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Schoolchildren to Study Doctor Who Theme Tune as Part of Classical Music Project

We all know how iconic the Doctor Who theme tune is, and now, the BBC is putting it alongside other masterful compositions by the likes of Vivaldi, Zimmer, and Brahms for its Ten Pieces initiative.

The project encourages schoolchildren to engage with classical music. The 10 chosen works span every era of classical music, based around the theme of “trailblazers”, and aim to illustrate that classical music is a “living, ever-evolving art form”.

The Doctor Who theme tune is the combined effort of Ron Grainer and Delia Derbyshire. Among the composers in Ten Pieces are Florence Price, who was the first African-American woman to be recognised as a symphonic composer; Polish musician Grażyna Bacewicz, who wrote defiant, subversive music in occupied Warsaw during World War Two; and Hans Zimmer, whose film scores include The Lion King, True Romance, and Gladiator.

The full 10 works in this year’s Ten Pieces are:

  1. Hans Zimmer – Earth
  2. George Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue
  3. Ravi Shankar – Symphony, Finale
  4. Delia Derbyshire – Doctor Who Theme
  5. Antonio Vivaldi – Winter from The Four Seasons
  6. Grażyna Bacewicz – Overture
  7. Steve Reich – Music for 18 Musicians
  8. Heitor Villa-Lobos – Bachianas brasileiras No 2, Little Train of the Caipira (finale)
  9. Florence Price – Symphony No. 1 in E Minor (3rd movement)
  10. Johannes Brahms – Hungarian Dance No 5

Zimmer is writing a brand new theme for the season – in recognition of the fact most people’s first exposure to orchestral music comes in the cinema. He said:

“I am honoured to have been asked to create a piece for BBC Ten Pieces Trailblazers series. At the heart of my new piece, Earth is the sound of young voices who underlie the music. Set against the backdrop of our magnificent, precious planet, I hope it will be the perfect springboard to inspire creativity in classrooms across the UK.”

Since it first launched in 2014, the Ten Pieces project has been rolled out to more than 10,000 schools, reaching 5 million people across the UK.

The new season will culminate in a concert at the BBC Proms, where children who have studied the works can see them played by a real-life orchestra, which sounds incredibly exciting!

The Doctor Who theme tune: a classic masterpiece. We never doubted it!

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Schoolchildren to Study Doctor Who Theme Tune as Part of Classical Music Project

by Philip Bates time to read: 2 min
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