Delia Derbyshire Day: a celebration of an electronic music pioneer

Delia Derbyshire Day: a celebration of an electronic music pioneer

A group of people stand together with the Delia Derbyshire collections
The Delia Derbyshire Day team with objects from the Delia Derbyshire archive. Photo: Shirlaine Forrest.

National Lottery Grants for Heritage – £10,000 to £250,000

Piccadilly
Manchester
Delia Derbyshire Day
£54765
This project is engaging young people with the unique heritage of early electronic music by marking 60 years of Doctor Who.

During the 1960s, Delia Derbyshire (1937–2001) developed the famous arrangement of the iconic Doctor Who theme tune while working in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.  

Led by community interest organisation Delia Derbyshire Day, this project is working with school children in Manchester. Through creative workshops and events, they are recording and documenting the musician’s work.   

We hope these Doctor Who 60th anniversary activities will further inspire and educate people of all ages to understand and interact with electronic music.

Caro C, Delia Derbyshire Day project manager 

During one of those workshops participants created a ‘wobbulator’, the same type of instrument used to create the original Doctor Who melody. 

Other activities include:  

  • intergenerational oral history recordings of the original Doctor Who team  

  • a public celebration event curated by young volunteers 

  • new audio-visual artworks by four emerging artists from underserved communities

  • a new Delia Derbyshire Day archive of digital, audio and paper items 

  • the production of a short film by 300 school children

Caro C, Delia Derbyshire Day project manager says: “We hope these Doctor Who 60th anniversary activities will further inspire and educate people of all ages to understand and interact with electronic music and its heritage – we always hope to nurture future Delia's in the process!”

Partners of the project include John Rylands Research Institute and Library, One Education Music, Delia Derbyshire Estate and Brighter Sound. 

Find out more about the project on the Delia Derbyshire Day website

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