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Learner Reviews & Feedback for History of Rock, Part One by University of Rochester

1,135 ratings

About the Course

This course, part 1 of a 2-course sequence, examines the history of rock, primarily as it unfolded in the United States, from the days before rock (pre-1955) to the end of the 1960s. This course covers the music of Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Phil Spector, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and many more artists, with an emphasis both on cultural context and on the music itself. We will also explore how developments in the music business and in technology helped shape the ways in which styles developed. Rock emerged in the mid 1950s as a blending of mainstream pop, rhythm and blues, and country and western--styles that previously had remained relatively separate. This new style became the music of the emerging youth culture and was often associated with teen rebellion. We will follow the story of how this rowdy first wave of rock and roll (1955-59) was tamed in the early 60s but came roaring back with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and then went psychedelic by the end of the decade....

Top reviews


Mar 12, 2018

Provided insight into what I was listening to as a pre-teen. I didn't have the exposure to some of the older roots or the an understanding of the business forces that shaped the music I had access to.


Oct 1, 2016

This course has really helped to fill out my piecemeal understanding of the development of rock music. The pace and content of learning has been well considered and Prof Covach is to be congratulated.

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51 - 75 of 330 Reviews for History of Rock, Part One


May 28, 2017

Awesome lecturer, very knowledgeable! Bargain-priced experience to receive such massive, interesting information concisely and well threaded! I am not done since the allowance to pace myself truly has allowed me to even do this with my busy career. Ongoing thanks! Jorge

By Karin H

Dec 27, 2015

I really liked how in depth the speaker got. He knew what he was talking about and could clearly express that. One problem I had is I take notes during lectures and he spoke so fast I had a hard taking any. Besides this it was an awesome class that I totally enjoyed.


Sep 9, 2021

A wonderful experience. Although I began the course with a fair amount of knowledge there were so many new insights,perspectives and stories in the videos delivered in an entertaining way. I recommend it for anyone with a love or interest in Rock music. On to Part 2!

By Janice J C

Jul 22, 2020

Thank you very much, Professor John Covach! This is one of the most enjoyable classes I have taken in Coursera. I can see your passion for the lessons and I learned a lot. I hope that I will be able to attend the second part of this course. I wish you all the best!

By Neloufer P

Sep 10, 2017

I enjoyed the whole course, from start to finish. As a life-long fan of music, I already had most of the pieces of the puzzle, but this course helped but it all together and illuminate a few areas I had not explored before. I can't wait to delve into Part II!

By Michal K

Nov 9, 2015

I have learned so much about the history of Rock from this course.I would recommend this course to anyone who loves rock music and would like to know more about it. John Covach is an excellent teacher and I can't wait to start Part 2 of The History of Rock!

By AnaCrash

Oct 23, 2015

LOVE the course! The teacher is so great! Just makes it interesting to listen and follow the course...the way he teaches is not boring at all! Cant wait to continue the course and go further to part 2! So happy I found this! Life makes sense again :))

By Loren K

Dec 21, 2017

This was a fantastic course that goes in to great detail about the history of popular music in North America, and later England. Also, it was easy to see the professor's love of music in general by his expressions and the way he talked. A+ class.

By Elvira S

Jun 22, 2021

Excellent course on history of rock music! The tutor also tells a bunch of interesting facts about musicians and the places they were working at. Great, catchy, enlists many legendary musicians. I've extended my playlist, thanks to this course!

By Alessandro P

Dec 17, 2015

If rock music is a big share in your life, or if you wonder why rock culture is so massively around us take this course!

It' s very informative and never boring, and may even get you out your "fan mentality" and broad your musical horizons :)

By Manfred K

Sep 12, 2016

Excellent course. To get the most out of it, I recommend to download the transcripts of the video lectures and then add (YouTube) links to the pieces mentioned in the lecture. Time consuming, but you get a much deeper learning experience.

By Cameron F

May 17, 2019

Fantastic Course. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the lectures and both discovered a lot of new music and learned why certain albums and artists where so influential. The teacher is really engaging and has great recommendations and stories.

By Daniel D

Mar 21, 2017

I got to learn so much. So many new bands and artists I had never heard of. The course was also useful w.r.t putting all the music I listen to into context, looking at larger themes and how they fit and evolve into each other.

By Martin G F R B

Dec 11, 2022

I enjoyed the way information was delivered and the clarity on said delivery. Wanted to get a better undertanding of the historical context of the subject and i have to say that i'm happy with the course. Thank you very much

By Linda B

Sep 3, 2017

This course presents a comprehensive history of rock with many compelling examples of music. The instructor is engaging and highly knowledgeable in his field. i enjoyed the class and would definitely recommend it to others.

By Thorsten E

Mar 20, 2020

Very nice course. The lecturer is very passionate about this topic and it is a lot of fun learning about the content from him. The whole course is well structured and the video clips have a convenient length.

Thanks a lot!

By Brian B

Dec 14, 2017


this is an excellent course. For a chap of my age, the first weeks were most enjoyable. The latter weeks as we moved into Psychedelia were less interesting. Overall I'm delighted I completed the course at last

By Amin

Sep 11, 2020

I learned things on this course that I had no idea they even existed. This course gave me a new insight of not just rock n' roll music but all sorts of musics played back then. It was inspirational and totally awesome!

By José Z Z

Mar 16, 2021

AvVery interesting, amusing, reflexive trip from the origins of rock (way behind the 50's) to the experimental psychedelia. I really had wonderful moments watching the lectures and revising clips of the musicians!

By Noushka

Apr 16, 2020

A very nice overview on Rock&Roll until the late 60's, that makes one understand not only the evolution of many kinds of music, but also the way society worked and the effects it had on music, movements, trends...

By Joy S

Jan 12, 2016

An excellent overview of the subject. Ordered the book - found an older edition copy for cheap on an auction site - and found it invaluable on exams. This class is less sleep inducing and more fun than most.

By Michael S

Jul 24, 2017

The professor is terrific! His very broad knowledge of music from classical to rock to jazz to blues adds a great deal to the course. I've enjoyed Part 1 so much that I'm going to go through it a 2nd time.

By Marcia E

Jun 19, 2020

Loved the content and the format and instructor and instructor style. The pace was right and the quizzes were just long enough (I'm auditing). I learned a bunch about the topic and plan to take Part II

By Ximena D A

Nov 2, 2015

I love professor Covach's lectures. He is passionate about the topic and you learn so much in every single video. I have taken both History of Rock courses and would do it all over again in a heartbeat.