The Arts Vocabulary for IELTS

On this page you will find the arts vocabulary.

This could come up as an essay question (see the link to a model essay at the bottom of the page) as well as in the other modules of the test.

The arts include the visual arts such as what you see in art galleries (i.e. paintings, scuptures), the literary arts like books, and the performing arts - for example: music, theatre, dance and film.

The arts vocabulary found here will help you write about the topic, or talk about it in the test. It may also help with your reading if these topics come up.

You will find:

The word The definition
An example sentence


The Arts Vocabulary


The Arts


Art forms created by humans, divided into visual, literary, and performing.



The govenment should not waste money on the arts. This should be spent on public services instead.




The systems of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion that are shared by a relatively large group of people.


The culture of a country is reflected in its art.

Cultural differences can cause problems if you do business in another country.



Relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.

He is an incredibly creative person - he's written many books and plays and he can paint as well.


Music that is considered to be part of a long especially formal tradition and to be of lasting value.

I prefer classical music such as Mozart and Bach to modern day pop music.



A play or film in which part of the story is sung to music (noun).


A skill in or great liking for music (adjective)

"The Phantom of the Opera" is one of the best musicals that I have ever seen.

Everyone in the family can play an instrument - they are very musical.


An art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and music, usually in a theatre.

Opera is not very popular amongst young people these days.


A building, room, or outside structure with rows of seats, each row usually higher than the one in front, from which people can watch a performance or other activity.

My hometown does not have any theatres. There are many in the capital though.



A show or action involving the entertaining of other people by dancing, singing, acting, or playing music.

His performance as MacBeth was amazing.

There will be a performace of a famous play at the Lyceum Theatre tonight.


An organized set of special events, such as musical, art or film performances.

The Cannes Film festival has some great movies this year.

The local council organizes a music festival in my town every year.


An event at which objects such as paintings are shown to the public.

There will be an exhibition at the weekend to show all of his latest paintings.

His paintings were exhibited at the local art gallary over the weekend.


The art of making two- or three-dimensional representative or abstract forms, especially by carving stone or wood.

The museum has many life-sized sculptures of past Kings and Queens of England.


A type of painting, drawing, or sculpture that uses shapes, lines, and colour in a way that does not try to represent the appearance of people or things.

Jackson Pollock is one of the most famous abtract artists. He famous for dripping and splattering paint onto his canvas


A collection of objects or pictures arranged for people to look at, or a performance or show for people to watch (= being shown).

Jackson Pollock's most famous paintings are on display at the Tate Modern Art Gallery in London for 10 days.


To be filled with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

Shakespears plays have inspired many young people to take up writing and acting.

His method of acting really inspires me.


An object that is made by a person, such as a tool or a decoration, especially one that is of historical interest.

The museam in town has many artefacts that were found in the local area. Most are tools from the Stone Age.


Compose the sequence of steps and moves for a ballet or other performance of dance.

Their dance routines had been carefully choreographed so there would be no mistakes.

View a model essay that uses the arts vocabulary:

Spending on the arts

Return from the arts vocabulary IELTS Vocabulary



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