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WATCH: South Korean a cappella group imitates sounds of iPhone, Samsung with precision

By Tanya Lara Published Mar 16, 2021 3:37 am

It’s been said that the human voice is the oldest musical instrument as humans produce sound when the air from their lungs vibrates the vocal chords in the throat.

There are four basic types of human voice (soprano, alto, tenor and bass), now you can add “notifications” too.

An a cappella choir/band—one that performs without musical acompaniment—took this a step further as they imitated the notification sounds of the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Mac and Windows.

Reposted on Instagram today by the UK’s popular classical music station ClassicFM, the five-member choir MayTree imitated iPhone sound effects with “terrifying virtuosity.”

First they started with the default ringtone, then the marimba, followed by the xylophone, silk, timba, the swoosh message sound, strum, the annoying alarm sound, and others.  

If you were in another room and heard these, you’d think it was your phone and not a group of South Korean singers.

It turns out that MayTree has been using their voices not just to do these fun sounds, they’re an award-winning group that goes way back to 2005 when they released the first of their three studio albums, with the last one in 2020. They’ve also won at the International A Cappella Competition, the Choral Internaitonal Competition and the World Choir Games.

Their sound reproductions are all spot-on but the Mac sounds are really funny to me as they do the classic “on,” put in trash and empty trash. I worked with Macs in the newspaper office for more than 20 years (and now WFH), and I don't think it ever really changed its sounds even with new computer releases, so I know them by heart.

The “on” sound tells me, “Get your ass on the chair and start working.”  

They’ve also done the intro of Pixar with the lamp jumping through and on the letters that spell out the studio’s name; John Williams’ Harry Potter theme; and a movie intro medley that kicks off with the 20th-Century Fox intro.

MayTree members are Jang Sang-in, Kang Soo-kyung, Jeon Sung-hyun, Kim Won-jong and Lim Soo-yeon.