Music of Bollywood and Beyond

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Professor Most Helpful Review
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Amy Catlin See Full Profile

Overall 3.8 Easiness 4.2 Workload 3.5 Clarity 2.2 Helpfulness 2.5

Most Helpful Review

Professor Catlin is an amazing professor! She is unbelievably knowledgeable about the course material, and her lectures are always interesting. I think Professor Catlin did a good job of adapting to the online format, and my experience with the course was not diminished. She was also able to answer student questions very effectively, and was prompt in responding to emails. Having guest lecturers teach us about and give us demonstrations of Indian musical instruments like the sitar and tabla was amazing, and definitely enriched the class. Grading was very fair, and Professor Catlin's empathy for students during the COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest issues was made evident when she decreased the page requirements for the essay, awarded extra credit for writing more, and decreased the difficulty of the final exam. The only downside to this class is that lectures are a bit disorganized and can be a bit hard to follow at times. Discussion attendance is mandatory, and try to do the readings so you can contribute to discussion, which is almost entirely spent talking about the readings. Some of the readings are long, but it pays to do them because 10 of the questions on the midterm and 10 of the questions on the final are on readings. You have to write either two 5-page papers or one 10-page paper—I went for the first option so I didn't run out of material to write about.

WARNING: The content for this class begins in the 1930's, and only reaches the early 2000's, so if you're hoping to learn about recent Bollywood music, you'll probably be disappointed. That being said, I learned several songs that SLAP, even if they're from the 1940's.

Being able to speak Hindi made this class even easier for me, but if you put in modest effort, an A/A+ is easily achievable, especially under an online format. Making a class study guide on Google Docs for exams based on the review sheets is a GREAT IDEA. I feel like this course really expanded my knowledge about Bollywood music, and music beyond the scope of Bollywood, as indicated in the course title. I learned a lot just by attending lectures and discussion sections, and the readings further enhanced my knowledge. I hope this class continues to be offered at UCLA, regardless of whether classes are online or in person!!!

Grade breakdown:
30% Midterm: Listening, Reading, and Class Lectures: 10 points each
30% Final: Listening, Reading, and Class Lectures: 10 points each
30% Paper(s)
10% Class Attendance and Participation in Friday Sections

Spring Quarter 2020
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