Scott Bradley

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Scott Bradley (November 26, 1891 - April 27, 1977) was an American composer, pianist and conductor.

Bradley is best remembered for scoring the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) theatrical cartoons, including those starring Tom and Jerry (Hanna-Barbera Years 1940-1958, 113 of 114 episodes), Droopy Dog (All 24 episodes), Barney Bear (All 26 episodes), and the many one-shot cartoons.

Bradley was a conservatory-trained composer and pianist. In 1934, Bradley began composing for Hugh Harman and Rudy Ising, who were producing cartoon shorts for MGM. After MGM established its own cartoon studio in 1937, Bradley was hired permanently, and he remained with MGM until his retirement in 1957.

His early style incorporated fragments of popular and traditional melodies, as was common practice in scores for animation. However, by the late 1940s, Bradley's compositions and orchestrations had become more original and complex, occasionally utilizing the twelve-tone technique devised by Arnold Schoenberg who, along with Bela Bartok, Igor Stravinsky, and Paul Hindemith, influenced Bradley's approach. "Scott writes the most blank-blank-blank difficult fiddle music in Hollywood," concertmaster Lou Raderman was quoted (complaining good-naturedly) in Sight & Sound magazine. "He is going to break my fingers."

Bradley expressed considerable pride in his "funny music" and believed scoring for animation offered far more possibilities to the serious composer than live-action films.
His music was originally published with the signature "red cape songs". No scores are in print as of 2009.

Bradley retired in 1957 when MGM closed its cartoon department. He died on April 27, 1977 in Chatsworth, California.


  • Goldmark, Daniel (2006): "Cartoon Concerto". Liner notes for Tom and Jerry & Tex Avery Too! Volume 1: The 1950s. Film Score Monthly CD Vol. 9 No. 17.
  • Goldmark, Daniel and Yuval Taylor (eds.) (2002): The Cartoon Music Book. A Capella Books.
  • Maltin, Leonard (1987): Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons. Penguin Books.
  • McCarty, Clifford (2000): Film Composers in America: a Filmography, 1911-1970. Oxford University Press.
  • Morris, Peter (2007): Playing Cat and Mouse in BBC Music Magazine, March 2007. p44-48. British Broadcasting Corporation.

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