March 8, 2009

A master’s degree in Beatles studies.

You can get one.
If you listen, for example, to the complete session for the group’s third single, “From Me to You,” you’ll discover that the song wasn’t quite finished when they began recording it. It wasn’t until the fifth take that they added an instrumental break, and toward the end of the session (on takes 8 through 13), they tried no fewer than four approaches to the introduction: a sung vocal, a hummed vocal, a sung version with a falsetto descant, and a version with harmonica. In the end, they combined two of these (the first vocal version and the harmonica) to produce what you hear on the single.
You could learn things like that. Or maybe you already know it. It's easily learned from reading books. But then, why go to school to learn anything that you could learn on your own from reading books? Learning from professors should be something more, right? (I'm thinking: like being questioned socratically.) Aside from learning, there is credentialing. What is the job for a master of Beatles studies? You can always go to law school. Just major in something, anything, and you can. I, for example, majored in painting. Studio painting. But it would be better if you Beatles majors went on to write about music somewhere. And if you do, don't forget there is a uniform for the Beatles major. It's like this:

26 comments:

Peter V. Bella said...

What is the job for a master of Beatles studies?

Politician. Better a musician that dresses like a clown than a politician who is one.

Bob W. said...

Very funny!

Forty years from now, what lame-ass group will listless students study while attending College on their Parent's dole? Will my grandchildren be able to get a B.A. in Jonas Brothers studies?

And hey, while we're at it, will MY kids (all under 10 years old) be able to Major in White Snake and Dokken?

I certainly hope so. . .

fcai said...

The continuous line doodle was evidence of art classes.

I hope my son who is getting his MFA in oil painting never takes up the law as a trade. Better that he should become a successful painter than a professor feeding in the trough slopped by taxes.

Awesome said...

I'm working on my PhD in Bee-Gee-ology. Valuable stuff!

Ron said...

law degree?

Roll up for the Magical Mystery Tour, it's hoping to take you away!

Ron said...

I got a minor in Jerry Lee Lewis studies...but don't worry , I beat the rap...it was Kentucky!

Paul Zrimsek said...

My forthcoming paper in the JBS analyzes the power relations within the group through the lens of critical gender theory to prove, or "prove", that the Walrus was Yoko.

k*thy said...

Yes, the liberal arts degree. Though I can actually admire those who pursue these types of degrees, all I can say for myself, it's too amorphous and unstructured. To each his own - why not?

SteveR said...

OK for all you Beatles majors, do any of their songs beside "Maxwell Edison majoring in medicine" reference education? I'm not asking because I know.

Mr. Forward said...

"I used to get mad at my school
The teachers who taught me weren't cool
You're holding me down, turning me round
Filling me up with your rules

I've got to admit it's getting better
A little better all the time
It can't get no worse
I have to admit it's getting better, it's getting better
Since you've been mine

Me used to be a angry young man
Me hiding me head in the sand
You gave me the word, I finally heard
I'm doing the best that I can

I've got to admit it's getting better
A little better all the time (It can't get no worse)
I have to admit its getting better, it's getting better
Since you've been mine (Getting so much better all the time)"

The Beatles

Ron said...

Steve R:

"Maxwell's Silver Hammer"

Pogo said...

So if a Beatle major marries a psychology major, you got yourself two excellent waitstaff needing to pay off $2500 a month in student loans.

pst314 said...

"But it would be better if you Beatles majors went on to write about music somewhere."

Better for the law, maybe, but we already have far, far too many critics and the university-educated ones are the worst.

Ann Althouse said...

He don't want to go to school and learn to read and write
Just sits around the house and plays the rock and roll music all night
Well, he put thumbtacks on teacher's chair
Puts chewing gum in little girl's hair
Now, junior, behave yourself

Ann Althouse said...

After a while you start to smile
now you feel cool
Then you decide to take a walk by the old school
Nothing has changed it's still the same
I've got nothing to say but it's O.K.

Ann Althouse said...

After a while you start to smile
now you feel cool
Then you decide to take a walk by the old school
Nothing has changed it's still the same
I've got nothing to say but it's O.K.

Ann Althouse said...

With every mistake we must surely be learning...

jdeeripper said...

You can listen to Paul right here interviewed by Howard Stern:

2009

2001

Oligonicella said...

Althouse --

"But then, why go to school to learn anything that you could learn on your own from reading books?"

Excellent question. Having taken a 'course' is meaningless, as degree holders are no brighter than someone with an interest in a chosen field and courses quite typically teach material that's already dated. Especially true in the sciences.


"Aside from learning, there is credentialing."

One can get credentialed by taking a test without getting a degree. In some states you can even take the bar, correct? The worst applicants I've dealt with in IT were college educated. Didn't know a damned thing about working.

Bob said...

Strangely enough, in the novel Have Space-Suit, Will Travel, Robert Heinlein used the term beetle tracking to describe the sort of typically un-serious courses that the protagonist was expected to take in high school; Heinlein was just as disparaging of the same sort of courses encountered in the typical American college campus.

fcai said...

A former member of the band County Joe and the Fish passed the California bar without attending law school. A Joe needs law school like fish needs a bar.

William said...

I was an English major. I vaguely remember having to take a course in Milton. I don't think I got anything out of it. I suppose it showed a prospective employer that I could master a body of learning and write a passable paper on something for which I had zero interest. That was certainly something I had to do a lot of during my working life. College and work were both a plentiful waste of time. You had to pay money to be bored in college, and at work they payed you for that experience.....Some find it preferible to rule in hell than serve in heaven. And others find it preferible to be bored and broke in college than bored and affluent at work. I pass no judgement on saints and demons, nor students and analysts. My liberal art education has given me the Sophoclean insight that, in the end, everyone gets screwed and that it's all relative.

blake said...

I don't recall any of my peers majoring in single artist. Your love may have been Bach, but you studied the late Baroque, perhaps. Or Palestrina, but you studied the Renaiisance era.

I had a prof who taught everything (poorly, I might add) through a Bach prism. But I don't think she had a degree in "Bach studies".

So, really, this should be a degree in "'60s rock music with a specialization in Beatles". That way you can look down on all the Monkees students.

fcai said...

Yes, but they will fling feces at you, then you'll see which degree was more valuable!

Franco said...

Let's all get up and dance to a song
that was a hit before your mother was born,
though she was born a long long time ago,
Your mother should know

Audities said...

Ahem, more appropriate Beatles attire. Let's keep it Beat please.

http://www.beatlesuits.com/Beatlesuits_Collarless.htm