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John Covach

Director, Institute for Popular Music; Professor of Music and Chair of the Music Department; 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

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

More 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 (Professor of Music, University of Rochester and Eastman School of Music) is the director of the University's Institute for Popular Music and author of the leading textbook history of rock music, What's That Sound? An Introduction to Rock and Its History (Second Edition, WW.Norton & Co., 2009).

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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