File containing a fragment of the score (for piano) of "Jungle Rhapsody" from a proposed television programme titled "Murder Set to Music", and of "There's Many a Time" and "Escape" from a proposed film musical about the life of Houdini.

Scope and Content

Handwritten by Burgess.

See also AB/ARCH/A/MUS/79: File containing fragments of unidentified scores for piano, or solo instrument and piano.

Administrative / Biographical History

In c.1973, Burgess was commissioned to write a libretto for a proposed film musical about the life of the escapologist Harry Houdini, with Orson Welles as director.

Burgess composed Jungle Rhapsody with the intention that it form part of the score to a television script which he had written, titled "Murder Set to Music", or "The Man That Hath No Music". (The television script had been commissioned for the BBC espionage adventure series Quiller in c.1975, but it was subsequently rejected by them.) The script takes place in a fictional Malaysian province Tahi Panas (meaning 'hot shit'), and tells of a detective and his assistant, a piano-player (for whom Jungle Rhapsody was written), a gun-runner, a revolutionary, and a troupe of singing commandos led by a man called Pongo Murgatroyd.

Conditions Governing Access

Available to researchers in consultation with the Archivist due to the condition of the item.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

The first page of the score of Jungle Rhapsody is heavily water-damaged and is slightly torn.

Related Material

Contracts relating to the film project are held within the International Anthony Burgess Foundation's archive, but Burgess's libretto does not appear to have survived.

A complete version of the score of Jungle Rhapsody, and two drafts of the television script to which it relates, forms part of the "Anthony Burgess Papers" at the Harry Ransom Center: The University of Texas, Austin.