The Simpsons reached another milestone in its advanced age with the dismissal of 27-year composer Alf Clausen, but the series’ orchestral future has gotten even murkier. Representatives now claim the Emmy-winning Clausen will have an “ongoing role,” though his orchestra has apparently been dismissed.

Earlier this week Clausen confirmed he’d been let go from the series, subsequently tweeting that his 35-piece orchestra members had been let go as well. The Simpsons was said to pursue “a different kind of music” for its future, though representatives have now issued a statement both lauding Clausen’s work, and insisting he’ll continue to contribute:

We tremendously value Alf Clausen’s contributions to The Simpsons and he will continue to have an ongoing role in the show. We remain committed to the finest in music for The Simpsons, absolutely including orchestral. This is the part where we would make a joke but neither Alf’s work nor the music of The Simpsons is treated as anything but seriously by us.

Clausen’s Simpsons tenure included twenty-one Emmy nominations (two wins) and five Annie Awards over 560 episodes, as creator Matt Groening insisted on using full orchestra. Some of the composer’s memorable ditties include “We Put the ‘Spring’ in Springfield,” The Stonecutters’ “We Do,” “Who Needs the Kwik-E Mart,” “See My Vest,” and yes, the Planet of the Apes musical.

Season 29 has not yet hired a replacement composer for the October premiere, so stay tuned for the latest on The Simpsons and its music.

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