Studio Pop: Histories & Sounds, 1960s to 80s


Pop-music styles as the work of studio production techniques, post-1960s. We explore four influential artists--The Beach Boys ('Pet Sounds' 1966, and later albums); Stevie Wonder ('Music of My Mind' 1971 to 'Songs in the Key of Life' 1976); Steely Dan (albums released 1972-79) and Prince (albums 1977 to 1987). Topics include: history of studio production, multi-track tape innovations, orchestrations, backing vocals, sonic balance, space; synthesizer technology; drum-machine grooves, Close reading of songs, producers, studio styles, press/fan reception. Analysis of music in acoustic, narrative, poetic or structural terms through close listening. Readings from critical literature.


Instructor: Philip Rupprecht,

Curriculum Codes
  • W
  • ALP
Cross-Listed As
  • AAAS 258
Typically Offered
Fall and/or Spring