"Can you name that tune?" That was what the moderator used to ask on a popular TV game show. The original show ran on CBS and NBC between 1953 and 1959. Then from 1974 until 1981 the show "Name That Tune" was recreated and shown on one evening a week. TV audiences watched as Tom Kennedy called for the contestants to complete three different games.
In the first game the returning champion and the challenger vied with each other to be the first to identify 3 out of the 5 tunes played by the orchestra. In the second game each player would spin a wheel, and the number on the wheel would set the value of the answer to the next demand to "Name that tune." In the final segment of this weekly program each contestant received a clue of no more than 7 notes, and that was supposed to suffice for determining the name of the tune that had been played.
Because that TV game achieved such popularity, many enterprising individuals have helped the familiar TV phrase to resurface in more than one "name that tune" online game. For example, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences offers an online game in which the Internet user is challenged to "Guess this patriotic tune." A different Website has a Name That Tune Theme Song Game in which students who have gone online get challenged to ID a line of lyrics.
Recently Sony introduced a name that tune online game called Game Spy. The young people who have chosen to play this game use their cell phones to answer the challenge to "name that tune." Sony's game provides the Internet user with the ability to quickly and easily identify a song that he or she has heard on the radio.
The Website alexking.org has turned Sony's benefit on its head and has introduced its own type of game. Here the call to "name that tune" reaches out to all radio listeners, asking the many who go online to share the name of what had been a mystery tune.
Both the TV game "Name That Tune" and the name that tune online games have capitalized on the public love for music. The TV game played to an audience that would enjoy a variety of tunes, and so there the orchestra played many different types of music.
The nature of the Internet, however, is such that the "audience" at any Website will consist primarily of individuals with a particular interest. Therefore each of the online games features a specific type of tune.
No one can say that the Internet user fails to share with the TV viewer a fascination with the call to "name that tune." Still the continued presence on the Internet of the recreated TV game could depend on developments in music sharing. Since the music industry has sought to limit the performance of illegal downloading, some music-playing Websites might need to become silent.
A website without music could not fairly ask the Internet user to "name that tune." Hence the Internet-viewing public may one day look at all name that tune online games with the same fondness that it now gives to the old TV game. The public might recall a time when the world had seemed full of men and women ready to become the next "Tom Kennedy."