TV, film and advertising

Was the music commissioned with a particular style or feel in mind? Does it achieve its goals without infringing a copyright? Does the finished product sound too much like the reference tracks? How similar is the composition to earlier repertoire?

Music for media

Where bespoke music is used with the moving image, it is often required to create deliberate cultural allusions. Directors may have a style, artist or composition in mind when commissioning a composer, and musicologist reports can assist both parties in ensuring that the cultural allusion is preserved without inadvertently infringing the copyright of a particular work. Past clients include law firms, ad agencies, film/TV production companies, music libraries, and individual media composers.

Recent project | “Soul Groove” (2022)

A well-known food and drinks brand was using its own music in a Soul/R&B style in an ongoing TV ad campaign. The publishers of a classic Soul artist contacted the brand, because they believed that the ad music may have been derived from their artist’s work. Dr Bennett used repertoire research and melodic congruence analysis to demonstrate that both works were separate and original, and that the superficial similarity between them was ascribable only to commonplace production elements such as tempo, arrangement, and instrumentation. The parties discussed the matter in the context of Dr Bennett’s report, and litigation was avoided. 

Recent project | “Anthem” (2021)

In 2021 Dr Bennett assisted a major international event planning agency who had commissioned an anthem to be played for a corporate event. The composers had been asked to listen to a number of classic anthems for inspiration, and the client was concerned that the finished composition contained melodies that sounded too similar to a well-known earlier work. Dr Bennett used melodic comparison and historical research to demonstrate that the melodies were in fact dissimilar, and also that the melodic ideas in both works were commonplace fragments that appeared in many earlier works, including some that were out of copyright.

Recent project | “Heroic” (2021)

In 2021 Dr Bennett acted for a London-based music and sound design company, who had commissioned some ‘heroic’ music for a movie project. The client had concerns that the work was melodically slightly similar to a well-known film score, and was reluctant to submit the composition for production until this issue was resolved. Dr Bennett used melodic comparison, spectrum analysis, audio beat-matching, and historical research, to demonstrate that a particular fragment of the main theme was inadvertently copied from the earlier work, and provided recommendations to the composers to ensure that the finished product was a fully original work.