Friday, 30 September 2005

We All Scream

When you hear that jingle, you know that an ice-cream van is coming, don't you. From miles away.

And that's because of those chimes. It doesn't matter if the tune is Greensleeves, Oranges and Lemons or Popeye the Sailor Man. You instantly recognise the fact that it's an ice-cream van coming down the street and not the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Girls Aloud or Miles Davis.

But the reason it's so distinctive is that is doesn't sound like any real musical instrument at all. What sort of musical instrument is it supposed to be? I don't think Berlioz ever wrote a concerto for ice-cream chimes, did he?

Why do they sound exactly the same on all ice-cream vans everywhere? Why hasn't some enterprising ice-cream salesman said "sod the chimes - let's try a bassoon"?

And if it's not a real musical instrument, how do they record the chimes? Is there a recording studio, hidden under a South London railway arch? Is this where lives the world's only player of the chimes? And why doesn't he learn some new tunes, the swine?


Delmonti said...

Ice cream vans are known as Mobilers in the trade..

has some interesting stuff about becoming a "mobiler"

(includes a good practive guide on using your chimes)

Delmonti said...

meljoy said...

i agree, how in the world can you have sex and not kiss? I mean that turn on number one!