The Blues: Understanding and Performing an American Art Form

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Opleiderscore: starstarstarstar_borderstar_border 6,3 Coursera heeft een gemiddelde beoordeling van 6,3 (uit 4 ervaringen)

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Beschrijving

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About this 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 powerfu…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this 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.

Created by:  University of Rochester
  • Taught by:  Dariusz Terefenko, Associate Professor of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media

    Eastman School of Music
Commitment 7 weeks of study, 1-2 hours/week Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.8 stars Average User Rating 4.8See what learners said 课程作业

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University of Rochester The University of Rochester is one of the nation's leading private universities. Located in Rochester, N.Y., the University provides exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum. Its College, School of Arts and Sciences, and Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are complemented by its Eastman School of Music, Simon School of Business, Warner School of Education, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, and the Memorial Art Gallery.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Blues Progressions – Theory and Practice



Lesson 1 focuses on foundational aspects of the blues, examining its history, innovation, and evolving harmonic structure. At the end of this lecture, students should have a firm understanding of the harmonic structure of the basic, generic, and minor blues forms, as well as a familiarity with the A A’ B phrase-structure of the blues.


7 videos expand


  1. Video: Course Introduction Video
  2. Video: Lesson 1 Introduction
  3. Video: Historical Overview (12:00)
  4. Video: Generic Blues (6:25)
  5. Video: Basic Blues Progression
  6. Video: Minor Blues (6:49)
  7. Video: AA’B Phrase Structures (5:54)

Graded: Quiz - Lesson 1

WEEK 2


Blues Scales



Lesson 2 dives into what makes the blues tick, beginning with an examination of the blues scale and the basics of jazz rhythms and blues riffs. Students will then explore call and response techniques and application of the blues scale in improvisation through demonstration with a live musician.


6 videos expand


  1. Video: Lesson 2 Introduction (4:38)
  2. Video: The Blues Scale (8:08)
  3. Video: Jazz Notation and Jazz Rhythm (12:34)
  4. Video: Blues Riffs (11:40)
  5. Video: Call and Response (6:34)
  6. Video: One-Scale Improvisation and “East Main Blues” (13:22)

Graded: Quiz - Lesson 2

WEEK 3


Keyboard Realization



Lesson 3 introduces the concept of guide tones and its association with invertible counterpoint. Four-part and five-part chords are discussed in detail by exploring their construction and function, as well as techniques to facilitate good voice-leading between chords using chordal inversions.


7 videos expand


  1. Video: Lesson 3 Introduction (3:45)
  2. Video: Guide Tones (8:53)
  3. Video: Invertible Counterpoint (4:20)
  4. Video: Charleston Rhythm (10:04)
  5. Video: Four-Part Chords (9:35)
  6. Video: Five-Part Chords (9:43)
  7. Video: Comping Texture (18:58)

Graded: Quiz - Lesson 3

WEEK 4


“Bird” Blues and Other Blues Progressions
In lesson 4 students analyze harmonic progressions from 3 jazz standards: “Now’s The Time,” “Billie’s Bounce,” and “Blues For Alice.” Practice techniques are discussed, including ear-training strategies, rhythmic displacement, and voice-leading exercises.


7 videos expand


  1. Video: Lesson 4 Introduction (2:42)
  2. Video: “Now’s the Time” Progression - Analysis (5:45)
  3. Video: Ear Training Strategies (9:11)
  4. Video: “Billie’s Bounce” Progression - Analysis (4:49)
  5. Video: Rhythmic Displacement (10:34)
  6. Video: “Blues for Alice” Progression - Analysis (6:06)
  7. Video: Practical Tips (13:01)

Graded: Quiz - Lesson 4

WEEK 5


Improvisational Tools



Lesson 5 introduces 3 more jazz standards for analysis: “Mr. PC,” “Mr. Day,” and “Isotope.” Tritone substitutions are examined, and pentatonic scale as tools in improvisation are introduced through exploration of their construction, typical voicings, and voice-leading principles.


8 videos expand


  1. Video: Lesson 5 Introduction (2:39)
  2. Video: “Mr. PC” Progression – Analysis and Tritone Substitutions (10:49)
  3. Video: Pentatonics and Pentatonic Voicings (13:44)
  4. Video: “Mr. Day” Progression – Analysis (3:36)
  5. Video: Pentatonic Voicings – Voice-Leading Principles (7:20)
  6. Video: Pentatonic Voicings – Practical Exercises (6:09)
  7. Video: “Isotope” Progression – Analysis (8:00)
  8. Video: The Drop-Two Voicing Technique (12:48)

Graded: Quiz - Lesson 5

WEEK 6


Improvising the Blues – Part 1



Lesson 6 centers around the demonstration of improvisational techniques discussed thus far, including motivic development, guide-tone lines, and chordal arpeggiation. Observation of live Eastman musicians, as well as play-along tracks provided by the rhythm section, allow the student to imitate, assimilate, and apply the techniques discussed in the course.


14 videos expand


  1. Video: Lesson 6 Introduction and “Half Past Nine” (4:55)
  2. Video: Techniques of Motivic Improvisation (13:19)
  3. Video: Demonstration of Motivic Improvisation (3:30)
  4. Video: Play-Along Session – “Now is the Time” Progression (4:19)
  5. Video: “Billie’s Dance” (3:12)
  6. Video: Guide-Tone Improvisation (15:38)
  7. Video: Demonstration of Guide-Tone Improvisation (3:49)
  8. Video: Play-Along Session – “Billie’s Bounce” Progression (4:19)
  9. Video: “Birdie Song” (3:46)
  10. Video: Chordal Arpeggiation – 4-Part Chords (11:14)
  11. Video: Demonstration of Arpeggiation of 4-part Chords (4:16)
  12. Video: Chordal Arpeggiation – 5-Part Chords (5:54)
  13. Video: Demonstration of Arpeggiation of 5-part Chords (4:30)
  14. Video: Play-Along Session – “Blues for Alice” Progression (4:16)

Graded: Quiz - Lesson 6

WEEK 7


Improvising the Blues – Part 2



Lesson 7 explores modal categories and scalar patterns in improvisation, in addition to continued discussion on pentatonics. As in the previous lesson, live musicians demonstrate key concepts and principles presented in the lecture, with additional play-along tracks provided for the student to explore concepts on their own.


12 videos expand


  1. Video: Introduction and Diatonic/Chromatic Modes (7:46)
  2. Video: Modal Categories (10:06)
  3. Video: Characteristic Triads and Practice Tips (13:13)
  4. Video: Minor Blues - “Sea Blues” Improvisation (7:50)
  5. Video: Play-Along Session - “Mr. PC” Progression (3:06)
  6. Video: Pentatonics – Introduction (7:09)
  7. Video: Sus7 Blues Improvisation with Pentatonics (7:36)
  8. Video: Play-Along Session – “Sus Blues” Progression (2:52)
  9. Video: Scalar Patterns – Introduction (7:41)
  10. Video: Scalar Patterns - “Top Set” Improvisation (7:39)
  11. Video: Play-Along Session – “Isotope” Progression (2:42)
  12. Video: Conclusion (0:47)

Graded: Quiz - Lesson 7

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