| 22 Sep 2023
BBC World Service overhauls sound of its network, introduces new music from today

MUMBAI: BBC World Service is refreshing the sound of the network, introducing a new signature tune and complementary music for key programmes across the service.

Beginning today, a new specially composed signature tune will be played at the top of the hour, every hour, and new theme tunes for individual programmes will then be rolled out across the Service over the coming weeks. 

Speaking about the new tune, BBC World Service English Controller Mary Hockaday said, "We are absolutely thrilled to introduce audiences across the globe to the brand new sound of the BBC World Service. The dynamic music will set a fresh, contemporary and distinctive tone for the network, providing the perfect backdrop to support our news and other programmes. Even on a speech network, careful use of music can help create an identity for the station and build a closer relationship with our listeners. Our composers have done a wonderful job, with a spirit of curiosity, quality and warmth, which I hope our audiences will love.”

The main theme features synths and percussion, embellished by a live orchestra, giving a rich, warm sound. It begins and ends with a sound design audio motif, inspired by and echoing the sound of the ‘pips’ – the series of six short tones broadcast at one-second intervals and recognisable around the world for being synonymous with BBC Radio. The main musical theme also appears in the music for other individual programmes, arranged in different styles.

The music has been composed by Mcasso, one of the UK's leading music and sound companies. It was recorded at Mcasso Studios in London's Carnaby St, with the string section of the BBC Concert Orchestra added at Angel Recording Studios in Islington, London.

On the collaboration, Mcasso CEO Mike Connaris said, "Collaborating with the iconic BBC World Service on such an extensive, exciting branding project has been a pleasure and a privilege. We can't wait to hear the new sound on air."

Individual programmes debuting new music will be Newsday, World Update, OS, Business Matters, Business Daily, Weekend Tech Tent and Sportsworld.