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C Block

NPR Morning Edition new theme

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Posted (edited)

NPR's Morning Edition has a new theme. It's definitely a new sound, though it does have a taste of the outgoing theme. The new work was created by Man Made Music (a.k.a. Joel Beckerman).

 

 

NPR is saying that the previous theme was in use for more than 40 years, which isn't exactly true. The theme does date back to the 70s when the program began, but it was revamped in 2005 not long after Bob Edwards left.

 

2005:

 

The original:

 

 

The change has been very controversial in the public radio world, especially among fans. Personally, I like the new sound. I always thought the 2005 update sounded really tacky.

Edited by C Block
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Well, as someone who hadn't heard any variation of the theme before, I listened to the new one first and thought it to be pretty good. I can hear some subtle similarities but would also say it's fairly different. More fresh sounding, but I understand how devout fans may not like the update. People are like that with most change. It could be a little "lighter" and less techy, which may better please fans of the old theme. 

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This new one is more modern... But feels a bit too undersold. The previous feels classic light morning.

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I like it. It has the elements of the original theme, and builds them up through each segment. Ending in essentially the essence of original theme at the end.  I haven’t heard enough of the rest of the sonic branding for an overall assessment - just the billboard...

 

It would interesting to see if there would be any classic TV themes that could be redone as a ~1 minute billboard to start the news, ending in the main theme, then directly to the anchors...

 

Now for a couple of comments for the people who don’t like it:

- TPTB at NPR like it, so it will be around for a while

- Contrary to news reports saying that “the theme hasn’t changed in nearly 40 years”, seem to forget the ~2005 refresh going from the more classical (trumpet flourish and French horns) to more modern (guitars and synthesizers)

- It’s not a theme like we’d see in a TV Newscast open- it’s essentially a musical bed for the intro to the program, and each section is a “cue” for the next intro (stations can build their own intros mixing national and local talent/stories), ending with a “sonic brand”

- Bob Edwards is never going to return to hosting Morning Edition...

 

Jim

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1
3 hours ago, compubit said:

It would interesting to see if there would be any classic TV themes that could be redone as a ~1 minute billboard to start the news, ending in the main theme, then directly to the anchors...

 

The CTM Eyeopener is really the closest thing. A lot of local stations also do the tracked cold open, which is more or less the same thing, but it doesn't have the same special feel as the public radio billboards do.

 

What I wonder now is whether the All Things Considered theme might be next. I think it's gone even longer without an update. I still like it in a weird way. It always felt like a perfectly chaotic soundtrack to digest the day's news during the afternoon commute.

 

 

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It’s the same program. Just a new sound at the top of the hour and a quarter til the next. If people don’t wanna listen to it anymore because of those two, that’s their problem. I personally like it, but I am still getting used to it. 

 

ASIDE: If they do update ATC, something in the veins of the weekend version?

 

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I am slowly getting used to it. Mornings won't be the same without the old theme.

 

*shakes fist at cloud*

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