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Brian May (1934-1997)
Scores

MSS 0241

Biographical Note

Brian May was a South Australian film composer and conductor who was a prominent figure during the Australian New Wave. He is perhaps best known for his scores to Mad Max and Mad Max 2.

May was born in Adelaide on 28 July 1934. He trained at the Adelaide Elder Conservatorium as a pianist, violinist and conductor. He joined the ABC Adelaide in 1957 and was asked to form and conduct the ABC Adelaide Big Band, a full-blown ensemble that was rated as the best of the ABC state-based bands.

He moved to Melbourne when he was 35 to arrange and conduct the ABC's Melbourne Show Band which made its radio debut on the First Network on 13 March 1969. Background music for Australian television had previously been taken from records. May changed this by writing and arranging the themes for television programmes, including Bellbird, Return to Eden, The Last Frontier, A Dangerous Life and Darling of the Gods.

A breakthrough for May was the drama series Rush, set on the 19th-century Victorian goldfields. The theme was composed by Australian George Dreyfus, but May's arrangement of the theme was recorded by the Show Band and quickly reached the top of the Australian charts, selling more than 100,000 copies.

May also composed the Countdown theme and the Melbourne Show Band launched the highly successful Countdown television series. He left the ABC in 1984 and his interests turned to film music. He composed more than 30 feature film scores, including Gallipoli, Mad Max, Mad Max 2, Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare, Dr. Giggles and one episode of Tales from the Crypt. May preferred to orchestrate his scores himself.

May died in Melbourne on 25 April 1997 at the age of 62.

Adapted from Wikipedia.

Contents Listing

The following scores were transferred from the Elder Music Library Collection in 2017

[SATB and piano]
The Blue Bells of Scotland
Complete score – MS pencil – 8 p. plus cover
Piano score – MS ink – 6 p. plus cover

[SATB and piano]
The Rakes of Mallow
Complete score – MS pencil – 6p plus cover
SATB – MS ink – 6 p. plus cover
Piano – MS ink – 4 p. plus cover

[SATB and piano]
Jack the Jolly Ploughboy
Complete score – MS pencil – 5 p. plus cover
SATB – MS photocopy – 6 p.
Piano – MS ink – 4 p. plus cover

[SATB and piano]
Dumbarton’s Drums
Complete score – MS pencil – 4 p. plus cover
Complete score – MS pencil – 4 p. plus cover
SATB – MS ink – 7 p. plus cover
Piano with SATB – MS ink – 6 p. plus cover

[SATB and piano]
World War I Medley
Complete score – MS pencil – 8 p. plus cover
SATB – MS ink – 7 p. plus cover
Piano – MS ink – 5 p. plus cover

[SATB and piano]
Anzac Day Medley III
Complete score – MS pencil – 5 p. plus cover
SATB – MS ink – 6 p. plus cover
Piano – MS ink – 3 p. plus cover

[SATB and piano]
Anzac Day Medley World War II
Complete score – MS pencil – 12 p. plus cover
SATB – MS ink – 10 p. plus cover
Piano – MS ink – 7 p. plus cover

[SATB and piano]
Comin’ through the Rye
Incomplete score – MS ink – 21 p. plus cover
SATB – MS photocopy – 9 p.

[SATB and piano]
Ye Banks and Braes
Complete score – MS pencil – 9 p. plus cover
Complete score – MS ink – 9 p. plus cover
SATB – MS photocopy – 6 p.

[SATB and piano]
The Boatie Rows
Complete score – MS pencil – 9 p. plus cover
SATB – MS ink – 11 p. plus cover
Piano – MS ink – 6 p. plus cover

 

Ashleigh Tobin
2017

Rare Books & Special Collections
Address

The University of Adelaide
Rare Books & Special Collections
Level 1, Barr Smith Library
South Australia 5005
Australia

Contact

Phone: +61 8 8313 5224
library_special@adelaide.edu.au