Bernard Herrmann


Listen to some great film music at now

One of Bernard Herrman's best known scores climbs 10 places this year

In 1960 Bernard Herrmann created possibly the greatest piece of horror movie music ever. The sound of the screeching violins attacking a single note over and over again to accompany Psycho's infamous shower scene was an incredibly important feature of one of cinema's most memorable scenes. But this striking minimalist approach was almost out of necessity, with Hitchcock being forced to make the film on a lower budget than his previous films after the studio Paramount initially refused to produce it. Herrmann used the lower budget to his advantage, writing for a string orchestra and ignoring Hitchcock's original request for a jazz score. Hitchcock certainly recognised the power of Hermann's music: his name appeared in the opening credits just after Hitchcock's, a distinction unprecedented in the annals of cinematic music.