WSP 74 B — Revolution: The Beatles’ Innovative Studio Years (1965–1967)
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 1 day
Date(s): Apr 8
Time: 10:00 am—4:00 pm
Drop Deadline: Apr 1
Instructor(s): Joel Phillip Friedman
10:00 am—4:00 pm
Joel Phillip Friedman
On a late November day in 1966 the four Beatles gathered in Abbey Road Studio 2 for the first time since the previous June’s Revolver sessions. An unheard-of fifty-five hours of studio time later a new John Lennon song was finished, “Strawberry Fields Forever.” In the four years since they had recorded their first album, Please Please Me, in one quick day, much had changed. They had fame, fortune, and songwriting sophistication and confidence. And after playing their final concert at Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966, The Beatles were now freed from touring and free to experiment with new technology. “Strawberry Fields Forever” illustrates the growing impact of the recording studio, staffed by an elite team of engineers, technicians, and their brilliant producer, George Martin. Their experimentation and rapid evolution created an unprecedented revolution in popular music. In this workshop, we will explore this “Middle Period,” 1965 to 1967, one of the most breathtaking and inventive runs in songwriting history as The Beatles, with a little help from their tech-savvy friends—Martin, Geoff Emerick, and the EMI staff—pushed the limits and produced landmark after landmark: Rubber Soul, Revolver, and Sgt. Pepper (plus Magical Mystery Tour). Through a combination of “deep dives” and “zoom outs,” we will examine their studio process, the recording equipment and techniques used on these albums, and non-rock influences, as well as their songwriting craft: melody, harmony, lyrics, meter, phrasing, and instrumentation.
Please note: Section A and Section B of “Revolution: The Beatles’ Innovative Studio Years (1965–1967) ” cover the same content.
Joel Phillip Friedman, Composer; LecturerJoel Phillip Friedman’s music has been heard worldwide from Carnegie Hall to the Kennedy Center, from London’s West End to Off Broadway, and at film festivals. Among his recent projects are commissions from the San Jose Chamber Orchestra, the New Orchestra of Washington, and ModernMedieval Trio of Voices. He is currently working on the scores to the chamber opera Fallings, and Home, a theater work for Evolve Puppets. He teaches at Catholic University, has taught at Georgetown, Swarthmore, and Stanford, and was a Fall 2017 Lucas Artist Fellow at Montalvo Arts Center. Friedman received a DMA in composition from Columbia.
Textbooks for this course:
There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.