Tag: John Covach

Institute for Popular Music pays tribute to progressive rock

Institute for Popular Music pays tribute to progressive rock

January 29, 2016

The 2015-2016 “In Performance” concert series continues on Saturday, Feb. 6, with a concert celebrating a genre that Institute for Popular Music director John Covach describes as “often overlooked by rock ‘n’ roll establishments like the Hall of Fame.”

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Rock history remembers David Bowie

Rock history remembers David Bowie

January 11, 2016

David Bowie, who died Sunday at the age of 69, wasn’t the first performer to create an alter ego. But as music professor and director of the Institute for Popular Music John Covach explains, the difference with Bowie was how his personas would change over the years, sometimes shifting drastically.

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An artist who wouldn’t let himself be penned in

An artist who wouldn’t let himself be penned in

January 11, 2016

The important difference in Bowie’s approach was that most new albums often brought with them a fresh persona — and also a change of musical style as well.

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The story behind David Bowie’s name change

The story behind David Bowie’s name change

January 11, 2016

It was a relatively normal practice at the time to take on a stage name, but Bowie took that tradition one step further: David Bowie wasn’t just a pseudonym.

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John Covach named director of new Institute for Performing Arts

John Covach named director of new Institute for Performing Arts

September 9, 2015

John Covach, a prominent rock historian, founding director of the University’s Institute for Popular Music, professor and former chair of the Department of Music, and professor of music theory at the Eastman School of Music, has been named the inaugural director of the newly created Institute for Performing Arts.

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Passion: Online learning that will shake your hips

Passion: Online learning that will shake your hips

July 20, 2015

After having taken several free rock ‘n’ roll music courses online, I’m here to testify that the best of the lot – and they’ve all been a blast – is “The Music of the Rolling Stones. The class, engagingly taught by University of Rochester professor John Covach, focuses on the music – as opposed to celebrity worship.

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(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, 50 years later: the song that almost never was

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, 50 years later: the song that almost never was

June 3, 2015

Fifty years ago, the Rolling Stones released their breakthrough single (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, which debuted in the US during the first week of June 1965. The band’s previous singles had done well enough stateside: the country-influenced Heart of Stone had risen to 19 on the charts in late 1964, and the gospel-tinged The Last Time had reached 9.

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Could a robot write the perfect pop song?

Could a robot write the perfect pop song?

May 15, 2015

If pop songs can so easily be written and then distributed into an unbreakable cycle of hits, can’t they also be reverse engineered and reproduced? Not if you want the song to find an audience, says John Covach, the director of the Institute for Popular Music at the University of Rochester.

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The technology that saved ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’

The technology that saved ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’

May 15, 2015

It’s been 50 years since The Rolling Stones released “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” The song’s iconic guitar riff—those three irresistibly fuzzy notes—came to Keith Richards in a dream. “On the road, he would use the little cassette machines with the batteries to put his song ideas on the cassette,” the music historian John Covach told me.

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Pop history’s pivotal moments: Has big data settled the debate?

Pop history’s pivotal moments: Has big data settled the debate?

May 6, 2015

We live in a world where big data is big news. It may come as no surprise, then, that scholars of data science have turned their attention to music.

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