There are a few people around who know a lot more about it than I do. Here's all the info I have; I don't remember where I got this, (quite possibly this board), it sounds like it's written by Jim Hill but that's never been confirmed:
"About the music...
As you wander through "new" Tomorrowland, does it strike you odd that the soundtrack to the boiler-plate and rivited "Future That Never Was" is the same sleepy New Age music that park has been playing since the 1980s?
It wasn't always this way.
When the rehabed Tomorrowland first opened, it moved to the quirky beat of original Raymond Scott recordings. Scott was the prolific composer of jazz music that would later be remembered by most as being the underscore of several Warner Brothers cartoons. The "B" section of his masterpiece "Powerhouse" usually accompanied cartoon visuals of any assembly-line process or factory.
After a number of months, the scratchy original recordings of Scott's work gave way to newly recorded music which sounded exactly like Raymond Scott songs but were in fact close approximations of the tunes, changed enough it would seem to avoid having to pay royalties. This music cheerily played for several months more, until it too suddenly disappeared, only to be replaced once again by the New Age loop which was played in the "old" Tomorrowland.
I was baffled, as Scott's tunes were the perfect aural counterpart to Tomorrowland's new look. And Esquivel's take on "Harlem Nocturne" was still blaring away in Space Mountain's exit tunnel.
Several years later I discovered the Raymond Scott website (raymondscott.com) and on a page detailing public performances of Scott's works, found this entry:
Tomorrowland - DisneyWorld[sic]: (Orlando, FL) six Scott Quintette compositions and recordings blatantly used as musical template for constantly-running soundtrack loop at renovated theme park attraction; infringement settled out of court (1995-96) So there it was -- Disney was too cheap to pay for Scott's songs and was busted for it.
And it turns out this wasn't the first time the Mouse had tried to rip off Raymond -- the score for "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" also illegaly used elements of Scott's "Powerhouse," forcing a lawsuit and ultimately a settlement.
Having repeated all that, I can tell you the following:
1) The Scott soundalikes were composed by George Wilkins.
2) Disney?s use of Raymond Scott?s original recordings was NOT illegal, as their agreement with ASCAP/BMI allows for unlimited use of 3rd-party music, provided that the music cannot be *synchronized* to anything, and used for background ambience only.
3) Having Wilkins write and record the soundalikes, however, may have treaded heavily into the immoral -- and *dangerously* into the realm of plagiarism. As the original writer above notes, Scott's widow *won* a lawsuit against the ripoff music used for "Honey I Shrunk The Kids".
4) The curious fact that you heard the Scott soundalikes as late as August 2001 suggests a temporary substitution was made for some reason by Media Design, as the New-Age loop is still in general use there."
Well I thought I'd do the obvious thing and ask WDW. I emailed them a request for a track listing, explaining when I heard the music and hoping that they still had some info on the books. Here's the response I got:
"Unfortunately our agreements with the publisher restricts us in giving
out that information. There
are a number of Raymond Scott CDs available for sale that may contain
some of the tunes.
We thank you for your inquiry and if you have additional questions or
need further assistance,
please feel free to contact us."
Does this seem strange to anybody else? I find it wierd that the Publisher would have any problem with WDW letting guests know where to find a particular piece of music.
1. The majority of the post above by XS-Tech was quoted from an earlier post to this forum by myself... just to clear that up.
2. As it says in the quoted piece, there were a total of six, count 'em six, recordings by Scott and the Quintette used at Tomorrowland... and quite briefly, at that. It seems all but certain that the six recordings came from the "Reckless Nights" disc. It really wouldn't take too much of a leap in logic to take a pretty good guess as to which six of those old 78RPMs contained on the CD were utilized (a good listen to the Wilkins recordings will probably reveal some strong candidates!). As to any "arrangements with the publishers", I'm more than willing to bet that's little more than smoke; it's far more likely that Guest Relations simply doesn't have that information and I'd be willing to bet Imagineering doesn't know either (but I will make an inquiry or two).
3. I find the subsequent recording... the Scott sound-alike music recorded to replace the older music... far more interesting. What I failed to put forth in that older post was that it seemed then, and still seems likely to me that the use of the original RSQ recordings was probably a stopgap measure until the Wilkins soundalikes were ready. Had Disney stayed with the RSQ recordings they would certainly have been well within their legal rights to use it as BGM -- I suspect it was the somewhat plagiaristic flavor of the Wilkins pastiches which ultimately forced Disney to back away from the whole Scott concept rather than to spend money, time and risk bad press on a lengthy legal process.