John Covach is Director of the University of Rochester Institute for Popular Music, Professor of Music in the School of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of Theory at the Eastman School of Music. He has published dozens of articles on topics dealing with popular music, twelve-tone music, and the philosophy and aesthetics of music. He is the principal author of What’s That Sound? An Introduction to Rock Music (W.W. Norton) and has co-edited Understanding Rock (Oxford University Press), American Rock and the Classical Tradition (Routledge) and Traditions, Institutions, and American Popular Music (Routledge), Sounding Out Pop (University of Michigan Press), and the Cambridge Companion to the Rolling Stones (Cambridge).
Work Shared in CORE
- “The Schönberg Analytical Legacy: Rudolph Reti and Thematic Transformation,” Journal of the Arnold Schönberg Center 16 (2019): 99-111.
- “The Zwölftonspiel of Josef Matthias Hauer,” Journal of Music Theory 36.1 (1992): 149-84.
- “Schoenberg and the Occult: Some Reflections on the Musical Idea,” Theory and Practice 17 (1992): 103-18.
- “The Quest of the Absolute: Schoenberg, Hauer, and the Twelve-Tone Idea,” in Jon Michael Spencer, ed., Theomusicology, special issue of Black Sacred Music: A Journal of Theomusicology 8/1 (Duke University Press, 1994): 158-77.
- “The Sources of Schoenberg’s ‘Aesthetic Theology,’” 19th-Century Music 19/3 (1996): 252-62.
- “Schoenberg’s (Analytical) Gaze: Musical Time, The Organic Ideal, and Analytical Perspectivism,” Theory and Practice 42 (2017): 141-59.
- “The Americanization of Arnold Schoenberg? Theory, Analysis, and Reception,” Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Musiktheorie 15/2 (2018): 155-75.
- “The Way We Were: Rethinking the Popular in a Flat World,” Analitica/Rivista di Analisi e Teoria Musicale, 2016, vol. 1/2, 59-72.
- “Rock Me, Maestro,” Chronicle of Higher Education (February 2, 2015)
- “To MOOC or Not to MOOC?” Music Theory Online 19/3 (September 2013)
- “The Hippie Aesthetic: Cultural Positioning and Musical Ambition in Early Progressive Rock,” in Composition and Experimentation in British Rock 1966–1976, a special issue of Philomusica Online (2007); reprinted in The Ashgate Library of Essays on Popular Music: Rock, ed. Mark Spicer (Ashgate publishing, 2012), 65-75.
- “We Won’t Get Fooled Again: Rock Music and Musical Analysis,” reprinted and updated in Interdisciplinary Studies in Musicology 5 (2005), 225-46. Originally appeared in In Theory Only 13/1-4 (1997): 119-41; and in A. Kassabian, D. Schwarz, and L. Siegel, eds., Keeping Score: Music, Disciplinarity, Culture (University Press of Virginia, 1997), 75-89.
- “Echolyn and American Progressive Rock,” in Covach and Everett, eds., American Rock and the Classical Music Tradition, a special issue of Contemporary Music Review, 18/4 (August 2000): 13-61.
- “The Rutles and the Use of Specific Models in Musical Satire,” Indiana Theory Review 11 (1990): 119-44.
- “Balzacian Mysticism, Palindromic Design, and Heavenly Time in Berg’s Music,” in Encryted Messages in Alban Berg’s Music, ed. Siglind Bruhn (Garland Publishing, 1998), 5-29.
- “Schoenberg’s ‘Poetics of Music’ and the Twelve-Tone Idea,” in Schoenberg and Words, ed. R. Berman and C. Cross (Garland Publishing, 2000), 309-46.
- “Twelve-Tone Theory,” in The Cambridge History of Western Music Theory, ed. Thomas Christensen, (Cambridge University Press, 2002), 603-627.
- “Josef Matthias Hauer,” in Music of the Twentieth Century Avant-Garde, ed. Larry Sitsky (Greenwood Publishing, 2003), 197-202.
- “George Harrison, Songwriter,” in M. Osteen, ed., Part of Everything: The Beatles’ White Album at Fifty (University of Michigan Press, 2019), 177-96.
- “Afterword,” in M. Osteen, ed., Part of Everything: The Beatles’ White Album at Fifty (University of Michigan Press, 2019), 263-69.
- “Analyzing Texture in Rock Music: Stratification, Coordination, Position, and Perspective,” in Pop weiter denken: Neue Anstöße aus Jazz Studies, Philosophie, Musiktheorie und Geschichte, Beiträge zur Popularmusikforschung 44, ed. Ralf von Appen and André Doehring (Transcript Verlag, 2018), 53-72.
- “Yes, the Psychedelic-Symphonic Cover, and ‘Every Little Thing’,” in C. Scotto, K. Smith, and J. Brackett, The Routledge Companion to Popular Music Analysis: Expanding Approaches (Routledge, 2018), 277-90.
- “High Brow, Low Brow, Knot Now, Know How,” in C. Rodriguez, ed., Coming of Age: Teaching and Learning Music in Academia (Maize Books, 2017), 313-33.
- “Leiber and Stoller, the Coasters, and the ‘Dramatic AABA’ Form,” in Sounding Out Pop: Analytical Essays in Rock Music, ed. Covach and Spicer (University of Michigan Press, 2010)., 1-17.
- “Jazz-Rock? Rock-Jazz? Stylistic Crossover in Late-1970s American Progressive Rock,” in W. Everett, ed., Rock Music: Critical Essays on Composition, Performance, Analysis, and Reception (Garland Publishing, 1999), 113-34. Reprinted in the second edition (2007).
- “From Craft to Art: Formal Structure in the Music of the Beatles,” in Reading the Beatles: Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism, and the Fab Four, ed. Ken Womack and Todd F. Davis (SUNY Press, 2006), 37-53.
- “Form in Rock Music: A Primer,” in Engaging Music: Essays in Music Analysis, ed. D. Stein (Oxford University Press, 2005), 65-76.
- “Pangs of History in Late 1970s Rock,” in Allan Moore, ed., Analyzing Popular Music (Cambridge University Press, 2003): 173-95.
- “Popular Music, Unpopular Musicology,” in N. Cook and M. Everist, eds., Rethinking Music (Oxford University Press, 1999), 452-70.
- “We Can Work It Out: Musical Analysis and Rock Music,” in Will Straw, Stacey Johnson, Rebecca Sullivan, and Paul Friedlander, eds., Popular Music—Style and Identity (Montreal: The Centre for Research on Canadian Cultural Industries and Institutions, 1995): 69a-71a.
- “Stylistic Competencies, Musical Humor, and ‘This is Spinal Tap,’“ in E. Marvin and R. Hermann, eds., Concert Music, Rock and Jazz Since 1945: Essays and Analytical Studies (University of Rochester Press, 1995), 402-424.
- “Yes, ‘Close to the Edge,’ and the Boundaries of Rock,” in Covach and Boone, eds., Understanding Rock (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 3-31.
- Review of Allen Forte, The American Popular Ballad of the Golden Era, 1924-1950, College Music Symposium 36 (1996): 168-72.
- Triple review of Edward Macan, Rockin’ the Classics: Progressive Rock and the Counterculture; Paul Stump, The Music’s All That Matters: A History of Progressive Rock; and Bill Martin, Listening to the Future: The Time of Progressive Rock, 1968-78, MLA Notes (September 1998).
- Review of Robert Freeman, The Crisis of Classical Music: Lessons from a Life in the Education of Musicians, Music Theory Online 21/2 (June 2015).