ALEXANDER COURAGE COLLECTION
Ruth T. Watanabe Special Collections
Sibley Music Library
prepared by Carol M. Moen
- Description of Collection
- Description of Series
- Series 1: Motion Picture Scores
- Series 2: Television Scores
- Series 3: Occasional and Miscellaneous Scores
- Series 4: Scripts and Filming Schedules
- Series 5: Recordings
- Series 6: Notes and Sketches
- Series 7: Personal Papers
- Series 8: Photographs
- Series 9: Sheet Music
- Subject Index
DESCRIPTION OF COLLECTION
Location: M1A 3,4 – 7,8
33 linear feet
Alexander Courage (b. 1919) was born in Philadelphia and raised in New Jersey. He received a Bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music in 1941. After serving in the United States Army for five years during World War II, he settled in Los Angeles and began work as a composer/arranger for radio. His credits in radio include the well-known programs The Camay Hour and Sam Spade. In 1948 he was employed by MGM as an orchestrator. He has worked extensively in film music; his credits as a composer/arranger include Funny Face, Guys and Dolls, Showboat, Doctor Dolittle, and Superman. He is a frequent Academy Award nominee. He has also gained great distinction as a composer/arranger for television, and is perhaps best-known for his work on the programs Wagon Train, Peyton Place, Daniel Boone, The Waltons, and the original Star Trek series. Active in numerous professional organizations, Courage was a member of the first temporary executive board of the Composers and Lyricists Guild of America, and is a regular adjudicator of the Academy Awards.
The collection was compiled during the professional career of Alexander Courage, who gave it to the Sibley Music Library.
Scope and Content
The Alexander Courage Collection contains materials emanating from Courage’s professional and personal activities. These include scores, scripts, sketches, notes and recordings for film and television productions (both Courage’s original scores and his arrangements for other composers), arranged scores for pops orchestras and awards broadcasts, sheet music, personal papers, and photographs (both professional and personal). The scores in the collection are identified by type: conductor’s scores (the short, or reduced, scores used by orchestrators and during recording sessions), manuscript scores, sketches, and lead sheets (melodic line with chord symbols). Many of the scores are annotated with arrangers’ markings, composers’ corrections, cuts, and references to the films.
The productions represented by the largest collections of scores, notes, and recordings include Leslie Bricusse’s Doctor Dolittle, Arthur Schwartz’s The Band Wagon, Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars, John Williams’s Superman and Superman IV, and Alexander Courage’s The Waltons. Among the other composers featured prominently in the collection are Jerry Goldsmith and Alex North.
Restrictions and Use
No restrictions have been placed on access to the materials in this collection. Copyright applies to the works involved.
DESCRIPTION OF SERIES
Series 1: Motion Picture Scores
The series contains musical scores, including original manuscripts and reproductions of composers’ scores, manuscripts, piano scores, and lead sheets. Also included are manuscript sketches identified by title. The scores are arranged in alphabetical order by title of the motion picture. The individual scores for each film are arranged chronologically by reel number, where possible, and by alphabetical order when no reel number is indicated. Each film is further identified by studio production number, where possible.
Series 2: Television Scores
The series contains scores, including original manuscripts. The scores are arranged in alphabetical order by title of the television show. The individual scores for each television show are arranged chronologically by date and episode number where possible, and by alphabetical order when no date is indicated.
Series 3: Occasional and Miscellaneous Scores
The series contains scores, including arrangements made for television specials, such as Christmas and Academy Awards broadcasts, and for the Boston Pops. The scores are arranged in alphabetical order by title.
Series 4: Scripts and Filming Schedules
- A. Motion Pictures
- B. Television
The series contains documents relating to motion picture and television productions, including scripts and screenplays, script changes, filming schedules, cast lists, and music notes. Both sub-series are arranged in alphabetical order by the title of the production.
Series 5: Recordings
- A. Motion Pictures
- B. Television
- C. Other
The series contains recordings, including soundtrack music and personal tapes. Included in this series is a set of tapes made by Alexander Courage, in which the composer gives information about this collection. The sub-series are each organized by reel size (5″ and 7″), arranged in alphabetical order by the title of the production, with individual recordings in chronological order.
Series 6: Notes and Sketches
This series contains miscellaneous or unidentified manuscript sketches and compositional notes, arranged in alphabetical order.
Series 7: Personal Papers
This series contains various items, grouped and organized by type (correspondence, movie and concert programs, articles, etc.)
Series 8: Photographs
- A. Prints
- B. Slides
- C. Negatives
This series contains several hundred photographs, most taken by Alexander Courage. The photographs are grouped within each sub-series by subject where possible, and extensively annotated by Courage. Prints are boxed according to size. Particularly noteworthy are Courage’s photographs of Igor Stravinsky and Dmitri Shostakovich.
Series 9: Sheet Music
This series contains published sheet music, the bulk relating to various motion picture scores arranged by Courage. The music is arranged in alphabetical order by composer’s surname.