Frank Skinner Collection

The Frank Skinner Collection was donated to the NIU Libraries in 1989 and consists of musical scores from motion pictures. With one exception, they are all original pencil manuscripts in Skinner's hand--Magnificent Obsession is an ozalid copy of a studio copyist's manuscript. Except My Man Godfrey and Written on the Wind, which are fragments, the scores are believed to be complete representations of all the music Skinner wrote for films. Each of the scores was written for a conventional symphony orchestra. Following the usual procedure in the Hollywood film industry, Skinner notated his music in the form of a three-stave pencil sketch which gave all details of melody and harmony and most details of orchestration. This sketch was then turned over to a studio orchestrator who would prepare a full score based on this sketch. Copyists would then prepare individual orchestral parts from the orchestrator's score; a "conductor part" (usually a clean copy of the composer's original sketch) was also prepared. The identity of Skinner's orchestrators for these five scores is unknown; it is possible, though unlikely, that he orchestrated the scores himself.

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