Recent work by a team of statisticians claims to have come up with evidence that can determine whether John Lennon or Paul McCartney wrote certain Beatles tunes, and it’ll put any sports stat freak you know to shame.
Senior statistics lecturer Mark Glickman and Dalhousie University math professor Jason Brown have released a study in which they, along with work from Harvard statistics student Ryan Song, broke down notes/chord progressions/chord transitions/et. al of each Beatles track form 1962-1966 to create five representations that would help determine whether each song was written by Lennon or McCartney. They then developed a three-step process to help come to the conclusion of who wrote what.
Their biggest finding in all of their research? Despite McCartney claiming to have written the music for “In My Life,” it’s statistically more likely it was Lennon, based on all of the various factors from their research.
“So, the probability that ‘In My Life’ was written by McCartney is .018,” says Glickman, “which basically means it’s pretty convincingly a Lennon song.”
The whole point of their research? According to Glickman, “This technology can be extended. We can look at pop history and chart the flow of stylistic influence.”
Cool…does that mean someone can finally explain how Fergie is inexplicably still a thing? That would be super!
Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.