It's a mystery...
December 5, 2011 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Silly question, surely it's easily answerable but I'm on a computer with no sound and have too much work to do to spend much time looking, so I turn to AskMe in hopes of settling an office disagreement before the workday is over. The classic musical phrase which describes "mystery," "detective," etc. I think it's from a TV show. Tip of my tongue, but I'm drawing a complete blank. It goes, "Duuuuum da-dum dum / Duuuuum da-dum dum dummmmmm...." Notes are: 1, flat-2, flat-3, 1 / 1, flat-2, flat-3, 1, X. Boss says X is a perfect fifth. I say it's a flat-5 Who is correct? And what the heck is it from? Thanks AskMe.
posted by Balonious Assault to Grab Bag (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Dragnet - Flat 5
posted by brainmouse at 2:48 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

It's the theme from Dragnet. I'd link but phone.
posted by griphus at 2:49 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Funny. The first thing I thought of was Mathnet.
posted by supercres at 2:51 PM on December 5, 2011 [2 favorites]

Known as a Tritone in music. Described as a Flat Five.
posted by snoelle at 2:52 PM on December 5, 2011

sheet music! since you don't have sound - Starts on C, the high DUMMMM is an F#.
posted by brainmouse at 2:52 PM on December 5, 2011

If the first note is a C, the last note would be an F-sharp: flat five.

On preview, what snoelle said.
posted by Melismata at 2:53 PM on December 5, 2011

The Tritone, or flat five, is also known as The Devil's Interval.
posted by Aquaman at 2:56 PM on December 5, 2011

Awesome. Thanks everybody. Now I just hope I don't end up realizing that this was one of those situtations where it would have been better to just let the boss be right!
posted by Balonious Assault at 3:16 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Those nine notes composed by Walter Schumann have subsequently been described as the most recognizable four-note motif since Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.
posted by Oriole Adams at 3:19 PM on December 5, 2011

Actually you're both right -- if you count the more recent version used in Tums commercials, which ends on the perfect 5th.
posted by svenx at 5:45 PM on December 5, 2011

Oh, that's even better! Now I can continue to enjoy knowing that I was right, but I can also approach my boss tomorrow with a big shit-eating grin on my face and say, "You know what, Boss, it turns out that you were right after all. Of course you are much too young to remember Dragnet, and have only ever been exposed to the Tums version. You'd think that by now I'd have learned that there is never any point in questioning you."
posted by Balonious Assault at 7:07 PM on December 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh, that's what's used at the start of the "Busy Town Mysteries" theme! Hooray for Huckle!
posted by slightlybewildered at 11:55 PM on December 5, 2011

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