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Granada Midlands Today
Is anyone else bored of the David Lowe sound now or is it just me? Don't get me wrong, I do think he's a great composer but I long for the day they bring back the George Fenton style; that prestigious orchestral sound of the 80's and 90's! For me this beep, beep, dum, dum, dum is so very tired now and the BBC News music needs a whole new facelift with ideally a different composer Smile
I agree, Callum.

David Lowe's BBC News music can be traced back as long ago as mid-1999 and it hasn't really changed a huge amount since. The beeps are still used along with the 120bpm tempo. When the move to BH is completed, hopefully some all-new music, titles and graphics will be introduced.

In contrast, the old Nine O'Clock News theme thundered out at ~140bpm, but the old Six O'Clock theme plodded along at ~100bpm. The current theme is somewhere in the middle - at least tempo wise.

After 13 years of more-or-less the same thing, I think it's definitely time to totally revamp the BBC's TV news music.
Granada Midlands Today
David's best work in my opinion was done between 1999 and 2003, it's been downhill from then.

I don't think it's anything to do with the tempo's it's more like the arrangements which are too similar. Using the same bank of instruments for 10 yerars there's only so much you can do without sounding so repetitive.
I doubt they would get in a real orchestra and conductor/arranger again when it's so expensive compared to a one man band with a computer! Rolling Eyes
Bail3,646 posts since 30 Mar 2001 Moderator
Meridian (South) South Today
Actually I think its more that there are less instruments. Think back to the N24opening howl and phasing "chika chika" in the countdown. Now its just the bassline, drum, strings and pips with very little else. If this new close means some more instruments are coming in, I'm all for it!

I don't think it's anything to do with the tempo's it's more like the arrangements which are too similar. Using the same bank of instruments for 10 yerars there's only so much you can do without sounding so repetitive.

The original music was made using a Roland sound module. Not sure which one, though.
itsrobert6,185 posts since 23 Mar 2001
Granada North West Today
Some of us had a similar discussion to this in one of the main BBC News threads a few days ago, and I agree that it's time the BBC moved on from David Lowe. I was one of his biggest fans back when TV Forum launched; we'd just come out of the orchestral era of the 1990s (which I loved, and still do) and the new music was so refreshingly different. But, I feel that his style has become rather stagnant of late and BBC News is now feeling as it did in the late 90s... tired and stale. It's much in need of a radical shake-up once more, similar in magnitude to May 1999.

As some of you have been discussing, Lowe's music has become very formulaic and, if I may be so bold, boring. No matter which channel or programme he's composing for, it all sounds alike. The 1999-2003 period definitely was his high point. Each and every theme back then was unique and astounding. I think the mistake was partly the BBC's when it decided BBC One, News 24 and World should all share exactly the same music. The idea probably looked good on paper as it ensures brand consistency, but in practice, it makes it age quickly. We probably shouldn't blame Lowe, as he's probably only working to a brief as supplied by the BBC.

If the BBC do stick with Lowe, I'd hope for some more interesting and varied themes once again. I really don't think having different tunes on BBC One and BBC News is going to make people think they're not with the BBC. Lowe's 1999 music for those outlets were easily identifiable as being from the same stable. I really hope it's not just more of the same. There was a time when I'd be desperately trying to find copies of his BBC News themes, but at the moment I really couldn't care less.
Dan Gooding327 posts since 4 Mar 2006
Central (East) East Midlands Today
Seeing as people have been interested in this theme, I think there's definite potential for the brand. I think if there were variants and these were live orchestra rather than digitally made, it would feel much more epic again. With the new opening sequences coming (not titles but pans across the newsroom), there needs to be something better than just beep-beep-beep in the background
Mike W4,792 posts since 30 Apr 2006
When the project started in 1999 the brief was for different music for each programme, channel (at the time 1,2, Choice and News 24/World) and each region - much like the nations had different music the regions were all different - I'd like to see that replicated today! I can't abide how 'samey' everything is - Newsline, Wales and Scotland all share the same basic track with Wales having a sheep's bleat and Scotland being deeper than Newsline.

It's bordering on tired because it's not changed at all since 2003, musically speaking!
Oh it's such a perfect day, I'm glad I spent it with you...
Mike W4,792 posts since 30 Apr 2006
Why has some of the English Regions switched to a new theme? I believe that there is now 3(?) English themes out there now?

Choice of the editors. BBC South East decided they wanted to break away from Corporate in December 2009, using a higher pitched version of the title music specially commissioned by them and written by David Lowe. Midlands Today then followed in March 2010 to coincide with their new set. It stayed that way for months, then North West Tonight/Today used the same music as their special event music (Christmas) before taking it up full time when they moved from Oxford Road.

BBC London used the original title music for the 2008 relaunch for 2 days at the start of this new look from the 21st April 2008 - 23rd. It was then dropped, Midlands Today started using it again (and a mix of the SET/MT/NWT music stings and closes mentioned above) in June this year

You are right, there are 3 different pieces of title music in use across the regions, the most used one being the original from 2008, then 2 (and a half?) regions use the SET/MT mix from 2009 and Midlands Today, being themselves use a hash of everything but predominantly use the pitch music from 2008 that was used 2/3 times maybe!

I won't mention when MT slowed their old 'People and Places' titles down and mixed the 2007 nationals music to it for a week!
Oh it's such a perfect day, I'm glad I spent it with you...