3rd – 5th September 2022, University of Liverpool


Each day, delegates will be divided into two groups of fifteen. Each group will be given three workshops per day with Walt, Nicole, and John. Each day will close with plenaries from Alyssa Barna, Stephanie Doktor, Andy Flory, Freya Jarman, Richard Worth & Kenneth Smith.

Topics Covered and Preparation

For the sessions led by Nicole, John & Walt we ask you to prepare by reading three articles. Click here for a dropbox folder containing all pdfs or follow the individual links below.

John Covach (Rochester)

This workshop will provide an introduction to formal types in rock music, discussing representative examples and outlining a theoretical approach to form. We will then move on to a detailed consideration of texture. Students are asked to read the following articles in preparation:

  • John Covach, “Form in Rock Music: A Primer,” in Engaging Music: Essays in Music Analysis, ed. D. Stein (Oxford University Press, 2005), 65-76. https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:27437
  • John Covach, “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. https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:27463
  • Optional: John Covach, “The Performer’s Experience: Positional Listening and Positional Analysis,” in G. Borio, G. Gioriani, A. Cecchi, and M. Lutzu, eds. Investigating Music Performance: Theoretical Models and Intersections (Routledge, 2020), 56-68. https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:32221

Nicole Biamonte (McGIll)

“Rhythm and Meter in Popular Music”
This workshop will explore the theory and analysis of rhythm and meter in popular music. We will begin by surveying theoretical approaches to these topics, and then explore their typical functions within and between phrases, formal sections, and complete songs. In preparation, please read the following materials:

Walt Everett (Michigan)

“Analysis of the Music of the Beatles”
In this course, we will cover topics drawn from the following areas: Borrowings in the first five singles; Paul McCartney and Bach; Voice leading and communication in “Michelle”; A tortured stretching of the 12-bar blues in “Day Tripper”; High art born of crisis in “Strawberry Fields Forever”; The nonsense of “I Am the Walrus”. For preparation, familiarize yourself with concepts of melody, harmony, rhythm, form, and arrangement as defined in the following videos:

Here are some scores (in pdf format) that may help you with the session.

Plenary Sessions

Alyssa Barna (University of Minnesota): “Vocal Production and Mimesis in Bedroom Pop.”

Stephanie Doktor (Temple University): “Fletcher Henderson’s Sonic Theories of Race.”

Andy Flory (Carleton College): “Marvin Gaye and the Creative Process at Motown.”

Freya Jarman (Liverpool): tbc.

Richard Worth & Kenneth Smith (Liverpool): “Parsimony in Extended Harmony: Thundercat.”



On campus accomodation is available to book until Friday 12th August. You’ll be in Crown Place. Please note that this does not include breakfast. You should find plenty of places around the campus area to stock up on carbohydrates.


Our ‘second room’ is not particualrly wheel-chair friendly but, if needed, we can arrange your activities to take place in the main room with no trouble at all. Please let Kenneth know if you have a particular need that you want us to be aware of. If you require wheelchair access to the building, please use the rear entrance or via the Gordon Stevenson building. Let us know if you need advice.


Please contact Kenneth on kennethsmithesq@gmail.com between 11th – 31st August (I’ll be on holiday so won’t check my work email) +44 7518 515324 is my mobile.


Some info here, but essentially we’re building 104 on this campus map. Unfortunately typing “Beford Street South” into a satnav can lead you into the middle of a housing estate nearby. So look for the Rendall Building – we’re located right opposite that.

Building Access

The Music building will be on swipe access at the weekend (and there aren’t enough swipe cards for everyone) so staff will admit you when you arrive. We’ll generally move between buildings en masse. Any problems … bang on the door or common-room windows.


  • For refined (but reasonably priced) eating, anywhere on HOPE STREET. (The Quarter is also 7 minutes walk and very good).
  • For quick convenient lunches / coffees, turn right after exiting the music buildings, head for the main road and you’ll see some. Here is Richard’s map: