Paul de Castro
Department of Ethnomusicology
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4.4
Overall Rating
Based on 9 User s
Easiness 4.7 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 4.4 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 4.6 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 4.2 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
  • Tolerates Tardiness
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
  • Would Take Again
  • Issues PTEs
  • Needs Textbook

GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS

83.0%
69.1%
55.3%
41.5%
27.7%
13.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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Reviews (8)

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Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A+
Dec. 25, 2019

This was perhaps the easiest yet most interesting class I’ve taken so far. Besides the fact that it was a morning class which made me and others quite tired, the content is kind of interesting especially if you like music. Every lecture is mainly about a style of music, different artists and their history, and the music they composed. He also plays some documentaries which aren’t important to watch but can sometimes be interesting. The midterm and final are really easy as all the questions are identifying songs that he plays by their title, style of music or composer/performer. Just make sure to know your music, which ends up being about 70-80 songs by the final. Besides a 5-10 page essay which was graded very generously, the only work you have to do is listen to music and remember the songs. It’s helpful to review lecture notes before the exams but the music matters a whole lot more. My TA Juan was also very nice and doesn’t assign much work. He focuses on the actual music and the way its played, which is interesting and different from what is taught in class. The TAs also assign different work so this may be different for some. Overall, I absolutely loved this class as it was probably the easiest and wasn’t even that boring. 10/10 would recommend

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Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Dec. 28, 2020

Like every other comment, this class was very very easy if you try. Textbook is low key useless. prof puts all the important info on the slides anyways. Participation is 20% and quizzes are 20%. Participation is just graded on attendance to section and the quizzes have unlimited attempts. So that's essentially a free 40%. The other 60% was comprised of a final, a midterm, and a 5-6 page paper. Midterm/Final were mostly song recognition question sprinkled in with history questions. Just memorize the songs and take notes and you should be fine. The paper also wasn't that bad. Rorke was my TA and he did a very good job of explaining the week's content. De Castro's lectures were sometimes kinda dry, but it's zoom school so I don't blame him. Overall, this GE was super fun and easy. As a person who knows close to nothing about jazz, it was interesting seeing the evolution of jazz and how the genre of music changed throughout the US.

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Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Dec. 21, 2020

This class is super easy. Literally no homework and the weekly quizzes you get unlimited tries so its not even hard lol. You did have to buy some online textbook which was about 60 bucks and that's where you took the quizzes/ read the textbook.

There's one short essay worth 10% where you had to respond to a prompt in 5-6 pages. It was graded pretty leniently and could be done in one setting. My TA Juan was very chill and gave no additional work compared to some of the other TAs.

Midterm and final was mostly just some history questions and song recognition where you had to know the name of song, compose, or singer/ instrument player. As long as you copied the slides word for word and study those you'll literally be fine. Just memorize the songs too and the exams are easy As.

Definitely recommend this course to fulfill a GE though topics in the class was pretty boring and Professor De Castor didn't make it super interesting either lol. However super light work and easy A so 10/10 recommend.

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Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A+
Feb. 15, 2020

Easiest class ever. Very interesting material if you appreciate jazz. Prof. de Castro doesn't post the slides online, so it's best to attend the lecture. During the lecture, he plays music that you must memorize (the music is posted online). The grade is based on participation, an essay, a midterm and a final. The midterm and final both consist of multiple-choice questions about general facts from the slides or who composed or performed a piece. Those questions correspond to music that he plays during the exams. Fun class, fun discussion, easy GE!

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Jan. 5, 2021

A very interesting yet easy class. Professor De Castro is a very chill but fun teacher. He makes class enjoyable, keeps students up-to-date with any changes to the coursework, and is patient and willing to help his students. The coursework was very interesting and not work heavy. The way this class works (at least, the way it worked during COVID-19 distance learning) was that you would read a chapter of the book and memorize a few songs each week. There was one paper and there were two exams, all of which were very easy as long as you did the coursework and kept up with the lectures. If you are interested in old-timey jazz music (pre-World War II) or are just looking for a fun and easy class, this one is for you!

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0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A+
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Dec. 29, 2020

If you’re looking for an easy, light course load GE I 100% recommend this class. Grades are made up of a 5 page paper (10%), discussion section participation (20%), weekly quizzes (20%), a midterm (20%) and the final (30%).

Lectures are recorded so if you’re in a different time zone or just don’t feel like showing up it won’t count against you. There are required readings almost every week and you have to pay for the book through ucla because it’s the only way you can take the quizzes. As long as you read actively the quizzes are easy, and besides that you can take them an infinite amount of times before the deadline (a week) so there’s no reason to not get all the points. Midterm and final are all MC and mostly ask about the songs you have to memorize.

I had Rivera for discussion and he was okay, I think he took it a little too seriously given that most of us weren’t musicology majors. Each discussion usually consisted of a short easy assignment, sometimes individually and sometimes in break out rooms. As long as you do these you should be fine.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A+
Jan. 7, 2020

This has been and probably will be the easiest class I take at UCLA. Professor De Castro is a solid lecturer and is pretty witty so chances are you'll have a fun time in this class. He does not post presentation slides so attending lecture (though not mandatory) is kind of a must. If the musical aspect of this course is intimidating, just know that you truly don't need intense knowledge of music theory to succeed in this class. There is one midterm and one final which are stupid easy (no cap). All you have to do is memorize some songs and simple facts about musicians from lecture. It is possible to study for the exams a day before, but from personal experience I wholly do not recommend. A textbook is "required" but it's not necessary and I did not open it a single time this entire quarter. There is a 5-10 paper due towards the end of the quarter, which I also did the day before and did fine on (if you have an extensive musical background definitely use it but if your knowledge of music is basic like me then definitely go for a more historical/socio-political lens when addressing the prompts). Overall, I genuinely enjoyed this class, liked the professor and TA's, and actually learned quite a bit with the bonus of it being an easy GE.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: N/A
Dec. 30, 2019

Very boring class unless you are very interested in the material. Each 2 hour class featured documentary segments and slides that you would copy down. However, the class was fairly easy.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A+
Dec. 25, 2019

This was perhaps the easiest yet most interesting class I’ve taken so far. Besides the fact that it was a morning class which made me and others quite tired, the content is kind of interesting especially if you like music. Every lecture is mainly about a style of music, different artists and their history, and the music they composed. He also plays some documentaries which aren’t important to watch but can sometimes be interesting. The midterm and final are really easy as all the questions are identifying songs that he plays by their title, style of music or composer/performer. Just make sure to know your music, which ends up being about 70-80 songs by the final. Besides a 5-10 page essay which was graded very generously, the only work you have to do is listen to music and remember the songs. It’s helpful to review lecture notes before the exams but the music matters a whole lot more. My TA Juan was also very nice and doesn’t assign much work. He focuses on the actual music and the way its played, which is interesting and different from what is taught in class. The TAs also assign different work so this may be different for some. Overall, I absolutely loved this class as it was probably the easiest and wasn’t even that boring. 10/10 would recommend

Helpful?

2 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A+
Dec. 28, 2020

Like every other comment, this class was very very easy if you try. Textbook is low key useless. prof puts all the important info on the slides anyways. Participation is 20% and quizzes are 20%. Participation is just graded on attendance to section and the quizzes have unlimited attempts. So that's essentially a free 40%. The other 60% was comprised of a final, a midterm, and a 5-6 page paper. Midterm/Final were mostly song recognition question sprinkled in with history questions. Just memorize the songs and take notes and you should be fine. The paper also wasn't that bad. Rorke was my TA and he did a very good job of explaining the week's content. De Castro's lectures were sometimes kinda dry, but it's zoom school so I don't blame him. Overall, this GE was super fun and easy. As a person who knows close to nothing about jazz, it was interesting seeing the evolution of jazz and how the genre of music changed throughout the US.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A+
Dec. 21, 2020

This class is super easy. Literally no homework and the weekly quizzes you get unlimited tries so its not even hard lol. You did have to buy some online textbook which was about 60 bucks and that's where you took the quizzes/ read the textbook.

There's one short essay worth 10% where you had to respond to a prompt in 5-6 pages. It was graded pretty leniently and could be done in one setting. My TA Juan was very chill and gave no additional work compared to some of the other TAs.

Midterm and final was mostly just some history questions and song recognition where you had to know the name of song, compose, or singer/ instrument player. As long as you copied the slides word for word and study those you'll literally be fine. Just memorize the songs too and the exams are easy As.

Definitely recommend this course to fulfill a GE though topics in the class was pretty boring and Professor De Castor didn't make it super interesting either lol. However super light work and easy A so 10/10 recommend.

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A+
Feb. 15, 2020

Easiest class ever. Very interesting material if you appreciate jazz. Prof. de Castro doesn't post the slides online, so it's best to attend the lecture. During the lecture, he plays music that you must memorize (the music is posted online). The grade is based on participation, an essay, a midterm and a final. The midterm and final both consist of multiple-choice questions about general facts from the slides or who composed or performed a piece. Those questions correspond to music that he plays during the exams. Fun class, fun discussion, easy GE!

Helpful?

1 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A+
Jan. 5, 2021

A very interesting yet easy class. Professor De Castro is a very chill but fun teacher. He makes class enjoyable, keeps students up-to-date with any changes to the coursework, and is patient and willing to help his students. The coursework was very interesting and not work heavy. The way this class works (at least, the way it worked during COVID-19 distance learning) was that you would read a chapter of the book and memorize a few songs each week. There was one paper and there were two exams, all of which were very easy as long as you did the coursework and kept up with the lectures. If you are interested in old-timey jazz music (pre-World War II) or are just looking for a fun and easy class, this one is for you!

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
COVID-19 This review was submitted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your experience may vary.
Quarter: Fall 2020
Grade: A+
Dec. 29, 2020

If you’re looking for an easy, light course load GE I 100% recommend this class. Grades are made up of a 5 page paper (10%), discussion section participation (20%), weekly quizzes (20%), a midterm (20%) and the final (30%).

Lectures are recorded so if you’re in a different time zone or just don’t feel like showing up it won’t count against you. There are required readings almost every week and you have to pay for the book through ucla because it’s the only way you can take the quizzes. As long as you read actively the quizzes are easy, and besides that you can take them an infinite amount of times before the deadline (a week) so there’s no reason to not get all the points. Midterm and final are all MC and mostly ask about the songs you have to memorize.

I had Rivera for discussion and he was okay, I think he took it a little too seriously given that most of us weren’t musicology majors. Each discussion usually consisted of a short easy assignment, sometimes individually and sometimes in break out rooms. As long as you do these you should be fine.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: A+
Jan. 7, 2020

This has been and probably will be the easiest class I take at UCLA. Professor De Castro is a solid lecturer and is pretty witty so chances are you'll have a fun time in this class. He does not post presentation slides so attending lecture (though not mandatory) is kind of a must. If the musical aspect of this course is intimidating, just know that you truly don't need intense knowledge of music theory to succeed in this class. There is one midterm and one final which are stupid easy (no cap). All you have to do is memorize some songs and simple facts about musicians from lecture. It is possible to study for the exams a day before, but from personal experience I wholly do not recommend. A textbook is "required" but it's not necessary and I did not open it a single time this entire quarter. There is a 5-10 paper due towards the end of the quarter, which I also did the day before and did fine on (if you have an extensive musical background definitely use it but if your knowledge of music is basic like me then definitely go for a more historical/socio-political lens when addressing the prompts). Overall, I genuinely enjoyed this class, liked the professor and TA's, and actually learned quite a bit with the bonus of it being an easy GE.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
Quarter: Fall 2019
Grade: N/A
Dec. 30, 2019

Very boring class unless you are very interested in the material. Each 2 hour class featured documentary segments and slides that you would copy down. However, the class was fairly easy.

Helpful?

0 0 Please log in to provide feedback.
1 of 1
4.4
Overall Rating
Based on 9 Users
Easiness 4.7 / 5 How easy the class is, 1 being extremely difficult and 5 being easy peasy.
Clarity 4.4 / 5 How clear the professor is, 1 being extremely unclear and 5 being very clear.
Workload 4.6 / 5 How light the workload is, 1 being extremely heavy and 5 being extremely light.
Helpfulness 4.2 / 5 How helpful the professor is, 1 being not helpful at all and 5 being extremely helpful.

TOP TAGS

  • Uses Slides
    (7)
  • Tolerates Tardiness
    (4)
  • Appropriately Priced Materials
    (3)
  • Would Take Again
    (6)
  • Issues PTEs
    (1)
  • Needs Textbook
    (5)
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