Does the name Bernard Herrmann ring a bell? If you’ve watched the classic Hitchcock movies “Psycho,” “Vertigo” or “North by Northwest” or the TV series “The Twilight Zone,” you’ll recognize his music.
I recently watched another film with a score by Bernard Herrmann, “Fahrenheit 451.” It was based on a best-selling novel by Ray Bradbury, about a society where all books are banned. In a special feature on the DVD, “The Music of Fahrenheit 451,” it was revealed that the director considered inserting a pop song into the final climactic scene, where people were overcome with emotion as they quoted aloud from their favorite books. It was shocking, to me, that anyone would consider ruining such a moment in the film with a song that would trivialize or distract from the importance of the scene.
But in my work as a composer, I’ve also run into situations where I had…
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