professor
James Napoli

This professor has earned a CULPA gold nugget

May 2011

This is one of the best courses I have taken here. Yes - you can expect to talk about how music makes you feel. Music is mediated by the body and therefore is, quite literally, touchy-feely. (Sorry to disappoint the previous reviewer!) You can choose to take this practice seriously or not, but, as for me, I took it seriously and found more in Asian music than I ever would have through chronologies and memorization alone. The class is not difficult per se, but it will challenge you if you will allow yourself to trust that there is a method to the process and see where it takes you. Reading texts and regurgitating ideas is easy - the touchy-feely stuff is much more complicated. And that's the best part! I found myself questioning my own views of Western pop music and other genres as a result; views that I previously thought were just "normal". But, ultimately, I also learned a lot about genres of music throughout Asia and, to some extent, how they have operated in peoples' lives. James is very passionate and knowledgable, and always responsive and willing to engage with questions or obstacles. This class brings such a refreshing approach to the study of music, and if that is something you are passionate about, I highly recommend this course with James!!!! If you want to sit in a room and memorize terms and dates, he's not for you.

May 2011

Ok- here's the thing. James is a really nice guy, and he's very fair, and he takes the class really seriously and is always prepared, and answers all questions and emails. But he had to defend his class and his methods three times during the semester, and took at least 20 minutes each time to explain himself. After getting a few skeptical comments from a small handful of students who thought the class was a little bullshitty (i was surprised that more people didn't find the class too touchy-feely), he explained to the class that getting us all skeptical and annoyed was his plan all along. Really? I'm not convinced. But he takes criticism well, and tries to adjust and be really flexible with the syllabus. We spent a lot of time in class discussions talking how certain music made us FEEL (literally), and whether we considered the sounds we heard to be music, and why. We spent most classes either watching youtube videos, listening to pieces, and discussing the readings or the listenings. Once we went to a gamelan workshop which was really fun. So in general, low stress, and you might learn something. if you don't mind the first few discussions, then you'll be fine for the rest.

Jan 2011

Great Teacher! It was quite refreshing to have a prof that truly cares about teaching and strives to facilitate discussion. Don't be like that one girl in my class and just search for the right answer... he doesn't look for right answers but rather wants to hear that you're able to use the right terms to back up your opinion. Very reasonable grading on the concert/opera reports and on the midterms and finals he provides a VERY useful study guide. He lets you pick what concert you wanna attend but mandates which opera you'll review... Much better than some other teachers that force the students to sit through boring classical concerts for the reports. Also, allows you to miss one of the edblog assignments and is very accessible for office hours. Take him for Music Hum at any cost!

Jan 2011

I took music hum last semester with him and he is such a wonderful teacher. He had a laid-back approach to learning the material and I thought this was a more effective way to teach and instill appreciation of the music in his students. Coursework includes: weekly edblog postings, concert report, opera report (the two reports are heavily weighted) along with a midterm and a final. I really enjoyed him as a teacher and take him if you have the chance.