Germans call them “ohrwurm”, meaning earworm. A catchy song crawls inside our ever-open ears like a musical parasite and lays egg-songs in our brains.
There is no more insidious melody on Earth than the dreaded NBC chimes.
The NBC chimes are derived from the popular bell-song Westminster Quarters. It consists of three notes – the Fifth (G), the Third (E), and the One or Root (C). The door bell has these last two notes, which form the interval of a Major Third.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, the ABC melody has 4 notes. Whereas the NBC chimes have a distinctly Major flavor, the ABC melody is Minor all the way.
This modern take sounds like sonar pings. Disney is apparently broadcasting from a submarine.
I don’t know which melody is more nefarious – the child-like chimes of the Major NBC motif, or the slick Minor turnaround of the ABC pings? I’m not even going to get into the FOX fanfare, because let’s face it, TV sucks, and their cute major-minor melodies can go to hell.
HEY, aren’t there any birds to transcribe? Or any other new animals to make Yankovician parodies of?
Friends, these corporate melodies are but a passing footnote in the Los Doggies’s Electric Encyclopedia.
Read more of this very boring history (http://www.radioremembered.org/chimes.htm).