A Conversation for Orson Welles - Theatre and Radio
Steve K. Started conversation Jun 10, 2002
The reference to Bernard Hermann's music for film reminded me of a lecture I attended some time back. The speaker is a professor of music at Rice University in Houston, Texas, USA, and also a composer of film scores. He gave numerous examples of various approcahes to film music, and recommended a very good book, "The Art of Film Music" by George Burt.
The message is that the music should enhance the emotional impact of the film, not distract by calling attention to the music itself. One example is memorable - Hitchcock originally decided that the famous shower scene in "Psycho" was intense enough, and did not need music. Later in the production cycle, Hitchcock called Hermann and admitted maybe some music would help ... the shrieking strings are now a memorable (but not distracting) part of film history. As Burt puts it, "One of the most memorable and horrifying moments in screen history, not to mention one of the most often quoted film music cues (in variant forms) ever." In the same league as the "Jaws" shark theme, IMHO.
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