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Online Posts Claim Taylor Swift Can’t Read Music. Here’s What She Said

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Online Posts Claim Taylor Swift Can't Read Music. Here's What She Said

For years, fans of Taylor Swift have speculated about the extent of her musical abilities, often focusing on the question of whether or not the extraordinarily popular singer-songwriter can read music.

 

“Fun fact: Taylor Swift Can’t Read Sheet Music. She Plays By Ear!” one Reddit post on the topic claimed, for example. “Does Taylor Swift actually read music notation?” a Quora user asked.
“She most likely writes a melody on a guitar or piano, and then the production is simply built around it. typical ‘reading music’ type of music is very mechanical to compose sometimes, taylor’s melodies are good because they come directly from her own creativity,” one Reddit user commented, while another wrote “I feel like this is the way she was shown doing it in Miss Americana [a documentary about Swift’s career]. She hums a melody into her phone when it comes to her and then works it out from there on a piano or guitar.”
Numerous generic articles with titles such as “15 Of The Most Famous Musicians Who Can’t Read Music,” and “10 legendary musicians who never learned to read music,” also have addressed the question.
Swift answered the question herself in a 2009 Rolling Stone interview in which she said, “I can’t read music. I can a little bit,” adding that “when you’re reading music for me it turns into math”:
As of June 2024, we have not found any more-recent interviews with Swift in which she discusses her ability to read music. We have contacted her representatives for comment and will update this article if we receive a response.
It’s worth underscoring that it is possible for a pop artist not to engage with sheet music at all in the creative process and opt for a more intuitive approach, yet still be quite successful. Moreover, the fact that Swift can play piano and guitar and compose songs demonstrates she has musical ability. Even the one-note structure of many of her songs, as highlighted in a 2017 BBC article titled “Why does Taylor Swift write so many one-note melodies?” reveals an intrinsic musical flair, according to the author:
This isn’t the first time we have investigated a Swift-related rumor. In May 2024, we looked at whether Swift really burned 138 tons of jet fuel visiting her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, over three months. In April 2024, we debunked a video clip supposedly showing Swift expressing opposition to same-sex marriage

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