“...like an online Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp.” - Washington Post
Discover the history of rock ‘n’ roll in more detail than you can imagine. In Rock History, you will learn where rock music started, how it evolved, its highs and lows, its outlaws and visionaries, and how it changed social history by combating racism and challenging the establishment with alternate lifestyles and fashions. You will get a chance to explore many of the revolutionary artists who defined rock ‘n’ roll, as well as the unsung heroes in genres from rockabilly to psychedelia, punk, metal, and beyond. You will learn about the musical and business trends in rock, major technological innovations, the prime innovators, and the historical context that has seen rock alternately flourish and struggle over the past 60 years.
The course features exclusive video interviews with Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Ernie Isley of the Isley Brothers, Mike Mills of R.E.M., Hugo Burnham of Gang of Four, Amanda Palmer, Duke Levine of the J. Geils Band, British session drummer Dave Mattacks who also toured with Fairport Convention and Richard Thompson, rock promoter Don Law, George Clinton of mastermind of Parliament and Funkadelic, and producer Jack Douglas, who has worked with John Lennon, Aerosmith, Patti Smith, Lou Reed, and many others.
You will be encouraged to think independently by participating in online discussions about key trends and developments in rock history, in addition to completing assignments that require added research and exploration to gain new perspectives. We’ll look at the past, but also where rock music is going, treating rock ‘n’ roll as a vibrant, fluid attitude where nothing is sacred or predictable.
Course author Steve Morse brings three decades of in-depth experience with rock headliners to the course. During his 30-year tenure as the senior rock music critic at the Boston Globe, he interviewed such artists as the Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, U2, Joni Mitchell, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Bruce Springsteen, as well as many others involved in a variety of aspects within the music industry.
By the end of the course, you will be able to:
identify the major artists in rock music, including their influences and their legacy
recognize the musical styles that informed rock
identify the key trends that helped rock redefine itself through the decades
associate the historical context of culture, society, politics, and prejudices that impacted rock
assess the major business and technological innovations that continue to move rock music forward
"I’ve taken a number of courses from Berkleemusic—and this was one of the best. I was very impressed with the quality of the writing, as well as all of the supplementary material, some of which was the best I have ever seen relative to the groups and the time period we studied."
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