Author Topic: The most heard unknown song in the world (Chapolin Polka mystery)  (Read 5599 times)

Bronic

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On a small update note an early usage of this track was spotted on a off-air recording on the same SBT network probably in 1987 or older (SBT was founded in 1981):



Curiously this clip is announcing a Speedy Gonzales cartoon, another fictional Mexican character. If this was intentional choice it may indicate that the source has a Mexican or Latin American theme. Or the tune was repurposed from the Speedy Gonzales association to the Chespirito's shows on the network.

The research sadly still has no strong lead, we know nothing beyond the usage of the track. Everything is just guessing work.

By now I have a huge collection of library music and this tune isn't there. Also I cannot find examples of other vintage library music used in Brazilian TV. No Italian, French, German labels or obscure releases were ever used by TV stations here.

The library music connection to SBT network comes from some tunes from KPM, Bruton and Valentino used in programming specially children's and comedy. I believe that this is indeed a library track it made its way to Brazil first through American distribution then unofficially imported.


Sirigaitao

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I made a montage of the Chapolin soundtrack, maybe it can help with the research in some way. I've already talked to the sound designer at SBT, but he can't share the soundtrack, and SBT doesn't have the name of it registered, although they might have the record from which this music was extracted.

LibraryMusicLover9500

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Thanks for giving your thoughts, MusicMuzak!

But it's fair more convoluted than that:

The track in question was never part of the original series neither the Brazilian dub itself. The SBT network used this unknown track for the opening and promos for Bolaņos shows and the Chapulin's opening since 1993. In the 1980s and early 90s SBT used music from various external sources for their programming which includes commercial recordings.

The instrumentation used in the track is also a riddle for the fans. At first the intro sounds like a polymoog synth, but fans at the forum are arguing that if you listen carefully it may be a clarinet under heavy processing like a wah-wah pedal and even sped up in recording. I quite agree with this theory and I believe it to be the work of a single clarinetist, but this type of experimental processing is very unlike the straightforward music arrangements of library music.

The 9-year old thread on the fan forum is reaching nearly 200 pages, and there is a lot of buzz on social media but NOTHING was found about the origins of the track to this day. Unlike other mysterious tracks of the Internet it is still is an instantly recognizable tune that was broadcasted daily on the second biggest Brazilian network for almost 30 years for millions of people.
Some people on reddit told me it was a soprano saxophone, but with some formant filter and LFO.

redwave

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Re: For 30 years nobody can identify this track (Brazilian Chapulin opening)
« Reply #33 on: January 25, 2024, 08:20:18 PM »
It sounds quite Eastern European in style and it might be worth exploring the Arcadia Production Music releases.

Bronic

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Re: The most heard unknown song in the world (Chapolin Polka mystery)
« Reply #34 on: April 08, 2024, 02:09:21 AM »
In somewhat unfortunate news, the fan community forum dedicated to the show (which the track is featured), decided sometime ago to close the discussions about the track and now removed all the threads about it. The 200 pages long thread is currently unavailable so 10 years of knowledge and research has gone to the drain. The thread of fan recreations of the theme is gone too. It's a hard blow on the search because new people can't join an open hub of discussion and learn upon what was already written about the track.

The forum's admin team reasoning is that the speculative nature of the subject was attracting trolls and the threads were derailing in nonsense arguments and fights. I argued about this bizarre approach with the mod team but they are also a toxic bunch of pricks. ;D

This happens the same year that a huge ongoing exhibition about the series is happening in Brazil. They even built a life size replica of the 1993 opening featuring the know excerpt of the track. So it's still a relevant item for us Brazilians and will always be.

I wished this search gained international traction like the Fond My Mind/Feels Like a Wish that ended in success because it became viral. But unfortunately the song has no "lostwave" appeal to capture the attention of the mainstream internet.

So my LMT friends, I ask you to take this track into consideration when browsing through your collections of library and non-library music. I don't think myself it's library because how unusual it sounds and the pool of tracks from where it was initially placed among. But everybody here likes and knows a lot about weird and cool music.

Sirigaitao

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Re: The most heard unknown song in the world (Chapolin Polka mystery)
« Reply #35 on: April 11, 2024, 11:32:56 PM »
Here are the 32 seconds of the soundtrack completely clean, a file that came directly from SBT.
It's worth noting that the soundtrack is more extensive, but SBT cut it for the promos and only saved the file with 33 seconds. They have the complete version in their archives, but it's likely not digitized.