Based on 8 User s
Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.
I would disagree with other reviews of this class. It was really hard, but ultimately I learned a lot and have a greater appreciation for the music and life of Beethoven. Even though the lectures were not super engaging because they were in a huge lecture hall with only about 50 people in it, I know that the professor cares a lot about the content and about his students. The content of the class was often really interesting and I loved the readings. My TA was super helpful and engaging which made me like the class a lot more. I definitley wouldn't recommend taking this class if you do not have a background in music/music theory, as the listening quizzes require having a good ear. Overall I am glad I took this course and feel like I gained something from it, despite the challenge.
Okay so I honestly kind of liked this class it just wasn't at all what I was expecting. I have a background in music and classical music and all of that and I still had to put a lot of time into this class. It was hard. As most people said his slides are incredibly vague and the way he talks makes me want to do literally anything else than listen to him speak. He claims you don't need a background in music theory, but you definitely do. The worst part was studying for the listening quizzes. There is so much music to know I honestly just started quizzing myself on the opening to each piece. Luckily I have a trained ear so I was like able to figure it out but it was hard still. The midterm was the worst. I studied for hours and its all just stupid facts he doesnt even bring up in the lecture. so just pay attention and take good notes and you'll probably still get a B on it like I did.
I would say take this class if you like Beethoven, but be prepared to be bored, frustrated, and honestly give yourself the time to put a moderate amount of work into it. I loved my TA though he was hilarious and honestly made the class worth it (shoutout to Tom Hanslowe).
This professor's voice and slides are unbelievably unengaging and I would rather do anything else than watch the lectures, whether they are in person or online. The class wasn't structured in a way that I would reliably be able to communicate with classmates and discussionmates. In fact, during the discussions, it was more like the TA was the new lecturer, and we were merely listening to lecturer number 2. I would not recommend taking this class even if you think you like music.
I'm going to be honest; only take this class if you know and are familiar with classical music, especially Beethoven. I enjoyed the class but now that I think about it you are doomed if you don't have some experience with he material. I also used pitches to recognize the key on the listening quizzes, which is kind of an unfair advantage.
Knapp might be one of the worst lecturers I have ever had in my college experience. I don't normally write reviews on courses, but this one is worth warning because it was so bad. I took MUSCLG 70 as a GE, I am a STEM major with a heavy background in music, as are many students in this class. I have a large appreciation for classical music, and I thought this class would be an easy A given my interest and passion. But this course was much harder than all my STEM upper-division courses and far from easy.
He is the definition of a dry lecturer, speaks slowly with a soft, monotone voice. Normally, this is not a huge issue for me, as long as I can focus on what someone is saying, and they're speaking clearly and logically. And if I don't understand something in the moment, I can copy down what is written on the presentation to look back on and understand later.
But Knapp is not like that. His PowerPoint presentations are extremely vague, they have no structure and no clear outline and some of the material seems useless. For example, in the PowerPoint, he'll talk about a letter Beethoven wrote. And then briefly a slide on a person involved, but not how that person was involved. And then all of a sudden that person's family and German nationalism and Grimm Brothers (yes, in one slide, one of the bullet points literally just says "folklore Grimm Brothers"). And then the next slide is a form analysis of random string quartet! Very disconnected. If you look at only his slides, you have no idea what's going on, it is clear the PowerPoint slides don't flow or have a proper structure. And I can tell you right now I was never tested on that random person and their family and the Grimm brothers and the pointless dates, so I'll never understand why it was brought up. Expect a lot of the [badly] taught material to NOT be on his quizzes.
And he briefly comments on the PowerPoint slides, but not in-depth, he'll go off on tangents, so then I don't know what he expects on tests. He speaks in such a stylized, sophisticated, (in a pretentious, bad way), vague, fuzzy manner that I can hardly understand what he is saying. He is not clear and concise, the notes are not black and white at all. There is no logic that brings it all together to let it flow nicely.
For listening quizzes, he plays portions of Beethoven pieces; we have to name the piece, the movement, and the year it premiered. I personally don't agree with this style of teaching (pointless rote memorization), but it seems that it is important in music communities, so I won't comment on that too much. He'll choose a random portion of a random movement in a piece. That's right, a random 30-second excerpt of a 40-minute symphony. But at least he has played an excerpt that was played in class right? Sure. If you can remember every single thing he played in class, which no one does because a lot of it sounds very similar to each other, especially to the untrained ear. It is not written in the PowerPoint presentation. Not only this, but he plays many excerpts throughout the course, good luck keeping track of them all and listening to them on repeat. Advice: if you end up taking this course, somehow do your best to make note of every single excerpt he plays in class, and where it occurs within the music's form. That was my biggest mistake. He does provide you with a sheet of all possible (entire) pieces, usually accumulating to about 2-4 hours of music, which can count as a study guide kind of, except he releases it maybe a week before we'll get tested on it. There is no sort of practice questions, no rubrics, no previous exams, nothing else.
That Beethoven textbook where he has "required" readings had very little use. I read through a few chapters, but most of the material was irrelevant to his lectures and listening quizzes. I never really understood the point. Most students in the class didn't do the readings either, they were very long and were hardly used.
I'm not saying Knapp was bad in every way. He clearly knows his stuff, you can tell he is passionate about the material, and he has a long history with music. And I'm not a pessimistic person I promise. But I think there are better ways to teach the course. The way he speaks, the PowerPoints, and his expectations for quizzes and exams were not clear. A lot of the material in the presentations and his spoken points were never mentioned in the testing material.
All in all, I think this course completely destroyed by my love for Beethoven. I would not recommend it. 0/10.