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It seems like Professor Hall will no longer be teaching Music 15. When I looked at the overall rating of this professor on this site, I was quite shocked at how low people rated him and felt compelled to give my honest evaluation on him. The impression he gave us as Music 15 students in Fall quarter 2010 was positive. He was a pleasant and kind professor who was humorous at times. It is agreeable that his lectures are quite boring, though I enjoyed them otherwise and did not fall asleep.
Music 15 (Fall quarter 2010), under Professor Hall, was a very easy GE compared to the others I took. To focus on this GE though, it was not an easy A. Part of this grade depends on your TA (this includes the three two-page critiques we were assigned). My TA was an easy-grader for our discussion class, but I'm pretty sure not all TAs were easy-graders. For the textbook, you pretty much had to memorize the stuff he mentioned in lectures and pay attention to the boxes in the textbook that tell you backgrounds of composers. To be safe though, know the rest of the stuff as well. The midterm and final exams were very straightforward. They are easy if you read the textbook and did the stuff I mentioned above.
One con for Professor Hall was that he gave us a pop quiz in one of the lectures. Luckily, for fall 10, it was right before the midterm exam so we got an idea on how the exams were like. If you were to preview and review every lecture notes and read the assigned pages on specific dates, you would have done well on this pop quiz. I did alright on the quiz.
Overall, Professor Hall is a great professor. He was actually quite lenient, extending the deadline for one of the short papers. A overall rating of 5.09/10 is an understatement for this guy. A rating between 7.5 and 8.5 would be more appropriate in my opinion, based on what I experienced from the Fall quarter '10 Music 15 class.
Please be aware though, I took Music 15 with already a bit of music background. However, I do think that if you do not have a music background, it would probably still be feasible. Once again, reading the textbook would be very important and helpful and the textbook did a good job in explaining the terms.
This class was harder than I expected it to be, but not terrible. The test questions are very specific and kind of irrelevant. Memorization of details is key. The lectures were long and kind of boring, but Prof Hall is also very flamboyant and funny, so it could definitely be worse.
John Hall is definitely an eccentric! I wished the class fall quarter 2010 started later in the day, so I could've appreciated his humor more. He's a weird kind of funny, but in a good way. A word of advice, if you're a zombie in the morning then reconsider taking this class. The music makes you want to go back to sleep, and the professor is kinda distracting. I somewhat struggled to get an A in his class because of that, but I also started with the worst attitude towards classical music in general.
The class isn't too hard if you're good at self-teaching. Your grade is based off of a 450 point chart (450-425=A+, 425-400=A, 400-375=A-, ...), where the points come from a midterm(100), a final(200), 3 music critiques(25 each), a pop quiz(25) and discussion attendance(50).
Two things you should do to succeed on the tests, the first is to just pay attention to details in the book that relate to music in theory and in history(like where a composer is from, what musical era he belongs to, the style of a composition, and what distinguished musical eras from one another), and I suggest you go to lectures for that. The second, is to know everything about the music from the book's CD. Just start putting that shit on your iPod so you get familiar with it, because it's very important you know everything! I missed all the lectures for 2 weeks after taking the first midterm, and that definitely takes a toll, but it's nothing you can't catch back up on your own if you apply yourself. The pop quiz will come sometimes before the midterm as an example of how the midterm will look like, so don't miss any lectures until then. You also have to write music critiques of performances for this class, which at first sounds awful, but then you realize it's not all that bad. They give you examples on how to write them, and you can essentially just describe the music that was played with book terms like dynamics, tempo and so on, and then bs the critique of the performance and the audience's reaction. If you know anyone that plays for the UCLA philharmonic, ask them for help! They can basically tell you everything you'll need for these assignments.
I appreciated the class more than the professor, and it's only after taking it that you will really appreciate it. I'm a chemical engineer that got stuck with it as a GE in fall, and I'll be the first to admit my view of classical music changed because of it. Like John Hall says, the stuff you learn in there won't really be applicable later on, but it's material you can use for 'cocktail discussions.' If you're looking for something that's gonna make you look classy and refined later on, and you're interested in this course, then you should definitely take this class.
Not a terrible GE.
Lectures are sort of pointless (though he does have pop quizes) I went and napped.
Nice guy overall,
Go to discussion and skim the book.
Midterms/finals consist of music examples, music terms, history of composers, and a few random things.
ALL of it is in the book.
I took it pretty lightly and got an A. Just make sure you dont check out completely.
TAKE THIS CLASS. This is a very, very easy visual/performing arts ge class. Prof. Hall is a pretty funny, dry humour guy, and this class is pretty easy as long as you study for the midterm and final. Pretty much just go to every lecture until he does the pop quiz, once he does that, there is almost no point in going. Me and my roommate both had the class and after the midterm we couldn't get ourselves up to go to the lecture. And when we did, we either left early or asked ourselves why we did. Just do the critiques well and get your ta to like you by participating in the discussion (make sure to attend the discussion, that's important), and read a lot a week before the midterm and final, and you'll get the easy a.
Professor Hall is probably THE MOST humorous guy EVER. I don't think I've had one lecture go by without him making the class laugh. The class itself is really easy. If you need a visual and performing arts GE out of the way, this is an easy class you can take. The lectures and discussions themselves are not really helpful. You can literally read the book yourself, not go to lectures and discussions get an A in the class. The midterm was composed of a listening section where you have to listen to a piece of music and answer multiple choice questions of who composed it, what time period it was from, what styles of music it uses etc..., multiple choice section of the readings, true or false section and a matching section. In discussion, the TA literally just goes over what you read in the book. It's not helpful but just easy because you don't have to think too much in lectures or discussions. But you do have to write 3 music critique essays throughout the quarter, each paper is due a few weeks after the previous one was due so you have time. You have to go to a concert or opera and just how you felt about it, what style the performer used, etc... it's pretty easy!
Take this class! I absolutely love professor Hall! Yes, the subject can get boring at times, but he is hilarious! Seriously, some of the things that come out of his mouth are better than the jokes of professional comedians. His commentary is awesome, he really knows what he is talking about, he's very intelligent, (seems to be fluent in Italian and possible German and French), and has wonderful music performers come in every week for lecture. Seriously, this class is the best! Come on, let's be real, ALL the students athletes were in this class. Such a good GE.
The Art of Listening is the university's way of calling it Music Appreciation. For a class that you just appreciate music, it was definitely harder than it sounds. Hall is so weird. He is blunt about a lot of things and makes a lot of funny remarks that are probably inappropriate. His lectures are kind of scattered but just take nokes on what he says because they do come in handy. His class is a lot of little details that come from his lectures and the book. MAKE SURE YOU READ THE BOOK! Especially the little dark gray boxes that talk about composers. On his midterm and final, he has a lot of questions about the composers like "Where was this composer born?" He also loves questions about the musical periods and the songs they play.
In his class, there was a performance every Wednesday during the last half of class. Make sure you go because he likes to test off of the performances like what instruments were played during so and so's performance or who was the composer of this song. His midterm is 100 multiple choice/true and false questions and his final was 200 of those. read the book and listen to the songs. make sure you know who they are by, what the sound like, what period they are from and things like that. he usually gives 3 multiple choice questions about every song on the CD and some that he plays in class! It is crucial you go to discussion. I had a TA where you just show up and write your name on her roll sheet and you got 5 points for the day. Those are 50 easy points! There are 3 music critiques for the quarter. You need to go to 3 performances throughout the quarter and write what you liked and disliked about it but you also have to add musical terms from the book so you look like you know what youre talking about. It is a straight scale class! NO CURVE! It is based on total points. 450-425 is an A+, 424-400 is an A, 375-399 is an A- and so on. Don't worry if you dont do so well on the midterm just do well everywhere else and you'll be fine. I got a C- on the midterm but got an A- in the class. (I got 171/200 on the final)
If you know a lot about music, like facts and composers, this class will be a breeze. If you're not so musically inclined, it will be harder.
Prof Hall is so awesome. This was a really fun class and he had me laughing every lecture. Try and go to one of his office hours because he's so chill and a really nice person to talk to 1 on 1. The papers were kind of a drag to write and the TA's weren't helpful for my learning experience at all. I thought the final itself was easier than the other stuff we had to do. Aside from all that it was a wonderful course. I got an A.
If you are used to being screamed at randomly, belittled, and talked-down to, then you may be able to tolerate this class. However, if you are used to professors who have at least a little respect for their students and don't consider themselves to be a god among men, you'll probably want to pass on this one. It's not at all worth it for a GE. The quizzes and tests were ridiculously anal. I left with a slightly greater appreciation for Classical music because we were endlessly exposed to it, but my aversion to this professor is absolutely beyond description. Avoid it.