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The signature tune of AIR

The signature tune for AIR (All India Radio) was composed and set to music by Thakur Balwant Singh in 1936. Still according to some others, in the year 1936, the signature tune was composed by Walter Kaufman, the director of western music programs in Bombay.That the antiquity of this tune is 1936, is certain.
Every morning since then, this otherworldly tune has been played at the beginning of the morning telecast of AIR, and with time has etched itself into the memories of everyone who listened to radio in India. Some brooding morning sounding: melancholic, and on some bright mornings sounding: still more melancholic.

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Found it thanks to this wonderful site: Interval Signals
The site has an almost comprehensive collection of audio clips of foreign radio stations from all around the globe. It is a must for all those with an ear for the radio signals.
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Read more about the Sound of AIR at Deccan Herald: The birth of Indian sound
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You might also like to read this post:

Comments

  1. Thank you for re-kindling 34 yr old memories. My grandad used to listen to the news on radio and TV with me in his lap. Although I have left India over 28 years ago, the music montage preceding the neews programs is still fresh in my mind. Thanks to your web site I just found out what these music montages are!
    Thanks
    Kiran

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  2. Kiran,
    Thank you for the wonderful comment! Comment like yours make it all worthwhile.

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  3. I used to think about this so soothing and refreshing AIR signature tune in this time of TV and its useless contents. Radio is no more seen in my house. Then through internet I came to know that there are still many person who love this tune and live a past. Now I have downloaded this and hope to rekindle the old memories of a rising day.
    Narinder Singh
    Amritsar

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  4. Narinder,
    there are still some people of a certain generation who do remember the Radio. Nowadays, there is only white noise everywhere.
    Thanks for the comment! And glad to be of some help!

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  5. I had been looking for AIR signature tune for long and finally for your effort I have it and everyone in the family enjoys it and I also have it as ringtone on my iphone. Thank you so very much.

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  6. I was just looking to download the AIR Signature Tune, got trapped in setting up profile, and it kept stretching like a rubber band. Sorry, I am not interested in metrimonial offers, or inquiries. I am too old for that. Just wanted to download that music.

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  7. Disappointed old anony clearly not looking for matrimonial offers,
    i think, unlike most others, you must have missed the download link and instead clicked on some ad. Anyway,copy-paste the following url in your browser and you shall have the music tune,enjoy:

    http://blip.tv/file/get/Vinayak8ate-AIRSIgnatureTune934.MP3

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  8. great to know the name of the composer of air sig. tune

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  9. thanks a lot Vinayak..I had been searching for this tune since so long..you are right, its very otherworldly tune and has a very soothing effect on mind..If I remember correctly, this tune used to be played at 6:00 am before the first programme at AIR..thanks again!

    Prashant

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  10. Prashant,
    I think it still is played in the morning around that time.

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  11. Thanks for posting precious tunes.

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  12. thanks...thanks a lot ...I was searching a lot for this tune... was tired and was going to quit.. but finally.. u gave me a gift.. that i will always remember...

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  13. Something never gets old....Still this sound comes as a fresh air in the morning...
    Thank you very much for this tune.

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  14. WOW!!! that was like revisiting the past!! thanks so much for the awesome memories again :)

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  15. Great help... thanks a lot for putting the tune on air... :)

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  16. Simply super yar. How you managed this. You are a real Indian with no doubts.
    Blessings to you from my profound heart.
    Uma Mahesawr Nakka

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  17. I completely feel in heaven when i listen to the AIR tune, tune is only for a few seconds but all my stress brings down. Thanks to the composer, for making my day beautiful everyday. dasharath kamble+919742022437

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  18. Thanks Very Much

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  19. Hi, I just heard this theme while watching a music and browsed the net to get the full version. This music brings back memories of my childhood, when we used to be woken up by our mother for school. I love it...........

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  20. Thank you for the haunting signature tune of AIR. Thanks for giving the details of the composer also. May I know what are the musical instruments used in the composition? I thing just a single violin and a shruthi box! Please post the details. thankyou. Naren

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  21. AIR had an anti-Harmonium policy...I don't think they would have used a shruti box. The instruments used for creating the AIR signature tune were:
    Violin,Viola,Cello and Tanpura. Based on an article from magazine called Boys' Life, Nov 1953.

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  22. does anyone have the jaymala signature tune? this program still plays on AIR i am told...please post a link if possible

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  23. Sir, Many years ago I read in an article published in MADHURI cinemagazine of TIO group that the AIR signature tune was composed by Thakur Balwant Singh. However it is said that the AIR signature tune was composed by Walter Kaufman, the director of western music programs in Bombay, in 193. I am confused. I shall be greateful if you kindly clear what is the fact. Sincerely: Bhagyendra Patel, New Delhi

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Bhagyendra. It is true that this SIG.tune of AIR was composed by my late father, actor singer composer Th. BALWANT SINGH IN 1936.

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    2. Kindly throw light on your father as there is debate going on in AIR about who composed its signature tune. Can you produce some evidence? I know its very difficult but it will prevent the credit going to some foreigner.

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  24. Thank you!!! This is going to be my mobile's ringtone, to remember the days when entertainment meant a transistor radio listening to vividh bharti programs!! Thanks indeed for this tone!!!

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  25. I do not know whether you all know this. THIS TUNE WAS THE FIRST SIGNATURE TUNE OF A GOVDT. ORGANISATION POST INDEPENDENCE.
    Thank you Kiran. This is going to be my ring tone now.

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  26. We are doing a play in New York City, where Walter Kaufmann is a character. Please see http://www.tamashanyc.org/themusicinmyblood

    ReplyDelete

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