This is Wikipedia’s new audio logo, which is designed to be ‘The Sound of All Human Knowledge’

Wikipedia sound logo
(Image credit: Wikimedia Foundation)

Whether it’s the Netflix ta-dum, your Apple Mac’s startup chime or the THX Deep Note, a brand’s audio logo can immediately make you feel at home, and might even tell you something about the product/service/technology you’re about to start using. 

Not to be left out, Wikipedia has just revealed its own sonic sting. This was chosen via the company’s ‘The Sound of All Human Knowledge’ contest, which invited composers from around the world to create a sound that demonstrates what Wikipedia is all about. The winner was decided by a vote among volunteer contributors to Wikimedia, the non-profit organisation that operates Wikipedia.

That winner, it’s now been confirmed, is Thaddeus Osborne, a nuclear engineer from Virginia, USA, who enjoys exploring music theory and production in his spare time. Sounds used in his submission include those of turning book pages, keyboard clicks and a chiming synth. Check it out in the Tweet below.

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“Music has always been a huge part of my life and a way for me to ‘travel the world’ from my small town’s backyard,” commented Osborne. “Every piece of music transported me to a new place and taught me something new.

“As a dedicated fan of Wikipedia, I strongly believe that the platform’s commitment to reliable and free information is essential to our global success. By incorporating my sound, I hope to make Wikipedia even more accessible and engaging, enabling readers [and now listeners] to embark on their own journey of discovery and knowledge. With more answers and information at our fingertips, we can tackle big problems and create a brighter future for all.” 

Noble aims, for sure, and Zack McCune, Director of Brand at the Wikimedia Foundation, agrees that Osborne’s 4-second snippet does a good job of capturing what Wikipedia is all about.

“We’re honoured by his contribution to the free knowledge movement and grateful to the selection committee and voters for choosing a sound that wonderfully represents free knowledge,” he said in a statement.

As part of his prize, Osborne will receive $2,500 and a trip to a pro studio to re-record his sound logo for use on Wikipedia. You can check out all 10 of the final shortlisted ‘The Sound of All Human Knowledge’ contest entries on the Wikimedia Commons website. 

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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