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John Covach

Director, Institute for Popular Music; Director, Institute for Performing Arts; Professor of Music, Department of Music; Professor of Theory, Eastman School of Music
Arts, Sciences, and Engineering

Department of Music

Areas of expertise: History of Rock and Roll, Analysis of Popular Music, The Beatles, Music Theory

Press contact:
Valerie Alhart

Related Links:
What's That Sound? An Introduction to Rock and Its History

In the News

American rock tribute concert
October 16, 2015

Grand Forks Herald
Record-breaking: Vinyl sales on the rise
September 26, 2015

'Thank You for the Music' Mamma Mia!
September 10, 2015

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
Director of new UR institute named
September 10, 2015

HuffPost Live
Music That Stands The Test Of Time
September 01, 2015

Charlotte Observer
Passion: Online learning that will shake your hips
July 17, 2015

The Conversation
Battling the British Invasion: Mr Tambourine Man and the fight for American pop independence
July 02, 2015

U Loop
5 Cool Online Courses To Take This Summer
June 24, 2015

Music Theory Online
Review of Robert Freeman, The Crisis of Classical Music in America: Lessons from the Life in the Education of Musicians (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014)
June 22, 2015

The Huffington Post
Les Paul's Journey and the History of American Popular Music
June 09, 2015

Washington Post
Five things men say when accused of liking Taylor Swift
June 08, 2015

The Conversation
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, 50 years later: The song that almost never was
June 03, 2015

Rochester Business Journal
May 24, 2015

The Atlantic
Could a Robot Write the Perfect Pop Song?
May 15, 2015

The Atlantic
The Technology That Saved '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction'
May 14, 2015

New Scientist
Pop history's pivotal moments: Has big data settled the debate?
May 06, 2015

The Conversation
Before watching Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, you need to understand the artistís three sides
May 04, 2015

Huffington Post
Kurt Cobain: Defended Against His Devotees?
May 03, 2015

Rochester City Newspaper
LECTURE | "In Conversation" with Bill Flanagan
April 29, 2015

Connections: How Do You Write a Hit Song?
April 22, 2015

South Africa Mail & Guardian
Soul icon Percy Sledge dies at 74
April 15, 2015

U.S. News & World Report
Behind the Music: Conservatives and Country Musics Complex History
April 01, 2015
Do The Rolling Stones Owe Their Success To Their Bad Boy Image?
March 24, 2015

India Today
How to run a successful blog
February 06, 2015

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Rock Me, Maestro
February 04, 2015

Connections: What Makes Music Sucessful?
January 14, 2015

The Atlantic Magazine
The King, the Conspiracies, and the American Dream
January 08, 2015

Huffington Post
The Elvis of Our Dreams
January 07, 2015

Brampton Guardian
Most hated Christmas songs: Retail workers fess up
December 24, 2014

Christian Science Monitor
Taylor Swift to Spotify: Blank Space or blank check?
November 13, 2014

Alaska Dispatch
Taylor Swift to Spotify: We are never, ever getting back together
November 05, 2014

Christian Science Monitor
Taylor Swift to Spotify: We are never, ever getting back together (+video)
November 04, 2014

Huff Post Arts & Culture
Hippie Blues: 45 Years of Led Zeppelin
September 16, 2014

Connections: Why we love music from our childhood
August 28, 2014

Meet the Beatles professor Dr. John Covach
July 10, 2014

Huffington Post
A Hard Day's Night: From Loophole to Surprise Hit
July 02, 2014

Why Casey Kasem Mattered
June 19, 2014

The Huffington Post
Michael Jackson: Five Years Gone and It's the Music That Endures
June 19, 2014

How Casey Kasemís ĎAmerican Top 40í Democratized Music
June 15, 2014

The New York Times
Via Tablet or Smartphone, Learning With MOOCs
June 04, 2014

Huffington Post
The Rolling Stones: In the Shadow of the Beatles Again?
May 30, 2014

A $1,000 MBA? MOOC's making education more accessible
April 24, 2014

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Joel Whitburn is No. 1 when it comes to pop music charts
April 07, 2014

Toronto Star
Remembering Kurt Cobain
April 05, 2014

Financial Express
Strawberry Fields Forever
February 16, 2014

Fox News
The Beatles -- why band will still be fab in 50 years
February 07, 2014

Good Morning America/Yahoo! News
When Beatlemania stormed the Coliseum
February 07, 2014

Global Post
When Beatlemania stormed the Coliseum
February 06, 2014

Super Bowl: How Bob Dylan Jumped From Counterculture Icon to Car Salesman
February 04, 2014

Musicology Now
Let's Make a Deal: The Beatles, Ed Sullivan, and the British Invasion
February 03, 2014

Fox Rochester
Celebrating the Beatles' arrival in America
February 02, 2014

LISTEN: U of R Remembers the Beatles' Appearance on Ed Sullivan
January 27, 2014

Money (That's What I Want): Beatles still earning it 50 years later
January 24, 2014

The Beatles of myth, the Beatles of reality
November 13, 2013

The Atlantic Magazine
Why Does Pop Romanticize Dying Young?
November 01, 2013

Ft. Myers News-Press
Hip-hop concerts: Outrage over controversial music genres is nothing new
September 08, 2013

(585) Magazine
Rock scholar: Counterculture becomes canon at the University of Rochester's Institute for Popular Music
July 02, 2013 via Yahoo! News
Millennials Speak Out: We Donít Need Classrooms to Learn
June 11, 2013

Yahoo! News
Will MOOCs Change Higher Education for the Better?
May 31, 2013

Radio Boston
Paying Tribute: Physical and Musical Marathon Memorials
May 03, 2013
John Densmore to be interviewed at Rock Hall of Fame
April 11, 2013

Indianapolis Recorder
The not-so-slight return of Jimi Hendrix
March 05, 2013

The not-so-slight return of Jimi Hendrix
March 04, 2013

The not-so-slight return of Jimi Hendrix
March 04, 2013

WROC TV CBS 8 Rochester
Inside the University of Rochester's Institute for Popular Music
February 11, 2013

WROC TV CBS 8 Rochester
Inside the University of Rochester's Institute for Popular Music
February 10, 2013

The Star
Muzak, long known for Ďelevator musicí, turns off
February 06, 2013

Chronicle of Higher Education
Rocker/Academic Leads New Institute for Popular Music at U. of Rochester
January 28, 2013

Scientific American
Taking Pop Music Seriously
January 18, 2013

U of R Starts Institute of Pop Music
December 18, 2012

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
University of Rochester creates Institute for Popular Music
December 17, 2012

News/Talk 760 WJR
The Mitch Albom Show
November 30, 2012
The anti-MOOC? Small costly online courses
November 16, 2012

Science Fair
Million Song Dataset Reveals Trends in Rock History
August 01, 2012

BBC News
Covach Talks about the Rolling Stones on BBC
July 11, 2012

One Direction singer Zayn Malik: Global pop star, and Muslim
June 18, 2012
Live Chat: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
May 30, 2012

Dick Clark knew his business
April 19, 2012

The Christian Science Monitor
Whitney Houston: a singing sensation silenced too soon
February 13, 2012

Christian Science Monitor
Amy Winehouse album: the pluses and pitfalls of a posthumous release
July 25, 2011

Philippine Star
Michael Jackson, my Captain EO
June 12, 2011

CNN International
'Legend': Remembering Bob Marley
May 12, 2011

Inside Bay Area
Do racy lyrics offend anymore?
February 24, 2011

Fairfield County Weekly
'A Day in the Life' is a Weird-Ass Song. So Why Does it Work?
January 26, 2011

Cleveland Plain Dealer
Why no Yes in the Rock Hall?
December 29, 2010

The Chicago Sun-Times
Rock music 101
December 16, 2010

Is the CD Dead? Part I
November 23, 2010
For Apple, a 'Long and Winding Road' to Nab Beatles
November 18, 2010

Buffalo News
Good morning, Buffalo
November 11, 2010

Chicago Sun Times
Rock music 101
November 07, 2010

107.7 FM Buffalo The Lake
John Covach of Going for the One on the Lake
October 04, 2010
Musical cities: Nothing of note for D.C.
July 20, 2010
America's Musical Cities
July 09, 2010
Has Lady Gaga gotten your attention yet?
June 24, 2010
The confusing legacy of Michael Jackson
June 22, 2010

Chicago Sun-Times
B+ bop-a-lula: Rock history courses in America
June 14, 2010

Bing Travel
Imagine a Beatles Vacation
March 29, 2010

Chicago Sun Times
Keeping Jimi's flame glowing
March 08, 2010

Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Weekend Hotlist
February 11, 2010

Michael Jackson Impact
November 02, 2009

RTIR Online
10/29/09 RTIR E-zine: Halloween, Scientology, Star Beauty Secrets
October 29, 2009

Rochester City Newspaper
STUDENT SURVIVAL 09: Meet your mentor
August 12, 2009

KMOX News Radio 1120
Carney Show : Carney's Michael Jackson Tribute - with John Covach and others
July 07, 2009

Yahoo! India
Music historian assesses Jacko as 'pivotal figure in US music history'
June 28, 2009

WROC TV CBS 8 Rochester
Jackson's Death Hits Rochester Hard
June 25, 2009

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Hall of Fame Will Honor Soundman
May 07, 2006

<< Less In the News

News Releases

University of Rochester Creates Institute for Popular Music
December 17, 2012

Rock, Pop Historian John Covach on the Death of Whitney Houston
February 13, 2012

Rock, Pop Historian John Covach Assesses Michael Jackson
June 25, 2009

John Covach is a leading music historian and author of the textbook history of rock music, What's That Sound? An Introduction to Rock and Its History (Third nEdition, WW.Norton & Co., 2012).

He received his Bachelor of Music (1983), Master of Music (1985) and Ph.D. (1990) in music theory from the University of Michigan. He was also a Fulbright student in Vienna, Austria in 1987-88. The recipient of several teaching awards and citations, Professor Covach teaches theory and analysis as well as courses in popular music. Since 1993, he has taught large-lecture courses on rock at University of North Texas, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and University of Rochester and has lectured across North America and Europe. He is co-editor of Understanding Rock (Oxford 1997), American Rock and the Classical Music Tradition (Harwood 2000), and Institutions, Traditions, and American Popular Music (Harwood 2000). His extensive writings on twentieth-century music, popular music, and the philosophy of music have appeared in numerous books and journals. Professor Covach also maintains an active career as a performing and recording musician.

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