Thus Spake Zarathustra
On the show they use a piano for the notes. To identify a song with one note you would have to recognize what key the song is in because the first note is usually the Tonic.
Buffalo Springfield - For What It’s Worth.
I won a swag bag from a radio station call in once where they did this… Rod Stewart - Maggie May
there used to be a game show called Name That Tune. contestants would “bid” on how few notes they could name a song with. The catch was the song for each clue was played by an in-studio orchestra, not the original recordings. The few times someone said they could name a song in one note, they already knew what it was just based on the clue(s.)
Whiskey in the jar, Thin Lizzy
The Lowry organ trill at the beginning of Baba O’Riley should qualify…along with the opening blast of Won’t Get Fooled Again.
Great moment from that show: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x32t3zq
Before this decorated war hero orbited the earth, became a US Senator, or returned to space as a 77 year old, he was a game show contestant on this show.
And, even then, there’s a good possibility that the melody does not start on the tonic at all, but rather the third, or the fifth. (It could start on pretty much anything, but those three notes would comprise I would guess 90+% of melodies.) And even knowing that the starting note is the tonic does not produce one unique key. It could be major, or minor. There simply is no way to identify a song with one piano note played on a random piano (so not the actual recording) and no other context.
Well, does 4’33" count?
Nitpicking here. Every song (Cage being the exception [sup]*[/sup]) begins with one note, if you mean “pitch.” Many of the answers here are referring to a chord or a particular sound – timbre – not a pitch. A sound can give away things a single pitch cannot.
- Although one might argue that Cage’s 4’33" is not a song, since it lacks all of the three common song elements: melody, rhythm, and harmony.
I’m surprised no one has mentioned the downbeat that kicks off Like A Rolling Stone.
WKRP in Cincinnati
“The Contest Nobody Could Win”
And the very first caller got 4 out of 5.
I did thibk about that, wondering if there is a waggish answer out there, but decided it didn’t count as it doesn’t have any note. I said one note.
Crazy Train - Ozzy Osbourne
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The low rumble is commonplace in scifi SFX.
ok I’ll cheat - first three notes of Bach’s Fugue in D Minor.
Ironman by Black Sabbath
“Her Majesty” by the Beatles
“Nobody’s Perfect” by Mike & the Mechanics
“Hold On” by Wilson Phillips
“Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by the Beach Boys
See the American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. A particularly… memorable use of that song.
I wonder iif you mean the Toccata, although the first three notes of the fugue are the same.