The jangly opening chord of The Beatles' hit "A Hard Day's Night" is one of the most recognizable in pop music. Maybe it sounds like nothing more than a guitarist telling his bandmates, "Hey, we're doing a song here, so listen up." But for decades, guitarists have puzzled over exactly how that chord was played.
Over the years, Lennon and McCartney have revealed who really wrote what, but some songs are still up for debate. The two even debate between themselves — their memories seem to differ when it comes to who wrote the music for 1965's "In My Life."
Mathematics professor Jason Brown spent 10 years working with statistics to solve the magical mystery. Brown's the findings were presented on Aug. 1 at the Joint Statistical Meeting in a presentation called "Assessing Authorship of Beatles Songs from Musical Content: Bayesian Classification Modeling from Bags-Of-Words Representations."