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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

406 ratings
162 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


May 10, 2020

This course is really interesting. I would like to recommend this course to those who genuinely loves music. Thanks to the University of Rochester for launching this wonderful masterpiece.


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.

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101 - 125 of 160 Reviews for The Blues: Understanding and Performing an American Art Form

By dragan r

Mar 22, 2018

great course,thank you darius end everyone,best regards

By Minerva M G

May 20, 2019

I loved it! I use it for my self and for my students.

By Roman

Nov 01, 2019

Excellent jazz material with excellent explanation

By Miguel A O C

Mar 10, 2020

Excelente Curso, muy preciso en sus definiciones.

By Sakda S

Jul 12, 2018

Very Impressive course. I learn a lot from there.

By Kelly-Ann K

Nov 09, 2019

So much rich information and examples .

Thank you

By Yvan S

Oct 09, 2016

Awesome course, especially for Jazz pianists!

By Angelina W

Nov 25, 2016

Love the theory discussion and performances.

By Juanjo R C

Dec 10, 2017

buen curso, lastima no está en español 100%

By Ervin S

Jun 19, 2016

I've learnt a lot from this course. Thanks!

By Yohanes N P

Jun 29, 2017

Super great! The pace is good for beginner


Jan 03, 2018

Excellent, very neat and illustrative.

By Marcos N d O

Apr 13, 2017

Pratical, straight foward and elusive.

By António F T M

Jun 26, 2017

I loved this course, a must to have!!

By Xiangxin L

Jun 18, 2017

So many ideas for blues and jazz.

By jason

Nov 09, 2016

Great course- thank you, Dariusz!

By Isabelle K

Oct 14, 2017

Great course. Thank you so much!

By Lo L K P

Apr 15, 2017

Practical and useful information

By Illona M

May 31, 2016

Best course I had here so far.

By Sushil M

Jan 30, 2019

Wonderful Overview of Blues.

By Samuel B S S

May 29, 2016

good lecture... nice lesson

By Bart S

Jul 02, 2016

great course, do it again

By Antonio N

Dec 08, 2017

Thank you Mr. Terefenko!

By Leslie

Mar 13, 2017

truly excellent course

By Temo S

Jan 30, 2017

Altamente recomendable