In an experiment, three groups of music students transcribed the first 64 seconds of The Beatles’ Please please me.
Analysis of these transcriptions yielded a ninefold typology of polylinear listeners: holistic melodists, holistic formalists, impressionists, melodic conventionalists, semiprofessional generalists, nonmelodic semiprofessional generalists, nonprofessional melodic generalists, semiprofessional rhythmicians, and holistic graphicians.
This according to “Dynamics of polylinearity in popular music: Perception and apperception of 64 seconds of Please please me (1963)” by Tomi Mäkelä, an article published in Beatlestudies. III: Proceedings of the Beatles 2000 Conference (Jyväskylä: Jyväskylän Yliopisto, 2001, pp. 129–38).
Below, the boys get polylinear on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Related article: The Beatles and “Please please me” November 1962
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