Ethan Lustig, Ph.D. Expert Witness
Curriculum Vitae

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Specialties & Experience of this Expert Witness

General Specialties:

Music & Entertainment and Audio

Specialty Focus:

Forensic musicology, forensic musicologist, music copyright, copyright infringement, compare two songs


PhD (Music Theory), Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester; MA (Music Theory), Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester; BA (Music Theory), University of British Columbia

Additional Information

Dr. Ethan Lustig specializes in systematically comparing and analyzing musical passages, holding three degrees in music theory: a B.A. from the University of British Columbia, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester. Dr. Lustig's research has been published in academic peer-reviewed journals, where he used statistical approaches to vocal melody, rhythm, and groove in popular music. He has presented his research internationally and has been recognized by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, receiving their prestigious Fellowship for his research contributions. Dr. Lustig was the editor for the music theory encyclopedia, The Architecture of Music and has provided forensic musicology and copyright consultation for numerous clients including law firms (see list below), music technology startup Avec Audio, and TV production company EtherWorks Media. 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. Clients/cases include: • Johnson and Johnson, LLP Law Firm (Beverly Hills, CA): I produced a detailed musicological report concerning a global Billboard hit. The case has been filed as a federal lawsuit. Client: Neville L. Johnson. • Heninger Garrison Davis, LLC Law Firm (Birmingham, AL): My in-depth expert opinion on music used in a Fortune Top 5 corporation's TV commercial. Client: W. Lewis Garrison, Jr. • McLaughlin & Stern, LLP Law Firm (NYC): I was asked to produce an opinion letter on alleged infringement in rap music. Client: Chester R. Ostrowski. • Billionaire Burke (NYC): Assessment of two hip-hop songs. I offer a unique set of assets: • My educational background in Music Theory (B.A., M.A., and Ph.D.) gives me a systematic way to compare melodies, rhythms, and chords (I have published on the subject in academic journals: see • I have over a decade of experience teaching & communicating music theory concepts to students of all ages, including many who lack formal training and can't read music. This lets me communicate advanced concepts clearly to laypersons. • I'm not just an academic: I also work in the music industry as a producer, songwriter, and audio engineer for film & TV. My forensic musicology services include: • An expert opinion letter or "preliminary assessment" using musicological analysis to confirm or refute whether two pieces of music are substantially similar (potential for copyright infringement). • A detailed musicological report using in-depth, systematic musicological expert analysis comparing the works in question for similarities and differences. • Comparing temp tracks or scores in film, TV, and advertising to the new version. • Consulting and appearing in trials or depositions as an expert witness. • An intensive, systematic "prior art" search of my database of thousands of pieces (classical, pop, rock, and more) to find out the prevalence of a given musical pattern in the existing repertoire.