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Does your ring have a tone?

This post gives me an opportunity to publish the same one across two of my blogs. You are either reading this on With Just A Hint Of Mayhem or With Just A Hint Of Learning click on the name of the one that you’re not reading to check out more of my blogging collection. But they do have a slightly different title in keeping with the style of each blog.

I am sure that the majority of you are familiar with the famous (or infamous) Nokia ringtone. But how many of you know where it came from? Firstly before polyphonic sounds were available on mobile phones the Nokia tone existed in it’s more primitive form. The melody was chosen from a piece composed by a Spanish musician, Francisco Tarrega, in 1902. The age of the music meant that Nokia would not have to pay any royalties.

But it’s how the tone transformed into its polyphonic version that interests me. In the early 1990s a certain Mr Thomas Dolby was becoming fed up with the music industry and packed his bags and went to Silicon Valley in the USA. While there he set up a company that used polyphonic synthesiser software that enabled a computer to play not just one musical note but quite a combination including playing notes at the same time. His lucky break came when Nokia hired his company to produce a polyphonic update of the Nokia ringtone. That polyphonic ringtone synthesiser is now included in every Nokia phone along with many of the competitions devices. It is said that the, in my opinion, annoying ring tone can be heard more than two billion times each day. Now that is a lot of calls!

Thomas Dolby has now decided to make a comeback into the music world. He is touring soon and also has a new album; ‘A Map Of The Floating City’ out now. It is his first album for around 19 years, which is an even bigger gap between releases than the Stone Roses first two and Kate Bush’s last two combined. The album also features input from a number of other artists including; Mark Knopfler, Regina Spektor and Imogen Heap. The track listing is;

  1. Nothing New Under The Sun
  2. Spice Train
  3. Evil Twin Brother
  4. A Jealous Thing Called Love
  5. Road To Reno
  6. The Toad Lickers
  7. 17 Hills
  8. Love Is A Loaded Pistol
  9. Oceanea
  10. Simone
  11. To The Lifeboats

Below you will find some classic Dolby along with something from his new album. So put your headphones on and enjoy these songs and help block out those annoying ringtones that are probably going off all around you! You can also read the full article at the BBC by clicking here.

About justwilliam1959

I've been on the planet for a more than half a century and I've lost all my hair but not my enthusiasm for life, my wife, reading and music! I started my first blog; With Just A Hint Of Mayhem in February 2009. In May 2011 I began two sister blogs to that first one; With Just A Hint Of Amelia and With Just A Hint Of Learning. A while later I also added the more random Stars In My Glasses to the family :-) Feel free to check them all out and let me know what you think!

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