- The Washington Times - Friday, March 6, 2009

LONDON | The heart-stopping score to Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” including the screeching music to the film’s famous shower scene, is being put up for sale, the British auction house Bonhams 1793 Ltd. said Tuesday.

The 20-page manuscript is among a collection of composer Bernard Herrmann’s works and books being auctioned March 24.

The score, about half of which was written in black ink on Ricordi music paper, carries the notes to the slashing, shrieking violin sounds that play when a knife-wielding killer bursts in on actress Janet Leigh as she showers in the Bates Motel.

Standoff: U.S. troops block Russian forces from capturing Syrian oil field
Trump asks nation to pray over his impeachment, says he's done nothing wrong
McConnell changes resolution at the start of Trump impeachment trial after pushback

The shower stabbing in Mr. Hitchcock’s 1960 thriller stands out as the movie’s most memorable scene, in large part because of Mr. Herrmann’s startling sound.

The icy noise of a bow being sliced repeatedly across strings deftly mirrors the stabbing of the titular psychopath’s knife, but Mr. Herrmann said the cue was extremely simple.

“Violins did it!” Mr. Herrmann was quoted as saying in an extract from the book “Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of ‘Psycho,’” carried by Bonhams.

“It’s just the strings doing something every violinist does all day long when he tunes up,” Mr. Herrmann said. “The effect is as common as rocks.”

Bonhams said Tuesday that the score is expected to go for up to $56,000. It was consigned for sale by Mr. Herrmann’s third wife, Norma. Mr. Herrmann died in 1975.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide