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MUS 02 — The Songwriting of The Beatles: The Experimental Sounds of Rubber Soul and Revolver

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 4 weeks
Date(s): Sep 28—Oct 26
Time: 6:30—8:30 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Sep 30
Unit: 0
Grade Restriction: NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Tuition: $315
Instructor(s): Joel Phillip Friedman
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Registration opens Aug 22, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: No class on October 5
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
6:30—8:30 pm (PT)
Sep 28—Oct 26
4 weeks
Refund Date
Sep 30
0 Unit
Grade Restriction
NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Joel Phillip Friedman
Registration opens Aug 22, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: No class on October 5
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
More than 50 years after they exploded onto the music scene, The Beatles still capture our imagination as few groups have. In this course, we will delve into The Beatles' career, development, and songwriting process through a deep dive into two extraordinary albums, the “bookends” of Rubber Soul and Revolver, which marked the end of the band's commercially driven era and a transition to a more experimental sound.

Recorded in the fall of 1965 and a decisive step away from Beatlemania, Rubber Soul showcased the band’s growing maturity as songwriters and studio artists. It was also their second complete album of originals after 1964’s A Hard Day’s Night. Steeped in equal parts Bob Dylan, Stax, and Motown soul, Rubber Soul illustrated how pop was rapidly shifting from discrete pop singles to album-length artistic statements. Revolver (1966) was a landmark—arguably their greatest album. With its explosion of influences—psychedelia, American soul, avant-garde European classical/electronic music, Hindustani classical music, and British music hall—Revolver was the album that opened up vast, new artistic spaces and changed rock history. It was also their first album that could not be easily or adequately performed by the band live on stage. The course will include lectures, discussions, and the opportunity to listen closely to individual tracks, as we examine the studio process, equipment, techniques, and songwriting craft that brought these albums to life.

For students who have previously taken this course, the structure is the same but some of the content is new.

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.