iTunes Uncovers Musical Fraud

Feb 21st, 2007 | By | Category: iPods & Portable Media Players, Strange

Joyce HattoThe recordings of a British concert pianist who found fame in the last years of her life have been exposed as hoaxes – by Apple’s iTunes music player.

Joyce Hatto, who died in June 2006, has become a cause célèbre with fans of classical piano. A series of recordings appeared to show her masterful command of a wide range of composers including Liszt, Schubert, Rachmaninov, Dukas and more.

Last week, a critic at the Gramophone magazine got a surprise when he put a Hatto recording of Liszt’s 12 Transcendental Studies into his computer. The iTunes player identified the disc as being recorded by another pianist, L√°szlo Simon. The critic dug out the Simon album and found it sounded exactly the same as the Hatto one.

iTunes had stumbled on a hoax. The Gramophone critic tried another disc, this time of Hatto playing Rachmaninov, and again iTunes identified it as belonging to someone else.

Examinations of the waveforms of Hatto recordings confirmed what iTunes had suggested. Many are direct copies of other pianist’s work, while some are tweaked versions where a recording has simply been slowed down.

Hatto’s husband, who produced and released the music, says he cannot explain the similarities.

via New Scientist Technology Blog

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