Department of Music

Rock Repertory—People

Musical Director

John Covach

Chair, College Music Department
Professor of Music, the College, University of Rochester
Professor of Theory, Eastman School of Music
john.covach@rochester.edu 
Courses: History of Rock n' Roll, Analysis of Popular Music, The Beatles, Music Theory  
205 Todd Union  
(585) 275-4137
Fax (585) 273-5337 
Ph.D., University of Michigan

John Covach received his B.Mus., M.Mus. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan. He was a Fulbright scholar in Vienna, Austria during 1987-88, and has done post-doctoral work in philosophy under Charles Bambach at the University of Texas-Dallas. Professor Covach has taught at the Interlochen Arts Academy, The University of North Texas College of Music, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was the recipient of a Mellon post-doctoral fellowship during 1990-91. His students have won a wide variety of awards, and hold faculty positions at CUNY, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the University of Surrey, the University of Utah, among others.

Professor Covach has published dozens of articles on topics dealing with popular music, twelve-tone music, and the philosophy and aesthetics of music. He co-edited Understanding Rock (Oxford, 1997), American Rock and the Classical Tradition (Harwood, 2000), and Traditions, Institutions, and American Popular Music (Harwood, 2000). His textbook, What's That Sound? An Introduction to Rock Music, will be published by W.W. Norton & Co. in the spring of 2006. Covach currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Cambridge University Press journal, Twentieth Century Music, and is a General Editor of Tracking Pop, a monograph series devoted to topics in popular music to be published by the University of Michigan Press. He has lectured across the US and in Europe, and has been the focus of feature stories in newspapers and magazines, as well as on radio and television.

As a guitarist, Professor Covach has performed throughout the United States and Europe. He remains active as a member of the progressive-rock band, Land of Chocolate, as well as with various other projects.