(also known as...) Notes On The 'Notes On' Series (README)

Table of Contents

0. An abstract of the series; i.e., 'Why Bother ?'

1. When did the series start and what's your gameplan ?

2. Why made you decide to do this ?

3. And and from where can I get back issues ?

4. Background, Chronology, and Game Plan

5. Are you going to do a book ?

6. What's the best way to get in touch with you ?

7. Have you ever written a Note on ?


0. An abstract of the series; i.e., 'Why Bother ?'

- Just about everyone I know who likes/enjoys/is-crazy-about the music of the Beatles knows, without my having to tell them a damned thing, how "great" their music is. It's not anything that needs "proving" or "explanation."

- However, there are a number of dimensions to the music of the Beatles that are more easily described, traced, and quantified. I dare say that any element of musical composition that can be described with reasonable objectivity and consistency from one example to the next allows one to discover at an often surprising level of detail stylistic preoccupations, predilections and patterns in the thought processes of the composers. Over the long run, this allows one to describe with a not unreasonable amount of precision the nature of trends and the evolution of style.

- The concepts, vocabulary, and method used in the "Notes on" analyses of Beatles songs will be familiar to anyone who has ever taken a substantive course in music theory. I may sometimes be unintentionally inaccurate, but overall, I'm hardly making it up as I go along :-). In fact, such a detailed examination of the work of those who one admires also happens to be a centuries-old, time-honored way in which to learn how to compose music.

- I can appreciate how to the uninitiated, the very language in which the discussion takes place appears on the surface to be self-importantly erudite, perhaps even fatuous, but the technical words used do have commonly accepted meanings, and some kind of objective set of descriptive tools are critically necessary in such an analytical exercise lest the whole thing degenerate into a delirious indulgence in fanciful metaphors; just like this last sentence :-).

- I don't believe that the validity of the exercise is necessarily invalidated by the fact that the composers may have not been capable of reading music, or that they couldn't describe in precise terms exactly what they thought they were doing in their compositions. No doubt, I would imagine "even" Mozart might have ridiculed those of his contemporaries who sought to analyze his work. But that doesn't necessarily invalidate such an inquiry. Granted, if the artist asks me to not look at his/her work in a certain way, I may be on one level rudely disobeying that artists preference by what I'm doing, but it does not mean that my taking a certain view of their work is by definition, wrong or meaningless. And here, I promised myself beforehand to not get defensive :-).

1. When did the series start and what's your gameplan ?

The series started in May 1989 with a short note on "We Can Work It Out." To date there have been around 90 installments, varying in frequency of appearance in a manner directly inverse to the pace of my combined family and professional life.

During the first 28 installments, the songs were chosen in random order (basically special favorites), and I would structure the outline of each article around the unique attributes of the respective songs.

Since issue 29 (July '91), I adopted an organizational template for the Notes, and also decided to go back to the beginning of the songbook and work my way patiently through in chronological order instead of skipping around.

My hope is to eventually complete the full cycle of the songs 'officially' recorded by The Beatles. Then we'll figure out what to do next :-)

2. Why made you decide to do this ?

- Doing the series was a way of indulging two very big hot buttons: re-emerging Beatlemania on the threshold of middle age, and an ingrained hunger for playing the part of the ol' professor. Beyond that, it all started as a kind of double-dare from 'saki'.

- Just about everyone I know who likes/enjoys/is-crazy-about the music of the Beatles knows, without my having to tell them a damned thing, how "great" their music is. It's not anything that needs "proving" or "explanation."

- However, there are a number of dimensions to the music of the Beatles that are more easily described, traced, and quantified. I dare say that any element of musical composition that can be described with reasonable objectivity and consistency from one example to the next allows one to discover at an often surprising level of detail stylistic preoccupations, predilections and patterns in the thought processes of the composers. Over the long run, this allows one to describe with a not unreasonable amount of precision the nature of trends and the evolution of style.

- The concepts, vocabulary, and method used in the "Notes on" analyses of Beatles songs will be familiar to anyone who has ever taken a substantive course in music theory. I may sometimes be unintentionally inaccurate, but overall, I'm hardly making it up as I go along :-). In fact, such a detailed examination of the work of those who one admires also happens to be a centuries-old, time-honored way in which to learn how to compose music.

- I can appreciate how to the uninitiated, the very language in which the discussion takes place appears on the surface to be self-importantly erudite, perhaps even fatuous, but the technical words used do have commonly accepted meanings, and some kind of objective set of descriptive tools are critically necessary in such an analytical exercise lest the whole thing degenerate into a delirious indulgence in fanciful metaphors; just like this last sentence :-).

- I don't believe that the validity of the exercise is necessarily invalidated by the fact that the composers may have not been capable of reading music, or that they couldn't describe in precise terms exactly what they thought they were doing in their compositions. No doubt, I would imagine "even" Mozart might have ridiculed those of his contemporaries who sought to analyze his work. But that doesn't necessarily invalidate such an inquiry. Granted, if the artist asks me to not look at his/her work in a certain way, I may be on one level rudely disobeying that artists preference by what I'm doing, but it does not mean that my taking a certain view of their work is by definition, wrong or meaningless. And here, I promised myself beforehand to not get defensive :-).

3. And and from where can I get back issues ?

The series is way too large for me to want to distribute it directly to any and all takers. Bob Clements has been kind enough to maintain an archive of the full "Notes on..." series on his "bobcat.bbn.com" machine. If you have FTP connectivity to the Internet, here's the instructions:

	>FTP to bobcat.bbn.com (128.89.2.103).
	>user anonymous
	>pass 
	>cd beatles
	>cd noteson
	>get (whatever)
	>
	>Be patient.  It's just a slow 4.77 MHz IBM PC.
Further info about this site and other rmb material archived there is posted regularly as part of the 'Welcome' note to this newsgroup.

4. Background, Chronology, and Game Plan

- For those who may have wondered from time to time just who the 'flip' I think I am in writing this series ("temper, temper"): ~awp has a PhD in music theory and composition (University of Pennsylvania, '77), and has taught these same subjects on the college level. For reasons too personal and boringly complicated to go into here, he's been working in the field of software engineering since 1978.

- Yes, it is one of the author's fondest wishes (guess what the other one is) to publish the (God Willing) completed set of Notes in the form of a Boook. This will, of course, take a while. I'm more than happy to share the work with The Net as it emerges, but I will humbly ask you all for your courtesy in honoring my copyright of the material.

5. Are you going to do a book ?

Yes, it is one of the my fondnest wishes to publish the completed set of Notes in the form of a Boook. This will, of course, take a while, and I'm hardly thinking of quitting my day job in the meanwhile. I'm more than happy to share the work with The Net as it emerges, but I will humbly ask you all for your courtesy in honoring my copyright of the material.

6. What's the best way to get in touch with you ?

awp@world.std.com is my email address at a currently stylish public Unix site in Brookline Mass. I generally keep my work email address and other personal contact points unlisted on the net.

7. Have you ever written a Note on ?

- During the first 28 installments, the songs were chosen in random order (basically special favorites), and I would structure the outline of each article around the unique attributes of the respective songs.

- At that point, in order to establish a working vocabulary and set of concepts for the articles, many of the earlier ones have side-bar like tutorials or tangential points about the Beatles songbook overall. As a result, the articles steadily grew in length, some of them near the end becoming *quite* long.

- Since issue 29 (last July), I adopted an organizational template for the Notes, and also decided to go back to the beginning of the songbook and work my way patiently through in chronological order instead of skipping around.

- The template provides a kind of consistency which allows me to keep the individual articles shorter for the most part, while enforcing upon me a certain rigorous breadth in the coverage of each song. Ironically, some of the much longer articles from the first half do not always cover some of the topics now included in the template. For that reason, I ought to at some point, revise and extend the older articles in keeping with the template style, but for now, in order to keep moving, I'm skipping over titles already covered earlier when I get up to their place on the list.

Below is a complete index of the series in # order:


  • 1 - wcwio "We Can Work It Out"
  • 2 - edaw "Eight Days A Week"
  • 3 - ailh "And I Love Her"
  • 4 - dt "Day Tripper"
  • 5 - sly "She Loves You"
  • 6 - h! "Help!"
  • 7 - ygtltg "You're Going To Lose That Girl"
  • 8 - nr "No Reply"
  • 9 - ywsm "You Won't See Me"
  • 10 - iwbl "It Won't Be Long"
  • 11 - gds "Good Day Sunshine"
  • 12 - ssss "She Said She Said"
  • 13 - yngmym "You Never Give Me Your Money"
  • 14 - hj "Hey Jude"
  • 15 - ishkb "I Should Have Known Better"
  • 16 - tyg "Thank You Girl"
  • 17 - atal "Any Time At All"
  • 18 - ygthyla "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away"
  • 19 - ibb "I'll Be Back"
  • 20 - b "Birthday"
  • 21 - lmd "Love Me Do"
  • 22 - ppm "Please Please Me"
  • 23 - triple Intro to "Strawberry Fields Forever", "A Day In The Life", and "I Am The Walrus"
  • 24 - twst "Things We Said Today"
  • 25 - wmggw "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
  • 26 - ishst "I Saw Her Standing There"
  • 27 - aml "All My Loving"
  • 28 - fmty "From Me To You"
  • 29 - m1 "Misery"
  • 30 - psily "PS I Love You"
  • 31 - tap "There's A Place"
  • 32 - dywtkas "Do You Want To Know A Secret"
  • 33 - amw "Ask Me Why"
  • 34 - igy "I'll Get You"
  • 35 - covers1 Cover Songs on _Please Please Me_
  • 36 - aigtd "All I've Got To Do"
  • 37 - dbm "Don't Bother Me"
  • 38 - lc "Little Child"
  • 39 - hmt "Hold Me Tight"
  • 40 - iwbym "I Wanna Be Your Man"
  • 41 - nast "Not A Second Time"
  • 42 - covers2 Cover Songs on _With The Beatles_
  • 43 - iwthyh "I Want To Hold Your Hand"
  • 44 - tb "This Boy
  • 45 - cbml "Can't Buy Me Love"
  • 46 - ycdt "You Can't Do That"
  • 47 - icyn "I Call Your Name"
  • 48 - ltsep _Long Tall Sally_ EP
  • 49 - ahdn "A Hard Day's Night"
  • 50 - iif "If I Fell"
  • 51 - ihjtdwy "I Happy Just To Dance With You"
  • 52 - tmw "Tell Me Why"
  • 53 - ici "I'll Cry Instead"
  • 54 - wigh "When I Get Home"
  • 55 - iff "I Feel Fine"
  • 56 - saw "She's A Woman"
  • 57 - ial "I'm A Loser"
  • 58 - readme "Notes on the 'Notes on' Series"
  • 59 - bib "Baby's In Black"
  • 60 - ifts "I'll Follow The Sun"
  • 61 - elt "Every Little Thing"
  • 62 - idwtstp "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party"
  • 63 - wyd "What You're Doing"
  • 64 - covers3 "Cover Songs on _Beatles For Sale_"
  • 65 - ttr "Ticket To Ride"
  • 66 - yii "Yes It Is"
  • 67 - tmwys "Tell Me What You See"
  • 68 - ylmtm "You Like Me Too Much"
  • 69 - id "I'm Down"
  • 70 - tnb "The Night Before"
  • 71 - iny "I Need You"
  • 72 - ag "Another Girl"
  • 73 - iol "It's Only Love"
  • 74 - ijsaf "I've Just Seen A Face"
  • 75 - y "Yesterday"
  • 76 - covers4 "Cover Songs on _Help!_ and _Beatles VI_"
  • 77 - dmc "Drive My Car"
  • 78 - nw "Norwegian Wood"
  • 79 - nm "Nowhere Man"
  • 80 - tfy "Think For Yourself"
  • 81 - tw "The Word"
  • 82 - m4 "Michelle"
  • 83 - wgo "What Goes On"
  • 84 - g "Girl"
  • 85 - ilty "I'm Looking Through You"
  • 86 - iml "In My Life"
  • 87 - w "Wait"
  • 88 - iins "If I Needed Someone"
  • 89 - rfyl "Run For Your Life"
  • 90 - faqatnos Frequently Asked Questions About the "Notes On..." Series
  • 91 - pw_and_r "Paperback Writer" and "Rain"
  • 92 - t "Taxman"
  • 93 - er "Eleanor Rigby"
  • 94 - ios "I'm Only Sleeping"
  • 95 - lyt "Love You Too"
  • 96 - ys "Yellow Submarine"
  • 97 - aybcs "And Your Bird Can Sing"
  • 98 - htae "Here, There, and Everywhere"
  • 99 - fno "For No One"
  • 100 - dr "Doctor Robert"
  • 101 - iwtty "I Want to Tell You"
  • 102 - gtgyiml "Got To Get You Into My Life"
  • 103 - tnk "Tommorow Never Knows"
  • 104 - pl "Penny Lane"
  • 105 - sff "Strawberry Fields Forever"
  • 106 - splhcb "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"
  • 107 - walhfmf "With a Little Help From My Friends"
  • 108 - litswd "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds"
  • 109 - gb "Getting Better"
  • 110 - fah "Fixing a Hole"
  • 111 - slh "She's Leaving Home"
  • 112 - bftbomk "Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite"
  • 113 - wywy "Within You Without You"
  • 114 - wisf "When I'm Sixty-Four"
  • 115 - lr "Lovely Rita"
  • 116 - gmgm "Good Morning, Good Morning"
  • 117 - aditl "Reprise" + "A Day in the Life"
  • 118 - aynil "All You Need is Love"119 - byarm "Baby You're A Rich Man"
  • 120 - hg "Hello Goodbye"
  • 121 - iatw "I Am the Walrus"
  • 122 - mmt "Magical Mystery Tour"
  • 123 - foth "Fool On the Hill"
  • 124 - f "Flying"
  • 125 - bjw "Blue Jay Way"
  • 126 - ymsk "Your Mother Should Know"
  • 127 - lm "Lady Madonna"
  • 128 - til "The Inner Light"
  • 129 - r "Revolution and Revolution I"
  • 130 - bity - "Back in the U.S.S.R."
  • 131 - dp - "Dear Prudence"
  • 132 - go - "Glass Onion"
  • 133 - oo - "Obladi-Oblada"
  • 134 - whp - "Wild Honey Pie"
  • 135 - tcsobb - "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill"
  • 136 - hiawg - "Happiness is a Warm Gun"
  • 137 - mmd - "Martha My Dear"
  • 138 - ist - "I'm So Tired"
  • 139 - b2 - "Blackbird"
  • 140 - p - "Piggies"
  • 141 - rr - "Rocky Raccoon"
  • 142 - dpmb - "Don't Pass Me By"
  • 143 - wdwdiitr - "Why Don't We Do It In the Road"
  • 144 - iw - "I Will"
  • 145 - j - "Julia"
  • 146 - yb - "Yer Blues"
  • 147 - mns - "Mother Nature's Son"
  • 148 - egsthefmamm - "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except For Me And My Monkey"
  • 149 - ss - "Sexy Sadie"
  • 150 - hs - "Helter Skelter"
  • 151 - lll - "Long, Long, Long"
  • 152 - hp - "Honey Pie"
  • 153 - st - "Savoy Truffle"
  • 154 - cbc - "Cry Baby Cry"
  • 155 - r9 - "Revolution #9"
  • 156 - gn - "Good Night"
  • 157 - oans - "Only a Northern Song"
  • 158 - atn - "All Together Now"
  • 159 - hb - "Hey Bulldog"
  • 160 - iatm - "It's All Too Much"
  • 161 - gb - "Get Back"


  • 194 - faab "Free As A Bird"
  • 195 - rl "Real Love"

    Regards,
    Alan (awp@world.std.com)

    ---
    "Thank you for all the cards and letters ..." 120193#90

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    "If you hadn't come back it would have been the epilogue or the news in Welsh." 053192#58

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                    Copyright (c) 1993 by Alan W. Pollack
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