Reviews of Classes taught by Thomas Whitman of the Music Department

Name: Nori Heikkinen Year: 2003 Major: Music/Undecided Course: MUSI 011&012 - Harmony and Counterpoint 1&2 Taken Fall 1999/Spring 2000 Recommends? yes

I took Harmony and Counterpoint I & II Fall 1999 and Spring 2000, respectively. They are fabulous classes. I would certainly reccomend 011 for both majors and non-majors (majors may want to see if they can test out of it, but i think only a few will have done everything that's covered in these extensive courses). My 011 class had maybe 30 kids in it, from people who'd been playing piano since they were 3 (me) to people who could barely read music (the prerequisite). Everyone who did the work and tried hard did fine, though we lost 2/3rds of the class by second semester. Tom is very thorough and very instructive, and knows everything about theory. He's a great prof and a very cool guy, too. There was no reading (well, an assigned chapter a week, but if you went to class you didn't have to do it), which was nice. Weekly quizzes which were always easy if you'd been to class, and often easy if you hadn't. I realize I'm speaking as a music major, but I really think that the classes, esp. 11, are great for non-majors. I really encourage non-majors to take it--it's a great foundation for understanding and appreciating music better. There's a drill section that goes along with it--music 40A and 40B (with 11 and 12, respectively), but it's only an hour a week and is good. Though it uses a stupid stupid book (the Damschroeder, a.k.a. GodDamn-schroeder.)

If you take this class, don't buy all the texts unless you're a major. Buy the Aldwell & Schackter (or however you spell it) and the worthless goddamnschroeder (because it's required and you can't get around it, but try to buy it from a friend cheaply), but don't buy the other one unless you plan to stay in it for 12 at least--all three are expensive. There are copies of them on reserve in Underhill, but they're never there, and it's a pain in the ass to use them. Just buy your own. Readings are assigned regularly from all 3, but as I said, you don't need to use them if you've been to class.

There's also listening homework sometimes. Not a big deal, and we all like listening to music.

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