About Bones/Main Title
NEW! The Alex North Film Scoring Series!
Now you can buy and study individual film cues written for the movies.
That's because for the very first time, Alexander Publishing is able to bring you newly engraved film cues written by Academy Award® winning film composer Alex North, a mentor to both Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams.
All study scores in the Alex North Film Scoring Series are priced specially for film scoring students of all ages as requested by the Alex North Estate.
Every score in the Alex North Film Scoring Series is loaded with applicable tips and tricks for both live orchestral work and for MIDI mock-ups! As with anything, the more you dig the more treasure you’ll find.
First in the Alex North Film Scoring Series is the cue Bones/Main Title written originally for Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey running 1:34. Posted in the audio player on this page is the original mono recording of the cue which was orchestrated and conducted by Pulitzer Prize winning composer/orchestrator Henry Brant, author of Textures and Timbres: An Orchestrator's Handbook.
Epic Hollywood Instrumentation
The instrumentation for Bones/Main Title is a Hollywood balls-to-the-wall epic orchestral sound for full string section, 4 flutes, 4 clarinets, 4 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 contrabassoons, 4 French horns, 6 trumpets, 4 tenor trombones, 2 Euphoniums, 2 Tubas, 2 Timpanists (2 sets of timpani), crash cymbals, 2 different Organs, and 2 Harps.
Bones/Main Title comes in a newly engraved score in concert key. Your benefit - no transposing required.
Learn How It Really Works in Hollywood Film Scoring
One of the career goals behind the Alex North Film Scoring Series is setting your expectations by showing you how things really work behind the scenes when producing the music to a Hollywood film.
That's why each score in the Alex North Film Scoring Series, starting with Bones, includes Alex North's original hand written condensed score for the cue, the orchestration by orchestrator Henry Brant, and the newly engraved cue in concert key to maximize personal study time including setting up MIDI mock-ups. This way you see the complete behind the scenes process from sketch score to final recording.
All three cues are organized as a single downloadable document and printable in an 11 x 17 format. Bones/Main Title downloads directly to your computer's (Linux, Mac, PC) default Documents folder and is watermarked with your unique user ID. So if you're serious about doing film scoring for a living, start here with the new Alex North Film Scoring Sessions published exclusively by Alexander Publishing. 25 pps.
General Editor, Peter Lawrence Alexander, author, The Professional Orchestration Series and How Ravel Orchestrated Mother Goose Suite.
About Alex North
Alex North received 15 Oscar nominations and a Lifetime Achievement Oscar for his work in the film industry at the 1986 Oscars. And he is the first and thus far only composer to have received this honor for his music.
Growing up in Chester, Pennsylvania, times were tough. To make ends meet after his blacksmith father died Alex's mother took in boarders and saved enough money to send two of his brothers to college. Despite the lean times, the Noth household was filled with music, and Alex's extraordinary musical talent earned him scholarships to Philadelphia's Curtis Institute, where he studied piano with George Boyle, and New York's Juilliard School, where he took courses in composition with Bernard Wagenaar from 1929 to 1932.
While at Juilliard he worked nights as a telegrapher, which ruined his health. But his fascination with new Russian music, especially that of Prokofiev, made him interested in going to Russia. The Soviets needed telegraphers. And so North applied, was accepted, and went to Russia where he studied composition on scholarship at the Moscow Conservatory—its first American pupil—with Anton Weprik and Victor Biely, from 1932 to 1935.
While he was in Russia North served as music director of the Latvian State Theater. Later in life, Alex would teach at Bennington, Briarcliffe and Finch colleges in the US.
But North became homesick in Moscow. And so he returned to New York in 1936, where he continued his studies with Aaron Copland (1936-39), and Ernst Toch (1938-39)—who would soon move to Hollywood to score films.
North wrote scores in New York for the Federal Theater project, worked as Martha Graham's rehearsal pianist—he wrote the 1937 dance American Lyric for her company—and did ballets for Hanya Holm, and most importantly, for Anna Sokolow, who left Graham to form her own company. North became her music director and accompanied Soklolow and her troupe on a tour of Mexico in 1939. While there he also studied with the highly original Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas, who wrote a number of striking film scores.
One of North's first film scores—he started in 1936—was for Elia Kazan's documentary short People of the Cumberland (1937).
The US Army drafted Alex in 1942 and noticing his flair for film scoring, he ended up scoring over 25 Office of War Information documentaries like A Million Children (1944), and Library of Congress (1945).
North also developed musical psychodramas with the innovative psychiatrist Karl Menninger at this time.
After the war he returned to New York where he wrote music for the theater and concert pieces like Revue for Clarinet and Orchestra (1946), which Benny Goodman and Leonard Bernstein premiered with the City Symphony of New York, and Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra (1941). He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1947 to write his first symphony, and wrote another one, in 1968, called Africa—Symphony To A New Continent.
But it was his music for theater productions of Death of a Salesman (1949) and The Innocents (1950) that earned him an invitation to Hollywood to score Kazan's film version of his Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). That groundbreaking film marked the first time that a jazz score was fully integrated into the onscreen drama, and North's success with this music has been credited with opening up film scoring to a new generation of composers. Prior to North's score, jazz had functioned only as background music. The pscho-sexual tensions in North's music here were so intense that the Legion of Decency called it "carnal", and asked that the composer remove his "offending" sax solo in one place.
This was not to be the first surprise North encountered in Hollywood. North's original score for 2001 A Space Odyssey was removed right before the release of the film, replaced with classical music by Strauss. This tragic loss was rectified by the recording and release of the 2001 CD by Varese Sarabande Records. The orchestra for this recording was conducted by his friend and colleague, Jerry Goldsmith.
It’s North's emotional integrity that led critic Brooks Atkinson, of the New York Times, to say about one of his theater scores: "Alex North has composed a witch's chorus that is pithy, practical, and terrifying. Give Mr. North a theme, and he goes straight to the heart of it without any musical pretensions." This became one of North's favorite assessments of his work and it concisely explains why North had such a long and successful career.
North wrote more than 50 film scores, but despite 15 nominations for Oscars, he didn't return home with a statue until he won the Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 1986. In a series of interviews after that welcome recognition, North told Steven Smith of the Los Angeles Times that "fear is a problem with film music and films; people want to be conventional, and there's more commercialism today. If you are not daring in your art, you're bankrupt."
The diverse body of North's accomplishments is full of heavy dramas and social themes, like Death of a Salesman, Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf, Rich Man Poor Man and Spartacus, as well as the more light-hearted Prizzi's Honor. One might think that North naturally gravitated to the Hollywood epic, but his widow Anne North, disagrees. "The big epics weren't really his big love. What he always wanted was to write music for films where he was able to relate to the characters."
Even by his own stringent standards, Alex North was a man who had daring and integrity, and his music shows it. As you study the film cues of Alex North you'll be awed by the depth and breadth of his work, particularly as you learn to apply his insights to your own music.
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