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PSYCHO Shower Scene : If the primary criterion of an ideal soundtrack is to enhance and intensify the action on the screen, then many of the most innovative horror soundtracks might be deemed failures. While Bernard Herrmann’s jagged strings ostensibly serve as an accompaniment to Norman Bates’ knife strokes in the famous shower scene from Psycho, try playing the scene without sound, then Herrmann’s soundtrack without Hitchcock’s film, and you will likely find that the strings overshadow the knife. Although horror films have long served as a medium where composers are able to experiment, troubling atonalities and tense polyrhythms so ably serving the subject matter, Herrmann’s unforgettable cue has cast a disproportionately long shadow over the genre. While Herrman’s innovations are justly revered, it would take an offbeat choice of a song outside the real of orchestral arrangements to provide a well-needed shift in the horror film’s aesthetic.

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