Doctor Who News Audio visionary Delia Derbyshire

Published on January 11th, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

Saturday is Delia Derbyshire Day!

Taking place at Band on the Wall, situated in Manchester’s Northern Quarter this Saturday 12th January, Delia Derbyshire Day is a celebration of the electronic music pioneer whose vision resulted in the original Doctor Who theme tune arrangement.

Audio visionary Delia Derbyshire

Among the attractions at the event are a screening of Cara Blake’s award-winning documentary The Delian Mode, previously unreleased archive material, an expert panel who will discuss Derbyshire’s influence and the concert premiere of three specially commissioned works by the Delia Darlings.

Tickets to Delia Derbyshire day are £12 for the full day (symposium and concert), symposium only £6, and £7.50 for the evening concert; you’ll find these available at the Band on the Wall.

For those of you who are unaware, Delia Derbyshire virtually invented the concept of making music with a synthesizer in the days before synthesizers even existed.As a junior member of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop she was nevertheless able to take Ron Grainer’s basic theme tune composition and present for viewers in November 1963 a bizarre soundscape of noise, sound and music, an almost tangible introduction to the mystery and wonder that would still entertain 50 years later. While the theme tune has taken many new guises over the years, Derbyshire’s arrangement remains one of the most stunning.

The mechanics of the processes used and further details of the event can be found in The Guardian or by visiting



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About the Author


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

2 Responses to Saturday is Delia Derbyshire Day!

  1. avatar BOJAY says:

    Delia Derbyshire was like the queen and first of the women in rock of television composers. She used synthesizers properly, in context of a score, before technology let a lot of folks start misusing them as an excuse for actual instrumentation. Cutting edge, actually, she might have created the edge, and it’s awesome to see her work and legacy being celebrated.

  2. avatar BOJAY says:

    And I must add, though actual “synthesizers” didn’t exist in the compact technology of a keyboard or unit, the technology that Delia used, and the way she used it more than constituted the use of a synthesizer. Putting it into a package someone could read the instructions to just made it accessible to lesser creative(?) minds.

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