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Eddie Mair | 12:15 UK time, Thursday, 17 July 2008

(Think of the Doctor Who music).

Tonight Nigel Wrench will report on Dr Who, unheard tapes and dance music. He writes:

"I've been in a small office in Manchester University's School of Arts Histories and Cultures. Here are some tape boxes from a pile of 267 they have there (with tapes in them, by the way)

They've from the attic of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop pioneer Delia Derbyshire, who died in 2001. She made the original Dr Who theme from the written directions of its credited composer Ron Grainer (that's part of his name on one of the boxes above).

Here's Delia Derbyshire with her boss Desmond Briscoe in the Radiophonic workshop. Her work for radio and TV music was always a little other worldly. She took air raid sirens as one of her inspirations, her own voice as an instrument and routinely employed a lampshade as a musical instrument.

And here's David Butler of Manchester University who's in charge of a project to work out what exactly the sounds on these tapes are and what to do with them. He considers Ms Derbyshire's work important not least because it's been admired by musicians as diverse as Paul McCartney and the dance act Orbital.

The tapes have only been listened to in the past year or so -- some as you can see have more of a clue than others as to what's in them. I rather like this old-fashioned BBC label, somehow redolent of a lost time.


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