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Flashcards in Herrmann 1960 Deck (40):
1

Context

American film compsoer, collab with Hitchcock in Vertigo, 49 Steps
Not too long after first film score, King Kong by Max Steiner
Ominous masterpiece where runaway Marion meets Norman who has an unsettling relationship with his mother
Matched the B&W images with B&W music to creates moments of madness and tenderness

2

Melody

Made up of short motifs
Some leitmotifs associated with characters and psychological states
Varied repetition melodically and harmonically
Sequences

3

Made up of short motifs

P, quaver & semiquaver triplet ostinato made from 2 interlocking major thirds

4

Some leitmotifs associated with characters and psychological states

F, 3 note Madness motif
(Same, Psycho, Madhouse, v prominent)
P, upwards quaver semitone ostinato used throughout film, duality of Bates’ mind, Steiner motive

5

Varied repetition melodically and harmonically

Duality motif developed in many cues such as
P, doubled in 3rds, inverted
M, augmented note values, intervals inverted
T, verticalised in bass to bring unity to often fragmented visual language of cinema

6

Sequence

TCe, 8 bar subject rises sequentially, internally bar 2 & 4 related sequentially
TCe, chromatic scales, desc sequence, reflects how Lila went down the stairs, (Steiner, King Kong, ascending sequence as KK climbs ES)
Ideas all evolve into desc chromatic scale as cue ends, to bring unity to often fragmented visual language of cinema

7

Harmony

Predominantly non functional harmony, used for sound than role in prevailing tonality
Mainly v dissonant
Devils interval often used
Conventional harmony
Impressionistic harmony

8

Mainly v dissonant

P, Hitchcock chord, vvv unstable at head of film, not developed, does not lead anywhere (min chord w added maj 7th) disturbing, unsettling
(Vertigo, Hitchcock, dissonant D major, Eb min superimposed)
D, extension chords, C#7 w min9, make maj triads dissonant, disturbing, unsettling

9

Devils interval often used

M, interlocking aug4ths, reflect horror on screen
F, closing chords, D bass w Ab min triad, dim 5th, ending is unresolved, sinister
(Black Rain, Takemistu, Death and Resurrection, Aug 4th built up note by note)

10

Conventional harmony

M, based on falling chromatic scale but still tonal, used only for sound, not for role in tonality
(After, The Omen, Goldsmith, quiet romantic passages)

11

Impressionistic harmony

TCi, dim7th, half dim chords
T, parallel chord mv from 4 note chord, hazy ambiguous unsettled
(Before, La Mer, Debussy)

12

Tonality

Generally avoids tonal centers
Some tonal cues
Some modal cues
Some atonal cues
Some reference to a tonal center

13

Some tonal cues

Ma, diatonic C maj, but ends with Hitchcock chord sense of yearning, romantic
(After, The Omen, Goldsmith, romantic scene)

14

Some modal cues

T, Phrygian E, however against E pedal and F pulse, v disconcerting

15

Some atonal cues

M, harsh unforgiving sound
(After, The Omen, Goldsmith, atonality pervades all cues, represents horror, atmosphere of terror)

16

Some reference to a tonal center

P, very dissonant and chromatic but based around Bb

17

Texture

A variety of contrasting string textures
Mel dom hom
Homorhythmic
Contrapuntal
Ostinati layered on top of each other

18

A variety of contrasting string textures

TCe, tremolando quavers against sul ponticello and arco, create panic, fear
(After, The Omen, Goldsmith, Music for the death of Father Jennings
TCi, lush 8 part bowed writing w octave doubling, intimate, romantic

19

Mel dom hom

P, Psycho leitmotif floats over restless tremolo and quaver ostinato
(Jaws, Williams, wind melody over relentless 2 note ostinato)

20

Homorhythmic

P, Thick homophonic Hitchcock chords, agressive and violent texture
(Before, Stravinksy, LAP, stomping chords)

21

Contrapuntal

C, 4 part fugal,
F, starts monophonically, built up into 3 part contrapuntal texture, 3 directionless melodies create unsettling atmosphere as mother talks

22

Ostinati layered on top of each other

P, Duality motif, semiquaver triplet motif, stabbing motif,
(After, The Omen, Goldsmith, cacophony of ostinati)

23

Sonority

Limited to a string orchestra
Unusual use of con sordino
Highly contrasting string textures used

24

Limited to a string orchestra

Total contrast to Hollywood norms, used to reflect B&W images with claustrophobic sound, budget restrictions
(Before, Max Steiner, Casablanca, for symph orch)

25

Unusual use of con sordino

Normally used to reduce the resonance like in Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet,
Creates repressed sombre mood for cues except Murder, ffz, 8 note cluster chord, more piercing, shocking
(Before, Bartok, String quartet used mutes in this way)

26

Highly contrasting string textures

P, hammered down bow chords, rough and aggressive sound
(Before, Stravinsky, Rite of Spring)
TCi, lush 8 part bowed writing w octave doubling, intimate, romantic
TCe, tremolando quavers against sul ponticello and arco, many string techniques, panic, fear

27

Rhythm, tempo and meter

Mixture of metres, rhythms and tempi chosen to match psychological intentions of scene

28

Use of 2/4

P (allegro agitato), TCe, D (allegro feroce), fast cues, unrelenting, unforgiving pace (Before, Stravinsky, LAP, similar feel)

29

Use of 3/2

M (molto forzando e feroce), fast cue, relentless, unforgiving

30

Use of 4/4

TCi, Ma, slow cues, show serenity of the city (After, The Omen, Goldsmith, romantic scene, similar feel)
Tt, slow cues, unnerving

31

Incessant quaver movement

P, inforgiving, relentless,
(After, The Omen, Goldsmith, persistent driving quavers)

32

Equal note values

C, listless, timeless feel
(Vertigo, Hermann, romantic scenes)

33

Down bow accents

Murder, create vicious pulse, sharp stabbing motions
(Before, Stravinsky)

34

Augumentation of rhythms

T, M against throbbing crotchet pulse in lower strings

35

Use of rests

C, use of rests, fragment movement, create fear

36

Bleak directionless rhythms

F, avoid sense of metre

37

Structure

Leitmotifs used to bring unity to often visual language of cinema, associated with characters and psychological states
Conventional use
More complex gesture than Wagnerian model, include harmony, texture, rhythm as well as melody

38

Leitmotifs used to bring unity to often fragmented visual language of cinema, associated with characters and psychological states

(Before, Wagner’s Ring Cycle)

39

Conventional use of leitmotifs

F, 3 note Madness motif, associated with Bates’ madness

40

More complex gesture than Wagnerian model, include harmony, texture, rhythm as well as melody

P, stabbed Hitchcock chords, obsessive short ostinatos, repeated dotted block chords w offbeat low pizz ,conventional conjunct melody associated with characters escaping in cars
TCi, varied repetitions of opening, associated with characters in mundane situations
M, slashing chords with gliss, associated with murder