Chevron Left
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

565 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.

Filter by:

176 - 200 of 230 Reviews for The Blues: Understanding and Performing an American Art Form

By billy s

May 29, 2016

By Bart S

Jul 2, 2016

By Antonio N

Dec 8, 2017

By Julio A R

May 2, 2021

By Leslie

Mar 13, 2017

By temo s

Jan 30, 2017

By Dorin D

Nov 15, 2016

By Ismael J G Á

Jun 19, 2020

By Numa M A V

Jan 6, 2019

By Ara D

Jan 20, 2017

By frédéric d

Oct 11, 2016

By Daniel A B D

May 19, 2021

By Hernán A B

Jun 22, 2020

By Víctor M P O

Jul 7, 2019

By Alberto E M R

Jun 8, 2016

By Roberto J

Aug 15, 2017

By Maicon R H

Apr 11, 2017

By John R

Oct 12, 2016

By Ángel L B G

Jun 26, 2016

By Carlos A F

Jul 18, 2016

By fabian r

Nov 10, 2022

By Kelvin B

Jun 22, 2020

By Pedro B

Aug 8, 2016

By David Y

Jun 22, 2022

By Fabián A P

Sep 26, 2020