While those sounds have evolved from generic computer-generated beeps and dings to more sophisticated synthesized audio tracks in modern cars, Lincoln has taken things a step further by hiring the Detroit Symphony Orchestra to record the warning and alert chimes used in the forthcoming Aviator SUV.

The total of six new chimes were created from “hundreds” musical sounds played on the violin and viola and various percussion instruments.

Lincoln says that while the move is a departure for the brand, it was a way for Ford’s upscale division to “take (itself) to an even higher level.”

Surprisingly, the DSO musicians involved in the project — violinist Adrienne Ronmark, principal viola player Eric Nowlin and principal percussionist Joseph Becker — said Lincoln gave them a lot of latitude and creative freedom in creating the sounds from which the automaker eventually chose just one note that they asked the musicians to turn into a suite of chimes.


Lincoln says it will pull the wraps off the Aviator later this month in Los Angeles, to be followed by the model’s introduction as Lincoln’s latest three-row crossover and a replacement for the aging MKT.

If creating a car’s warning chimes acoustically seems like a lot of work for something normally done electronically, consider that Lincoln wants the Aviator to make a big impression: this vehicle will compete in a crowded category against some formidable — not to mention well-established — vehicles.

Lincoln has high hopes for the Aviator, but it will take more than a charming soundtrack to win buyers away from brands like Lexus, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.