Music Courses at New River Community College

MUS 225-35 The History of Jazz (Online Course)

Many of us spend our life listening to music, whether aware or unaware. Music surrounds us, fills the airwaves and influences us in so many ways. Some of us have listened attentively to jazz, while others have heard it as background music in perhaps a restaurant or on the radio. What is jazz? Where does jazz come from? Why does it sound the way it does? How has jazz evolved over the years? 

This class provides an overall understanding of jazz, its history, and evolution.  While this class will not help you become a jazz musician or even write jazz, it will give you the background to truly appreciate it when you hear it, perhaps in an out-of-the-way venue where you pop in and hear live musicians, or as far away as Paris, where jazz abounds around the artist quarters near Montmartre.  You will have the chance to learn about 150 of the great jazz artists and be exposed to over 200 jazz works.  This course will provide a greater appreciation for and understanding of this improvisational music born out of an African-American musical heritage blended with European American traditions.

Come and share this American heritage and discover how our past has influenced not only America’s musical world, but has given the rest of the world a unique form of musical expression.

Course Materials

OnMusic History of JazzTo be purchased at the College Bookstore:

OnMusic Jazz for Blackboard


Getting Started

Register your OnMusic Jazz for Blackboard at the following site:


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Q: Can MUS 225 The History of Jazz apply to my degree?

    A: Yes. If you need humanities credits, MUS 225 fulfills 3 credits.

  • Q: Are these credits transferable to another institution?

    A: Absolutely.

  • Q: Why take these courses at New River?

    A: New River Community College has been a leader in distance education and online courses. This particular online course is supported by an instructor who is passionate and knowledgeable about music and wants to instill that same passion and knowledge to her students through the interactive forum of online education.

  • Q: Who is this class designed for?

    A: This class is designed for the student who feels comfortable working online and who needs the convenience of taking a course outside of the normal lecture time due to work related, family or physical restraints.

  • Q: What course materials do I need?

    A: The student needs to acquire the OnMusic Jazz for Blackboard from the Bookstore at NRCC. 

  • Q: Is this course entirely online? Can I be somewhere else and still take this course?

    A: It is entirely online. The Midterm and Final Exams will be taken at the testing center on the NRCC campus. If you need a proctor because you live elsewhere, just fill out the proctor forms that are located in blackboard so that a proctor can be arranged for you.

  • Does this class use Blackboard?

    A: Yes. The entire course is online using Blackboard at NRCC. This course is accessed once you have registered your OnMusic Jazz for Blackboard code.

  • Q: Do I need to come on campus for any part of the course?

    A: Only for the Midterm and Final Exams. Everything else is done online.

  • Q: How do I pronounce the instructor's name “Billaud”?

    A: Very easy! Say the letter “B” and then “yo”. Put them together and now you are speaking French!