Bill Cutler wrote:
>I will always remember a TV program on the importance of music in
>films. Psycho was obviously one of its subjects. The program did more
>to illustrate its point than play the classic shower scene. It clearly
>made its point by twice showing the scene where Janet Leigh's character
>is driving out of town with the stolen money. When it was played with
>the sound track shut off, it had absolutely zero emotional impact (even
>though I had seen the movie several times). The rather uneventful scene
>was immediately repeated with sound and its scariness was restored.
I remember a Young People's Concert when Copland did a program on film
music. He showed an excerpt of the film "The City," without music. We
then watched it with the music. It was amazing. I would repeat that
demonstration for my students. There is also that wonderful scene in
the Heiress...Copland discusses that in the video he did with Vivian
Perlis...and then that powerful fight scene in "Of Mice and Men."
Sometimes the use of music at a particular point can be very effective.
When one thinks about North by Northwest and the sequence where Cary
Grant is being chased through the corn fields by an airplane...if you
think about that scene...most people will imagine music accompanying it,
yet, Herrmann had no music until the plane crashes. It was quite
As a fan of the old science fiction films, I find it interesting to
compare the original Frankenstein (no music other that and an overture
and end piece) and the Bride of Frankenstein (score by Franz Waxman).
It amazes me that some films seem to work without music...perhaps because
they are good drama. Yet, I often find that much of the music I hear
in films these days, seems to cheapen the expression...it can sound so