Math & Statistics:  Lennon or McCartney?

 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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09 August 2018 05:08
 

How a Dalhousie mathematician and a Harvard statistician used math to solve a Beatles mystery
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/dal-prof-beatles-music-authorship-math-1.4776241

Lennon or McCartney? Can statistical analysis solve an authorship puzzle?
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-07/asa-lom072718.php

It was a mutual Beatles passion—discovered at a conference on Prince Edward Island—that led Mark Glickman, senior lecturer in statistics at Harvard, and Jason Brown, professor of mathematics at Dalhousie University, to wonder whether a stylometric approach could answer the burning question: Lennon or McCartney?

As Glickman explains, for most Lennon-McCartney songs, it is well-known and well-documented which of the two wrote the song. However, a surprisingly large number of songs (or portions of songs) have disputed authorship. As an example, no one knows who wrote the music for “In My Life,” a track from the 1965 album Rubber Soul, which is ranked 23 on Rolling Stone’s The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Both Lennon and McCartney remembered differently. “So, we wondered whether you could use data analysis techniques to try to figure out what was going on in the song to distinguish whether it was by one or the other,” says Glickman.


I saw this story on the news this morning and thought it might be of particular interest to the musicians here at the forum.

 

 
 
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EN
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09 August 2018 05:24
 
Jan_CAN - 09 August 2018 05:08 AM

How a Dalhousie mathematician and a Harvard statistician used math to solve a Beatles mystery
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/dal-prof-beatles-music-authorship-math-1.4776241

Lennon or McCartney? Can statistical analysis solve an authorship puzzle?
https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-07/asa-lom072718.php

It was a mutual Beatles passion—discovered at a conference on Prince Edward Island—that led Mark Glickman, senior lecturer in statistics at Harvard, and Jason Brown, professor of mathematics at Dalhousie University, to wonder whether a stylometric approach could answer the burning question: Lennon or McCartney?

As Glickman explains, for most Lennon-McCartney songs, it is well-known and well-documented which of the two wrote the song. However, a surprisingly large number of songs (or portions of songs) have disputed authorship. As an example, no one knows who wrote the music for “In My Life,” a track from the 1965 album Rubber Soul, which is ranked 23 on Rolling Stone’s The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Both Lennon and McCartney remembered differently. “So, we wondered whether you could use data analysis techniques to try to figure out what was going on in the song to distinguish whether it was by one or the other,” says Glickman.


I saw this story on the news this morning and thought it might be of particular interest to the musicians here at the forum.

I think the first question I would ask is “who is the lead singer?”  I would suspect that Lennon sang his songs and McCartney his, most of the time.  Lennon sings In My Life, and the song fits his style.  There may have been collaboration, of course.