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Free “Music Copyright Checker” Instantly Finds % Similarity of Melodies

Photo of Dr. Ethan Lustig, Forensic Musicology Expert

Dr. Ethan Lustig, Forensic Musicologist

With these tools—designed by forensic musicologist Dr. Ethan Lustig—users can input any two melodies or rhythms and quickly & easily see their similarity %.

The cool thing about these tools is, they're "smart": they can "understand" and compare melodies in different keys, and rhythms at different speeds.”
— Ethan Lustig, Ph.D.
NEW YORK CITY, USA, January 8, 2024 / -- Musicians, producers, and legal professionals rejoice—a pair of sophisticated free tools to analyze and compare musical passages with unprecedented precision is here. The Melody Comparison and Rhythm Comparison tools—available at—use advanced algorithms and state-of-the-art technology to determine a no-nonsense, similarity percentage value between any two melodies or rhythms. Find out if someone copied your melody, or avoid lawsuits by checking your melody against something that came before.

In short, these tools—designed by forensic musicologist Dr. Ethan Lustig—allow users to input any two melodies or rhythms and quickly and easily see their similarity percentage.

Dr. Lustig, who has worked major federal copyright cases (including Bad Bunny’s “Safaera”), developed these tools to empower musicians and attorneys interested in a quick initial check of two melodies. The tools automatically move both melodies to the same musical key, solving a problem that previously confused non-experts interested in comparing melodies. The tools are "smart" in two ways, says Dr. Lustig. First, they can 'understand' and compare melodies in different keys, and rhythms at different speeds. Second, it doesn't just do a note-for-note comparison, it leverages a mathematical method called 'edit distance'. "For example, if you input ‘Do Re Mi vs. Do Re Mi Mi’, the tool actually knows that the second melody is very close to the first one—just with one extra note inserted at the end," says Dr. Lustig.

The tools were inspired by Dr. Lustig’s own methodology in his forensic musicology reports, where he often conducts separate analyses of both pitch and rhythm. “Analyzing pitch and rhythm separately—getting separate percentages for those two aspects independently—can often lead to more fruitful evidence in a forensic musicology case,” says Dr. Lustig. (You can review his primer on basic musicology concepts like pitch, rhythm, and more.)

For instance, in the current "All I Want For Christmas Is You" lawsuit involving Mariah Carey, the two songs are fundamentally different in both their pitch and rhythmic profiles, says Dr. Lustig (see his analysis of that case at


The Melody Comparison tool determines the similarity percentage between two series of pitches. It employs a key-finding algorithm to transpose melodies to a common key, making an accurate comparison possible. The user simply enters the melodies on the provided virtual piano, and they can see and hear the score playback of their melody. Then they click on “Compare Melodies” to get a similarity percentage (or in some cases, a range of percentages).

The Rhythm Comparison tool allows users to set a metronome speed and tap out their rhythms, which are then displayed in notation and can be played back to confirm that they are correct. Selecting “Compare Rhythms” will present the user with a similarity percentage for the two rhythms.


Are automated tools like these the future of forensic musicology? Will they replace the need for a real expert analysis?

According to Dr. Lustig, there is still no substitute for a real musicologist: “These tools were developed to help people compare two melodies or rhythms for overall similarity. However, there are many contextual, piece-specific factors to consider in analyzing similarity in a copyright case. There is also ‘prior art’, a critical element that only a forensic musicologist can adequately research. These tools are a good start, but they're no replacement for a real expert forensic musicology analysis.”

You can try the free Melody Comparison and Rhythm Comparison tools for yourself at:


Dr. Ethan Lustig is an expert forensic musicologist, holding three degrees in music theory. His research has been presented and published internationally. Dr. Lustig was the editor for The Architecture of Music, the music theory encyclopedia. He has provided forensic musicology and copyright consultation for numerous law firms, working famed federal cases including Bad Bunny's “Safaera.” A seasoned educator, Dr. Lustig has taught music theory, production, composition, audio engineering, and ear training to hundreds of students. Dr. Lustig has provided his music-analytical opinion on TV networks including ABC and CBS. Dr. Lustig also has extensive experience as a professional composer and audio engineer, with his music featured by companies such as Adobe.


Ethan Lustig, Ph.D.
Forensic Musicologist
+1 585-210-0688
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