The Verge wrote a nice little story about the team that came up with all the tunes you can find on Nokia phones since the mid-90s. I remember back in 1999, when I got my first Nokia phone, spending a lot of time listening to all the installed ringtones and finding the best one for me. At that time, the quality of a cell phone was not measured by its processing power, but by the number of pre-installed ringtones.
Nokia had the best ringtones at that time, and that was mainly because the company invested a lot in the music department. The biggest fear was that if someone bought a new phone and could not find the right ringtone, they would choose another manufacturer. For this reason, there are more than 20 ringtones on Nokia phones.
The head of Nokia’s audio department at the time, Jarkko Ylikoski, assembled a team of composers that included Timo Anttila, Hannu Af Ursin, Henry Daw, as well as Aleksi Eeben, Markus Castrén, and contractors Ian Livingstone and Noa Nakai, who created most of the tunes and are probably the most published digital sound artists in the world if you count the number of phones Nokia shipped with their tunes.
That was the time of the ringtone craze, which grew even bigger with polyphonic tones, better speaker quality, and audio formats that could package ringtones in better quality. I do not know if people are lazier now or what happened, but I can not remember the last time I changed or even adjusted my ringtone. For the last 5 years, I have kept my phone on mute as I get notified of my calls through the smartwatch or band. I rarely unmute it, and when I do, you can hear the Nokia Tune when I get a call.
I recommend you read Verge’s post. It’s a nice piece of Nokia trivia for anyone interested in this huge brand. By the way, have you ever composed a ringtone by yourself on Nokia 3310?