Music News

“Japanese Beethoven” Admits to Being a Fake

If you’re into modern symphonic music, you may have run across the name Mamoru Samuragochi, a Japanese composer who, although deaf, produced stunning music like this.

Crazy, huh?  He also provided music for a number of video games, including Resident Evil. No wonder he was called the “Japanese Beethoven.”

Only one problem, though.  Since 1996, someone else has been writing his material.

The story was that Samuragochi lost his hearing when he was 35 but continued to compose using his sense of absolute pitch.  Like Beethoven, he was allegedly able to transcribe the music he heard in his head into standard musical notation.  He became quite the star.

But starting in 1996, Samuragochi began to rely on someone else–an unnamed ghost writer (rumoured to be a music teacher named Aragaki Takashi)–to compose works in his name.

This is awkward.  Not only has Samuragochi been disgraced and his record company flabbergasted, Japanese figure skater Daisuke Takahashi is annoyed that he’ll have to perform one of his routines to Samuragochi’s Sonatina for Violin.

The full story at the BBC.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38170 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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