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Winter Registration Opens Nov 29
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MUS 05 — The Songwriting of The Beatles: Abbey Road and Let It Be

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Saturdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 4 weeks
Date(s): Feb 5—Mar 5
Time: 10:00—11:30 am (PT)
Refund Deadline: Feb 7
Unit: 0
Grade Restriction: NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Tuition: $255
Instructor(s): Joel Phillip Friedman
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Registration opens Nov 29, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: No class on February 19
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
10:00—11:30 am (PT)
Feb 5—Mar 5
4 weeks
Refund Date
Feb 7
0 Unit
Grade Restriction
NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Joel Phillip Friedman
Registration opens Nov 29, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: No class on February 19
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Many Beatles fans think the story is clear: here comes the sunny Abbey Road (1969) followed by the dreary swan song Let It Be (1970) documenting The Beatles’ painful end. Reality was vastly different: multiple, intertwined solo and group projects rode a frenzied crest of activity during that period.

This course will show how complex, entangled, and productive the period was, and how these two sonically and conceptually different albums—one designed as a live performance, the other as a glittering, polished studio creation—sprang from the same Beatle source. It’s a great “detective story,” beginning with the band’s 1968 sojourn to study Transcendental Meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Rishikesh, India, where dozens of songs were written. We will include recent scholarship by Beatles authority Mark Lewisohn, Peter Jackson’s new documentary The Beatles: Get Back, and the 50th-anniversary box set including Abbey Road, showing that Let It Be was (mostly) recorded first and wasn’t the total debacle many thought, that the recording sessions never stopped as one album ran into the next, that some Abbey Road tracks probably were contenders for Let It Be, and that numerous later solo tracks were initially offered as Beatles songs. It’s a remarkable ride, illustrating that even more than fifty years later there is still much to learn about this band.

Composer; Lecturer

Joel Phillip Friedman's concert, theater, and film music has been performed at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, on London’s West End, and in off-Broadway theaters. He has taught at Swarthmore, Georgetown, Stanford, and Catholic University. He received a DMA from Columbia, where he was a President’s Fellow.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.