Hitchcock and His Music

Even if you have not seen Psycho, this music must ring vaguely familiar. For me, this is the ultimate example of the importance of musical scoring in the motion pictures. And no more do I feel the impact of the score then when I watch the films of one of my favorite directors, Sir Alfred Hitchcock.

13 years ago (goodness, me!) I had the pleasure of visiting the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City and going to the Alfred Hitchcock exhibition, its arrival coinciding with the auteur’s centenary.

Among my mementos of the trip were a museum print and a compact disk, Alfred Hitchcock: Music from his Films. All these years later, the music from this CD still gets constant rotation on my iPod.

While the composer most closely aligned with Hitchcock is Bernard Herrmann, over his career he also collaborated with the likes of Miklós Rózsa, Franz Waxman and John Williams. Here is a really cool interview in which Williams talks about his collaboration with Hitchcock:

Although this music is not on the disk, I thought it was just lovely; it is a score by Neil Brand, which he composed to accompany the British Film Institute’s restoration of Hitchcock’s 1929 film Blackmail.

I close with the words of Bernard Herrmann himself, talking about music and its importance in cinema.

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Share your thoughts below.


  1. Some great clips you’ve got there, well done. I was at a performance of Brand’s score for BLACKMAIL played by the BBC Symphony at the Barbican Centre in London last year and it works superbly well, especially as he throws in many knowing references to Rozsa (and even a little Herrmann) as you can hear in this clip. Hopefully the picture and his score will eventually get married on home video – i think it was first performed in 2008 for the silent cinema festival of Bologna, who commissioned it. There is more info at Neil#shomepage here: http://www.neilbrand.com/review6.shtml
    Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) recently posted..Crescendo (1970) – Tuesday’s Forgotten FilmMy Profile

  2. Hitchcock definitely has distinct music style for his films. I believe Miklós Rózsa worked on the Spellbound one and it really adds to the suspense and psychoanalysis theme to the movie.
    ruth recently posted..Double Clooney Reviews: The Ides of March and The DescendantsMy Profile

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