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THX reveal the secret to their famous sound, ‘The Deep Note’

In a world first, sound company THX has finally revealed how to play ‘The Deep Note’, which you’ll remember hearing at the start of virtually every awesome movie you’ve ever seen.

Posting to Twitter, the company – which was founded by George Lucas in 1983 following the success of Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back – revealed the sheet music for what they claim is a first in the company’s 35-year history.

As for what it all means? One follow-up post on Twitter summed it up thusly: “Basically, 30 ‘musicians’ pick a note at random and then slowly move towards the note they were assigned, getting louder over time.”

There have also been a bunch of people having a crack at playing ‘The Deep Note’, one gent having already recorded an a capella version (which is so old you need Flash to play it), and another posted this attempt, which one wag noted “sounds like someone pooping a cathedral”.

As far as the history of the score goes, it was written by Lucasfilm sound engineer Dr James ‘Andy’ Moorer, receiving its first run at the 1983 premiere of Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.

According to THX, it got a bit of a re-work in 2015, when Dr Moorer “refreshed the THX Deep Note and made it even more spellbinding for modern cinema formats”.

Earlier this year, as part of the company’s 35th anniversary celebrations, THX announced it was “collaborating with some of the most creative minds in Hollywood” to create a new ‘Deep Note’ trailer that will be released in the northern summer.

Of course, we all know that there’s really no need for them to keep recreating it because it was perfected in 1994 by The Simpsons for the episode “Burns’ Heir”.

About the author

Joe was Junior Vice-President at Compu-Global-Hyper-Mega-Net until it was bought out by Bill Gates. He now subedits for Conversant Media and considers it a step up.

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