American Record Guide (2000) - Sounding the Unconscious: Hitchcock's Film Music Probed the Psyche
- article: Sounding the Unconscious: Hitchcock's Film Music Probed the Psyche
- author(s): Jack Sullivan
- journal: American Record Guide (01/Mar/2000)
- issue: volume 63, issue 2, pages 20-22
- journal ISSN: 0003-0716
- publisher: Record Guide Productions
- keywords: Alfred Hitchcock Presents (TV), Alfred Hitchcock, Alfred Newman, Arthur Benjamin, Bernard Herrmann, Collaborations, Composers, Dial M for Murder (1954), Dimitri Tiomkin, Family Plot (1976), Film Music, Filmmakers, Foreign Correspondent (1940), Franz Waxman, François Truffaut, Gregory Peck, Ingrid Bergman, John Williams, Joseph Cotten, Judith Anderson, Lifeboat (1944), Lyn Murray, Marnie (1964), Maurice Jarre, Miklós Rózsa, Motion picture directors & producers, Motion pictures, Music, Music and Other Literary/Performing/Visual Arts, Norman Bates, North by Northwest (1959), Psycho (1960), Rear Window (1954), Rebecca (1940), Rope (1948), Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Soundtracks, Spellbound (1945), Stage Fright (1950), Storm Clouds Cantata, Strangers on a Train (1951), Suspicion (1941), The 39 Steps (1935), The Birds (1963), The Lady Vanishes (1938), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), To Catch a Thief (1955), Under Capricorn (1949), Vertigo (1958), Waltzes from Vienna (1934), Young and Innocent (1937)
From the voluptuousness of Rebecca to the exuberance of North By Northwest, music has been a central element in the films of Alfred Hitchcock. His ear as exacting as his famous eye, Hitchcock created a musical language of mood and movement that changed the course of film music. He used the best movie composers of his various eras: Franz Waxman, Miklos Rosza, Eric Fenby, Alfred Newman, Richard Addinsell, Hugo W Friedhofer, Dimitri Tiomkin, Maurice Jarre, John Williams, and his most celebrated musical collaborator, Bernard Herrmann.
Only recently, in a Hitchcock centennial celebration at NYU, and in a recent spate of CDs, has the importance of music in Hitchcock begun to be acknowledged. [For a review of these, see Collections.] Yet Hitchcock often chose his music as carefully as his cast and camera set-ups. Even before Erich Korngold, he compared film to opera. Through intricate collaborations and conflicts with composers, he gave each of his films a distinctive sound seamlessly meshed with imagery and dialog.
Even when a score is minimal or nonexistent-as in the awesome quiet of The Birds or the party chatter of Rope-the carefully orchestrated soundtrack has source music and "real" noise that the audience experiences in a profoundly musical way. In the early 30s, Hitchcock spoke of music as a revolutionary medium with the potential to destroy or enhance a film, a counterpoint to the power of silence. For Hitchcock, music was a way...