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This Is Our Time – Expo 2020 anthem

This Is Our Time – Expo 2020 anthem

As you might imagine, most of the work of a forensic musicologist takes place behind necessarily closed doors due to commercial sensitivities. Once in a while a project I'm working on makes it to a courtroom, and if the media writes about it, my involvement is out...

Olivia Rodrigo: song similarities

Olivia Rodrigo: song similarities

[JB note: I'm pleased to welcome my friend and colleague Will Bennett as a guest blogger. Will (no relation) is a PhD musicology researcher at Harvard, and also a valued member of the JBMS consultancy team. I asked him a couple of weeks ago what he thought of the...

Writ Parade: Why American songwriters are suing each other

Writ Parade: Why American songwriters are suing each other

The case against Childish Gambino is the latest in a run of copyright claims  Article + interview with Joe Bennett. Words: Tom Wainwright. Originally published in The Economist, 15 May 2021. "You motherfuckers owe me!” raps Donald Glover, better known as Childish...

Eurovision 2021 live musicology blog

Eurovision 2021 live musicology blog

[update: the next day] So, the predictions were mostly reasonably close, although I missed Switzerland completely. Italy won (I predicted 4th), I got France right at 2nd place, and Iceland came 4th (predicted as 3rd). My predicted winner (Malta) actually came in at...

Eurovision 2021 – the Americans are coming!

Eurovision 2021 – the Americans are coming!

[looking for the live-blog and song commentary?] It's Eurovision-eve! Yes, the live musicology blog is back after it, and the contest itself, has been absent for a year. We didn't waste time though: Netflix asked us to analyse all 259 finalists 2010-2019 in...

Eurovision Song Contest research

Eurovision Song Contest research

Regular readers will know that I have been live-blogging the Eurovision Song Contest final since 2011. Every year I sit down in front of the TV, metronome and guitar in hand, and write live musical analysis of the songs in real time, then attempt to predict the winner...

Irving Berlin: Nine Rules for Writing Popular Songs

Irving Berlin: Nine Rules for Writing Popular Songs

Article and interview by Frank Ward O’Malley (1875-1932)Originally published in ‘The American Magazine’, Volume 90, October 1920Transcribed by Joe Bennett from the Google Books version, January 2020 Irving Berlin c.1920 JB comment: This semester, I’m very pleased to...

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