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20121 mus146 syllabus


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20121 mus146 syllabus

  1. 1. Revolution: The Music of The Beatles (Music 146, Fall 2012) Dr. Joel Friedman Mon 7:00 - 8:50 pm Office Hour: after class (and by appointment) E-Mail address: joel_friedman@earthlink.netCOURSE DESCRIPTIONThe Beatles’ recent high-profile remastered recordings remind us that fifty years after they first exploded onto the pop musicscene, The Beatles still capture our imagination as few groups have. Why? Surely the answer is more than fads, hairstyles, orfan hysteria. While the screaming quieted down years ago, the power and originality of their astonishing body of creativework still speaks clearly and loudly today. This course will offer a clear-eyed assessment of The Beatles’ work as theydeveloped from a local cover band to arguably some of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. We will take an in-depth look at the band’s music, lyrics, performances, recording procedures, and techniques, as well as creative influences (forexample, rhythm and blues, Motown artists, and classic rockers; and decidedly non-rock influences such as British MusicHall, Indian classical music, and the classical avant-garde). Have the remasters changed our assessment of the band’s output?Have these recordings, and the release of The Beatles: Rock Band created a new generation of fans? In addition we will alsoexamine the Fab Four’s impact on the entertainment industry, fashion, business, and society as a whole.ATTENDANCEIt goes without saying that attendance is important. If you are taking the class for credit attendance is crucial.GRADINGFor those taking Music 146 for credit there will be a final 6-8 page paper (or equivalent project). Consistent attendance andclass participation factor in your grade. Please see me for details.REGISTRATIONIn order to be in this class you must be registered (including those shopping around). It is a high-enrollment course in a smallroom, so I cannot accept auditors or people just sitting in. The CSP office will stay open until 7:15 during the 1st week toanswer questions and register people if there is room. Questions? Please contact Stanford Continuing Studies, 365 LasuenStreet, Littlefield Center (650-725-2650, of you work full-time – and have lives – so I will try to keep assignments to a reasonable length. I will periodicallysupplement with optional items (e.g. additional reading or listening) for those interested in deeper exploration. Classdiscussion will only be better if the required reading, listening, and viewing are completed before class. Allreading/listening/viewing assignments will be posted on Moodle (usually the day after class). Some additional and/oroptional readings will posted as PDF’s.COMMUNICATION/EMAILEmail: Please get into the habit of checking your email for updates etc. I also encourage email comments or questions.Moodle: Assignments, handouts, additional readings, and updates will be made available 24/7 via Moodle. It is critical thatyou enroll ASAP. You can access our Moodle site at: The course password will be given in class and is only for those officially registered for class. There is only ONEgeneric account and one password for all students. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES TRY TO CHANGETHE PASSWORD, AS DOING SO WILL LOCK OUT YOUR CLASSMATES!COURSE MATERIAL Editorial NoteThe market is overcrowded with Beatle-related material, most of which is neither distinguished nor reliable. Full of the sameapocryphal stories handed down from source to source and repeated as “gospel” without question (e.g. Lennon’s song“Because is based on Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata played backwards…”) we should ALWAYS read with healthyskepticism. Among the problems are: a not-entirely-accurate historical account was agreed upon by the principal playersearly on; memories fade and agendas are involved; until recently peer-reviewed scholarship and pop music did not mix.Many sources do supply biographical material but say very little about the core of why The Beatles still capture ourimagination: their music. Recently there has been a spate of better scholarship and attempts have been made to address theirmusic, lyrics, creative process, instrumentation and recording techniques, etc. Unfortunately, much of this material is gearedtowards either “literate” musicians or “gear heads.” Regardless, there are mistakes – large or small – in all the books. Westill await excellent sources that present well-researched accounts of the Fabs’ lives, careers, as well as their creative output.Until then: read with caution and a healthy dose of skepticism! [FYI: many web sites while lovingly created and convenientare nothing more than repetitions of the same old stories, so be especially cautious in viewing them.]
  2. 2. • REQUIRED 1. MacDonald, Ian. Revolution in the Head: The Beatles’ Records and the Sixties (3rd edition). Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2007 (ISBN: 9781556527333) – Excellent and opinionated. Terrific intro essay on the philosophical underpinnings and chronology of the 1960’s. Wonderful, if biased, analysis of the music and lyrics. 2. Norman, Philip. Shout! The Beatles in Their Generation (revised edition). New York: Fireside Books, 2003/2005 (ISBN: 9780743235655 ) – The snarky bio. Good biographical material, with perhaps a bit too much love of dishing and deflating (especially of Paul and George!), and not enough on how wonderful the music actually was.• RECOMMENDED 3. Davies, Hunter. The Beatles: the Authorized Biography (updated edition). New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2006 (978-0393328868) – the “official” myth/bio, a classic, if somewhat sanitized. Interesting observations of Lennon and McCartney’s collaborative work process. 4. The Beatles. The Beatles Anthology (DVD). Capitol 2002 (ASIN: B00008GKEG) – Dubbed “The Beatles Mythology,” as it presents the (mostly) agreed upon “party line.” Still, it’s a wonderful, entertaining, and very worthwhile collection. 5. The Beatles. The Beatles Anthology (paperback). San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2000 (978-0811836364) – in their own words… The text companion to the DVD set. [NB: don’t forget the accompanying 3 CD box set as well.]A Tiny Sample of Recommended Reference Books: 1. The Beatles. Complete Scores – good transcriptions of their recorded output, but watch out for the errors! 2. Everett, Walt. The Beatles as Musicians (The Quarrymen Through Rubber Soul; Revolver Through the Anthology) – excellent detailed texts that actually delve into the music and instruments (but you need to be able to read music to fully understand his narrative) 3. Kozinn, Allan. The Beatles (Series: 20th-Century Composers). London: Phaidon, 1995. An excellent, brief chronological look at the Fab Four’s musical output. Allan, a classical critic from the New York Times offers some good musical insight. Alas, currently only available in the UK. 4. Lewisohn, Mark. NB: ANY volume by him that is currently in print (The Complete Beatles Chronicles; The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions: the Official Abbey Road Story, The Beatles Live, etc.) is worthwhile. One of the 1st authors to seriously and systematically review concert and recording documentation, as well as the fabled EMI recorded archives. We are all waiting for his 3-volume magnum opus currently in the works. 5. Babiuk, Andy. Beatles Gear: All the Fab Fours Instruments, from Stage to Studio – What guitar did George use during the roof top concert…? 6. Spitz, Bob The Beatles: The Biography – this recently released tome is terrifically strong on bio and details, a bit weak on music. 7. Brown, Peter. The Love You Make – as snarky as Norman’s book, and weak on musical fact, but Brown was there. 8. Gould, Jonathan. Can’t Buy Me Love. Another recent addition. Some interesting musical insights, but not always on the mark. A good attempt at combining bio and analysis. 9. Frontani, Michael R. The Beatles: Image and Media – An interesting summary of how the media reinforced and/or created the Fabs’ image as it shifted from boy toys to counter-culture heroes. 10. Miles, Barry. Many Years From Now – A very detailed authorized Macca bio written by close friend Miles. A chance for Macca to “set the record straight” on Beatle-related items such as his avant-garde bona fides and their collaboration. 11. Ryan, Kevin and Kehew, Brian. Recording The Beatles – One of the Holy of Holies. This massive book lovingly details equipment and procedures used to record The Beatles. It is simply superb (but a bit hard to get).Other: 1. Assorted articles, readings, and handouts may be made available via Moodle. 2. There is a small, but good collection of Beatle books in the library for reference (and if you’re writing a paper).RECORDINGS - You are not required to purchase the necessary CD’s and DVD’s. You are set if you already own them.CD’s: 1. A collection of all the commercially released recordings, including the three The Beatles Anthology box sets, is on reserve in the media section of Green library. We will try to also delve into the remastered recordings. a. NB: The singles are assembled on Past Masters CD’s Volumes 1 & 2 2. Supplementary CD’s (SCD’s) of other artists etc. may also be placed on reserve.DVD/Videos:The Beatles Anthology, A Hard Days Night, Help!, Magical Mystery Tour, Yellow Submarine, and Let It Be are on reserve(Either in DVD or VHS format). 1. Movie Night: In the past I have set up “Movie Nights” (with post-movie discussion) so we can view the movies together. They are a lot of fun. I will do this again, if it is practical and there is enough interest. I will post updates accordingly. NB: you can always go to Media Services and view the required movies as often as desired.
  3. 3. CLASS SCHEDULE (VERY SUBJECT TO CHANGE) All Reading and Listening Assignments, as well as up-to-date info, will be posted via Moodle.I. The Early Period – Beatlemania 1962-65Week 1 Monday 9/24 The Years of Apprenticeship 1957-62Over View & Background; The Years of Apprenticeship 1957-62; early influences on performing and songwriting: Tin PanAlley/music hall; R&B, Classic Rock, C&W/Rockabilly; the Brill Building, and MotownWeek 2 Monday 10/1 -1963/British BeatlemaniaThe 1962 single (Love Me Do/PS I Love You); Please Please Me LP; With The Beatles LP; the 1963 singles (From Me ToYou/Thank You Girl; She Loves You/I’ll Get You; I Want To Hold You Hand/This Boy; Komm, gib mir deine Hand/Sie LiebtDich)Week 3 Monday 10/8 - 1964 The Invasion of America & World-wide BeatlemaniaA Hard Days Night – the movie and the LP; Long Tall Sally EP (Long Tall Sally/I Call You Name/Slow Down/Matchbox –All on Past Masters); Beatles For Sale LPWeek 4 Monday 10/15 - 1965Help! – The movie and the LP; Assorted singles: Bad Boy; I Feel Fine/She’s A Woman; Yes It Is; I’m Down; Shea StadiumII. The Middle Period – 1965-67Rubber Soul LP; single: We Can Work It Out/Day TripperWeek 5 Monday 10/22 - 1965-66Rubber Soul; We Can Work It Out/Day Tripper (cont.); Musique Concrète; Recording technology; Revolver LP; single:Paperback Writer/RainWeek 6 Monday 10/29 - 1966Revolver (cont.); Indian music; On to Pepper – single: Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny LaneWeek 7 Monday 11/5 - 1967Sgt. Pepper LP; single: All You Need Is Love/Baby You’re a Rich Man; Magical Mystery Tour – the movie and the LP(originally an EP); single: Hello Goodbye/I Am the WalrusIII. The Late Period – 1968-70Week 8 Monday 11/12 - 1968Single: Lady Madonna/The Inner Light; India & Apple; The Beatles LP (the “White Album”); single: Hey Jude/RevolutionMonday 11/19 NO CLASSWeek 9 Monday 11/26- 1968-69The Beatles (the “White Album”) (cont.); Yellow Submarine – the movie and the LPWeek 10 Monday 12/3 - 1969-70 The EndGet Back/Don’t Let Me Down; The Ballad of John and Yoko/Old Brown Shoe; Let It Be (N.B. LIB was recorded before theAbbey Road LP but not released until afterwards, in 1970) – the movie and the LP; Abbey Road LP (N.B. generally recordedafter LIB, but released before); single: Across The Universe; You Know My Name.
  4. 4. Music 146/Revolution: The Music of The Beatles - Friedman Optional Information SheetName _______________________________________ email ____________Instrument(s), Voice:Musical activities:Describe yourself as a musician/listener. What types of music do you most care about?Why are you taking this course?What area of this class interests you the most/what would you most like to cover?