Exercises in Style – No. 40: Så (You Know)

It all started with a paper cup…

Anders received a video from his niece, with her performing a «cup-clap»-rhythm. She asked if he could set some music to this rhythm, making it a proper, albeit brief, tune.

He did, with some programmed drums, funky bass, a wah-wah riff and a guitar/synth theme reminiscent of the opening to a TV series. Anders sent it over to his niece, and forgot about it for a while…

… until one day when we were discussing ideas for new Exercises in Style. He suddenly remembered the CupClap Theme Song, and realized that he could play a slightly altered, but very recognizable version of the Exercises-theme on top of the existing arrangement.

Jarle liked the idea, and especially the link to the wonderful world of TV shows, and added two additional sections to Anders’ original tune. They were even able to utilize the initial CupClap-theme as a countermelody for the recap at the end 🙂

So, another Exercise had seen the light of day. But which one was it? After a lot of contemplation and some debate, they decided on Quenau’s exercise No. 40: «You Know…»

You probably know the phrase “You know”: few things sounds more American than this short filler phrase. For some of us it promptly leads the thoughts to American pop-culture, and to the iconic phenomenon of the TV intros of the 80s and 90s. They were a thing of beauty, weren’t they? A perfect blend of catchy tunes and kitchy hairdos.

From the eerie opening of shows like “X-files” and “Twin Peaks” to the high-energy, up-beat theme songs of “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Airwolf”, these intro themes set the stage for some of the most memorable television moments of the decades.

But beyond just being catchy and memorable, these themes also helped to define the shows they introduced. They set the tone and conveyed the essence of the series, giving viewers a sense of what they could expect from the next hour or so of peak TV entertainment. Some were the perfect anthem to the young and fashionable characters of the show, others haunting and atmospheric masterpieces, all perfectly capturing the tone of the series.

So here’s to the TV intro themes of the 80s and 90s, the unsung heroes of our favorite shows. Thank you for the memories and the toe-tapping tunes (and to Anders’ niece: a sincere thank you for the cupclap-rhythm which spurred us on…!)

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