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

441 ratings

About the Course

This course, part 2 of a 2-course sequence, examines the history of rock, primarily as it unfolded in the United States, from the early 1970s to the early 1990s. This course covers the music of Led Zeppelin, the Allman Brothers, Carole King, Bob Marley, the Sex Pistols, Donna Summer, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, Metallica, Run-DMC, and Nirvana, 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. Emerging out of the experimental and ambitious years of late-60s psychedelia, rock splintered into a variety of styles in the 1970s as the music business continued to expand. By the end of the decade, punk and disco had challenged the excesses of the hippie aesthetic, as rock became more commercially streamlined and radio friendly. The emergence and rise of MTV transformed pop music and propelled the careers of Michael jackson and Madonna, while heavy metal and hip hop dominated the late 1980s. Nirvana leads alt-rock's return to simplicity in the early 1990s....

Top reviews


Sep 29, 2020

Fascinating - really filled out my knowledge and understanding and introduced me to new music - despite having lived through much of the history. Enjoyed the laid back but informed videos.


Feb 12, 2021

Continuing from Part One, the History of Rock course segues into the music scene of 70s and beyond. A thoroughly enjoyable course for anyone interested in any form of music in general.

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1 - 25 of 112 Reviews for History of Rock, Part Two

By Nicole B

Nov 1, 2015

John Covach's lectures are clear and well-thought out, and he does a good job of fielding the "fan mentality" that so often plagues other rock history and music history courses.

By Jeff S

Jul 6, 2020

I enjoyed both parts 1 and 2 of this course immensely. I gained a greater appreciation for the strands that hold so many different types of music together and discovered a great deal of music and musical knowledge that I was unaware of prior to listening to these lectures.

It was a great experience of listening to lectures, watching videos of songs on YouTube, and adding lots of music to my collection. I took these courses to enhance the musical knowledge I already possessed and they did just that.

By Angela R

May 19, 2020

This was such a great class! I really enjoyed it. I listen to each lecture with one hand on the pause button and the other on the keyboard set to YouTube so I could listen to each song that I wasn't familiar with. The only thing that I thought that left out was Meatloaf. He had such a great voice when they first started out and really all the credit goes to his songwriter Jim Steinman who wrote for so many artists. But thank you for making this pandemic so much better to get through!

By Maris

Sep 24, 2017

Excelent. Actually now is more fun to read about musicans (recently Iggy Pop & Black Sabbath) because context is better understood. (A bit weird that Tom Waits is not even mentioned)

By Loren K

Feb 14, 2018

John Covach is a fantastic teacher that has a obvious love of music in general. I would definitely take other courses from Mr. Covach if they were offered. Great class!!

By Walter C

Apr 1, 2017

More than a course on history of rock, is a course on history of culture and american society in the 20th century. Recommended.

By Gina K

May 17, 2020

Fascinating, and brilliantly taught by Professor Covach.

By Simon B

Mar 16, 2020

Excellent course on the History of Rock from the 1970s till 1990s. Explores the work of big artists like Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, Deep, Purple, Jethro Tull, The Smiths, YES, Ozzy Osbourne, Janet Jackson, Marilyn Manson, David Bowie, and many others. So fans of these artists can get a great study of their works and how TV channels like MTV inspired them to push their boundaries and creativity. Furthermore, the course explores the music prejudices and racism that certain white music fans and white Rock n' Roll musicians have displayed toward Black artists and Black Pop. So this course offers a fascinating study on the racial divisions that exist in the music culture and in our society. Like for their courses on the Beatles and Rolling Stones, I hope the teacher John Covach and Coursera will eventually offer deeper and specific courses on the History of Rock musicians like Jethro Tull, Michael Jackson, Prince, The Jackson 5, Ozzy Osbourne, Deep Purple, and YES. Thank you for the great course John Covach, I recommend everyone to take it.

By Serena S

Jul 2, 2019

I have taken many courses by this professor and enjoyed them all. I have also purchased (secondhand) the books and textbooks recommended and keep them as treasured items. I would consider retaking these courses to enjoy the information; feeling that I was far more informed a second time than the first time I took them. I was always the sort of person who didn't know who played what music, now when a song comes on, I'm always the one who says, 'this is by --', and I know the history of the songs too. It means a lot to me, especially with the older rock which has always been my favourite. I was never allowed to listen to music when I was younger and having this music culture in my life has been life changing for me. Thank you so much to the professor and to coursera for providing this opportunity. I will always be looking for courses provided by this particular teacher as his personability and understanding of the music is not to be missed! Thank you!

By Rose H

Apr 12, 2022

I took both parts of History of Rock and am truly amazed by how much I learned! It served as a fantastic listening guide that exposed me to many artists I didn't know before and also gave me a greater understanding of many artists that I already loved.

Professor Covach is a knowledgeable, entertaining, and engaging teacher. I appreciate how he always kept a big-picture narrative in mind and explained each movement in music through a wider context. He included many funny anecdotes, interesting perspectives on the business side of the music industry, and nuanced discussions about race.

Coursera, please make more courses with Professor Covach! I would love to see more in-depth explorations of specific bands, and would also love to see a similarly detailed histories of R&B, jazz, hip-hop, and other musical genres.

By Pratyusha P

Oct 4, 2020

Loved it! I always wanted to learn more about American music and this course was very comprehensive and easy to follow, especially for someone like me with zero knowledge of music theory. While it says history of rock in the title it is basically a run-down over the history of American pop music, from the 1920s to the 90s. I learned a lot not just about music but the interactional relationship between popular music and culture as well. Professor Covach is a very good teacher, I liked his patient and detailed and sympathetic explanations of cultural movements, and his well-informed and nuanced takes and opinions on many music controversies (like rock vs. disco, or rock vs. hip-hop) you can tell he has genuine appreciation for all genres of music and music and general.

By Kinga S

Nov 19, 2018

I took both parts of the course and I miss it already! Professor Covach has not only very entertaining way of talking about the music but the genuine love and engagement is so visible, that you can't not to smile when watching his lectures. Not to mention the knowledge, oh boy, that's a huge piece of history with the mind-blowing diversity we're talking about. Which also makes it impressive how much of the information is included in the course. And it made me hungry for more!

Anyway, I loved both parts of the course, it was pure joy and I managed to learn a lot about music history from the early XXth century, which I'm sure I wouldn't pursue on my own.

Thank you for tremendous time, Prof. Covach!

By Kevin S

Oct 3, 2019

I thoroughly enjoyed History of Rock, Part Two. I learned more than I did in Part One, but I found both courses to be interesting and valuable as a student of rock history. Professor Covach does a super job of focusing on trends and avoiding rock trivia. While I occasionally found myself gasping out "But what about . . ." Dr Covach did a great job of helping students see the bigger picture. I highly recommend this class to those who have an interest in understanding the various pieces of rock and roll and how they fit together.

By Grandom B R

Jan 17, 2020

Un curso realmente fantástico, la explicación es excelente me permitió comprender y profundizar en muchos estilos, los exámenes y preguntas clave al concluir cada conferencia son claves para afianzar los conocimientos obtenidos, una gran propuesta educativa que sin duda recomiendo, pude aprender mucho más de lo que ya conocía y enriqueció mi amor por el Rock. Sería increíble que pudieran hacer un curso dedicado completamente a la historia del Heavy Metal y su gran diversidad de estilos sin duda lo tomaría.

By Rachel S

Sep 15, 2021

I cannot say enough good things about Professor Covach and this course. I grew up with The Rolling Stones, Beatles, etc and had a good foundation of rock history, but learned so much from this class. I also love Professor Covach's laid back style, his knowledge and his obvious love of music.

I have taken History of Rock, Part One and the Music of the Beatles and recommend them all.

By Phyllis S

Aug 16, 2016

Instructor's presentation keeps the participant's attention. Connections are made to history, musicians and the trajectory of music. Just wishing all this could have been seamlessly integrated with soundbites and/or music videos. There's gotta be a way around rights, residuals and academics. Still, both courses taken together were engaging and information packed.

By Ekaterina A

Jan 15, 2017

This course gives a wide rational view on rock music development not trying to avoid any controversal topics like race or gender. It gives a great range of covered styles in rock and around it as well as many different groups discussed. I will return to the course content again and again as it really makes me want to listen to all this music discussed.

By Jean P G C

Jul 4, 2020

Excelente curso. Muy entretenido y dinámico. Todos tendrán la impresión que un video de rock progresivo o de jazz rock son muy poco pero el Sr. John Covach sabe como desarrollar conclusiones de manera extraordinaria. Cualquier persona de dará cuenta de que el profesor podría realizar un curso de cada estilo musical expuesto en el curso.

By Dan D

Jan 28, 2021

I viewed both courses and they were both outstanding. Extremely enjoyable. Professor Covach did a great job explaining the different parts of the history or rock and connecting the pieces. I only wish I could be in his actual college class where he could play some of the music. I hope he does a class on music theory in rock.

By kate m

Feb 11, 2020

I loved this class!! It was so interesting to hear stories about the different bands/musicians and what things influenced both the music and the times. John Covach is so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about music and is able to pass that enthusiasm on to people taking the class. I highly recommend this class to everyone!

By Pedro C D L C

Mar 1, 2021

Amazing Course! A critical view of rock's evolution in the past 30 years, from which I rescued the relevance of innovation in popular music but overall the role that previous influences had played on new emerging music. Totally recommended if you want to know more about popular music or if you are passionate about Rock.


Nov 4, 2022

🌟A very, interesting and informative course 👍Lots of learning and Rock Music knowledge.Everything covered in great detail within the timeframe.Superb!... Do I get my certificate now.😉😎 THaNX & CHeeRz! xo 👍🌟✊💚😎®️🧷🏴🌟☘️

By Ronald M

Apr 24, 2017

This is an awesome course and is a great extension from History of Rock, Part One. Professor Covach covers LOTS of ground in this course, so I took extensive notes. Highly recommended course for anyone who loves music of any genre!

By Jessica R L A

Sep 3, 2020

It was an excellent course about history of rock. In this course I learned more about artists that I listened and I met other artists, but with a perspective that I could appreciate their music because of the context around them.

By Eric F

Jul 30, 2017

Hello, I am very enjoy about this course. It is a very good overview of rock history and trigger to study some topics deeper. Just a remark, some sessions have not english subttiltes, it is very helpful ;-)

Thanks again.