Largest collection of broadcast news themes
Victor Vlam
1877:44:2 total number
Netherlands (Rotterdam)

The largest personal archive of theme music harvested exclusively from broadcast current affairs and sports news programmes numbers 247,711 individual tracks, totalling 1,877 hours 44 minutes 2 seconds of music, and was collected by Victor Vlam (Netherlands), who began curating a digital archive of recordings in January 2002. The collection – which currently stands at 80 solid days of listening – includes main themes, stingers and bumpers, as most news-theme composers write numerous versions of the same theme of varying lengths.

News theme music is any piece of music that is used during a newscast as an opener, closer, bumper, promo, stinger or franchise opener (e.g., weather, sports). Most were composed specifically for that use, though some are repurposed. Vlam curates his collection for the website Network News Music, a site "dedicated to preserving news themes and promoting a greater level of appreciation and understanding of the art of news theme music”. The joy of his collection is hearing theme music without distraction: "In an effort to highlight the wonderful qualities of the music and its composers,” says Vlam, "you can listen to the music in the way it actually was not intended to be heard: without voice-overs or fade outs to commercial."

Visitors to Vlam’s website can rate the music, with the highest-rated theme being that for the CBS TV news programme Face the Nation, with a score of 4.45 out of 5.