Saturday, 3 July 2010

A Matter of Time: Delia Derbyshire

(05/05/1937 - 03/07/2001)

Delia Derbyshire was an English musician and composer, who is best known for her electronic realisation of Ron Grainer’s theme music to ‘Doctor Who’ in the sixties, as well as for her extensive work with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop during this time.

• Ron Grainer, who had originally composed the theme tune, was so amazed by Derbyshire’s arrangement of his theme that he attempted to get her a co-composer credit, although this was dismissed by the BBC.
• Derbyshire’s interpretation of the theme used electronic oscillators and magnetic audio tape editing, in order to create an eerie and unearthly sound that was unlike anything that had been heard before.
• The theme was constructed by recording the individual notes from electronic sources one by one onto magnetic tape, cutting the tape with a razor blade to get individual notes, and then sticking all the pieces of tape back together to make up the tune.

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