logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel
Southwest USA


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Classic Film Site

BellaOnline's Classic Film Editor

g

The Music of Bernard Herrmann

Guest Author - Amber Grey

With all things considered, sound is the key element which amplifies the film’s environment for the audience. Bernard Herrmann was one film composer who understood the importance music had on a film’s scene, characters and overall theme. Herrmann gave us a dramatic volume of film scores for a number of the best television shows and films including Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane” (1941) and a large collection of Alfred Hitchcock’s films including “Psycho” (1960).

Bernard Herrmann’s beginnings started with the prolific Orson Welles, creating music for Welles’ serial radio show, “The Mercury Theater.” When Welles decided to venture into film, he brought thirty-year-old Herrmann along to conduct his first film score ever which would be for “Citizen Kane” (1941). Hermmann’s astonishing score for “Citizen Kane” compliments the complexity of Welles’ masterpiece. The light drifting notes in “Snow Picture,” often referred to as the “Rosebud Melody,” immediately conjure up images of snow and the winter cold which hold a pivotal memory to Kane. Likewise, Herrmann’s darker tones mirror Kane’s iron fist of determination and manipulation as the ruthless newspaper magnate. Herrmann’s music was nominated for an Academy Award in the “Best Music, Scoring For A Dramatic Picture” category but he lost to himself for his other scoring nomination for “All That Money Can Buy” (1941). After a difficult
production of “The Magnificent Ambersons” (1942), Herrmann would disassociate himself with Welles.

In 1955, Alfred Hitchcock hired Herrmann to score “The Trouble With Harry” (1955) and began Herrmann’s partnership with Hitchcock. Herrmann scored nine of Hitchcock’s classic films including “Psycho” (1960) and “The Birds” (1963). Herrmann’s range was demonstrated again in “Psycho” (1960). The mounting tension Herrmann exercises in the scene when “Marion Crane” (Janet Leigh) drives out of the state after she steals a wad of cash from her boss and his client is a sound combination with Hitchcock’s tight camera angle on Janet Leigh’s determined face. The scene creates a suction that pulls the audience members into “Marion”’s devious thoughts and actions. It serves as a perfect counterpart to the later climactic shower scene with its high-pitched, slicing notes as Marion meets her violent end. For “The Birds” (1963), Herrmann was Hitchcock’s sound consultant and used the flapping of the birds’ wings with their screeches as his orchestra to raise the hairs of the audience.

Herrmann provided music for films which spanned throughout the different genres including “The Ghost & Mrs. Muir” (1947), “The Day The Earth Stood Still” (1951), “Cape Fear” (1962) and “Fahrenheit 451" (1966). Herrmann completed his last film score for the film “Taxi Driver” (1976). His work continues to inspire many contemporary film composers including Danny Elfman who has referred to Herrmann as his role model and inspiration for his own film scores.
Add The+Music+of+Bernard+Herrmann to Twitter Add The+Music+of+Bernard+Herrmann to Facebook Add The+Music+of+Bernard+Herrmann to MySpace Add The+Music+of+Bernard+Herrmann to Del.icio.us Digg The+Music+of+Bernard+Herrmann Add The+Music+of+Bernard+Herrmann to Yahoo My Web Add The+Music+of+Bernard+Herrmann to Google Bookmarks Add The+Music+of+Bernard+Herrmann to Stumbleupon Add The+Music+of+Bernard+Herrmann to Reddit




Behind The Shower Curtain
Orson Welles and War of the Worlds
RSS
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Classic Film Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Amber Grey. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Amber Grey. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Eliana Isabella Radu for details.

g


g features
Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor