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June 1995, Week 4

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Sender:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:
From:
Barbara Bernstein <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Fri, 23 Jun 1995 18:35:36 EDT
Reply-To:
Barbara Bernstein <[log in to unmask]>
Parts/Attachments:
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On Thu, 22 Jun 1995 13:31:36 -0700 you wrote:
 
>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
>
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>
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.
 
Barbara Bernstein                       email: [log in to unmask]
Kinexis, San Francisco,  CA
 
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