NEWS
08/08/2018 13:12 EDT | Updated 08/08/2018 13:12 EDT

Did John Lennon Or Paul McCartney Write 'In My Life?' Math Found Out.

A statistical model by Dalhousie and Harvard University researchers analyzed multiple Lennon-McCartney songs.

This 1966 file photo shows The Beatles, from left, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison as they leave London Airport on their trip to the U.S. and Canada.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Files
This 1966 file photo shows The Beatles, from left, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison as they leave London Airport on their trip to the U.S. and Canada.

HALIFAX — Researchers from Canada and the U.S. are using math to unravel one of the greatest musical mysteries of the modern era: Who wrote "In My Life," a nostalgic rock ballad on the Beatles' 1965 album "Rubber Soul."

It's a song both John Lennon and Paul McCartney have laid claim to, sparking an enduring debate on the authorship of the melody.

But a new statistical model developed by researchers at Dalhousie and Harvard universities that was used to analyze multiple Lennon-McCartney songs has concluded that Lennon likely penned "In My Life."

Jason Brown, a mathematics professor at Dalhousie, says the researchers analyzed the Beatles music using five main categories — melody notes, sequences of notes, chords, pairs of chords and melodic contour. Each category was then further broken down, resulting in 149 categories for data collection.

He says the model, which is 80 per cent accurate, found a 98 per cent probability that Lennon write "In My Life."

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