Other Art Forms as Seen in SF/F

Fiberglass Cyborg

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What are your favourite depictions of other art forms in science fiction and fantasy? Dance, visual arts, music, game design, whatever.

As a musician, I love Guy Gavriel Kay's "Tigana". A lot of the story revolves around small song-and-dance troupes that travel all across the Pensinsula, playing everywhere from royal courts to wayside inns. The descriptions of the singers, dancers and instrumentalists, their repertoire and how each event goes, is just really convincing- it feels like a glimpse into a real living tradition.
 

hitmouse

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In Iain M Banks Hydrogen Sonata, T. C. Vilabier's 26th String-Specific Sonata For An Instrument Yet To Be Invented, played on the Antagonistic Undecagonstring, an instrument so challenging that the main character has to grow two extra arms to achieve the feat.
 

hitmouse

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The rock band Disaster Area from Douglas Adams’ The Restaurant at the End of the Universe:

Disaster Area are a plutonium rock band from the Gagrakacka Mind Zones and are generally regarded as not only the loudest rock band in the Galaxy, but also as being the loudest noise of any kind at all. Disaster Area are fronted by Hotblack Desiato and their best selling single was released on Earth under the band name PRISM and is titled Spaceship Superstar.

Their songs are on the whole very simple and mostly follow the familiar theme of boy-being meets girl-being beneath silvery moon, which then explodes for no adequately explored reason.

Regular concert goers judged that the best sound balance was usually to be heard from within large concrete bunkers some thirty-seven miles away from the stage, whilst the musicians themselves played their instruments by remote control from within a heavily insulated spaceship which stayed in orbit around the planet - or more frequently around a completely different planet.

Many worlds have now banned their act altogether, sometimes for artistic reasons, but most commonly because the band's public address system contravenes local strategic arms limitations treaties.

This has not, however, stopped their earnings from pushing back the boundaries of hypermathematics, and their chief research accountant has recently been appointed Professor of Neomathematics at the the University of Maximegalon, in recognition of both his General and his Special Theories of Disaster Area Tax Returns, in which he proves that the whole fabric of the space-time continuum is not merely curved, it is in fact totally bent.
 

Fiberglass Cyborg

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In Iain M Banks Hydrogen Sonata, T. C. Vilabier's 26th String-Specific Sonata For An Instrument Yet To Be Invented, played on the Antagonistic Undecagonstring, an instrument so challenging that the main character has to grow two extra arms to achieve the feat.

IIRC, it doesn't actually sound that great.... which makes me think Banks may have been talking to some jaded Conservatoire students.
 

Valtharius

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The Cantina band in Star Wars

Cantina Band.jpg
 

Vince W

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In Red Genesis by S.C. Sykes the main character is convicted for murder because of a piece of art he created/owned (details are fuzzy). It was a 3d tactile piece that sent a shock to people that were touching it.
 

psikeyhackr

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In Bujold's Vorkosigan series there is Quadie music and dance. A musician plays a double hammer dulcimer with her upper and lower hands. And the Quadies do 3-D dancing in zero G.

In Charles Shehhield's Cold As Ice the belters normally have their feet modified and a famous musician/composer plays two keyboards with her hands an feet.
 

Don

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In a story named a short course in art appreciation by di filippo a peptidergic pill produces a physiological, perceptual
change in users. They experience a different "perceptiverse" based upon the pill ingested. A Dali pill delivers a Dali environment. A Vermeer pill provides a Vermeer perceptiverse, and so on. As art aficionado Alena enthuses:
"By taking this new neurotropin we'll be enabled to see not like Rembrandt, but as if inhabiting Rembrandt's canvases!"​
The Mule's VisiSonar, in Foundation and Empire by Asimov, is one of my favorite fantastic musical instruments.
 

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