Pop music in America the focus of the semester’s final Research Unplugged

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Vincent Benitez, associate professor of music theory in Penn State’s School of Music, will give this year's final Research Unplugged talk, “Pop! America’s Enduring Love for Popular Music” at 12:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at Schlow Centre Region Library.

The Research Unplugged series, now in its 11th year, brings together Penn State researchers and the State College community for lively public discussions.

This week, Benitez will give the audience a guided tour — with many musical examples along the way — of pop music’s most important and exciting songs and performers.

Benitez, who has been a member of the School of Music faculty since 2005, received his doctorate in music theory from Indiana University. He specializes in music of the 20th and 21st centuries and is a recognized expert on the music of the late French composer Olivier Messiaen. In addition, Benitez has authored articles and reviews in "The Album: A Guide to Pop Music’s Most Provocative, Influential, and Important Creations" and wrote the book "The Words and Music of Paul McCartney: The Solo Years." His interest in the music of the Beatles has resulted in a popular online Gen Ed course on the Fab Four’s music (MUSIC 109: The Music of the Beatles) that he wrote for Penn State non-music majors. In addition, Benitez has delivered numerous lectures on popular music including a talk on the music of Paul McCartney and Elvis Costello at the International Conference on Analyzing Popular Music at the University of Liverpool.

Research Unplugged events are free and open to the public. A question-and-answer session is part of the program.

The Research Unplugged series is made possible with the support of Penn State and Schlow Centre Region Library. For additional information, contact series coordinator Melissa Beattie Moss at mbmoss@psu.edu or 814-865-2614.

Last Updated November 12, 2014