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Hamlet DVD cover image

At Kaleidophon, Delia helped create the ghost voice and electronic music sequences[1] for Tony Richardson’s production of Hamlet at the Chalk Farm Round House,[2] which was then turned into the 1969 film "Shakespeare's Hamlet".[3]

Delia's sounds accompany the apparitions of the ghost of Hamlet's father and feature Nicol Williamson’s treated voice as the voice of the ghost.[4] The only other music in the film are a couple of brief trumpet fanfares and some medieval party music, for which Patrick Gowers gets the entire film credit as the composer of its original music.


  • 01:29-01:56 First apparition: "The same figure like the king that's dead"

Shakespeare's Hamlet - 1st apparition - Spectrogram.jpg

  • 02:14-02:45 Second apparition: "This bodes some strange eruption to our state"

Shakespeare's Hamlet - 2nd apparition - Spectrogram.jpg

  • 16:36-20:02 Third apparition: "It is a custom more honoured in the breach than the observance", voice of Hamlet's father and clashes

Shakespeare's Hamlet - 3rd apparition - Spectrogram.jpg

  • 1:08:10-1:09:12 Fourth apparition "A king of shreds and patches", voice of Hamlet's father

Shakespeare's Hamlet - 4th apparition - Spectrogram.jpg


A part of one of the Attic Tapes is included in the Lost tapes of the Dr Who composer article, but it is is not the version used in the film. It is the voice of Hamlet's Father's Ghost only for Act 1 Scene 5. In the film, the dialogue jumps from "Murder!" to "in my orchard", while this extract runs from "I find thee apt" to "Brief let me be", so is most likely the tape for the Ghost's voice for the theatrical production preceding the film. Sound effects for 1969 production of Hamlet - Spectrogram.jpg

Hamlet, Act 1 Scene 5, lines 31 to 42                      Film  Extract
GHOST 	Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder. 	     |
HAMLET 	Murder! 	                                     |
GHOST   Murder most foul, as in the best it is;
        But this most foul, strange and unnatural. 	
HAMLET  Haste me to know't, that I, with wings as swift
        As meditation or the thoughts of love,
        May sweep to my revenge. 
GHOST   I find thee apt;                                          |
        And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed             |
        That roots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,                 |
        Wouldst thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear:         |
        'Tis given out that,                                      |
                             sleeping in my orchard,         |    |
        A serpent stung me;  so the whole ear of Denmark     |    |
        Is by a forged process of my death                   |    |
        Rankly abused: but know, thou noble youth,           |    |
        The serpent that did sting thy father's life         |    |
        Now wears his crown. 	                             |    |
HAMLET 	O my prophetic soul! My uncle! 	                     |
GHOST   Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,          |    |
        With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts,-- |    |
        O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power          |    |
        So to seduce!--won to his shameful lust              |    |
        The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen:          |    |
        O Hamlet, what a falling-off was there!
        From me, whose love was of that dignity
        That it went hand in hand even with the vow
        I made to her in marriage, and to decline
        Upon a wretch whose natural gifts were poor
        To those of mine!
        But virtue, as it never will be moved,
        Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven,
        So lust, though to a radiant angel link'd,
        Will sate itself in a celestial bed,
        And prey on garbage.
        But, soft! methinks I scent the morning air;
        Brief let me be.                                     |    |
                         Sleeping within my orchard,         |
        My custom always of the afternoon,                   |


  • DD035: "Hamlet Copy Reels 1, 2, 3"
  • DD210: "Hamlet Reel 1 of makeup"
  • DD156: "Hamlet Reel 2 of Makeup. Music & FX"
  • DD157: "Hamlet Reel 3 of Makeup"
  • DD208: "Hamlet film material"
  • DD209: "Copy Film Hamlet 3rd session"


The Performing Right Society's list of works by Delia Ann Derbyshire has:

Title: Hamlet
Writer(s): Derbyshire Delia Ann; Clarke, Malcolm John (SNR)
Publisher: BBC Worldwide Music
Creation date: 27 March 1991

though this may be a different version of Hamlet from the Tony Richardson/Chalk Farm Round House one, which was not a BBC production.