Film and Music
Summer 2020 - My review of this class might be biased because I do have background in music and music theory (not a lot, theory up to the intermediate level). From this standpoint, I will say that this class for me was pretty much an easy A. For someone without a music background, this class may definitely seem a little more overwhelming, but if you look past the glitz and glam of music vocabulary (which you don't even need to memorize), this class is pretty doable. I will admit, because the professor is literally a piano prodigy, he tends to focus more on the music side of things, but my TA, Patrick, balanced it by talking more about the film-side of things. This class literally requires no materials as all of them are provided by the professor on ccle. There are weekly readings that he gives, but I got away without doing any of them. From what I skimmed on the first reading and learned from the first lecture, the readings are oftentimes too in-depth and not necessarily useful for a beginning musicology class. I will admit that his lectures are sometimes a little lackluster since it's just lecture slides, going over clips of the film, or him playing the piano (which was definitely really good considering how he's a concert pianist). There are reviews saying that this class is hard for a person without any music background. I can understand to a certain extent that you may have to put in more work that someone who has a music background, but still, in all the weekly paragraphs (which were only a page double spaced) and even the final paper (<5 pages), the only music terminology I used was major and minor, which is fairly easier concept about whether the music sounds more "happy" or "sad." That said, without the music terminology, the key is to just be more descriptive with your words. What the TAs and the professor are looking for is whether you can get your point across and if you put in a decent amount of effort. I truly don't think that this class was at all horrible enough to be anything under a 4/5 in terms of difficulty. (Do note that it is the TAs grading most of the work, and since my TA was really–for lack of a better word- "chill" this class was actually pretty enjoyable). So, would I take this class again? Considering how I am a STEM major and took this class as a GE, I might have to think about it some more. If you're looking for an easy GE, just understand that "easiness" for this class really depends on interest (since there's virtually little to no work). If you're at least interested in analyzing film with some interest in music then this class will be easy for you.