Data Tripper: Distinguishing Authorship of Beatles Songs Through Data Science

The songwriting duo of John Lennon and Paul McCartney—the two founding members of the Beatles—has composed some of the most popular and memorable songs of the last century. Despite having authored songs under the joint credit agreement of Lennon-McCartney, it is well-documented that most of their songs or portions of songs were primarily written by exactly one of the two. Some Lennon-McCartney songs, such as “In My Life,” are actually of disputed authorship; both Lennon and McCartney individually remembered having written the music.

Can data science help resolve such disputes?

Mark Glickman, senior lecturer on statistics at Harvard University, will explore how statistics can be used to classify musical style, distinguish features particular to specific songwriters, and ultimately address how to predict who wrote a song of disputed authorship. No mathematical or statistical background is required to attend this talk, which will be accompanied by musical demonstrations.

Find out more about Glickman by visiting his website. For more about his work—musical and more—try visiting one or more of the following links:

Mark Glickman

The Facts

When: Sunday, July 28, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Where: Colorado Convention Center, Four Seasons Ballroom 1
Who: Mark Glickman, Harvard University
Why: Music, statistics, and solving a mystery. What could be more fun?

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