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Symposium celebrates 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"


The Summit of Creativity: A Celebration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, organized and directed by Professor Walter Everett of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD), will take place at the Earl V. Moore Building on North Campus, June 1-4, 2017.

The symposium brings together prominent Beatles-based scholars, inner-circle figures, and journalists to lead a gathering of academics, students, and the general public in exploring "Pepper" and its world. 

Although registration for the symposium is now closed, the majority of the events will be streamed live on the SMTD website beginning at 2:45 p.m. on Thursday, June 1.  A banner at the top of the SMTD home page will link directly to the streaming pages and a full streaming schedule is available online.

In addition, a Beatles exhibit will be on display at the entrance of the SMTD Music Library, located on the third floor of the E.V. Moore Building, 1100 Baits Drive, Ann Arbor. Featuring a variety of Sgt. Pepper artifacts, the exhibit is open to the public on Thursday, June 1 and Friday, June 2 rom 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

While a handful of other titles may vie for the honor of The Beatles' "best" album, Sgt. Pepper is generally considered to represent the peak of the band's creativity, and is acknowledged by scholars and music fans alike as being among the most imaginative and culturally significant artistic products of its age.

Everett, professor of music theory and a renowned Beatles scholar, is the author of The Foundations of Rock (Oxford University Press, 2008); The Beatles as Musicians, available in two volumes (The Quarry Men through Rubber Soul and Revolver through the Anthology). In 1986, he became the first music theorist to publish a scholarly essay about pop music in the journal The Musical Quarterly. He began teaching at SMTD in 1989, soon after earning his PhD at the school.

The symposium will feature a spectrum of Beatles scholars from across the United States and from Canada, including Anthony DeCurtis of the University of Pennsylvania, a longtime contributing editor to Rolling Stone magazine, who has interviewed three of the Beatles; and John Covach, an SMTD alum who is now director of the Institute of Popular Music at the University of Rochester. Also participating is Ken Scott of Leeds Becket University in the United Kingdom, who engineered a number of Beatle records from 1964 through 1968.

Musical elements of the symposium will include an opening night reception featuring recent SMTD alum Billy Harrington who will present a demonstration of Ringo Starr's drumming and recording techniques on Sgt. Pepper on two differently tuned vintage 1960s Ludwig Downbeat and Super Classic drum kits. In addition, a luncheon event will feature associates of SMTD Professor Samuel Mukherji  (music theory) who will direct  a performance of Indian music.

For complete information and schedule of events, visit the Sgt. Pepper Symposium pages on the SMTD website.









past news

August 2017

Walter Everett, professor of music theory, will be presenting his paper, "Command and Surrender in Patti Smith's 'Land'," to the Women in the Creative Arts conference at Australian National University in Canberra, on 12 August, 2017. This work is drawn from his projected book on sex and gender in rock music, co-authored with Katie Kapurch (assistant professor of English at Texas State University, San Marcos).   08/04/2017

April 2017

Visitors to the School of Music, Theatre and Dance might wish to see the Music Library's exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of the release of the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Two authentic sets of autographs, records from six countries and other artifacts will remain on display through through June.   04/21/2017

Fellowship awarded to PhD candidate 04/04/2017

February 2017

Anna Nelson, Ph.D. student in music theory, will present her paper, "Adorno's Musically Influenced Philosophy: Schoenberg's 'Idea' as Resistance to the 'Culture Industry," to the 23rd Annual Symposium of Research in Music Theory at Indiana University on March 25, 2017.   02/21/2017

Michigan Theory Department in Toronto 02/08/2017

June 2016
March 2016

René Rusch, Assistant Professor of Music in Music Theory, will present her paper, "The Four Key Exposition? Schubert's Sonata Forms, the Fantasia, and Questions of Formal Coherence," at the Music Theory Society of the Mid-Atlantic conference in Philadelphia, April 8-9, 2016.   03/14/2016

January 2016

Karen Fournier on David Bowie's final statement: "Knowledge Comes from Death's Release: Blackstar Recalls David Bowie's Influence on Goth."   01/22/2016

December 2015

Michael Schachter, Ph.D. student in Theory and Composition, has been invited to present the keynote address to the Graduate Student Forum's conference at Bowling Green State University in March 2016.   12/07/2015

October 2015

Asaf Peres, doctoral student in music theory, will be presenting three different papers to gatherings this fall: "Modes of Listening and Music Addiction" to the national SMT conference in St. Louis, "TechnoSpeak: Why the Language of Music Technology Should Be Integrated Into the Music Curriculum" to the national CMS meeting in Indianapolis, and "The Gestural Dominant: Filter Sweeps, Pitch Glissandi, and Drum Intensification as Dominant Functions in 21st Century Pop Music" to the Ann Arbor Symposium IV.    10/12/2015

Walter Everett, professor of music in music theory, will be presenting a talk entitled "Two Approaches to Beatles Research: Plumbing the Recording Process and Parsing a Text," at Duke University in November. In September, Everett was a faculty member for the week-long Second International Postgraduate Summer School in Ösnabrück, Germany.   10/12/2015

April 2015

  William Van Geest, PhD student in Music Theory, will give a talk entitled "Meter in the Music of Anton Webern: New Perspectives on Metric Theory" at the Brandeis University Musicology Conference on May 2, 2015.  He will also deliver the paper, "Metrical Ambiguity in the Fugues of the Well-Tempered Clavier" at the KeeleMAC conference in England in July.       04/14/2015

  Jim DiNardo, PhD student in Music Theory, will read his paper, "The Soloist as Form-Functional Agent in Rachmaninov's D-minor Piano Concerto,"  at the KeeleMAC conference in England this July.       04/14/2015

Vivian Luong, Ph.D. student in Music Theory, will deliver her paper, "Toward a Radical Theory of Music-Theoretical Ethics, Morality, and Music Loving,” for the Committee on the Status of Women at this fall's meeting of the Society for Music Theory in St. Louis.   04/14/2015

  Michael Schachter, Ph.D. student in Music Theory, will present two talks at the national meeting of the Society for Music Theory this fall: "Structural Levels in South Indian Music" and "A Closer Look at Harmonic Prolongation in Jazz Performance."       04/14/2015

Somangshu Mukherji, Assistant Professor in Music Theory, will present his talk, "Are there movement transformations in musical grammar?," to the Society for Music Theory in St. Louis this fall.    04/14/2015

March 2015

U-M selects Sphinx’s founder as new dean of School of Music, Theatre & Dance 03/19/2015

Professor Somangshu Mukherji will deliver a talk entitled "Are There Prominent Movement Transformations in Musical Grammar?" at the May, 2015, meeting of Music Theory Midwest hosted by Oakland University, Rochester Hills, MI. At the same conference, a workshop on "Early-Career Publishing" will be co-led by Professor Patricia Hall.   03/13/2015

Professor Walter Everett, along with music education Professors Marie McCarthy and Carlos Rodriguez, will serve as program committee for the conferece, “Teaching and Learning in Popular Music," to be held at the University of Michigan in November 2015. Full details including the Call For Papers and a listing of invited speakers may be found at the link above.    03/13/2015

July 2014

Professor Patricia Hall will be presenting her paper, "Alban Berg's 'Guilt' by Association to the Music, Censorship and Meaning in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union conference at the Colburn School in Los Angeles this August.   07/12/2014

Heewon Chung, PhD student in music theory, will be presenting her paper, "The Limits of Tonality: Semitonal Modulations in Chopin's Music," at the 13th international conference on Music Perception and Cognition and the fifth conference for the Asian-Pacific Society for Cognitive Sciences of Music in Seoul this August.   07/12/2014

April 2014

Bryan Parkhurst, who will defend his dissertation for the PhD in Philosophy and Music Theory in May, will be a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer in Music at Columbia University beginning Fall 2014. He plans to translate Moritz Hauptmann's Die Natur der Harmonik und Metrik, as well as to write a book-length commentary on its Hegelian philosophical underpinnings.   04/30/2014

Asaf Peres has received a Graduate Student Fellowship in the Michigan Institute for the Humanities for academic year 2014-15. He is writing a dissertation developing analytical methods for current commercial pop music's digital soundscape.   04/30/2014

Professor Guck Delivers Lectures on Philosophy of Music Perception 04/30/2014

Professor Mukherji to Speak in London this July 04/04/2014

Áine Heneghan, Assistant Professor of Music Theory, will present her research on Schoenberg's Formenlehre at the following conferences, all in 2014: Music Theory Midwest (Appleton, WI), the Eighteenth Biennial International Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music (Toronto, Canada), EuroMAC (Leuven, Belgium), and the annual meeting of the Society for Music Theory (Milwaukee).   04/01/2014

March 2014

Wayne Petty, Associate Professor of Music Theory, will read his paper, "Some Multimovement Designs in C. P. E. Bach's Late Keyboard Sonatas" at the Seventh EuroMac conference, which will gather scholars from all music theory societies in Europe in Leuven, Belgium, from 17 to 21 September, 2014.  An adaptation of the paper will be presented to the Society for Music Theory in Milwaukee in the Fall of 2014.   03/26/2014

Professor Robert Gjerdingen of Northwestern University will present his lecture, "The Institutionalization of Apprenticeship in the Great Conservatories: A Cognitive Interpretation of a Non-Verbal Praxis," as Michigan Distinguished Resident in Music Theory. The talk will be given at 4:30 P.M. on March 27 at the Cady Room (Stearns).   03/26/2014

Walter Everett, Professor of Music Theory, announces the publication of Los Beatles como músicos: De Revolver de la Antología (Buenos Aires: Eterna Cadencia, 2013), the Spanish translation of his The Beatles as Musicians: Revolver through the Anthology (Oxford University Press, 1999).   03/21/2014

Prof. Korsyn presents keynote in The Hague, serves in scholarly appointments 03/14/2014

December 2013

In January 2014 Professor Wayne Petty will read the paper, "Wilhelm Fischer and the Fortspinnung-type Sonata Exposition," at the Seventh International Conference on Music Theory in Tallin and Pärnu, Estonia.  The conference theme is "Musical Form: Mapping the Territories."   12/17/2013

September 2013

SMTD Welcomes New Faculty 09/27/2013

Ramon Satyendra, associate professor of music theory, has published his essay, "Morphisms of Generalized Interval Systems and PR-Groups" (co-authored with Thomas Fiore and Thomas Noll), in Journal of Mathematics and Music 7/1.   09/20/2013

Alan Gosman Co-authors New Beethoven Book 09/06/2013

June 2013

Music theory professor Walter Everett's role as an expert on the music of the Beatles was the subject of an article in      06/06/2013

Hall presents in Copenhagen 06/03/2013

September 2011
A re-imagining of the Sgt. Pepper cover featuring participants in the Symposium
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