Extremely detailed, track-by-track evaluation of the Physician Who theme music | Boing Boing

Incredibly detailed, track-by-track analysis of the Doctor Who theme music | Boing Boing


This website does just one factor, however does it extremely properly: It provides a nuanced, track-by-track analysis of the Doctor Who theme music originally composed in 1963.

The writers right here — Danny Stewart, Ian Stewart, and Josef Kenny — break down the musical rating of every observe, stating cool particulars I would by no means seen (like the truth that there are two separate bass tracks that type a nifty counterpoint with one another). They’ embrace clips of all the person tracks remoted so you possibly can hear precisely what they’re describing.

They even intently analyze the musical role of the hissing white-noise deployed by Delia Derbyshire (above) and Dick Mills, the BBC tech-music geniuses that coaxed all these wonderful sounds into existence. Within the authentic composition of the music — written on a single sheet of paper — composer Ron Grainer had requested for infrequent atmospheric noises like a “wind bubble” and “cloud”:

All through the theme, bursts of white noise are used so as to add the “clouds” referred to as for within the authentic notes and within the visuals of the title sequence. The primary hiss within the theme is a reasonably lengthy, loud pulse of white noise. This single hiss is available in and goes out softly over the third and fourth bar within the bassline intro, simply earlier than the rhythmic hissing begins. It serves as an “intro hiss,” designed to accompany the titles graphics and in addition organising for the presence of white noise hissing all through the rest of the theme. It fades in with a sequence of fast quantity fluctuations, peaks, then trails away once more.

The rhythmic hissing consists of a sequence of quick bursts of filtered white noise at various pitches. These bursts, or notes, fade in softly however finish abruptly. This is because of the truth that the noise bursts have been generated as percussive sounds after which reversed (with further echo utilized afterward). The flowing hiss sample used within the authentic theme consists of eight repeating notes, forming a sample that repeats constantly. The relative pitch of every be aware is represented by the next numbers, with “1” being the best in pitch:

1, 3, 2, 4, 1, 3, 4, 2

This sample begins midway by the bassline intro with a barely completely different (later) alignment relative to the remainder of the theme. Approaching the primary Melody 1, the alignment shifts into its customary rhythm, and continues to loop this fashion all through the remainder of the theme. The one minor deviation from this sample is a short lived enhance in the amount of the hissing over the second repeat of the bassline solo. The flowing hiss sample ends when the wind bubble begins on the finish of the theme. 

Go read the whole site — it is wonderful.

I want I had an evaluation like this for increasingly pop songs. The precise, nuanced choices of musicians, producers and sound engineers are extremely fascinating, however will be actually arduous to tease aside simply by listening to the combined track.

The closest I’ve come to this are among the higher episodes of Song Exploder, however I discover these episodes — terrific as they typically are — are inclined to gloss over too many manufacturing choices, specializing in just a few excessive factors. In my goals, although, I would like to listen to about each final gnarled and hair-pulled choice within the manufacturing of a track: Each tweak of each knob, each choice made about audio processing, each exhausted redoing of each vocal observe. I’ve performed simply sufficient studio recording of music with my bands to know there is a crazily fascinating quantity of decision-making that goes into each second of a gorgeously-produced track.



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