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July 27, 2005

Doctor Who theme music

A BBC Radio 2 piece explores how Ron Grainer's Doctor Who theme "still sounds like the pop music of an era we have not got to yet, where all the pop music is made by robots." Also absolutely critical to learn about the role of Delia Derbyshire* in, oh, say, actually recording the theme and her pivotal, not fully recognized, role in the history of electronic music. She was a genius and deserves a posthumous award of some kind.

Doctor Who (1963) (02:21)
... her recording of Ron Grainer's Doctor Who theme, one of the most famous and instantly recognisable TV themes ever. On first hearing it Grainer was tickled pink:
"Did I really write this?" he asked.
"Most of it," replied Derbyshire.

Daphne Oram and story of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop are also important. Once you have given some thought to their work you might take a hand at composing your own with this handy BBC Radiophon-A-Tron. Diddly-Dum and Wee Wah Woo are wonderful but Weirdly Happy brings a tear to my eye. Perhaps this only makes sense if you grew up hiding behind the sofa.

*I am amazed I have not heard Delia Derbyshire's "visionary piece", Ziwzhi Ziwzhi oo-oo-oo from "The Prophet" sampled anywhere. "Reason" is a great Asimov short story. You will soon be chanting along too (too too too).

Ziwzhi Ziwzhi oo-oo-oo-oo
Ziwzhi Ziwzhi oo-oo-oo-oo
Praise to the master,
his wisdom and his glory.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at July 27, 2005 08:54 AM

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Damn. I thought my mother had stopped telling everyone that I used to hide behind the chesterfield when Dr. Who came on (I was six, what can I say?).

Posted by: Nicholas [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 27, 2005 11:58 AM