About Bones/Main Title
NEW! The Alex North Film Scoring Video Lecture Series: Bones/Main Title – Orchestration and Composition
100% Downloadable Worldwide.
Complementing our release of Alex North's cue Bones, written for 2001, is this 75 minute video lecture complete with 3 different condensed PDF scores of the Bones cue with onscreen score excerpts matched to audio from the original film scoring session. This way what you see, you hear. Color coded score excerpts matched to audio make it easy for nearly anyone to follow along. Also included is our special video Spectrotone Chart.
The Condensed PDF Scores
Done in Notion 5, the three condensed custom PDF scores are a breakthrough for learning film composition and orchestration. The first PDF score is 10 staves and reflects the standard orchestral layout. The second condensed score follows the Spectrotone Chart and is organized by register. The third and final condensed score has Bones reduced to four staves plus a fifth line for timpani.
There are two score versions. The first type is readable in our new custom onscreen reader which can be read on your computer monitor separate from the video lecture. The second type are printable PDFs in 8.5 x 11 format, custom watermarked. You can print as many copies of the printable PDFs as you like.
In fact, you may find the condensed PDF scores the star of the series because of how they make learning composition and orchestration so much easier.
Bones Audio from the Original Recording Session
We've made score study in this video come alive by matching score examples from Bones to the original film recording, courtesy of the North family. Score excerpts are also color coded to make studying with the video even easier.
Teaching Focus: Orchestration and Composition
This first video in the series, taught by Peter Alexander (Scoring Stages) focuses on span of orchestration, composition and orchestration techniques most of which can be done with orchestral samples. The video, running 75 minutes, is divided into five chapters. These are:
Chapter 1 – Introduction
Chapter 2 – Composer and Orchestrator: A Collaborative Relationship
Chapter 3 – Instrumentation Selected for Bones
Chapter 4 – Orchestral and Instrumental Range
Chapter 5 – Full Score Analysis
Detailed Chapter Breakdown
Below is a detailed chapter by chapter review.
Chapter 1 – Introduction.
Reviews the use of Platform Purple, and the contents of the learning materials including 3 different condensed sketch scores: standard, by register, and 4-staves with timpani. Also included is a special onscreen version of the Spectrotone Chart.
Chapter 2 – Composer and Orchestrator: A Collaborative Relationship.
Orchestrating and orchestrator defined. What's provided to the orchestrator. The four approaches in working with an orchestrator. Alex North and his two approaches in working with orchestrators. Comparison between Bones and The Bluff. The 3 types of collaboration with an orchestrator. How Alex North and Henry Brant complemented each other.
Chapter 3 – Instrumentation Selected For Bones.
Alex North's goals in film scoring. How instrumentation is considered and planned. Review of instrumentation for this cue: Woodwinds in 4s, Expanded Brass, Double Harps, Organs, and String Section Size. Woodwind size comparison with MIDI mock-up insights. North's brass compared to a standard brass section. Focus on the Euphonium, and the organs used in the cue. The conical instruments. MIDI mock-up considerations.
Chapter 4 – Orchestral and Instrumental Range.
Two Types of Ranges and each defined. Range breaks for both orchestral and instrumental range. Application seen with the Spectrotone Chart. The five orchestral registers. Darker to Brighter tone colors. Coffee Break!
Chapter 5 – Full Score Analysis.
Also includes audio from the original recording to illustrate score sections. In 3 parts.
Part 1 -
the three condensed scores; condensed score terms; Focus is registration and instrumentation; bars 1-11; tone colors entering and closing; tone colors sustaining; pedal point and doubles; combinations and the Spectrotone Chart; the Cone Horns; the Cone Horns Ensemble; Placement by registers and Dynamic Equivalents with the brass; the Blue Box; Hi Strings as Single Unit; Bruckner and Alex North; Debussy and Hi Strings as unit; Hi Strings Doubled with Hi Woodwinds; Bones and Dynamic Equivalents; The Unit.
Part 2 –
The Unit + 3 more trumpets; back to Dynamic Equivalents and balance; Trumpets 4-6; the Purple Circle; Orchestration is Composition; summary of entrances by number; Enclosure; Orchestral Change; An Alex North Principal; Underlying form of Bones; Where Alex North divided the orchestra; Bars 19 to the end; the Four Stave View.
Part 3 –
Backtracking to Bar 15; More Dynamic Equivalents; the Big Sound; Bars 19 – 20; Henry Brant on Recording Alex North; Bones by Vertical Register; the full score blocked out; the whole cue with audio conducted by Henry Brant; Summary.
You'd spend hundreds of dollars learning these scoring techniques from A-list Academy Award winnding film composer Alex North in either expensive seminars (live or online) or expensive college classes. But with the Alex North Film Scoring Video Lecture Series, you can learn in the comfort of where you live using the computer (Mac or PC) and for video, your Android or Apple iDevice.
If you've ever wanted to study real film cues and to learn what's really going on, now you can, and at incredibly low pricing.
Approx. 75 mins / 715 MB
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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Downloading and Accessing Your Bones Course Videos and Additional Files
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1. After purchasing, follow the instructions on your email receipt to download and install the free player app (* Norton Antivirus users please see note below instructions). If you've previously installed the app you can jump to Step # 3.
2. Once you've installed the Alexander Publishing Digital app you'll see it as an icon on your desktop. Launch the app and sign in using your Purple Shop login info. You only have to sign in the first time.
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