The cowbell cheer arose out of a conversation between Mike Ramsay (aka Mike Brown) and Chris Farrar in spring 2003. Several other schools had fans with cowbells, and had become rather annoying with them. Mike and Chris set out to come up with a general purpose cheer which could also be used to drown out other schools.
RPI's cowbell cheer is based off a classic Latin rhythm known as the cáscara. Not having easy access to proper musical notation software, the cheer was originally written/described by Chris via e-mail:
Sixteenth notes using 1eah2eah3eah4eah (Repeat 3x) 1 a 2e h3 ah e h (Repeat 3x) 1 a 2e 3 a 4 (3=Let's a=go 4=Red!) (Repeat Ad Nauseum or 2x)1 a 2 3 a 4 (1&3=Let's a=go 2&4=Red!)