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Classical Music's Newest Star: The Dial-Up Modem

color image of a black ol-styl phone wiht handset resting in a white modem "cradle."
Brian Alexander
Creative Commons/Flickr
The sound of a1990s dial-up modem is music to some composers' ears.

Do you remember the sound of a dial-up modem? Kind of R2D2 and Darth Vader all rolled up into one gurgly, bloop-bleep bridge of white noise that could take you beyond these four walls and out into the big, wide world online. Now that sound has inspired a brand-new choral work.

For old times' sake, and using Sibelius 7 musical notation software, the music and tech fans at Touchpress - Classical Music Reimagined have transformed the dial-up modem's once futuristic song into a musical score for voices - a modem "choir," if you will - according to ClassicFM.

Here are both the actual sound of dial-up and Touchpress' sung version, posted just last week:


It seems that the Touchpress modem choir might not be the first. This video of performers at the Internet Yami-ichi black market in Amsterdam re-creating the sound of a dial-up modem was uploaded about a year ago:


Read more:

  • This Choir Just Transcribed and Performed the Sound of a 1990s Dial-Up Modem (Classic FM)
Jennifer Hambrick unites her extensive backgrounds in the arts and media and her deep roots in Columbus to bring inspiring music to central Ohio as Classical 101’s midday host. Jennifer performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago before earning a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.