The bright, high-pitched melody which rings in every new episode of the Great British Bake-Off was written by the young UK composer Tom Howe. In this iconic jingle, violins lead the way, supported by a lively rhythmic line from the cellos and percussions.
After a short cello intro building up tension, the violin kicks in with a fast-paced tune which is repeated for a few bars. With these 30 seconds of television music, Tom Howe has signed a recognisable score which has accompanied the series since their creation almost ten years ago.
An album dedicated to the competition’s music was released in 2015. Entitled ‘Songs from the Bake Off Tent’, this album is a collection of Howe’s music and various pop songs also played in the episodes throughout the series. From ‘Bakewell Counting’ to ‘Happy Pizza’ via ‘Fresh Ingredients’, Howe’s music embodies the programme’s light-heartedness and devotion to high-flying baking skills.
Howe has contributed widely to British TV, with the main tunes of BBC Life and Channel 5’s Witch Hunt also to his name. After the Great British Bake-Off’s first season, he happily returned to composing music for food-related productions with the romantic comedy Love’s Kitchen in 2011, in which Gordon Ramsay makes an appearance.
Tom Howe has since scored several Hollywood productions, including the recent animated feature Early Man and A Shaun the Sheep Story: Farmageddon, which will be released in October this year. He has also written additional music for the scores of renowned film music composers Rupert Gregson-Williams (Wonder Woman, The Legend of Tarzan) and Harry Gregson-Williams (Monkey Kingdom).
The British composer uses modern sound design techniques to compose his scores, layering digital samples to create the effects and atmosphere he wants. He describes his writing as melody-driven, creating the perfect hook for spectators. For the Great British Bake Off, he explained that he aimed to compose music with a feeling of British sensibility, admitting that he greatly enjoyed compressing that into such a short format.