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My advice for everyone reading this page is pretty much to not listen to the rest of the people who reviewed Prof. Cheng., and to take Music 15. "She didn't know much about music?" Yes, I'm sure a world-class pianist who plays with the L.A. Phil knows nothing about music. Cheng knows a TON about music, it's not her fault she doesn't like Evanescence and the other pop junk you all listen to.
Having said that, the class was really really enjoyable and kept me sane throughout the quarter. Lectures were very interesting - she doesn't just put up dense notes on a Powerpoint and read them off. She usually puts up a picture of composers and artists or paintings, or lyrics, and talks briefly about the historical and social background, then plays you a clip of the song or a sample on the piano. On Thursdays live guest musicians would come in and you could enjoy a performance from any number of different genres. The tests and quizzes were super super easy if you just went to lecture. Even if you have a tin ear, her tests always use the same examples she used in class or had on the listening site/CD, so all you have to do is memorize them.
Of COURSE she spends a lot of time on classical music and not a lot of time on mindless 21st century pop. Some people were bored by that and too lazy to bother coming to class and whined endlessly that it was hard. Not only that, but she curves the class. This is how easy it was: I basically got a raw 98% in everything, and that was just an A. Sixty-one people got an A+.
This class was an easy GE but I'm sure there are a few easier music classes you could take that are a little bit eaier. I went to about half of the lectures, which were incredibly boring. She covers a lot of classical music, something I am not very into so it wasn't interesting for me. Lectures are broken into 2 parts: the first hour lecture (listening to music, history, facts behind it) and the other hour was an in class performance, which you have to write a couple short papers on these for the quarter. There are also other concert reports you have to do, which are really easy, just b.s. The midterm and final are all multiple choice. She posts the lecture notes online and listening assignments that help to study. Basically, if you want an A, go to lecture and pay attention. Otherwise, a B is very manageable. I went to about half the lectures (never paid a lot attention though), studied the day before, and got a B.
The class is relatively easy. If you do well on the Concert Reports you'll do well in the class since it gives you a nice cushion. Her tests can be tricky and i recommend going to class since there is no book. She put the notes online for my quarter which helped alot but if she doesn't than you NEED to go to lecture. LISTEN to her "listening assignments" as much as possible - 75% of the tests are listening questions (She plays the song and you have to identify something about it). Lastly, no one goes to the "guest lecture/performance" half of class (she has an hour lecture and an hour performance). It's a pain but i would stay and pay attention to those - on the final she had about ten-twelve questions just about those that a lot of people got wrong because no one stays for that part.