There’s a tune that you’ve probably heard throughout your life. It’s nine notes long, and it’s almost always used to signal that something vaguely Asian is happening or is about to happen.
You know what I’m talking about. The tune’s most prominent role is probably in that 1974 song, “Kung Fu Fighting.” It comes in right as Carl Douglas is singing that anthemic “Oh-hoh-hoh-hoah.”
The tune is ubiquitous. And like many things that are just in the air, few ever ask where it came from. But we did.
How The ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ Melody Came To Represent Asia
Photo credits: (Top) Michael Putland/Getty Images and Courtesy of Martin Nilsson