Ed Sheeran copyright trial: Singer reveals he can’t read music

Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran can’t read music. Pic credit: © Birdie Thompson/AdMedia

The Ed Sheeran trial only just got underway, but already it has blessed the media with interesting fodder.

As Monsters and Critics previously reported, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter has found himself embroiled in a high-profile legal battle after being accused of plagiarizing Marvin Gaye’s iconic song Let’s Get It On in his hit song Thinking Out Loud.

As the legal proceedings in New York unfold, an intriguing revelation has come to light — Sheeran confessed that he couldn’t read sheet music.

The accusation of plagiarism is serious, especially when it involves such a revered artist as Marvin Gaye. 

The similarities between Sheeran’s hit song Thinking Out Loud and Gaye’s Let’s Get It On have been the subject of much debate and analysis. 

Ed Sheeran can’t read sheet music, didn’t receive a musical education

When Ed Sheeran took the stand, he revealed that he couldn’t read music and had no formal music education.

Critics argue that the melodic structure, chord progression, and overall vibe of the two songs bear striking resemblances.

However, Sheeran’s defense team has highlighted his lack of formal music education as a factor in the alleged similarities. 

Sheeran himself openly admitted that he never learned to read or write sheet music, relying instead on his innate musicality and the help of his guitar to compose his songs. 

His unique process involves hearing melodies in his head and translating them into chords on his instrument. This method allows him to create music straight from his heart while bypassing traditional musical training.

“I can’t read music. I’m not classically trained in anything,” Sheeran said.

He previously told the court, “I mash up songs at lots of gigs. Many songs have similar chords. You can go from Let It Be to No Woman No Cry and switch back.” 

Ed Sheeran is in good spirits as the trial against Marvin Gaye’s estate continues

According to sources, Sheeran has remained in good spirits during the trial.

A source told ET, “Ed enjoyed lunch in the public courthouse cafeteria with his team. He seemed to be in a good mood.”

The source continued, “He was taking time to chat with the various members on his team, and it all seemed very lighthearted.”

The trial is currently in its first phase. If the jury finds Sheeran liable for copyright infringement, it will enter a second phase.

During the second phase, the court would make determinations regarding monetary damages from Sheeran and his label.

Ultimately, the verdict will have far-reaching implications for the music industry, copyright law, and the notion of artistic originality. 

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