Alan W. Pollack

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Alan W. Pollack
OriginUnited States
Occupation(s)Musicologist, professor

Alan W. Pollack is an American musicologist best known for having musically analyzed every song released by the English rock band the Beatles. He started the task in 1989 and finished in 2000, with 187 original songs and 25 cover songs. The analyses have come to be known as the "Notes on ..." series, as each is entitled "Notes on 'Love Me Do'", "Notes on 'Help!'" and so on. The notes were released weekly, usually on Wednesdays, on the usenet group.[1]

Gary Burns, editor of the journal Popular Music and Society, groups Pollack with authors and academics such as Wilfrid Mellers, Terence J. O'Grady and Walter Everett who have each advanced the field of musicological study into the Beatles' work.[2] Pollack's song analyses and comments on unifying themes were later incorporated by Everett in his two-volume study The Beatles as Musicians (1999; 2001).[3] The "Notes on …" series is also among the "Recommended Resources" in author and critic Kenneth Womack's 2014 book The Beatles Encyclopedia.[4]

Pollack holds a B.A. in Music from Brooklyn College and both an M.A. and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in Music Theory and Composition. He was an instructor of music theory and composition at Yale University from 1975 to 1977. From 1978 through 2013 he pursued a career in software engineering. Since 2014 he has been working as a freelance classical pianist and musical commentator.


  1. ^ Stone, Nick. "Deconstructing the Beatles: Alan Pollack's 'Notes On...' Series". Learning Musician. Retrieved 18 October 2010.[dead link]
  2. ^ Burns, Gary (2009). "Beatles News: Product line extensions and the rock canon". In Womack, Kenneth (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 228. ISBN 978-0-521-68976-2.
  3. ^ Everett, Walter (2001). The Beatles as Musicians: The Quarry Men Through Rubber Soul. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. xvi, 283, 286, 399. ISBN 0-19-514105-9.
  4. ^ Womack, Kenneth (2014). The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. p. 1081. ISBN 978-0-313-39171-2.

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