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Music's Big Bang: The Genesis of Rock 'n' Roll

University of Florida via Coursera


Explores the factors — musical and cultural — that led to the birth of American rock 'n' roll music in the early 1950s. Covers in detail the genres, styles and people that converged to create this new music.


  • Four basic themes of our course
    • Some basic tenets of rock 'n' roll
  • In the beginning: American popular music
    • There were many, many genres, styles and sub styles of American pop
  • The blues: Mississippi Ghosts 1
    • The Mississippi Delta, an area surrounding the Mississippi River, becomes the cradle of the blues
  • The blues: Mississippi Ghosts 2
    • The legend of Robert Johnson and his visit to "the crossroads"
  • A tale of three cities: New Orleans
    • New Orleans is the city of jazz
  • A tale of three cities: Chicago
    • Chicago is where the blues went electric
  • A tale of three cities: Memphis
    • The delivery room of rock 'n' roll

Taught by

Alexander Reed and David Carlson

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4.8 rating, based on 6 reviews

Start your review of Music's Big Bang: The Genesis of Rock 'n' Roll

  • Robert Riley completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    Great course. Enthusiastic professor and engaged students on forums. Good use of fair usage clips of songs to deal with copyright restrictions (which ruined another course I took). Some didn't like the timeline assignment, which was core to the course when I took it, but I thought it was a good way to put the music in context. Highly recommended.
  • Aana

    Aana completed this course, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

  • Alan Salsac completed this course.

  • Jan

    Jan completed this course.

  • Keyanna

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