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>>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
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