'Godzilla' composer Akira Ifukube dies at 91
FEBRUARY 8, 2006 | Submitted by Associated Press
Fans of the movie series Godzilla were to gather in memory of the late music composer Akira Ifukube, who brought the giant lizard to life with its trademark anthem and high-pitched roar, a former colleague said Friday.
Ifukube passed away Wednesday from multiple organ failure at a hospital in Tokyo, according to Jun Koda of the Tokyo College of Music.
Born on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido in 1914, the self-trained composer rose to fame for the score to the Japanese movie Godzilla in 1954.
Ifukube also devised Godzilla's high-pitched roar, for which sound engineers rubbed a leather glove against the loosened strings of a double bass, as well as the lizard's booming footsteps.
He composed over 250 film scores over 50 years, including for the 1956 war film The Harp of Burma, and headed the Tokyo College of Music between 1976-1987. He was named a Person of Cultural Merit by the Japanese government in 2003.
A funeral will be held in central Tokyo on Feb. 14, Koda said. Ifukube is survived by two daughters and a son.