Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Music Quiz

Would I ever do some sort of conventional online music quiz? Not at all. This is a less obvious one.

For at least the last thirty year and going back further I have heard one particular piece of music every day, although not normally if I am out of the country but I certainly did the last time I was out of the country. Bonus points if you can tell me the name of it.

Good on Victor and Lord Sedgwick and Fen. No one has named it though. It is called Majestic Fanfare. Victor must have had an idea though as he called it a fanfare.

No matter what I am doing, when I hear the Majestic fanfare coming from the radio, my attention is drawn. The news is on. This is important. I must tune my ears in. Of course I quickly drift off and miss most of the news, but no matter.

I complained to ABC TV management when they dropped the Majestic Fanfare as their intro music to the tv news. You'll get used it, they (paraphrased) wrote back. Well, I suppose I did, but I have never really gotten used to the latest version. It is not commanding enough. It lacks gravitas.

A short history of ABC news themes follows, compiled by the source called my often defective memory.

There is a brief version used for all ABC radio news broadcasts and a longer one used for the 7.45 local radio news. The present long version and probably the shorter one (a remix?) too were performed by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

I love the broken version news theme JJJ uses, but selfish young people don't seem to have uploaded it to You Tube. Typical of the lazy young.

Well, Ms Ann O'Dyne just added this as a comment. It will help my defective memory, although I'm pushing it down towards the end of the post.

Majestic Fanfare always heralded the tv news until about 1982. I would have said the newer theme started then, but from below, perhaps not. The first You Tube vid below is how it sounded on tv but I think it possibly sounded a bit better in real life.

Back in the early eighties ABC local radio did not take hourly news as seriously as they now do and called their hourly news, News in Brief. It had a totally different music theme, colloquially known as Tarzan's Theme.

Going back further ABC radio news used to punctuate each news item with a gong in between. Now that was real gravitas, never mind that the story was probably days old.

I can't actually recall if we used to hear on the radio the extended version of Majestic Fanfare. The extended version was dropped at some point, but we were turning from Springvale Road onto the Frankston Freeway on our way to a holiday house at Rosebud West when for the first time I heard the brand new long recording of Majestic Fanfare as it heralded in a significant news bulletin. By golly I was impressed. I doubt it was for the 7.45 news. Our ABC has cut back their news bulletin times over the years.

It has been quite interesting researching for this post on You Tube. I have heard lots of old tv news and current affairs themes. I live for now and the future, but I love wallowing in nostalgia. My current will be a person in the future's wallow in nostalgia.

"Majestic Fanfare is a short piece of music written by the British composer Charles Williams in 1935. It was first recorded in 1943 by the Queens Hall Light Orchestra conducted by the composer.

In an abridged form, it came to prominence in Australia: first as the signature tune for radio broadcasts of proceedings from the Parliament of Australia; and then as the signature tune for radio and television news broadcasts by the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC). It was first used for this purpose on 1 January 1952.

The Majestic Fanfare replaced a short version of Advance Australia Fair that had been in use throughout World War II. Further shortening of what was already regarded as a significant national song (it would in 1984 become Australia’s official National Anthem) was regarded as somewhat sacrilegious, while shortening the apolitical Majestic Fanfare was deemed less contentious.

The tune as used by the ABC exists in two formats: an 18-second version that was used for many years, and a 9-second abridged version that was usually used thereafter (although the 18-second version is still played on regional radio and on extended bulletins, such as the daily 7.45am Local Radio bulletins).

On television, Majestic Fanfare was updated in 1982 to celebrate the ABC's 50th anniversary. In 1985, when ABC's evening news bulletin was replaced by The National, Majestic Fanfare was replaced by Alan Hawkshaw's Best Endeavours, then also used by Britain's Channel 4 News bulletins.[1]

In 1987, when ABC TV News was relaunched, Majestic Fanfare did not return. Since then, two Australian-composed tunes have been used. The first titled ABC TV News Theme was written in 1987 by Sydney composers Tony Ansell and Peter Wall. It was used for 19 years. The current ABC TV News theme, composed by Martin Armiger and introduced on Australia Day 2005, incorporates some prominent elements of the original Majestic Fanfare"

This is what followed the Majestic Fanfare for ABC TV news. I became used to it, but it has changed.



This is what ABC TV's Majestic Fanfare sounded like. It sounds very thick and heavy.



Oddly I cannot find the extended ABC Radio news them online. But this is the full version of the composition, I think recorded by a New Zealand orchestra. If you want hear what the present long ABC news them sounds like, that is you are a foreigner, go to 38 seconds to the end. It is not quite what we hear but pretty close.




11 comments:

  1. Anonymous2:40 pm

    Musac?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Opening music to the ABC news.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Lord beat me to it; the ABC news fanfare.

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  4. Pleased that older brains work well. Well done LS and Victor. Will edit the post at some point.

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  5. too slow, was gonna say ABC nooz too!

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  6. "Majestic Fanfare is a short piece of music written by the British composer Charles Williams in 1935. It was first recorded in 1943 by the Queens Hall Light Orchestra conducted by the composer.

    In an abridged form, it came to prominence in Australia: first as the signature tune for radio broadcasts of proceedings from the Parliament of Australia; and then as the signature tune for radio and television news broadcasts by the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC). It was first used for this purpose on 1 January 1952.

    The Majestic Fanfare replaced a short version of Advance Australia Fair that had been in use throughout World War II. Further shortening of what was already regarded as a significant national song (it would in 1984 become Australia’s official National Anthem) was regarded as somewhat sacrilegious, while shortening the apolitical Majestic Fanfare was deemed less contentious.

    The tune as used by the ABC exists in two formats: an 18-second version that was used for many years, and a 9-second abridged version that was usually used thereafter (although the 18-second version is still played on regional radio and on extended bulletins, such as the daily 7.45am Local Radio bulletins).

    On television, Majestic Fanfare was updated in 1982 to celebrate the ABC's 50th anniversary. In 1985, when ABC's evening news bulletin was replaced by The National, Majestic Fanfare was replaced by Alan Hawkshaw's Best Endeavours, then also used by Britain's Channel 4 News bulletins.[1]

    In 1987, when ABC TV News was relaunched, Majestic Fanfare did not return. Since then, two Australian-composed tunes have been used. The first titled ABC TV News Theme was written in 1987 by Sydney composers Tony Ansell and Peter Wall. It was used for 19 years. The current ABC TV News theme, composed by Martin Armiger and introduced on Australia Day 2005, incorporates some prominent elements of the original Majestic Fanfare"

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  7. Oh Ann. Facts on my blog. This is good.

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  8. Tried the Pendulum remix of the 2005-2010 theme?

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  9. Whoops, forgot URL. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iysSJ51sRc

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  10. I quite like it Daniel. The backbeat is a bit too unsubtle though. Note there are nearly 2000 'likes' for it.

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Whenever I wish I was young again, I am sobered by memories of algebra.