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Doctor Who theme music

The Doctor Who theme music was one of the first electronic music signature tunes for television, and after more than a half century remains one of the most easily recognised. The original theme was composed by Ron Grainer and realised by Delia Derbyshire of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, with assistance from Dick Mills and was released as a single on Decca F 11837 in 1964. The various parts were built up using musique concrète techniques, by creating tape loops of an individually struck piano string and individual test oscillators and filters. The Derbyshire arrangement served, with minor edits, as the theme tune up to the end of season 17 (1979–80). It is regarded as a significant and innovative piece of electronic music, recorded well before the availability of commercial synthesisers or multitrack mixers. Each note was individually created by cutting, splicing, speeding up and slowing down segments of analogue tape containing recordings of a single plucked string, white noise, and the simple harmonic waveforms of test-tone oscillators, intended for calibrating equipment and rooms, not creating music. New techniques were invented to allow mixing of the music, as this was before the era of multitrack tape machines. On hearing the finished result, Grainer asked, "Jeez, Delia, did I write that?" Although Grainer was willing to give Derbyshire the co-composer credit, it was against BBC policy at the time.

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