Grande Vals -The Iconic Ringtone of Nokia

If questioned did you had a Nokia obviously the answer will be who didn’t. In fact the evolution of cell phones had Nokia as the prime phone in the early 1990’s. The three famous things that always made Nokia known for are: A Strong Phone, Connecting People and Nokia Ringtone. The ringtone became so famous that anywhere it was played one would think that his/her phone was ringing. But do you know how this ringtone came into existence? Lets us learn some interesting facts about it.
According to Wikipedia the Nokia tune also known as 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.

Who was Francisco Tárrega?

Fransico Terrega

Francisco Tárrega (1852-1909) was born in Spain and is regarded as having laid the foundations for the 20th century’s wide-spread acceptance of the guitar as a concert-recital instrument. The Maestro himself preferred small intimate performances, which particularly suited the lower-volume generated by his lack of fingernails. He composed in a variety of styles and forms including Valses, mazurkas, preludes, tangos. However with 78 original works, and 120 transcriptions he clearly appreciated the work of other composers, and used their works to further the reputations and esteem of his chosen instrument, as well as his own as a performer. He was blind as had lost his eyesight due to some infection and the teachers who taught him guitar and made this man great too were blind. It was the dedication of his father (who himself was a guitarist) and himself that he at a young age of 10 had mastered the basics of music. He died young at the age of 54 due to illness as was paralyzed but his spirit till the end was with music.

How Gran Vals was used by Nokia?

The ringtone first caught the attention of Finnish Company Nokia in 1990 and became the first musical ringtone which became a cult classic since then. It was first heard briefly for 3 seconds in a Nokia 1011 commercial in 1992. 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.

Few Facts

  • 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.

The Versions of Nokia Tune

  • The original tune from 1994 was in mono form, where one note is played.
  • In 2002 the Nokia 3510 introduced polyphonic sound, mostly MIDI-based.
  • The Nokia 9500 Communicator in 2004 introduced a real tone recorded piano version.
  • In 2008 a new extended guitar-based version was made introduced with the Nokia N78.
  • The Nokia N9 in 2011 introduced a new tune based on bells and chimes, and was present on early Lumia devices.
  • A similar, but higher-pitched version of the tune was available in 2013 on Lumias running Windows Phone 8.
  • An official dub step version was made in 2011 as part of the Nokia Tune Remake Competition; this is available alongside the traditional Nokia tune.
  • In 2010, it was reported that the tune is heard worldwide an estimated 1.8 billion times per day, about 20,000 times per second.
  • According to Tapio of the Nokia Design Sound Team the 2011 remake competition, in which 2,800 people from 70 countries revamped the tune, shows how passionate people are about the Nokia Tune and how it remains as an integrated part of the company.
  • The tune has been registered by Nokia as a sound trademark in some countries.

Watch the video below and revive your memories by hearing Nokia ringtone in most of its versions.

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