Popular Music

“Rocker/Academic” John Covach talks to The Chronicle of Higher Education about popular music scholarship

by Brianne Johnson February 6, 2013

John Covach, “Academic by day and rock musician by night” – and co-editor of Sounding Out Pop: Analytical Essays in Popular Music – recently discussed the new Institute for Popular Music at the University of Rochester (a “way to do the rock thing in the academic context,” as he put it) with The Chronicle of Higher Education. In the article, Covach, who is the director of the Institute, expressed the importance of popular music scholarship, stating “Talking about the Beatles or Elvis or Springsteen should be no different than talking about Beethoven or Bach.” To that end, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, “The […]

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John Covach makes the case for studying pop music in ‘Scientific American’ guest blog

by Emily January 22, 2013

In a recent guest blog for Scientific American titled “Taking Pop Music Seriously,” John Covach, director of the recently established Institute for Popular Music at the University of Rochester and co-editor of the University of Michigan Press title Sounding Out Pop: Analytical Essays in Popular Music, explained the importance of studying popular music. In the post, Covach points out that since the early twentieth century, “music has been a constant and often integral part of American culture,” and that to fully understand how music factors into the big picture of the past 100 years, one should consider the contributions of Scott Joplin, […]

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‘Bytes and Backbeats’ author Steve Savage featured in IASPM interview series

by Emily January 21, 2013

Steve Savage, author of Bytes & Backbeats: Repurposing Music in the Digital Age, chatted with Marilou Polymeropoulou, a D.Phil student at St. Peter’s College, for an installment in the International Association for the Study of Popular Music’s interview series. During the discussion, Savage shared his thoughts on how mainstream music has changed over the years, the effect the Internet has had on the underground, and the origins of repurposing. Of the latter, Savage says: If I had to try to create a hierarchy of influences, I’d place the musician’s aesthetic and creative impulses at the top. Generally I think innovation in music […]

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‘Bytes & Backbeats’ Author Confronts Egan’s ‘Goon Squad’

by Shaun Manning November 7, 2011

Sometimes the greatest reinforcement for ones academic work comes in popular literature. Such occurred for me as I was reading Jennifer Egan’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, A Visit from the Goon Squad.

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Q&A with Theo Cateforis, author of Are We Not New Wave?

by University of Michigan Press May 4, 2011

New wave emerged at the turn of the 1980s as a pop music movement cast in the image of punk rock’s sneering demeanor, yet rendered more accessible and sophisticated. Artists such as the Cars, Devo, the Talking Heads, and the Human League leapt into the Top 40 with a novel sound that broke with the staid rock clichés of the 1970s and pointed the way to a more modern pop style. In Are We Not New Wave? Theo Cateforis provides the first musical and cultural history of the new wave movement, charting its rise out of mid-1970s punk to its […]

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