In Class: RAE 400—VPA Course Offers Insight into The Beatles

If you hear the sounds of the Beatles coming from a College of Visual and Performing Arts classroom, there's a good chance VPA Professor of Practice David Rezak is involved. His RAE 400 course offers insight into the early days of rock 'n' roll, and his guest lecturers include some of the people involved in producing classic rock albums. This In Class segment puts you in the front row of Gifford Auditorium for a few minutes of Rezak's course.

VPA Course Offers Insight Into The Beatles I In Class: RAE 400 from Syracuse University News on Vimeo.

(Here's a transcription of the video)

VPA Course Offers Insight into The Beatles

David Rezak, Professor of Practice and Director, Bandier Program Setnor School of Music: Okay I think you’ve got to read those first three chapters…

It’s really unique. There are Beatles classes in other institutions, and there’s evnea degree in Beatles offered by the University of Liverpool. But, we take a little bit different approach to it. Because we’re a music business program we consider the Beatles to be the greatest case study in music business, ever. So we do study their business, but we don’t ignore the importance of their cultural contribution, the actual artistry, the history of the individuals, and the context out of which this all arose, because it’s also an amazing study in media that the Beatles emerged as so popular at the moment that they did.

So why am I here? I’m here because I used to go to work on this street, which is called Abbey Road. It’s in the north of London and was made famous because of four people walking across that separate crossing.

Today’s guest is Kent Scott, who is an original Abbey Road engineer and he’ll talk about how he ended up there as a teenager and how he grew to become an important engineer, for not only the Beatles and post-Beatles George Harrison, but Pink Floyd, and David Bowie, and Elton John and others.

Sabrina Elahi: I basically kind of just appreciate that it’s more than just The Beatles, like it’s the background to it, who their influencers were, what really they did to effect the music industry and how much they did to effect rock. Like the instruments, what they used to play, how their chords, their style…

Elizabeth Michals: Learning about all the different albums, and like it’s not just the music, it’s the business and the technology, and it’s really cool to learn about all this stuff because I had no idea.

David Rezak, Professor of Practice and Director, Bandier Program Setnor School of Music: There’s a real passion for it. They are—they love the musical pieces of the class. We do analyze song writing and celebrate the music throughout the entire semester and they certainly, clearly know the music. It’s not ever a surprise to me. So I don’t whether grandparents and parents have been, you know, playing it around the house or they’ve discovered it own their own. Whatever it is, I love seeing that 50-year-old music is still relevant to 19-year-old kids for sure.