" short for "pianoforte?" Turn up the volume while...
Dance. Flamenco. Spain. Flamenco dancer in red.
Musical Origins: Fact or Fiction?
Were the first blues recordings made by women? Was Carl Perkins one of the founders of rockabilly? From world music to modern...
Microphone with sound waves in background. Music and energy.
Musical Medley: Fact or Fiction?
Are words sung to music handled by the same part of the brain that processes spoken words? From Chopin to Motown, test your...
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Entertainment & Pop Culture Subcategories

Grace Kelly. Actors
Acting is a performing art that involves much more than just being able to cry on command. It requires the ability to react to imaginary stimuli and situations, to put oneself into another character, to create through performance a nonexistent event, and to repeat this performance at specified times and places. Actors exercise supreme control over their voice and their body and facial movements so as to effectively and believably convey the emotional experience of the characters they represent. Although theatrical productions, television, and movies each carry unique technical demands for the actor, skilled actors can move from one medium to another without a diminution of talent; celebrated actors such as Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench, Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep, and Viola Davis have been outstanding in both film and theatre.
Articles
King, Frank: Gasoline Alley Comic Strips & Superheroes
Spider-Man, Batman, Wonder Woman, Iron Man: in the early 21st century, these superheroes rose to staggering global prominence. Movies featuring characters from Marvel Comics or DC Comics regularly drew in high global box office earnings, and the likenesses of these characters could easily be spotted adorning clothing, toys, backpacks, and more. Prior to the rise of the modern comic books from which these characters sprung, their precursor, the comic strip, held court. Early comic strips were produced in Europe before the form began appearing in American magazines in the late 19th century. In 1933 the first true comic books were released, marketed as giveaway advertising premiums. Five years later, DC Comics introduced Superman, the character who truly launched the superhero genre.
Articles
Egyptian dancing Dance
Do you prefer tap dancing or ballet? Modern dance or line dances? The world of dance is expansive and covers a wide variety of styles and forms, ranging from simple spontaneous activity to formalized art or from a social gathering where everyone participates to a theatrical event with dancers performing before an audience. Dance is typically governed by the principles of aesthetic pleasure, self-expression, and entertainment, though these principles are not universally agreed upon by all dance groups. Regardless of ongoing debates about how to best define the art of dance, it remains true that dance is a universal language that can communicate emotions directly and sometimes more powerfully than words.
Articles
Walter Becker and Donald Fagen of Steely Dan Entertainment Awards & Festivals
There may be no business like show business, but that doesn't mean that the people of show biz wouldn't like to be recognized with an award every once in a while. Honors like the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Emmys, and Tonys recognize outstanding work in film, television, and theater, whereas honors such as the Grammy Awards and the Juno Awards celebrate excellence in music. Additionally, annual film festivals around the world honor exceptional works and performances with awards such as the Cannes film festival's Palme d'Or and the Berlin International Film Festival's Golden Bear. Music festivals such as the Montreux Jazz Festival (in Switzerland) and Lollapalooza (in Chicago) feature performances by a variety of artists and groups.
Articles
fish on a conveyor belt Food
The necessity of food for survival is something that all humans have in common, but the trends of diet and food consumption can vary considerably from region to region. Find out more about the ingredients, dishes, and drinks that fuel people around the world.
Articles
Brees, Drew Leisure & Nightlife
When it comes to free time, everyone has his or her own activity of choice. While some may like to repose with a nice game of bridge, poker, or chess, others may find bungee jumping or bullfighting to be more engaging, and still others would rather opt for hiking or archery. Luckily, there's no shortage of leisure activities available for those who have the time, resources, and inclination to pursue them.
Articles
Doctor Zhivago Movies
There's always been a certain sense of magic surrounding the movies. Even though movies are technically just a series of still photographs on film, projected in rapid succession onto a screen to create the illusion of actual continuous movement, good movies are remarkably effective at conveying drama and evoking emotion, and they allow spectators to immerse themselves in the world of the film. Emerging at the end of the 19th century, this art form became one of the most popular and influential media and was perhaps the first truly mass form of entertainment. Without movies, we wouldn't have such iconic movie quotes as "We'll always have Paris" (Casablanca, 1942), "Here's Johnny!" (The Shining, 1980), and "Why so serious?" (The Dark Knight, 2008).
Articles
Woody Allen Movie, TV & Stage Directors
Although directors are often "invisible" to the audience in plays, shows, and movies (Alfred Hitchcock and his film cameos being one notable exception), they play an important role by controlling the evolution of the theatrical or dramatic performance. When there are actors involved, the director often oversees and shapes their performances as well. Although the auteur theory holds that the director is the major creative force in a performance, the role of the director actually varies a great deal, not only according to the medium in question but also according to the extent to which he works with actors.
Articles
subcategory placeholder Music, Classical
Rosin up your bows and get to work on those sonatas! Classical music utilizes a wealth of different musical forms, including the symphony, concerto, and fugue, among many others. It can be written for musical instruments (such as an orchestra or a string quartet) or for vocal groups (as in choral music). Most of the best-known composers of classical music worked during the last 600 years in the Western tradition; even people disinclined to seek out classical music may recognize passages from some of these composers' standout works, such as Ludwig van Beethoven's "Für Elise," Antonio Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons," and Georges Bizet's "Haba?era" (from the opera "Carmen").
Articles
Art Tatum, c. 1947. Music, Contemporary Genres
Hey, what's that sound? Music pervades many aspects of contemporary everyday life; it appears in commercials, blares from speakers in stores and restaurants, accompanies commuters on the way to work, and energizes gym-goers when their motivation is flagging. Music festivals such as Lollapalooza (in Chicago) and the Sziget Festival (in Budapest) attract enormous crowds by featuring an extensive lineup of musicians over several days. Today's music can be divided into any number of categories and subcategories, encompassing genres such as pop, jazz, rock, alternative, country, electronic, rap, and much more.
Articles
time signature Music Theory
Why do the opening notes of Beethoven's famous "Symphony No. 5" sound strong and driving rather than leisurely and soothing? The answer can be found by turning to music theory, the study of the concepts and compositional methods involved in the creation of music. Music theory examines musical qualities such as timbre, tone, pitch, and texture, as well as compositional elements such as rhythm, dynamics, tempo, and much more. And do you have perfect pitch like Mozart? If you do you can usually hear a melody, then sit at the piano and tickle the ivories or strum the strings of a guitar and play it by ear. A song—or any piece of music—is made up of two or more parts, or sections, which together create the whole of the composition. A ritornello, for instance, is a melodic sequence that “returns” multiple times throughout the composition. Harmony, the musical scale, how chords are formed, and the musical notation necessary to allow other musicians to play a piece of music are all parts of the musical education you’ll need to be a pro in the field.
Articles
African log amadinda xylophone; property of the Uganda Museum, Kampala Musical Instruments
Not everyone is gifted with an exceptional singing voice. That's where instruments come in! The principal types of musical instruments are percussion, stringed, keyboard, wind, and electronic instruments. Musical instruments have been used since the earliest times, and modern technology has in many cases simplified or improved the construction of instruments, while mechanization has made possible the mass production of instruments of all kinds. It remains true, however, that the production of an instrument of the highest quality still demands the highest degree of individual skill.
Articles
Jean Stapleton and Carroll O'Connor in All in the Family Television & Radio
Is it true that video killed the radio star? When broadcast radio came into prominence early in the 20th century, it delighted the public by providing news and entertainment with an immediacy that had been unimaginable beforehand. Radio developed into the first electronic mass medium, but broadcast radio's popularity was eclipsed by television, which appeared about 1945. Television, which was originally conceived as a potential medium for education and interpersonal communication, ultimately evolved into a vibrant broadcast medium that offered a diverse slate of news and entertainment to people all over the world. By the early 21st century, the Internet made it possible to watch TV anywhere, anytime, on small portable devices.
Articles
subcategory placeholder Movie, TV & Stage Development & Production
Even before the director can first call “Action!,” there’s a lot that must be done to get a movie, television show, or theatrical production ready for production or rehearsal. Screenwriters, producers, and distributors all come into play before a project moves on to the process of hiring the cast and crew, designing and building sets and costumes, creating storyboards, and more. Cinematographers, animators, and special-effects artists are among those who may be called upon to shape the look and feel of a production, ensuring its maximal success when it hits theaters or screens.
Articles
bugaku performance Theater
There's no business like show business! Nothing quite matches the immediacy and electricity of a live dramatic performance, a fact which may help explain why the art form has persevered from its ancient origins up through the present day. During the 20th century, live theater demonstrated an unexpected tenacity in the face of tough competition from film, television, video, the Internet, and other media. Some works can be given full expression only by stage representation; this is why, despite economic challenges, limited technical resources and funding, and the logistical problems of touring, live theater is likely to continue captivating audiences, as it has done for centuries.
Articles
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