Nokia Origin: The iconic Nokia ring tone

Nokia Origin: The iconic Nokia ring tone

The iconic Nokia ringtone was once a voice of every household which holds a mobile phone. We all have heard it in one phase of our life or another. But you will be shocked to learn its origin.

 It was made in 1902!!! But here is the full story.

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 ringtone is a phrase from a composition for solo guitar, Gran Vals, by the Spanish classical guitarist and composer Francisco Tárrega, written in 1902.

The excerpt is taken from measures (bars) 13–16 of the piece. Francisco  Tárrega is considered to have laid the foundations for 20th century classical guitar and for increasing interest in the guitar as a recital instrument. Tárrega preferred small intimate performances over the concert stage. 

The Nokia tune was first heard briefly for 3 seconds in a Nokia 1011 commercial in  the early 1990s. The 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.

Here is the complete composition, and you can easily recognize the Nokia tune part.

In December 1999, Jimmy Cauty, formerly of The KLF, and Guy Pratt released the mobile telephone-themed novelty-pop record “I Wanna 1-2-1 With You” under the name Solid Gold Chartbusters which heavily samples the theme. It was released as competition for the UK Christmas number one single but only got to number 62.

The release of this song prevented the Super Furry Animals from releasing their song “Wherever I Lay My Phone (That’s My Home)” from the album Guerrilla as a single, on the grounds that it was also based on a mobile phone theme