Before the Beatles dropped acid, a BBC workshop was creating far-out sounds

Delia Derbyshire and Doctor Who

The BBC Radiophonic Workshop was created in 1958 to create new sound effects and music for BBC radio programmes. It would soon become a thriving and influential laboratory for sonic experimentation, with its influence touching the worlds of television and film scoring, experimental rock music, electronic music and beyond.

This brief clip from the BBC television programme Tomorrow’s World gives viewers a peak into the workshop to show how its musicians manipulated tape machines and electronic devices to create sounds that had previously never existed. In particular, the segment features the UK electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire explaining how she realised the Doctor Who theme music, which, created in 1963, was one of the first works of electronic music composed for television.

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