Although the inference to two musical composers of the song “Day in the Life” was in fact accurate, the character of the inference as such was by no means indubitable. It is not impossible for the same composer to have two different stamps of creativity. Consider only the early and late John Lennon. The transition at the album Rubber Soul, but even more pointedly at the song “Tomorrow Never Knows,” is palpable. What comes before is quite different.
So, let’s take another song with two quite distinct moments. “Behind Blue Eyes” by The Who. Its soft melodic musing in the first 2/3 is quite contrasted by its thrashing in the last 1/3, which closes with a bookend reprise of the first 2/3. The melodies are quite different. The beats. The vocal tone. The lyrical themes. We find in fact a schema similar to that which we found with “A Day in the Life.” Part 1 has characteristics R, S, T, U. And Part 2 has characteristics V, W, X, Y. However, in this case, an inference to two composers would in fact be false. Another example of a similar case of single authorship of a song with two distinct parts is Stairway to Heaven.
My apologies for the lamentable character of the lyrics of the songs of the examples. Had I a better musical history in my teen years, I could reference Bluegrass. Alas. But one could also think of the Second Movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. So utterly distinct from the Third Movement.
The point of today’s reflection is to take sober stock of the limitations of the character of this kind of inference.