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More Oscar Troubles

April 24, 1988

In the art of writing music for film, there have been very few real geniuses or true originators: Nino Rota, Bernard Herrmann and Alex North are at the top of the list. Yet the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will have us believe that Alex North doesn't qualify because he has drawn on folk sources for his inspiration ("Alex North's Troubles With Oscar," by Jack Mathews, April 10).

I feel that if a composer pays homage to the ethnic soul of a music by evoking mood, rhythm or melody, that doesn't make his (or her) work unoriginal. Beethoven did it. Bartok did it and, of course, jazz musicians do it all the time.

So all I can say to those standing in the way of Alex North getting his due is that after you plead your unqualified case before Apollo, you are going to have to answer to God.

ROBBIE ROBERTSON

Los Angeles

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