OU 40th anniversary: Open University ringtones

Featuring: Audio Audio

Dum-dah, dum-dah, dum, dum, dum, daaaaaah - relive the tune which used to herald Open University programming on the BBC.

By: The OpenLearn team (Programme and web teams)

  • Duration 5 mins
  • Updated Tuesday 18th February 2014
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Educational Practice
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The fanfare which heralded the start of Open University programmes on the BBC is now available as a mobile phone ringtone.

The distinctive clarion call will be familiar to all who watched the screening of the educational programmes aired from 1969 and through the 1980s. Now in keeping with the digital age and to mark the OU’s 40th birthday it is available for a limited period as a ringtone download.

Divertimento was written by the late Leonard Salzedo in 1959 and the first five bars were chosen as the signature to the Open University programmes on both radio and television.

Download the fanfare


Download mp3 version of fanfare  
Download iPhone version of fanfare

If that's not enough...

To mark the 40th anniversary, we commissioned some remixes of the original tune to bring them right up to date...


Copyright Chester Music Limited

Download Beauty remix mp3

Download Beauty remix iPhone version

Drum n bass

Copyright Chester Music Limited

Download drum n bass remix mp3

Download drum n bass remix iPhone version

Guitar heroics

Copyright Chester Music Limited

Download guitar remix mp3

Download guitar remix iPhone version

What next?

Watch the trumpets and rotating shield in action on the BBC Cult TV site

Relive the programmes behind the shield with TV Cream's affectionate guide to The Open University

Dave Jeffrey had a go at recreating the mechanics of the OU shield


The trumpet theme used in the classic Open University idents on BBC TV in the 1970s and 1980s is part of 'Divertimento Opus 49' by Leonard Salzedo. The remixes are © Copyright 2009, Chester Music Limited. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured.

These new arrangements were made with the kind permission of Chester Music Limited and were arranged and performed by Simon Whiteside.

Parts of this article were originally published on Platform.

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