News:
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: BBC Kettle Drum Broadcasts  (Read 1388 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Longpockets

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 211
  • Appreciation 12
Re: BBC Kettle Drum Broadcasts
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2017, 21:45:20 »
As I said a record and lots of overtime

Offline smiffy

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • Appreciation 59
Re: BBC Kettle Drum Broadcasts
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2017, 02:45:00 »
Possibly there were two record players fitted with a pause/delay mechanism so that one started as the other finished. Or perhaps some unfortunate BBC employee was tasked with staying up all night to do the same thing manually.

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1394
  • Appreciation 218
Re: BBC Kettle Drum Broadcasts
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2017, 23:17:08 »
The magnetic recording tape was invented in Germany in 1928 but kept secret until the end of the Second World War. In theory it would have been possible for the BBC to use magnetic wire recording, but I think that Blades makes it clear that recording discs were used, at least up until 1945
Tape loops were first used by the French composer Pierre Schaeffer in the early 1950's.
Don't Let the Devil Ride Chris and Abby

Offline JohnWalker

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 633
  • Appreciation 54
    • My Portfolio
Re: BBC Kettle Drum Broadcasts
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2017, 22:28:38 »
Interesting info Herb Collector.

No mention of how they played it through the night.  Did they have 'tape' in those days?

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1394
  • Appreciation 218
Re: BBC Kettle Drum Broadcasts
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2017, 20:55:28 »
"A recording was made and approved by the panel. There was every reason to believe that this signal, which preceded the European news was highly successful. People in the occupied countries were able to listen to our news, even when their sets were tuned so low as to be inaudible to outside listeners. Every few months - sometimes under extremely difficult conditions - I made fresh records of this signal. Owing to the African drum varying a good deal in pitch under certain atmospheric conditions, it was substituted by two modern drums that could be tensioned at will. The second note was raised and lengthened a little for the purpose of giving the signal greater urgency and a feeling of hope. It was quite a job making those four-minute records, as I had to keep time to the movement of the BBC studio clock which moved at intervals of a second. The first three beats took a second, also the dash, with a gap of two seconds before the next pattern was played. It was a grand moment in 1945 when I was approached to make a signal that would announce the coming victory. For the first week or two, the signal was to take the form of a victory signal, and was backed by the bells of St. Margaret's, Westminster. To suit the pitch of the bells, the kettledrums were tuned to B and E. The sound of these drums is still used as an interval signal in the European Service. It is possible that the original and present signals are the most heard sound in the history of music."
     James Blades.

The original Ugandan drum, "brought in a junk shop for a fiver", is in the collection of the IWM, no photo alas.
The pitch of the original drum was B, with the three short notes damped by placing a cloth on the drum.
Don't Let the Devil Ride Chris and Abby

Offline smiffy

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • Appreciation 59
Re: BBC Kettle Drum Broadcasts
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2017, 16:40:11 »
I expect that this was played so many times during the war that the recording started to wear out, resulting in it having to be re-recorded several times. Each iteration may have sounded slightly different.

Offline JohnWalker

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 633
  • Appreciation 54
    • My Portfolio
Re: BBC Kettle Drum Broadcasts
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2017, 15:08:59 »
How about this one?

https://www.transdiffusion.org/2015/07/16/dot-dot-dot-dash

That's probably it Smithy although in my head, I recall the last note being a bit deeper and with slightly more emphasis.  Mind you, it over 65 years ago so I'm probably remembering incorrectly.

JW

Offline smiffy

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • Appreciation 59
Re: BBC Kettle Drum Broadcasts
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2017, 14:13:42 »

Offline Dave Smith

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 260
  • Appreciation 10
Re: BBC Kettle Drum Broadcasts
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2017, 11:17:26 »
Definitely slower & deeper as I remember, especially the final bong. I wonder whether it was the original played slowly, 'cos that would change the frequency downwards?

Offline JohnWalker

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 633
  • Appreciation 54
    • My Portfolio
Re: BBC Kettle Drum Broadcasts
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2017, 00:57:23 »
Thanks for all your replies.  It's certainly explained the morse 'V' for Victory drum beats that went on all night.  I believe the transmitters were never turned off in those days as it was better for the valves etc.  So broadcasting a regular drum sequence wouldn't have caused more wear on the equipment.  My guess is that they use a long tape loop which was replaced every so often.  As I remember it, there was a long delay between each sequence, possibly around a minute and the sequence was a bit slower and deeper than the one Smithy has put the link to.

JW

Offline Longpockets

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 211
  • Appreciation 12
Re: BBC Kettle Drum Broadcasts
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2017, 18:23:02 »
Lots of overtime? Sorry, couldn't resist it.

A record?


Offline JohnWalker

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 633
  • Appreciation 54
    • My Portfolio
Re: BBC Kettle Drum Broadcasts
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2017, 10:42:44 »
Thanks everyone for your replies.  That recording you put the link to Smithy is how I remember it.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZi_6FUbo-Q

Not sure when they stopped broadcasting it through the night but I'm guessing it was late 50s.

Anyone know how they 'looped' the sound in those days?  It went on for hours through the night.

Offline mmitch

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 360
  • Appreciation 11
Re: BBC Kettle Drum Broadcasts
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2017, 08:13:31 »
In the late 60s when I drove past the 'Diplomatic Wireless Service' transmitters at Rugby, my car radio would be swamped with these drum beats...
mmitch.

Offline smiffy

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 914
  • Appreciation 59
Re: BBC Kettle Drum Broadcasts
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2017, 14:18:35 »

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1394
  • Appreciation 218
Re: BBC Kettle Drum Broadcasts
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2017, 11:36:35 »

James "Jimmy" Blades OBE. 1901 - 1999. English percussionist.

......... His most famous and widely heard performances were the sound of the kettle drum playing "V-for-Victory" in Morse code, the introduction to the BBC broadcasts made to the European Resistance during World War ll, ........

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Blades
Don't Let the Devil Ride Chris and Abby

 

BloQcs design by Bloc
SMF 2.0.11 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines