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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

584 ratings

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


Jul 27, 2020

Very good and enjoyable mix of practice and theory - from basics to more advanced with good explanations throughout. I just wish I was a better piano player to be able to take full advantage of it!


Oct 7, 2016

Such a great course! Even though I am a bass player this course has made me understand patterns and ways in which the Blues can be taken to. Thank you very much for such an amazing experience.

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126 - 150 of 239 Reviews for The Blues: Understanding and Performing an American Art Form

By Byrolsh

Jul 26, 2020

Dariusz Terefenko is a great teacher! I'm very greatful for share his knowledge. Thanks you!

By minram z

Dec 23, 2020

Amazing course! So many things to learn. Practical lessons with comprehensible music theory.

By Eddy O S H

Jul 30, 2020

excellent course! detailed explanation in a clear and understandable language throughout.

By Alice H

Oct 19, 2022

Wonderful course for understanding and expanding blues improvisation for all musicians!

By Johan R O

Jan 29, 2018

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

By Curt M

May 30, 2020

This course is a great way to learn, review, or rev up your improvisational techniques.

By Cesar G C

May 26, 2021

Estupendo!! material preciso y explicado de manera fácil y sencilla.. recomendado!!

By george s

Apr 8, 2020

excellent course!helps a lot in improvisation and makes you think more musical!

By Andrie S Y

Apr 27, 2020

It is great class, the best class in jazz improvisation. I really learn a lot.

By Cristina M S

Nov 27, 2016

It's a very useful course. Really worth it!!!

My congratulations to Professor.

By Alexandros R

Jun 8, 2016

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

By Tomas P A

Feb 10, 2018

Excellent course!!! Great teacher. A must for blues and jazz students

By fabian r

Jul 27, 2016

excellent! great course for undertanding the blues and its evolution!

By Freshdi L

Aug 17, 2020

very detailed and comprehensive, especially beneficial for pianist

By nino p

Jun 18, 2020

very well explained, clearly illustrated with instructive examples

By YMusic S E

Jan 24, 2023

A very exhaustive, well explained and clearly illustrated course.

By sergio v

Oct 10, 2016

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

By Robert V S

Nov 23, 2016

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

By Lukas L

Jun 11, 2020

Great content! A lot of compositional inspiration! Thank you.

By Samanta G P

Oct 17, 2016

Thank you so much for this opportunity! Awesome experience.

By Denis A D

Mar 22, 2021

Magnifico !!!

Very well structured courses

Thank you for all

By Viet T L

May 20, 2021

thank you so much for offering this amazing free course!

By Germán R

Oct 5, 2016

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

By saisumanth

Apr 6, 2018

professional course which useful for full time musicians