Nokia Tune: more than just a ringtone.

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Nokia ringtone is arguably the most-played melody today estimated to be played around 20,000 times a second, having more than a billion Nokia handsets in global circulation.

The renowned Nokia ringtone celebrates its twentieth birthday this year having started as a piece of classical guitar music, developed over the years, the ringtone is still enjoyed and heard on Nokia’s latest smartphones.

Nokia ran its first ever television advertisement for mobile phones playing music to promote the Nokia 1011 Grand Valse by Francisco Tarrega which had a three-second snippet in the middle that would go on to last a lifetime.

An evolvement which came in the following year marking the arrival of melodic buzzer-like tones but with progression came a question what ringtone should be built into the latest handsets and finally landed Grande Valse or rather part of it. That’s how Nokia tune was born.

The first product that came out with it was in 1994; the Nokia 2110. It was monophonic, meaning it played one note at a time. Then came polyphonic capability allowing more than one note to be played simultaneously which was featured in the Nokia 3510 which came out in 2002.

Nokia then upgraded the gadgets even making the ringtone’s quality greater after combining with the hardware advances making it sound more real. Until the latest family of Lumia, Nokia has brought together the Nokia design team made up of sound professionals, producers, musicians and DJs in a bid to generate four variants of Nokia Tune using acoustic and computer generated elements.

“It needs to strike a good balance between being inoffensive, having character, being audible and recognizable.” said Nokia’s Head of Sound Design, Tapio Hakanen.

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In 2011, more than 2,800 people from 70 countries entered the Nokia Tune competition creating 6,238 versions of Nokia Tune- every single version was reviewed by the team at Nokia Design. The winning remake was a dubstep edition.

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