Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho has turned 50. As a result, there are articles popping up everywhere on the Internet about this classic psychological horror film. But a topic you’ll rarely hear about – the film’s music – is addressed in a fascinating piece called “The Sounds of Violence” by Jack Sullivan in the Wall Street Journal. Here’s the opening paragraph …

Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho turns 50 this week but to this day it retains its jagged modernity and jolting terror. Much of its power comes from Bernard Herrmann’s music, a score as iconic as the film itself. The shrieking dissonance of “The Murder,” surely the most imitated and instantly recognizable film cue, is the cinema’s primal scream. It is deeply embedded in our movie-going subconscious, instantly evoking Norman Bates’s stabbing knife and Marion Crane’s helpless cries.

It’s a very telling article about the importance of music to film. Do catch it if you can: The Sounds of Violence

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