The producers of The Simpsons have said composer Alf Clausen will have an "ongoing role in the show", after reports that his decades-long association with the animated series had been terminated.

Two-time Emmy winner Clausen told trade daily Variety that he had been fired, having apparently been told by producer Richard Sakai that the show was now looking for "a different kind of music".

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In a statement to US entertainment industry publication Deadline, The Simpsons bosses said they "tremendously value Alf Clausen's contributions". 

"We remain committed to the finest in music for The Simpsons, absolutely including orchestral," they said. 

"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."

On top of scoring over 560 episodes of the Fox comedy over 27 years, composer Clausen has also provided the soundtrack to many of the show's iconic musical numbers, such as Canyonero, Kamp Krusty Song, The Stonecutters' Song and was involved with the hit album Songs in the Key of Springfield.

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Reports said that the iconic Danny Elfman theme tune would be retained going forward, but that Clausen's last score was the season 28 finale earlier this year. Who will score next season's premiere episode remains unclear.

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Clausen's work on the show has earned him 21 Emmy nominations - with wins in 1997 and 1998 - and he's believed to be the most-nominated composer in the history of the prestigious awards.

The Simpsons creator Matt Groening has long described Clausen as the show's "secret weapon".

The Simpsons is reportedly trying to cut costs. The annual bill for its music runs into millions, with Clausen using a 35-piece orchestra each week - something Matt Groening has always insisted upon.