John Lennon or Paul McCartney? How Mathematics highlighted which member of The Beatles wrote "In my life"

adminJanuary 9, 2019

McCartney and Lennon at a press conference in 1965.Image copyright
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Paul McCartney and John Lennon disagreed on how the Beatles' famous tune & # 39; In my life was composed.

The musical collaboration between John Lennon and Paul McCartney is a frequent cause of debate in the music world.

One of the most excited arguments is who came up with the melody in mand life, one of the most famous ballads of The Beatles.

Although the 1965 lyrics are recognized as some of Lennon's finest, both he and McCartney have claimed authorship In my life.

In fact, all the songs are composed over the years where The Beatles were active they had eLennon-McCartney creditbut not all melodies were the result of joint work between both artists.

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A team of specialists in US statistics claim to have resolved mysteryusingmathematics.

Distinctive patterns

Mark Glickman and Jason Brown told the BBC program More or lace ("More or less") why they think they have finished doubting the writing of the song.

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McCartney said in an interview in 1970 that he had composed the melody for the text "In my life" that Lennon wrote, according to his version.

The team led by Glickman, a professor of statistics at Harvard University, developed an algorithm to analyze up to 70 songs from The Beatles created between the years 1962 and 1966, thus trying to identify repeated patterns in lyrics and music.

For letters, the analysis is done by observing the frequency to which certain types of words are used. This technique is known asstylometry.

It is the same method used by Shakespeare experts at Oxford University, who concluded that the most venerable English author had collaborated with author Christopher Marlowe to compose the three dramas of Henry VI.

The problem with tunes

Analyzing the melodies, however, was a much more complicated task.

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Special features in the compositions of an artist and another, as in the text "Eleanor Rigby" (the statue is a representation) gave scientists clues to establish differences.

First, they needed to collect many minute data from the songs: chord progression, intervals between the notes and the expressions (if the notes went up or down, vice versa or if they remained the same).

"We found out that the different groups of notes they were especially peculiar"Glickman said.

The deconstruction of the songs determined 149 musical components that could become data that the researchers would later use as clues.

"Some of these categories appeared much more in a Lennon song than in a McCartney song, or vice versa," Brown explained.

An example was an octave "jump" in the melody, a distinctive features in two songs whose writings are known to correspond with McCartney: Eleanor Rigby and Love mand dor.

The researchers claim it its algorithm predicts The writing of famous songs by Lennon or McCartney in 80% off case.

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Scientists say they are able to identify dozens of "musical patterns" that can help illuminate the true authorship of songs signed as Lennon-McCartney.

In the 1970s, McCartney told the presenter Paul Gambaccini that he had "written the melody of John's words", refers to in mand life.

but Lennon rejected such a acceptance in an interview published in the magazine playboy in 1980, just a few weeks before his murder December 8 the same year.

"Paul helped me with the middlemen," he said, referring to the song's middle or the second time the choir was shown, toward the beginning of the song.

while in mand life It's not one of the most popular songs of The Beatles – in fact they never played live – are very admired by the music industry's greats.

The prestigious music magazine Rolling Stone came to place it at number 23 on a 500 list best songs of all time.

The verdict

The versions given by Lennon and McCartney do not coincide What is the verdict?

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In My Life, the album "Rubber Soul" by the Beatles, dates back to 1965. The group never played it live, but it is considered one of the best tunes at all times.

The mathematical algorithm confirmsfor Lennon's version, the experts conclude in their analysis.

"The likelihood of that in mand life It was written by McCartney less than 2%, "said Glickman in a statement published by Harvard University earlier this year.

"We believe that the musical content is much more consistent with John's style".

"If you compare in mand life With the songs that Lennon wrote and those that McCartney composed in that period, it is much more consistent with what Lennon did. "

Interestingly, when the researchers analyzed the interlude of the song, they found distinctive patterns of McCartney's compositions.

"The interlaminate sounds like something McCartney wanted to write," Harvard graduated from the news site. inverse.

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