Yale Alumni College Fall 2015 - New York City Mark Spicer

The Beatles and Their Legacy

Mark Spicer ’01 Ph.D., Professor of Music at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York

Mondays, October 5 – November 9, 6:00 - 7:30 pm and 7:45 - 9:15 pm

Location: Yale Club of New York City, 50 Vanderbilt Ave, New York, NY 10017

Course Description:

This two-part course will offer an in-depth study of the music of the Beatles. We will trace their history, both in terms of their own stylistic development and against the backdrop of artistic, cultural, and political events and issues of the late 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. We will also explore the legacy of the Beatles—that is, the extraordinary influence that they have had and continue to have in shaping the history of popular music. The six-week lecture series in the fall semester will cover the first half of the Beatles’ career, from their earliest days as the Quarry Men through their groundbreaking 1965 album Rubber Soul.  


Mark Spicer is Professor of Music at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He received his B.Mus. and M.Mus. (1987, 1990) from the University of North Texas and his Ph.D. (2001) from Yale University. Prof. Spicer specializes in the reception history and analysis of popular music, especially British pop and rock since the1960s, and his writings have appeared in a number of scholarly journals and essay collections. His book Sounding Out Pop, co-edited with John Covach, was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2010, and he has since edited the volume on Rock Music for the Library of Essays on Popular Music series from Ashgate (2011). He is currently coming to the end of a three-year term (2013–15) as Associate Editor of Music Theory Spectrum, the flagship journal of the Society for Music Theory. In addition to his scholarship and teaching, Prof. Spicer maintains a parallel career as a recording and performing keyboardist and vocalist, having worked with several groups in the US and the UK since the 1980s. He continues to take the stage most weekends, both with his CT-based “electric R&B” group, the Bernadettes, and with the Christ Church Choir in New Haven.