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Who hasn’t heard of the Beatles? The band comprising John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr is perhaps the most influential of all time. Their music was path-breaking that defied prevalent norms and was inspired by varying music styles like ballads, Indian classical music, hard rock and traditional pop.
The Beatles were so refreshingly different that they became a rage and are the best-selling artists of all time. So it’s but natural that Liverpool, where the group originated from, should offer a Master’s program on the music of the Beatles.
Liverpool Hope University in the UK started the course in 2009. This 2-year MA program on the music of the Beatles is a unique offering available nowhere else in the whole world. Mike Brocken is the founder and leader of the Beatles Master of Arts course at the University.
The program aims to explore how the music of the Beatles influenced people by the way they related to the music as audiences and also in terms of their identities, ethnicities, etc. Music will be enquired into for its role socially, by focusing on the contribution of music in the forming of identities, aesthetics, values, performance and how popular music evokes responses.
The music of the Beatles will be used as a case study to research and understand better, the evolution of popular music and how it has transformed over the last 50 years. Liverpool the city, from where the Beatles made their appearance will also be studied. The underlying meaning of popular music will be examined with the Beatles material as reference. Students will also explore how the Beatles influenced people, their culture, customs, habits, etc. and how the tourist industry has taken advantage of the Beatles to make Liverpool a popular tourist destination.
Five International Postgraduate Scholarships are accessible every year based on merit. Past social and community participation and commitment to make a difference socially and economically is necessary to be considered for the scholarship that may even cover half the tuition cost.
Mary-Lu Zahalan-Kennedy from Canada was the first to accept her degree from the University. She is a member of a select group of popular music experts and an internationally sought-after group of scholars of popular music studies who offer fresh and thought-provoking insights into the discipline of musicology.