Ph.D. dissertations

Rush music has been the subject of academic study in three Ph.D. dissertations, all of them submitted in the early 2000s. The first, by Brian Walsh, uses traditional and new analytical tools for tracking the stylistic evolution of Rush’s music through its first four studio albums. The second, by Chris McDonald, looks at the band and its music through an ethnomusicology lens (gender, race, class). And the third, by Durrell Bowman, looks at the appeal of the band’s music to a “post-countercultural” class of young people who put a premium on musical technique rather than on the revolutionary aesthetic of the 1960s.

Durrell Scott Bowman

“Permanent Change: Rush, Musician’s Rock, and the Progressive Post Counterculture,”(Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles, 2003)
Full text
Q&A with Rush Vault
Bowman’s other scholarly Rush articles:
“Let Them All Make Their Own Music: Individualism, Rush and the Progressive / Hard Rock Alloy,” in Progressive Rock Reconsidered, Kevin Holm-Hudson (ed), Routledge, 2002

Christopher J. McDonald

“Grand Designs: A Musical, Social and Ethnographic Study of Rush,” (Ph.D. Dissertation, York University, 2002)
Q&A with Rush Vault
McDonald’s other scholarly Rush articles:
“‘Making Arrows Out of Pointed Words’: Critical Reception, Taste Publics and Rush,” Journal of American and Comparative Cultures, September 2002
“‘Open Secrets’: Individualism and Middle-Class Identity in the songs of Rush,” Popular Music and Society, July 2008

Brian M. Walsh

“Structure, Function, and Process in the Early Song Cycles and Extended Songs of the Canadian Rock Group Rush,”(Ph.D. Dissertation, Ohio State University, 2002)
Abstract and full text

Other scholarly articles

“Rand, Rush and Rock,” The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, Fall 2002, Chris Matthew Sciabarra

“Rand, Rush, and De-totalizing the Utopianism of Progressive Rock,” The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, Fall 2003, Steven Horowitz

 Book reviews

 This and That.

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