We’ve all tried to sing along to it. Everybody knows it no matter if you’re a fan of the show or not. The theme tune to Doctor Who is one of the most recognisable pieces of music in modern culture. It was co-created by Delia Derbyshire when the show began, all those years ago in 1963.
For this, and many other musical achievements, Delia Derbyshire is being honoured with a posthumous PHD by her hometown university, Coventry.
Under appreciated throughout her career, Derbyshire forged a path as an electronic music pioneer. She found herself ignored, and not allowed access to certain studios because she was a woman. After many knockbacks she became a trainee studio manager at the BBC. This led to Delia Derbyshire gaining access to the experimental Radiophonic Workshop.
It was here where she developed an entirely new style of music, influencing many new recording techniques and modern artists. Also, during this time she transformed an original score by Ron Grainger into the iconic Doctor Who theme tune. It has become one of the most iconic pieces of electronic music in history.
Delia stayed with the Radiophonic Workshop for 10 years, but failed to gain recognition for her innovation and talents. Since her death, at the age of 64 in 2001, she has been recognised as a pioneer of electronic music, and an inspiration for many electronic artists including Sonic Boom.
Coventry University is launching a series of workshops to inspire a new generation to pursue a passion for music. This is linked to a touring play about the life of Delia Derbyshire entitled Hymns for Robots.
The best way to celebrate this news is to gather around and get humming the greatest TV theme tune ever. Thanks to Delia Debyshire for heightening this experience and making this magical piece of music.