Monday, 23 November 2009

Minor mysteries (1) - THE TIME SIGNAL

Is it just Radio4 that gives that ''pip-pip-pip-peep'' time signal? Anyhow, listening to an exceptionally long series of pip-pip-pip-pip-pip-peeps last night I got to thinking that you only know when the hour has arrived because it's a longer note. But, here's the rub, you only know that it's a longer note when it hasn't stopped as quickly as the previous ones did. So you're only going to know when that times comes after it's come. In other words, you're late!

It would be so much easier to change the pitch of the penultimate note: A A A B A. The lead-in As would give you the rhythm, the B (a higher note) would tell you that it was the last pip before the hour. And then you'd get the time much more accurately. Because this, for some reason, is held to be important.

A A A B A is only an idea. You could just as easily change the B bit.

pip pip toodle pip!

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