The following questions are the most frequent that are asked by new and potential clients. Please take a few moments to read through the whole page – while some of these issues are huge topics within themselves we’ve deliberately tried to be as succinct as possible.

How long does it take to do an analysis?

A report can normally be provided within one week of receipt of instruction and materials. Urgent projects can be turned around on the same day by phone or Zoom meetings.

What’s the cost?

When retaining the services of a musicologist you should budget as you would for a lawyer. Dr. Bennett’s services start with a retainer fee in advance, followed by an hourly rate. Contact us for an estimate based on the scale of your project requirements.

What do I get?

Usually, reports are provided in PDF form. They can be augmented by video or audio as required. All additional materials are provided online with confidential links.

Who are your clients?

Law firms, media companies, advertising agencies, record companies, publishers and individual creators.

Can you provide legal advice?

No. Although Dr. Bennett has considerable knowledge of copyright law as it relates to music, his qualifications and expertise are in music. Musicologists do not provide legal advice, but rather act as advisors to law professionals regarding the facts of the case.

Which countries do you cover?

Most of our work is in the USA, but we also provide consultancy services to international clients all over the world, including the UK, mainland Europe, the UAE, China, and Hong Kong. We are based in Boston, USA.

Is a musicologist’s report unbiased?

Yes. A forensic musicologist is a consultant who provides objective, impartial analysis of the works based on the musical content. In this respect, a musicologist is different from a lawyer, whose role is to advocate for their client. As an expert, the musicologist provides advice regarding the musical facts, and a professional opinion based on analysis.

Can I discuss my project before deciding whether to go ahead?

Email or call us, and let’s set up a time for a pre-consultation.

What about confidentiality?

Confidentiality is assumed, and assured, from the moment you contact us. On retaining Dr. Bennett’s services, you will also receive an engagement agreement with additional information about security and confidentiality.

What should I do if I think my melody has been partially copied?

Partial similarity between musical works is a common phenomenon, and it is not necessarily evidence of plagiarism or copyright infringement. Popular music is a self-referential art form, and composers often use similar melodic, harmonic and lyric ideas, without needing to copy them from any specific work. If you believe that your work has been plagiarised, a musicologist report is only recommended if [a] the earlier work was available as a commercial release and [b] if the similarity is musically extensive (i.e. more than a lyric line, short melodic fragment, basic beat or chord sequence). Dr Bennett receives many enquiries from songwriters who mistakenly believe that their songs have been copied by major artists. Such intentional copying, particularly of melody, is rare in the music industry; melodic similarity is more often the result of coincidence. If you would like Dr Bennett to provide an informal verbal opinion regarding partial similarity, this can be done in a videoconference meeting, and is usually covered by a retainer fee.

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