A brief history of the Mac startup sound: in which Music Thing interviews Jim Reekes, creator of the famous chord.
It’s a C Major chord, played with both hands stretched out as wide as possible …. I wanted something really fat, heavy bass, high notes, and a sharp attack. The chiffy sound was from pan pipes and something like a stick hit….
Back in MICA, I used Reekes’ now-famous chord as the intro and bass background for my Sound 1 piece ReEno, a darkened mashup of various operating system startup sounds. (“ReEno” is now an erroneous name, I suppose, based on the entry where I claimed that the original sound had been composed and performed by Brian Eno or Stanley Jordan.)
Update: This video compiles Mac startup and crash sounds through history: