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Bookmark and Share Delia Derbyshire honoured in Coventry

11/28/2016 11:46:00 am - Reported by Marcus

Delia Derbyshire is to be honoured in her hometown of Coventry by having a road named after her.

The creation of Derbyshire Way will pay tribute to the musician, who will forever be remembered for her work in realising the original Doctor Who Theme Music, written in 1963 by Ron Grainer.

Delia Derbyshire is considered one of the most important and influential pioneers of electronic music in the United Kingdom, who inspired acts from The Beatles to The Chemical Brothers. Her contribution to Doctor Who came when she was working for the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and was asked to turn Grainer's score into an electronic theme for the new science fiction series. Aided by Dick Mills, Derbyshire created the iconic theme music by creating each note separately by cutting, splicing, speeding up, and slowing down recordings of a single plucked string, white noise, and the output of test-tone oscillators. The notes were then edited together on quarter-inch tape. Mixing was done by starting several tape machines simultaneously and mixing the outputs together.

Derbyshire, who died in 2001, will now give her name to Derbyshire Way, part of a new housing estate in the city of her birth. The recognition follows a campaign led by the Coventry Music Museum, which features a permanent display dedicated to her work.

Museum Director Pete Chambers spoke about her legacy
It's fitting as we bid for the City Of Culture 2021, that the bid does not ignore our music heritage, and that people from around the world know Delia was a Coventry legend, a woman who influenced The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Orbital, The Chemical Brothers and even Pink Floyd, indeed, she is considered by many to be the Mother of Progressive Rock.

I firmly believe that if she were alive today, Delia would have triple 'D' status – she would be Dame Delia Derbyshire. Sadly that will never happen, so it's wonderfully fitting that there is something in her native Coventry dedicated to this very special lady. Originally it was to be named Derbyshire Road, but I suggested 'Way' instead to give it a double meaning, as Delia was a genius and strong personality and really did do things in her own way.
The project was supported by councillors Linda Bigham and Gary Ridley who said
Delia Derbyshire produced sounds in the 1960s which were at least twenty years ahead of their time. A true pioneer of electronic music, she achieved this without the modern equipment that producers had in the 1980s and 1990s. Perhaps best known for the theme tune to Doctor Who, Delia will remain a national treasure and this is a fitting tribute to one of Coventry's most celebrated daughters.
Next May, the Coventry Music Museum will host a celebration of what would have been Derbyshire's 80th Birthday.