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AI used to solve disputed songwriting credits of Beatles hits | The Independent

AI used to solve disputed songwriting credits of Beatles hits | The Independent

AI used to solve disputed songwriting credits of Beatles hits | The Independent
July 06
10:40 2019

The contested origins of The Beatles’ hits penned under the writing partnership of Paul McCartney and John Lennon could be put to bed by artificial intelligence (AI) software which can identify each artist’s musical influence.

US researchers from Harvard University trained a machine learning algorithm on hundreds of the Fab Four’s hits to build a “musical fingerprint” for each songwriter.

It was then asked to assess eight iconic songs, or musical fragments, recorded between 1962 and 1966, where debate rages over who was the major influence.

This includes tracks like “A Hard Day’s Night” and “In My Life” which are credited to the “Lennon-McCartney partnership”, but are widely believed to be entirely written by one or the other of the pair.

The findings, published in Harvard Data Science Review, allow for each artist’s influences on the song to be assessed, and predicts the probability that either McCartney or Lennon were chiefly responsible.

He went as far as reversing the song credits to read “McCartney-Lennon” in a 2002 album – to the annoyance of Lennon’s widow, artist Yoko Ono.

Most of the eight songs of contested authorship were predicted to be predominantly in Lennon’s style, including tracks like “Ask Me Why” and the bridge to “A Hard Day’s Night” which McCartney sang and has suggested in previous interviews he had a role in.

“In My Life”, which Rolling Stone magazine ranked, in 2011, the 23rd greatest song of all time has “garnered the greatest amount of speculation about its true author”, the researchers said.

Source: AI used to solve disputed songwriting credits of Beatles hits | The Independent

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Martin Nethercutt

Martin Nethercutt

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