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Back to The Blues: Understanding and Performing an American Art Form

Learner Reviews & Feedback for The Blues: Understanding and Performing an American Art Form by University of Rochester

4.8
355 ratings
144 reviews

About the Course

The blues is an American art form and the most important musical form in jazz. Although there are other formal paradigms of the blues, such as 8-bar or 16-bar, this course focuses on different incarnations of the 12-bar blues. There are considerable differences between Early Jazz blues, Swing blues, Bebop blues, Modal blues, and Post Bop blues. Each type has its unique harmonic syntax, melodic vocabulary and, associated with them, improvisational techniques. While other aspects of jazz performance practice have been constantly changing from one stylistic convention to another, the blues has never lost its identity and expressive power, and continues to exert a powerful influence on the harmonic and melodic syntax of jazz. This seven-week course explores important aspects of the blues, blues improvisation, basic keyboard textures, jazz harmonic and melodic syntax. Topics include: (1) Blues Progressions; (2) Blues and Other Scales; (3) Improvisational Tools, and others. This course will also cover valuable theoretical concepts enabling the student to master the art of jazz improvisation. Each topic will be introduced from a practical perspective with the clearly stated goal: to improve one’s improvisational skills. Jazz improvisation is rooted in spontaneity, creativity, self-expression and, at the same time, self-control and order. A unique pedagogical approach based on a one-to-one musical interaction conducted with different instrumentalists will help to reinforce many of the concepts introduced in this course and realize its stated objectives....

Top reviews

DZ

Mar 04, 2017

This is very practical and useful course. I really learned something from it! I love this courser and I strongly recommend this course to everyone who is fascinated in Blues.

JJ

Sep 18, 2017

Thanks so much to all involved - I found the material to be clearly presented and rich in content. It really helped me to understand how to grow in my jazz exploration.

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76 - 100 of 141 Reviews for The Blues: Understanding and Performing an American Art Form

By Samuel B S S

May 29, 2016

good lecture... nice lesson

By Doug B

Sep 06, 2017

Class is amazing if you have just a bit of theory background, and especially if you have a keyboard to practice some of the stuff on. Excellent professor, great appearances and performances on trumpet, bass, etc.. Also a nice intro to jazz piano. Happy to see Eastman contributing some top caliber material to a major mooc platform.

By Robert V S

Nov 23, 2016

Fantastic material that will give me years of stuff to work on!

By Dmitry A

Dec 31, 2016

The most interesting and complete course about the blues I've have ever seen! Structured, clear and very kind form of teaching. Thank you, Dariusz!

By sergio v

Oct 10, 2016

Had fun taking this class and learned some new things. thank you.

By Ricardo E C O

Feb 26, 2018

Great!!

By Ben S

Jan 28, 2017

This course presents the relationships between various aspects of composition and performance in a clearly structured manner, demystifying much about blues jazz that had confused me before. This has improved my musicianship, but more so my music appreciation.

By Izzy R

Oct 05, 2017

Very well planned and presented course. The instructor was clear and paced the material just right (at least for me!). Thank you.

By António F T M

Jun 26, 2017

I loved this course, a must to have!!

By Ulla L P

Jun 11, 2016

This a formidable course that has given me a thourough understanding of jazz harmony, of the development of jazz harmonic language exemplified by the blues, and a plethora of practical exercises, both ear training and (primarily keyboard) playing. The play-along tracks are very useful, too, and last, but not least, it was wonderful to listen to the talented young jazz music students, who demonstrated various aspects of the subjects taught.

By Craig S

Jan 28, 2017

This is an informative course for anyone interested in improvisation, regardless of your current level of achievement. If you have learned by yourself, with the help of instructors or friends over the years, you will find this course of benefit for filling in the holes of your knowledge. if you are a beginning or intermediate student, it is highly recommended as a means of understanding how to improvise. There are plenty for opportunities to practice with a rhythm section which is a great opportunity.

By Sofia K

May 16, 2016

Although I don't have any musical background I really enjoyed this course and have learned and understood a bit more about the blues.

Thanks to the Professor and the musicians for giving their time and effort to make this MOOC a reality.

Much appreciated.

By Eduardo M C

Aug 10, 2016

It´s an excelent course, with a lot of material to study for long time. The explanations are clear and step by step. Professor Dariusz Terefenko is a great teacher and also a great player. Their students play great demonstrations on explained topics. I learn a lot about, otherwise difficult topics, on jazz styles, jazz harmony and improvisation using modes and other techniques. All applied over 12 bar blues structure.

By Leslie

Mar 13, 2017

truly excellent course

By Maicon R H

Apr 11, 2017

Very good!!!

By Jack

Sep 18, 2017

Thanks so much to all involved - I found the material to be clearly presented and rich in content. It really helped me to understand how to grow in my jazz exploration.

By Ryan B H

Apr 10, 2017

This course was wonderful! A great deep dive into all the theory behind the blues, the various harmonizations and the music theory behind them, as well as a number of great concrete examples of song analysis, composition and improvisation. I recommend it to anyone interested in the blues!

By Graeme H

Mar 01, 2017

Brings together a lot of the 'book' theory in a pretty comprehensive and comprehensible form, with playing examples individually and in ensemble. Having struggled with some of this material in the past, I found Dariusz explanations really helped me move my comprehension of this subject area along quite dramatically.

By Alexandros R

Jun 08, 2016

Excellent presentation of the theory and very nice examples and analysis.

By Brian D

May 03, 2018

Excellent learning experience. Dariusz Terefenko's demonstrations and explanations helped me better understand the theory and mechanics behind the progressions and improvisations. Great to have students show some of their compositional and improvisational skills as well.

By Alberto E M R

Jun 08, 2016

it´s excellent

By Harry K

Jun 09, 2016

Excellent instructor and course on fundamentals of the blues and jazz. Please continue more similar courses!

By dragan r

Mar 22, 2018

great course,thank you darius end everyone,best regards

By Johan R O

Jan 29, 2018

The course is excellent, the contents are pertinent and well developed along the 7 weeks

By Bart S

Jul 02, 2016

great course, do it again