SCREEN-L Archives

June 1995, Week 4


Options: Use Proportional Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Neil Lerner <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 25 Jun 1995 20:29:05 -0400
text/plain (31 lines)
>>A quick and gentle correction to Don Larsson.  The "screaming violins" in
>>PSYCHO were not violins at all, but a Theramin (sp?); an instrument
>>exploited to great heights by the great composer Bernard Hermann. N. Leibman
>I don't think this is correct.  I have a copy of the handwritten
>score, which shows "Vls" playing an E-flat above high C.  In the next
>measure, a second violin part adds an E-natural, then the violas and
>cellos come in.  The parts are clearly labelled by instrument name.
>Byu the way, this theme, called "The Murder," carries the instructions
>"Molto forzando e feroce."
>I also listened to a recording and it sure doesn't sound like a
>Theremin.  You can hear the glissando of the string instruments, and
>there's none of that Theremin vibrato.
>I know that Miklos Rozsa used the Theremin for Spellbound (and other
>scores), but I'm not aware that Bernard Hermann was a proponent.
The score for <Psycho> does not use a theremin--it's all strings, playing
strongly accented glissandi--but Herrmann did use a theremin in his score
for <The Day the Earth Stood Still> (1951). Rozsa is generally credited
with first using a theremin in a film score (at least a Hollywood film
score) in Spellbound (1945).
Neil Lerner
[log in to unmask]
To signoff SCREEN-L, e-mail [log in to unmask] and put SIGNOFF SCREEN-L
in the message.  Problems?  Contact [log in to unmask]