I first became familiar with British composer, musician, and music presenter extraordinaire Howard Goodall on August 7, 2017, when his documentary Sgt. Pepper’s Musical Revolution aired on Wisconsin Public Television. As a lifelong Beatlephile who knows a thing or two about the Beatles and their music, I was immensely impressed with the quality and content of this documentary. I especially liked his detailed analysis (vis-à-vis Alan W. Pollack) of what makes the music of the Beatles so extraordinary, and his obvious enthusiasm for the subject. After watching this wonderful hour-long (yes, no commercials!) programme, I vowed to do two things:
- Purchase an official DVD copy of Sgt. Pepper’s Musical Revolution
- Find out more about Howard Goodall and his work
#1 Sad to say, periodic searches have only turned up bootleg copies from questionable sources. When will the DVD finally be released?
#2 Somehow I missed it when it was originally broadcast on PBS, but I was delighted to find Howard Goodall’s Big Bangs available through Netflix, so I recently ordered it.
First broadcast in the UK in the autumn of 2000, Howard Goodall’s Big Bangs is a series of 50-minute documentaries on five transformative developments in the history of Western music. They are
- Equal Temperament
- The Piano(forte)
- Recorded Sound
I just finished watching this series, and would highly recommend it for anyone interested in music history.
I enthusiastically look forward to other music documentaries by Howard Goodall. After watching Sgt. Pepper’s Musical Revolution, I believe that he may well be the best person in the world to develop an entire documentary series on the music of The Beatles. Here’s hoping!
There are those who say that if music has mass appeal it can’t also be music of great significance or depth. What The Beatles proved once and for all is that this idea is hopelessly and absurdly wrong. – Howard Goodall
There are very, very few composers in history whose work changed all the music that followed it: Beethoven was one, Wagner was another. I believe that posterity will add to their select ranks The Beatles. – Howard Goodall