The Beatles' "Abbey Road": Topic, Persona, and Social Discourse

Timothy Koozin, University of Houston

This paper applies methodologies of topic theory, musical gesture, and virtual agency in an examination of the Beatles' Abbey Road (1969), an album that has been recognized as an artistic highpoint in the Beatles' oeuvre. The study probes the staging of musical agency in the album, with gestural and topical contexts understood to facilitate implied actions and subjectivities of one or more virtual agents inhabiting a personic environment. Drawing upon theoretical methodologies of multiple agency established by Edward T. Cone (1974), Edward Klorman (2017), Robert Hatten (2018), and others, this study of Abbey Road explores the music as social discourse, showing how interactions among the performers form multileveled agential relationships that span groupings of songs and the full album.