Lange, Arthur (William)
- Warren M. Sherk
(b Philadelphia, April 16, 1889; d Washington, DC, Dec 7, 1956). American composer, arranger, conductor, author, and pianist. He studied piano with his mother from age five. He later studied piano and violin with several teachers in Philadelphia, but was otherwise self-taught. His music career began in 1907 as a pianist and burgeoning arranger. In 1917 he joined Fred Fisher as an arranger and for the next decade wrote and arranged dance band instrumentals, notably Dardanella, for New York’s Tin Pan Alley publishers from Leo Feist to Shapiro-Bernstein. In 1929, at the height of Lange’s popularity, producer Irving Thalberg asked him to relocate to Hollywood to supervise music at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios. For the next two years, Lange served as music director at MGM, where he organized the first permanent studio orchestra and helped pioneer techniques for prerecording music for playback during filming. In 1931 he became the general music director for RKO Pathé, then served in that capacity at Fox from ...