Audio fine arts
Audio fine art(s), or auditory fine art(s), is an academic category of quizbowl placed under the umbrella of fine arts. In ACF and mACF tournaments, auditory fine arts content is usually divided the two categories of "classical music" (or simply "music") and "other fine arts," with 1 tossup and 1 bonus a round (1/1) devoted to "classical music" and either 1 tossup or 1 bonus a round devoted to auditory content within the 1/1 of "other fine arts."
Some mACF tournaments instead set aside 1/1 per packet to "classical music and jazz," while others have included all opera content under the "classical music" category rather than its traditional placement under "auditory other fine arts."
In quizbowl, "classical music" refers largely to a tradition of Western art music also known as "Western classical music," or "(Western) concert music"; more strictly, "Classical music" refers to the musical output of the Classical period (c. 1730-1820) rather than the entirety of the Western art music tradition.
In the former sense, "classical music" encompasses the traditions of Western liturgical and secular music, inclusive of orchestral music, chamber music, brass band, concert band, light music, and electronic and avant-garde music produced by "classically trained" musicians, in opposition to the Western world's popular and folk music. Further, the "classical music" on which most "music" questions in quizbowl draw excludes non-Western "classical" traditions such as those of China, India, Indonesia, the Islamic World, and Japan. The musical traditions of Byzantine civilization and of Eastern Europe are usually classified under "classical music" due to significant overlap in their histories and their historical sources, and composers of non-Western origin who compose in or whose creative work engages with the Western classical tradition are typically placed under "classical music" as well.
As part of longstanding debates in the quizbowl community regarding the "academic content" on which quizbowl places much of its focus, there has been debate over the limits of the "(classical) music" category and what it should include. This discussion is informed as well by concerns over the preponderance of musicians who are largely white, European, upper class, and male in the performance and composition history of classical music, and its elevation above several "popular," "folk," and other "art music" traditions considered to have merits artistic, historical, cultural and otherwise, whose producers are largely of other backgrounds.
As much of the music of opera and ballet is in the Western classical tradition, many set producers chose to incorporate music for such performances in the "classical music" category; however, elements more exclusive to the stage performance of operas, operettas, and ballet, as well as the "non-auditory" elements such as their choreography, are typically relegated to the "other fine arts" distribution.
Questions on classical music in quizbowl often focus on major composers of the tradition and their works, though performers, performances, music theory, and other elements and aspects of the musical composition, performance, and culture of the classical tradition are frequently incorporated into quizbowl questions.
For the most part, music outside of the Western classical tradition, such as blues, bluegrass, folk, jazz, gospel, the "Great American Songbook," avant-garde, experimental, several liturgical musics, and various traditions under the "world music" label, are usually asked about in the "auditory" portion of the fine arts genre. Some older rock and roll, country, R&B, soul, hip-hop, Latin, and electronic music has been increasingly asked about in the "other auditory" category as well, in good part due to arguments that this music is largely learned about in an "academic" manner rather than through "popular" consumption.
The above genres may also appear in the popular culture category, under which contemporary popular music is almost always included.
Artistic genres which frequently include significant musical elements, such as stage musicals, operas, ballet, film, marching band, and some performance art, is typically asked about within the "other arts" category.