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The Nokia Ringtone

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posted on 12/07/2016

One of the most recognisable sounds in modern times, but did you know the iconic Nokia ringtone was originally part of a classical piece of music? Listen below and after 0.12 seconds it'll sound familiar:

The Nokia tune (also called Grande Valse) is a phrase from a composition for solo guitar, Gran Vals, by the Spanish classical guitarist and composer Francisco Tárrega, written in 1902. It has been the icon of Finnish corporation Nokia since the 1990s, becoming the first identifiable musical ringtone on a mobile phone, and has become a cult classic.

The Nokia Tune was first heard briefly for 3 seconds in a Nokia 1011 commercial in 1992, as part of the Gran Vals used in the ad.

In 1993 Anssi Vanjoki, then Executive Vice President of Nokia, brought the whole Gran Vals to Lauri Kivinen (then Head of Corporate Communications) and together they selected the excerpt that became "Nokia tune". The excerpt is taken from measures (bars) 13–16 of the piece.

The Nokia Tune first appeared on the Nokia 2110 released in 1994, under the name ringtone Type 7, showing that it was just one of the normal ringtones. The tune's original name varied in the ringtone list, being listed as Type 13 on some phones, or Type 5 on others. In December 1997 with the introduction of the Nokia 6110, ringtones were each given a specific name, and this is where the Nokia tune came, though it was originally called Grande valse. In 1999, Grande valse was renamed as Nokia tune and effectively became Nokia's flagship ringtone.

You can license this piece of music for use in your project from our library here.

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