Ancient Electronics from Pioneering Delia Derbyshire-Creator of Doctor Who Theme

In the days when electronic music was the province of dweeby men in white lab coats, pocket protectors and skinny ties, Delia Derbyshire was among the few woman twiddling knobs and slicing tape at the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop. This is so ancient it was even before the Beatles hit.
Delia Derbyshire
Among her many works were the electronics for the original Doctor Who Theme.

Derbyshire died in 2001, but a treasure trove of reel-to-reel tapes she recorded has just been discovered. There’s a nice article on the BBC site called Lost tapes of the Dr Who composer with several sound clips of her work and some nice quotes from Orbital’s Paul Hartnoll, who sampled the Doctor Who Theme on “Doctor? from The AltogetherThe Altogether

I’ve always found the Radiophonic materiel a little quaint and dated, even at the time, but their influence was profound for most British electronic musicians of a certain age.

Thanks to bpmf from the IDM list for the pointer.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

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One Response to “Ancient Electronics from Pioneering Delia Derbyshire-Creator of Doctor Who Theme”

  1. Mark Preston Says:


    Sound on Sound recently published a nice piece on BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop. Unfortunately, the full text won’t be available online for a month or so, but you may find the article of interest.

    Also, great to see your name pop up in Remix!

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