Volume! Special Issue / numéro spécial “Beatles Studies”

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Crédits : Matthieu Saladin 210 x 210mm – 242 p. – 19 € – ISBN 978-2-913169-40-1.

Nearly half a century after Luciano Berio praised the Beatles in his ‘Commenti al Rock’ (1967), this special issue of Volume! surveys the research carried out on the band that was, according to John Lennon, ‘more popular than Jesus’. In light of an extensive bibliography covering the first 50 years of what we now call ‘Beatles Studies’, one learns, for example, that the British Invasion originated in Paris, that Popular Music Studies began with the musicological study of popular music, that the theory of harmonic vectors can help analyze pop music or that Marshall McLuhan’s concepts shed an interesting light on albums such as Abbey Road.

Près d’un demi-siècle après l’adoubement des Beatles par Luciano Berio, ce numéro de Volume ! propose un tour d’horizon de la recherche scientifique sur le groupe dont John Lennon affirmait qu’il était encore « plus populaire que Jésus ». Outre une imposante bibliographie couvrant les 50 premières années de ce qu’il est désormais convenu d’appeler les « Beatles Studies », on y découvrira entre autres que la British Invasion est passée par Paris, que les popular music studies ont débuté par l’étude musicologique des musiques populaires, que la théorie des vecteurs harmoniques peut s’appliquer à la musique pop ou encore que l’album Abbey Road mérite d’être analysé à la lumière des concepts développés par Marshall McLuhan.


With contributions by Jeremy Tranmer (University of Lorraine, France), Moreno Andreatta (IRCAM, France), Mattia Bergomi (LIM-Milan, Italy), Michael Brocken (Liverpool Hope University, United Kingdom), Philippe Cathé (Paris-Sorbonne University, France), Franco Fabbri (Università di Torino, Italy), Bertrand Lemonnier (Lycée Louis-le-Grand, France), Ian Inglis (Northumbria University, United Kingdom), Olivier Julien (Paris-Sorbonne University, France), Thomas MacFarlane (New York University, United States), Sarah Pickard (Sorbonne-Nouvelle University-Paris 3, France), Matthieu Thibault (University of Evry-Val-d’Essonne, France), Grégoire Tosser (University of Evry-Val-d’Essonne, France), Sheila Whiteley (Salford University, United Kingdom) & Charlotte Wilkins (Ecole du Louvre, France).

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Olivier Julien

Olivier Julien lectures the history and musicology of popular music at Paris-Sorbonne University. A member of Volume! La revue des musiques populaires’ and Audio/Visual: Journal of Cultural Media Studies’ editorial and advisory boards, he is the editor of Sgt. Pepper and the Beatles: It Was Forty Years Ago Today (Ashgate, 2009 ARSC Award for Best Research in Recorded Rock and Popular Music). His research focuses on popular musicians’ relationship with technology and on the determination of popular music, as a tradition, by phonography.

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