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People mind blown after woman reveals where Nokia's iconic ringtone comes from

Gerrard Kaonga

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People mind blown after woman reveals where Nokia's iconic ringtone comes from

Featured Image Credit: Alexandrawhittingham/TikTok/pornpimon Ainkaew/Getty Images

A woman on TikTok has unlocked a core memory for many users after revealing the origin of the iconic Nokia ringtone.

While the phone wars are largely between Apple and Android these days, there was a time when Nokia dominated the phone market, and they certainly left an impression with an iconic ringtone.

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TikToker Alexandra Whittingham was able to jog the memory of millions after playing the ringtone from yesteryear on her guitar.

The clip, posted in October, has so far raked in more than 1.4 million views and comments reminiscing about the tune they thought they had forgotten.

During the TikTok video, Alexandra tells viewers she is about to show them where the original ringtone came from before playing it on the guitar. Whittingham is a professional guitarist who studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and regularly posts videos of her playing music to her followers.

The Nokia tune (also called ‘Grande Valse’) is from a solo guitar piece by Francisco Tárrega, called Gran Vals (1902).

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The ringtone isn’t Tárrega’s whole piece, rather a brief few notes that anyone that grew up during the time of the Nokia brick phone’s would recognize.

The Nokia tune (also called ‘Grande Valse’) is from a solo guitar piece by Francisco Tárrega, called Gran Vals (1902). Credit: Alexandra Whittingham/TikTok
The Nokia tune (also called ‘Grande Valse’) is from a solo guitar piece by Francisco Tárrega, called Gran Vals (1902). Credit: Alexandra Whittingham/TikTok

“The Nokia ringtone is so iconic that to me it feels so disconnected to the original piece,” one TikTok user commented.

“I’m watching my phone and just checked my pocket,” joked another user.

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“[Back] when Nokia was associated with quality products thanks for sharing this masterpiece,” a user added.

“I learned classical guitar since I was 8, played Tarrega and I was today years old when I found out about this,” said another.


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“Wow this is so beautiful!!! and I am a bit sad they ruined the original track because now everybody says that the Nokia piece does not fit in,” another user commented.

Surprisingly, one of the biggest selling points for using Tárrega’s music was that the artist was dead, according to a report by Classic FM.

One of the biggest selling points for using Tárrega’s music was that the artist was dead,Credit: Alexandra Whittingham/TikTok
One of the biggest selling points for using Tárrega’s music was that the artist was dead,Credit: Alexandra Whittingham/TikTok
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“Nokia needed a soundbite free of expensive copyright complications, and European law makes music available to the public 70 years after the composer’s death. Tárrega, who died 84 years earlier, was the perfect choice," the report said.

I suppose that is one way to avoid paying for permission to use someone else’s music.

The ringtone was first heard in a 1992 advert for the Nokia 1011 phone, and seven years later, ‘Grande Valse’ was renamed as the Nokia tune and cemented itself in technology history.

Topics: Community, Phones, TikTok, Music, Viral, Technology

Gerrard Kaonga
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