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Took his class in Spring 08. Great class, great professor. Always brought in the musical instruments to demonstrate and explain its composition. One lecture of the week is usually with a guest performer, who plays the instrument covered that week. So a lecture and concert in one. Take notes, because his exams are multiple choice, asking about the ethnic groups and instruments. The listening sample can be easy if you know the music well; so form study groups cause talking about each piece makes you remember it better. Racy is also such a sweet, nice person who really wants to make his students interested in the subject. The paper is intimidating at first, but you warm up to the topic. The paper is easily graded, cause mine was BS but still got an A. The discussion sections were quite pointless because it either went over lecture notes or through listening samples. So if you need a GE class and looking for something fun, take this class!
This class was really fun and I'm glad I took it as a GE. It was great to see such cultural differentiation and experience music of Africa and the Middle East. He has a ton of great instruments to show the class and performs with them a few times during the quarter. He also brought in great guests to perform and speak to us. Overall, I would highly recommend taking this class. I had very minimal musical knowledge before I took this class, and it in no way hindered my experience.
One downside is that music majors and graduate students take this class too, so the course might come more naturally to them.
This class was highly enjoyable. Racy is incredibly talented and very funny. The class was interesting and not difficult. you had to know a fair amount of information, but it was pretty easy to learn. I would recommend this class for anyone interested in hearing some great music from Africa and the Near East, or anyone interested in the cultures of those areas.
Easy, and pretty interesting. In my experience, the readings were not very good, and you didn't need to read them. Coming to class is good though, because he demonstrates most of the instruments. He's a really nice guy, and he wants you to be successful as well as interested in the music.