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The popular Nokia tune comes from a classical-guitar composition by Francisco Tarrega written in 1902

The technological era and its gadgets creates new idols and symbols of advancement.The mass usage of cell phones has changed many things, as new companies emerge and the old ones become ever more popular. Many logos and slogans have become recognizable, shaping the world as we know it today. The importance of marketing comes to the fore, and the biggest cell phone producers aim to create valuable and lifelong assets. One of the most successful examples is the Nokia tune, a sound known by almost everyone.

“Nokia tune”; in Tárrega’s Gran Vals, the phrase ends with an E instead of an A
“Nokia tune”; in Tárrega’s Gran Vals, the phrase ends with an E instead of an A

The Finnish tech giant is one of the largest companies in the world. Founded in 1865, the company operated in many industries but heavily focused on telecommunications and technology in the past two decades. As a major contributor to the creation of today’s technology, Nokia was the leading producer of cell phones.

Renowned for their durable devices and the introduction of technologies, Nokia became a symbol of quality and trust. Besides their products, the company had a marvelous marketing strategy, establishing their logo, the”Connecting People” slogan, and the Nokia tune as symbols of the new era.

The company first presented the Nokia tune in their commercial for the Nokia 1011 model in 1992.

The melody appeared for only three seconds, and one year later the company decided to use it as their trademark sound and include it in all of their models. Nokia 2110, released in 1994, was the first model that had the tune among the other ringtones. In the following models, the name of the melody varied, and in 1997 the tune was given the name Grande Valse. In 1999, the name Nokia Tune was introduced, and the short theme became the Nokia authentic ringtone.

Nokia introduced its “Connecting People” advertising slogan in 1992, coined by Ove Strandberg
Nokia introduced its “Connecting People” advertising slogan in 1992, coined by Ove Strandberg

The original tune comes from a 1902 composition by the Spanish guitarist Francisco Tárrega, who is considered to be one of the greatest guitar players of all times. Born in Villareal on November 21, 1852, Tárrega became the founder of the 20th-century classic guitar style.

Known for his distinct technique, Francisco Tárrega is said to have inspired some of the greatest guitarists of the 20th century. He studied both classical guitar and the piano since his childhood years and became proficient on both instruments. His love for the guitar would, however, shape the rest of his life and would eventually transform him into a true musical icon.

In an era when the guitar was considered quite inferior to the piano, Tárrega managed to revive it as a solo instrument and is credited with the creation of 78 original works.

Although Tárrega is credited with the creation of the Nokia tune, he did not create the three-second snippet. The guitarist simply borrowed the piece from the Grande Valse by Frederic Chopin, composed in 1833. This was Chopin’s first published waltz for solo piano, as the composer himself had destroyed the previous pieces he made. Francisco Tárrega was inspired by Chopin, so he used the short tune in his own Grande Valse.

Francisco Tárrega (before 1900)
Francisco Tárrega (before 1900)

The Nokia tune is probably the most popular ringtone of all times. Until 2010, it was estimated that almost 2 billion people heard the tune on a daily basis.

Read another story from us: In the mid-1960s, the Beatles wanted to star in a “Lord of the Rings” film directed by Stanley Kubrick and featuring original songs

Today, this number has increased significantly. In 2011, the Finnish giant joined forces with Microsoft and obtained exclusive rights to use the Windows Phone operative system. In the same year, Nokia launched a competition for a remix of the tune, all to refresh the world’s most famous jingle and announce the new generation of Nokia handsets.

Nikola Simonovski

Nikola Simonovski is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News