MU 333 - History of Rock and Roll

  • 3 credits
View available sections

Beginning with a study of the African-American musical styles that led to the creation of rock and roll, the course focuses on rock styles from the early blues-based rock and roll of the 1950s and the British Invasion of the 1960s, to Folk Rock, Psychedelia, Heavy Metal, Punk and New Wave, and other styles of the late twentieth century. Featured music and artists are examined from cultural, societal and analytic perspectives, with a special focus on how each genre not only represented its specific cultural era, but how individual artists and songs contributed to the perception of those same time periods.

Course content is divided into weekly units that have set deadlines for assignment submission, discussion contribution and scheduled exams, but the organizational structure allows each student to manage his or her own time in preparing work required for each deadline. Active listening to songs from a pre-determined musical example list is a major component of the course, and lecture content is delivered in the form of textbook and supplemental readings.

This course can be applied toward:

Textbooks and Materials


  • How Rock Rolled: A History of American Popular Music (e-text)
    Brian Moon
    Not available at the CSU Bookstore


Adam Torres

(970) 491-5529 |

Adam A. Torres has served on the faculty of Colorado State University since Fall 2011 and specializes in online curriculum for the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Torres additionally serves CSU as the coordinator for the Summer Master of Music in Music Education Program, Conducting Emphasis and as the producer of the Annual Holiday Spectacular Concert. Other appointments include principal conductor, Loveland Opera Theatre; assistant conductor, Denver Young Artists Orchestra and Fort Collins Symphony; acting principal keyboard, Cheyenne Symphony; and music director, Zion Lutheran Church of Loveland.

Torres has appeared as a pianist, conductor, and clinician with numerous ensembles, including the Colorado State University Orchestras, the CSU Ralph Opera Center, Chamber Orchestra of the Rockies, Agnes Scott College Orchestra, Alpharetta Symphony, Colorado Springs Conservatory, Bas Bleu Theatre, and Opera Orvieto (Orvieto, Italy). He has also worked as a narrator in many performances and has appeared with the Colorado Symphony, Denver Young Artists Orchestra, and Lakewood Symphony in this capacity. Adam also maintains a small studio of private piano students, and works as a clinician for public school bands and orchestras throughout Colorado.

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