Joe Bennett has been analysing and transcribing popular music for international publication since 1994. He has written more than 30 books, including transcription, teaching and reference works (published worldwide by Music Sales Group), and more than 300 articles for Total Guitar magazine and others, relating to classic songs, guitar techniques and songwriting. As a songwriter and composer his work is published by World Domination Music, Music Sales Group and Rockschool Ltd. He is a writer member of PRS for Music and an academic member of IASPM (the International Association for the Study of Popular Music).
As an academic, (Dean of Music & Performing Arts, Bath Spa University) Joe’s primary area of research expertise is the psychology of songwriting and similarity thresholds in popular songs. He is currently completing his PhD at the University of Surrey (titled ‘Creativity, Constraint, Collaboration and Copyright in Popular Songwriting’) – for completion early 2014. Joe was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) in 2004 by the UK Higher Education Academy in recognition of his contribution to the teaching and learning of popular music. This award was used to fund a five-year investigation into the creative processes used by songwriters. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
As a forensic musicologist, clients have included Universal Music Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music Publishing, Adelphoi Music, Kassner Music Publishing, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Westbury Music Publishing, Simpson & Marwick solicitors, Van Straten solicitors and Fatfox Music Publishing, as well as many individual songwriters. His work was most recently used in evidence in Naxos v. Salmon (2012). He is listed on the UK Music Publisher’s Association’s Register of Expert Witness Musicologists.
Recent and forthcoming peer-reviewed conference papers/publications:
- Bennett, Joe. Two Worlds Collide: originality and plagiarism in songwriting (IASPM conference, Gijon, Spain, June 2013)
- Bennett, Joe. You Won’t See Me: in search of an epistemology of collaborative songwriting (Art of Record Production, Université Laval, Québec, Canada, July 2013)
- Bennett, Joe. Applying Melodic Analysis to Infer the Extent of Plagiarism in Popular Song Authorship Disputes. (PopMAC conference, University of Liverpool, July 2013)
- Bennett, Joe. “Constraint, Collaboration and Creativity in Popular Songwriting Teams.” In The Act of Musical Composition: Studies in the Creative Process, ed. David Collins, 139–169. SEMPRE Studies in The Psychology of Music. Ashgate, 2012.
- Bennett, Joe. “Collaborative Songwriting – the Ontology of Negotiated Creativity in Popular Music Studio Practice.” Journal on the Art of Record Production, 2011.
 Naxos Rights International Limited V. Project Management (Borders) Limited+Keith Joseph Salmon, 09 October 2012, Lord Glennie (Edinburgh, 2012), http://www.scotcourts.gov.uk/opinions/2012CSOH158.html.