Harvard study shows Paul didn't write melody to "In My Life"

Findings from a new computer-modeling study indicate Paul McCartney didn't write the melody to the Beatles' "In My Life," no matter what Paul says.

Paul has often taken credit for the tune, telling broadcaster Paul Gambaccini: "Those were the words John wrote, and I wrote the tune to it. That was a great one."

John, however, insisted only the ‘middle-eight’ and harmonies were Sir Paul's work.

But a computer analysis of nearly 149 different musical hallmarks present in various Lennon and McCartney songs give credit for both words and music to John.

According to the Daily Telegraph:

“We wondered whether you could use data analysis techniques to try to figure out what was going on in the song to distinguish whether it was by one or the other," said Dr Mark Glickman, senior lecturer in statistics at Harvard University.

“The basic idea is to convert a song into a set of different data structures that are amenable for establishing a signature of a song using a quantitative approach. Think of decomposing a colour into its constituent components of red, green and blue with different weights attached.

“The probability that 'In My Life' was written by McCartney is .018. Which basically means it's pretty convincingly a Lennon song. McCartney misremembers.”

... [The researchers] found a major distinction. While the pitch of Sir Paul’s songs was complex and varied, Lennon’s did not change much at all.

"Consider the Lennon song, 'Help!'" added Dr Glickman. "It basically goes, 'When I was younger, so much younger than today,' where the pitch doesn't change very much.

“It stays at the same note repeatedly, and only changes in short steps. Whereas with Paul McCartney, you take a song like 'Michelle.’' In terms of pitch, it's all over the place."