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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

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


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.


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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101 - 125 of 141 Reviews for The Blues: Understanding and Performing an American Art Form

By Alberto E M R

Jun 08, 2016

it´s excellent

By Johan R O

Jan 29, 2018

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

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 Alexander P

Feb 23, 2017

Excellent introduction into the subject. A lot of theory and practical illustrations. Surely, to master the material entirely you should practice for years. But the course gives a thorough overview of what the blues means. If you don't learn how to play it you at least will understand what happens there. My only critics is that I did not found any written materials that are used in the lectures. I don't understand why. I used the printscreen button to get examples from the videos. Would not it be much easier to include the music sheets that are disposed publicly anyway.

By Christos H

Jul 13, 2017



Jan 03, 2018

Excellent, very neat and illustrative.

By Germán R

Oct 05, 2016

Me encantó este curso, es formidable y con bases sólidas.

By Richard M

Jan 25, 2017

This is a GREAT course. There is absolutely a wealth of knowledge that you can build on for a lifetime of jazz and blues! 5 stars

By Lo L K P

Apr 15, 2017

Practical and useful information

By Hirokuni T

Mar 19, 2018

Good course.

It is analyzed from the perspective of Jazz.

If you want to learn traditional Blues, This course is Jazzy too much.

By Jordi F

Jun 30, 2017

All you need to know about how blues works. You won't be a blues musician after seven weeks but you've got a big step in the way to got it.

By Yohanes N P

Jun 29, 2017

Super great! The pace is good for beginner

By Antonio N

Dec 08, 2017

Thank you Mr. Terefenko!

By Catherine C

Oct 27, 2017

Everything is clearly explained and demonstrated. It was great being able to downloads course videos and transcripts for reference.

By Isabelle K

Oct 14, 2017

Great course. Thank you so much!

By Samanta G P

Oct 17, 2016

Thank you so much for this opportunity! Awesome experience.

By Pedro B

Aug 08, 2016

Muy bueno!

By Temo S

Jan 30, 2017

Altamente recomendable

By Pawel S

Jan 25, 2017

Excellent course. It is all about theory, which is fantastic, with some facility provided to enable improvisation. It would be great to extend this course to a hands-on improvisation. How about a part 2 - practical implementation of the introduced improvisational concepts?

Many thanks to prof. Terefenko and the band members - what a gathering of talent!

Best regards,

Pawel Slomowicz

By 宮本孝男

May 06, 2019

The couse was very useful. I could learn a comprehensive theory and I think I gained a firm theoretical background. The step-by-step building-block approach enabled me to follow the contents. The course also included a variety of practices which can be used in my practice. I really enjoyed this course.

By Massiel

May 15, 2019

Very nice and genial course. I learned some new aspects i didnot know or which i had dute. More course like this please. Thank very much

By Minerva M G

May 20, 2019

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

By Víctor M P O

Jul 08, 2019

Excelente curso

By Joy S

Oct 06, 2018

Related to jazz, which I enjoy. However, this teaches you to perform the music. Prefer music appreciation classes.