Chevron Left
Back to The Music of the Beatles

Learner Reviews & Feedback for The Music of the Beatles by University of Rochester

732 ratings

About the Course

The Music of the Beatles will track the musical development of the band, starting from the earliest days in Liverpool and Hamburg, moving through the excitement of Beatlemania, the rush of psychedelia, and the maturity of Abbey Road. While the focus will be on the music, we will also consider how recording techniques, the music business, the music of other artists, and the culture of the 1960s affected John, Paul, George, and Ringo as they created the Beatles repertory. There is probably no band or artist that has had more written about their music than the Beatles. There are many good books on the band's biography, several insider accounts offering glimpses behind the scenes, books that interpret the meaning of the songs, and even books that catalog dates and people regarding the band. This course will try to synthesize much of that information into an account of the Beatles' development as musicians and songwriters....

Top reviews


Jun 12, 2020

Great class. For someone who grew up listening to the Beatles (thank you, Mom!), I learned things I did not know and will listen to the songs with a different appreciation and approach. Thank you!!!!


Aug 13, 2020

I really enjoyed the course, including the side stories. I only wish that there was no problem with copyright infringement and all so one can listen to the songs as they are being discussed.

Filter by:

1 - 25 of 270 Reviews for The Music of the Beatles

By Rambaldo E d C

May 9, 2017

I was disappointed because based on the title of this course, I expected a musical analysis of the Beatles music rather than a historical description of Beatles songs. In particular, I anticipated a richer understanding of the Beatles creative process and how this may or may not be related to models of musical creativity. I was hoping to get into the creative minds of the Beatles, into what it was that generated this seminal musical period. I cannot help but feel that this course would benefit from a review by an learning designer.

By Joseph P W

Jun 20, 2017

I am a music theorist and composer. I thoroughly enjoyed this course by Dr. Covach! I loved how he showed you how he broke down each song in the close ups, which helps others understand how to do it on their own. If you use the supplemental materials, you get a much greater understanding of the subject, and you learn the material faster (I would suggest as least the music and Tune In. Only Everette texts if you have a firm grasp of music theory). I understand due to copyright, the music could not be use on this course, which is a bummer. However, this does not stop anyone from going from downloading the music and listening along with Dr. Covach's graphs. You can either pause on the screen to listen or listen before/after the lesson. Thank you for the course, I enjoyed gaining a deeper understanding of the Beatles as artists and craftsman.

By Indrajit P

Mar 11, 2019

It has been a tremendous journey through this course. Repository of information presented in a chronological story was the most appealing part of this course. I understand that there are more, yet this is a great course, which touches most critical part of The Beatles' journey and evolution. My sincere thanks to Dr. John Covach once again and to the University of Rochester and Coursera for having this course.

By John C

Jan 22, 2019

This course way very entertaining and informative. I particularly liked the personal touches reflecting each of the band members. Excellent course.

By Alexandrine W

Feb 27, 2019

Great course! I knew nothing of the music of the Beatles, but this course has made me appreciate the poetry and musical innovation of the Beatles.

By Zohar S

Feb 21, 2019

Excellent course, giving a comprehensive review of the work of the Beatles. The course is well-arranged and makes learning fun.

By Wendoline M

Nov 14, 2018

I´m a fan of the band, with this course I´ve learned more things that I used to know. This course is excellent. Congratulations

By britt a

Sep 22, 2015

Excellent subject taught excellently. I would go to sleep at night listening to the lectures as if they were the perfect bedtime story. But then I'd have to flip back a few lectures in the morning for a close-listening because I didn't want to miss a single nugget of information.

Prof. Covach does what a lot of books and courses on the Beatles fail to do. He looks straight at the music and brings in biography and history where necessary. But it's the music that provides the beat to this course. Prof. Covach digs deep into songs to provide insight on song form/shape, lyrics, theme, etc. and then ties those observations together with songs that come later in the course. So you get a sense of the Beatles' growth as songwriters. What were they influenced by? What did they repeat? How did they alter that repeated form? What conventions did they fall back on when they needed to write a hit single.

Though the course does delve into some music theory, it's accessible to the layperson, eg, talking about a flatted seventh used in a John song. Hocus pocus talk for non-musicians but the professor explains it in such a way that it makes sense and becomes the "thing" you listen for when you go to the song on your iTunes.

Could there be a better gift for a music lover than this course? Well, the professor has a couple other offers on Coursera. Maybe I'll check them out and compare. I'll get back to ya.

By mauro a r m

Jan 28, 2018

the course was very good directed, was very friendly, has very good material examples, has a high research quality, the teacher is a very kind person and a excelent teacher, musicians teaches in mexico must learn how to make the history of mexican music an to teach this way to his students. I was not a fan of the Beatles , I was more a fan of doo woop, great bands, R&R, R & B, teener song of the 50's and 60's, but this marvelous course made the Beatles my first choice upon that other musical kinds. Thats incredibleeeeeeeee. Well I have all the mexican editions of Beatles albums and many singles just because I live the Beatles years and know their popularity, but now I have pass hourse listenig to them and at last I know their value. I'm too to pay the diplom of the course, (20 mexican pesos is one dólar) but I wish to pay something to coursera. nevertheless I recognice that 500 dolars are a very low Price. I have 100 dolars or 2000 mexican pesos, I will pay this money but I dont need the diplom. I do this just to feel, that I give a Little to coursera that give me too much. That you very much I was so happy and learn to much to keep learning and enjoying music with the concepts I learned in the digital form, and maybe 800 lp's, 2500 45's, and Im trying to made a resum of 20,000 that I want to keep listening all my life. O this maybe 75% are anglosajon music

By Daryl B

Dec 27, 2021

I thoroughly enjoyed the course. i completed it in 4 days. i would recommend this course to all music lovers especially Beatle fans of which I have been my whole life. I'm proud to say I achieved 100%. Professor John Covach is amazing in the way he presents the videos. In fact he is the reason I completed it in 4 days because he holds your interest with his presentation and incredible knowledge on the subject. Yes I guess I had a head start because I have have read and own many books on the Beatles including most that are recommended at the beginning of the course. But I still managed to learn a few new things from Professor Covach. I'm glad I took this course and now I have a certificate to hang on the wall.

By Robert R

Apr 6, 2017

A truly exceptional course. The Beatles are by no means a boring subject, but Professor Covach does a fantastic job of keeping the subject matter interesting during the more technical aspects of the course. I would also add that while most anyone who has followed the Beatles will know quite a bit about the subject matter there is a vast amount of knowledge you will gain from taking the course. Lastly, while not be able to hear the music in class, curse you DCMA and copyright laws, can be considered a negative the quality of the content easily overcame this obstacle.

By Debbie S

Mar 27, 2020

Excellent course. As a casual fan of the Beatles from my teenage years, and a lover of all kinds of music, I have learned so much and now have a much greater appreciation of their contributions to music overall. There was a lot of information, presented in a very interesting manner with humour, great insight and obviously incredible knowledge by the Professor. The tests were difficult, especially the final one and as a senior, it has been a long time since taking so many tests, but I am proud to have achieved 82% overall. Thank you...a very enjoyable course.

By Yimi S

Apr 26, 2020

Muy interesante. El curso especifica claramente la historia de los Beatles, abriendo interrogantes y motivando a la investigación permanente de la música desarrollada por estos músicos.

Nos sitúa en el contextos socio-cultural de esa época, lo que motiva a entender en profundidad determinadas características musicales y personales, engrandeciendo aún más la imagen de estos artistas, entendiendo de esta manera porque fueron, son y serán músicos de una creatividad infinita.

Creo que este curso marca un camino al ordenamiento, de como entender a los Beatles, como abordarlos y comenzar a partir de esto, a tejer un camino de investigación hacia nuestro propio criterio.

By Maria E P

Sep 29, 2016

El Curso es excelente, el profesor Covach fue muy claro, y muy apasionado en el dictado de las clases, lo que lo hizo más interesantes e hizo que me apasionara aún más en el contenido. La única dificultad que tuve fue en comprender la traducción de algunas preguntas, pero lo subsané al leerlas en ingles y luego en español. Quisiera poder participar de algún otro curso que continúe con esta temática. Muchas gracias. No dispongo del dinero para el certificado pero igual me doy por muy satisfecha con todo lo que repasé sobre Los Beatles y lo mucho que descubrí de ellos. Les vuelvo a dar las gracias. Voy a extrañar nuestro encuentro semanal....

By Simon B

Jul 29, 2020

Very pleased by this Beatles course. Allowed me to study more profoundly the history of that music group and their success. Allowed me to know more about their musical style and the specific creativity and talents of each member. Thank you for this great course. Would be wonderful if we could get music courses on the following artists:

Music of Prince,

Music of Jethro Tull

Music of Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, and the Jackson Family

Music of Nirvana and Foo Fighters

Music of Ennio Morricone

Music of American movie composers (John Williams, Thomas Newman, Danny Elfman, etc.)

Music of Elvis Presley

Music of Motown

By Liz O

Mar 3, 2016

Estoy muy feliz de haber encontrado este curso que me acerco tanto a la historia de The Beatles, a su música, al análisis de tantos mitos y a ver todo de manera mas clara. Me siento muy agradecida con el profesor por haber compartido todo su conocimiento tan maravilloso. Estoy mas que satisfecha con todo lo aprendido, tengo tantas palabras para agradecer que realmente no se por donde empezar. MUCHAS GRACIAS PROFESOR Y DIRECTOR JOHN COVACH, UNIVERSIDAD DE ROCHESTER por este proyecto y Coursera por permitirnos aprender algo tan maravilloso!

By Bayarzul U

Dec 24, 2016

It was an absolutely great course discovering the Beatles. I really liked the Instructor's teaching and loved to know about what the Beatles done in music history. I was very fascinated and emotional all the way through the course where Beatles made their presence in the world through Ed Sullivan show, early years of 62, 63, Lennon and McCartney philosophical approaches and how George evolved as a great singer-song writer, loss of Epstein, Paul's departure, Abbey Road to be the farewell and the last album of the History makers.

By Sâmia A

May 22, 2019

The teacher is great! Very knowledgeable and fun, and you really just end up wanting to be his friend. The content is well presented, though he has to be careful not to quote any lyrics directly. It's not allowed. Or to be played. You'll have to do that on your own. The course is about Beatles moving from "craftsmen" to a more artistic approach, and for that matter, analyzing the music form (from AABA to other forms). Plus it also serves as a documentary, since a lot from their story is in the lectures. I really enjoyed.


Jun 4, 2018

I have loved the Music of the Beatles since I was only twelve years old. This course gave me incredible insight into the workings of the Beatles; going back to their earliest times. The course also gave the complete progression of all of the ways in which others had influence and/or involvement in their career from the very earliest days.

The course gives one extensive knowledge of how the music business works and how it changes the lives of everyone involved; either closely, or on the fringes of the business.

By Adrian B

May 5, 2020

As I regard myself as a geriatric rock 'n roller who cut his teeth on the Beatles I really enjoyed the course and simply cannot speak highly enough about John who (besides being a superb guitarist) is an excellent lecturer and made every moment worthwhile. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the wonderful world of music would have been substantially poorer without the Beatles.

Have enrolled and am looking forward to following John again in discussing the Rolling Stones.

By Adrián

May 19, 2020

Muy buen curso. El profesor me agrado bastante. Aprendí muchas cosas que no sabia. Además ahora veo la música de The Beatles desde otro enfoque y entiendo muchas cosas escondidas en las canciones. Muy buen curso, 100% recomendado.

Very good course. I really like the teacher. I learned many things that I didn't know. Also now, I see The Beatles music from another perspective and I understand many things hidden in the songs. Very good course, 100% recommended.

By Brett N

Sep 7, 2016

Can't recommend this enough. Professor Covach gives you everything you need as quickly as he can without making it drudgery at all. It made me delve deeper into The Beatles' music and especially into years of their music that I didn't fully appreciate before. Now I can't get Beatles songs out of my head on a daily basis and I have some extra insight that only enhances my appreciation of their incredible music even more.

By Serena S

Jul 15, 2017

This course was a lot more than I bargained for, it wasn't simply the story of the music of the Beatles but also delved deeply into music theory in a way that was engaging and made me want to learn more. I was impressed by the professor who was excited by his subject matter and shared his enthusiasm and his plethora of information as well as little known trivia and extra bonuses as well! Well worth the time!

By Tomas M

May 16, 2020

I really enjoy the course and gave me a profound understanding of the evolution of the music of the Beatles. Like very much the way the material was presented and analyzed. This is a course to go into the musical roots of the beatles and how each member contributes and follow their own path. After completing this course I feel that my appreciation of the music of the Beatles went to a higher level.

By Deleted A

Oct 19, 2019

John Covach is clearly an expert in the strictest sense of the word in his academically thorough presentation of The Beatles' particulars throughout their career. The course is engaging, highly informative and covers pedantically several areas of knowledge of The Beatles as a band: it's both biographical and technical, and it integrates these two in a chronological progression. Highly recommended!