Taxman’s jingle that struck a discordant note with musician
WAITING on the phone is an infuriating part of modern life, but musician Alan Drever-Smith made good use of his time on a call to HM Revenue and Customs – by transcribing the on-hold jingle.
The 26-year-old grew so frustrated during a 40-minute call with the taxman that he decided to take down the tune and post it online, and the score has since gone viral.
He said that the ‘jarring’ music inspired a moment of creative mischief as he tried to sort out his finances last month.
And after hearing the same minute-long segment over and over, Mr Drever-Smith fired up his laptop to begin transcribing the tune. He said: ‘As a musician, I was giggling because it was such rubbish – the tune is jarring and it’s just horrible to listen to, it’s almost comical.
‘Five minutes had passed, and I had my laptop in front of me, so I just had a spark of mischief.
‘I wanted to see if I’d be able to transcribe the music in the time I was on hold, which I did in roughly 15 minutes.
‘It’s quite mundane but it’s jazzy – which is kind of hilarious because it’s so out of place, it’s like they just slammed two completely different songs together. It was boredom therapy. I just thought it could make someone laugh if I transcribed it and posted it up, it was just silly really. I think the fact that the song just repeats itself is enough to make people go insane.’
Mr Drever-Smith, a classicallytrained drummer from Hull who files his own tax returns, said it was not the worst piece of music he had ever heard, but offered to help HMRC improve it.
‘I’d definitely volunteer myself to make a new version, but I think any music is horrific if repeated indefinitely.
‘You never get the chance to listen to a song in its entirety, it just lasts a minute then starts over. That just makes it much worse.
‘But it does make you wonder – as a musician you want your music to be heard and this hold music has definitely been heard by millions.
‘It just made it so much worse at the end when it says “thank you for your patience” after making you sit through all of that – it just adds insult to injury.’