Reuters “Expert testifies Stairway to Heaven chord progression used 300 years ago” https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/jun/17/music-expert-testifies-stairway-to-heaven-led-zeppelin-trial
また、ZEP側の証人として、音楽学者のLawrence Ferrara氏が証言。それによると、２つの曲の「類似」というのは「半音ずつ下がってゆく短調のメロディ進行（descending chromatic minor line progression）」ということであり、それ自体としては300年前から存在するものであり、ポップ・ソングでも多く使われている。また、ジミー・ペイジ自身も「半音ずつ下がっていく構造」はありふれたものだと証言している。例えば『メアリー・ポピンズ』の「チム・チム・チェリー」*3。ところで、Lawrence Ferraraという音楽学者は検索すると２人出てくる。米国の西海岸と東海岸というか、桑港音楽院のLawrence Ferraraさん*4と紐育大学のLawrence Ferraraさん*5。どっちなのかと思った。桑港のLFさんはギタリストでもあるというし、こっちの方かと思ったけれど、Los Angels Timesの記事を読むと、紐育のLFさんである；
Also on Friday, Led Zeppelin musician John Paul Jones testified that his former bandmate Jimmy Page had never mentioned American band Spirit, whose song Led Zeppelin is being accused of stealing a riff from its 1971 hit Stairway to Heaven.
Jones, 70, appeared in federal court in Los Angeles on Friday in a copyright infringement trial in which the British rock band is accused of copying the opening riff to Stairway to Heaven from the 1967 instrumental Taurus by Spirit.
When asked if guitarist Page, the co-writer of Stairway, had ever mentioned Spirit, Jones said no.
Jones also said that he himself had never heard of Spirit until the current lawsuit that was brought in 2014 by Michael Skidmore, a trustee for Randy Wolfe, the late guitarist of Spirit and composer of Taurus.
Lawrence Ferrara, who teaches musicology at New York University, moved from the witness stand to a seat at an electric piano to demonstrate various points he made about the two songs, testifying that their dissimilarities vastly outnumber the similarities.
The debate over the two songs largely comes down to a 10-second musical theme that appears around the middle of the two-minute-long "Taurus," an instrumental from Spirit’s 1968 debut album. The album was released three years before "Stairway to Heaven" surfaced on Zeppelin’s untitled fourth album, commonly referred to as "Led Zeppelin IV."
Ferrara testified that from a musicological standpoint, perceived similarities between the two songs are “absolutely meaningless,” and only reflect “commonplace” musical elements used for hundreds of years.
He disputed the heavy emphasis an expert for Wolfe’s estate put on three pairs of notes that appear in both songs, saying it would be like plucking the words "and the" from successive sentences in a paragraph and suggesting they were copied.
Ferrara acknowledged that "Taurus" and "Stairway" share the same downward progression of notes – referred to in court as a descending chromatic line – but said the sequence was a commonly deployed musical device.
"They are a musical building block that no one can possibly own," Ferrara said of the chromatic lines.
To illustrate his point, Ferrara played parts of several well-known songs, including the Beatles' "Michelle,” saying all have a similar structure. The similarity in sound between “Taurus” and some of the songs, he said, was far closer than "Taurus" and "Stairway."
(Randy Lewis and Joel Rubin “Led Zeppelin's three surviving members briefly share courtroom at 'Stairway to Heaven' trial” http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-led-zeppelin-copyright-20160617-snap-story.html )
*2:See also http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20070628/1183032395 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20070908/1189184035 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20090206/1233850486 http://d.hatena.ne.jp/sumita-m/20091212/1260600703