Joe Bennett


Forensic Musicologist

Professor Joe Bennett is a musicologist, writer, and researcher, specializing in popular music and songwriting. He teaches songwriting, music copyright, and song analysis at Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA.  Publications include peer-reviewed articles and chapters relating to forensic musicology, more than 30 music tuition books, and 300+ published articles relating to songwriting, music history, and the guitar. Media appearances include New York Times, NPR, Washington Post, BBC TV, and Discovery Channel; he is currently the resident musicologist for BBC radio in the UK. As an expert witness forensic musicologist, Professor Bennett advises lawyers, publishers, artists, and songwriters on matters of musical similarity. He blogs about songwriting copyright at

About Forensic Musicology

Forensic musicology is the practice of analyzing music to investigate whether part of a musical work or sound recording is copied an earlier one. It is used in music copyright infringement disputes to establish the extent of plagiarism, and in film, radio and TV to ensure that new music is not too derivative of older music. Two main methods are used – musical comparison with prior art research, and audio sample authentication. Forensic Musicologists are objective experts, whose role is to advise their clients on matters of music similarity, songwriters’ creative processes, and music’s cultural context.