The Real Story Behind Cisco’s Omnipresent Hold Music, via This American Life
In today’s world, it’s harder than ever to find those shared experiences within movies, music, television and literature that bond people together. DVRs, streaming services, iTunes and Kindles have put a world of hyper-niche entertainment at our fingertips, at the cost of easy water cooler conversation about the new hit song or last night’s TV show.
However, there’s one piece of music that almost everyone connected to the western hemisphere has heard, even if you’ve tried to ignore it: Opus No.1.
Don’t worry if the name doesn’t ring a bell… here’s the music that’s sure to spark your memory:
Despite its humble beginnings as a four-track recording made in a garage by 16-year old musician and computer geek Tim Carelton, Opus No.1 would become the default hold music for Cisco phone systems. Over the ensuing decades Cisco grew to dominate the business VoIP market, and Opus No. 1 was there every step of the way.
If you’d like to learn more about the fascinating origins of the world’s most popular hold music, check out the whole story in this episode of This American Life.
The NSG team would like to thank This American Life and Mental Floss for giving us a little more insight into the background of the Cisco phone systems we work with every day.