Popular Music History, Vol 5, No 1 (2010)

Unconscious anchors: Bernard Herrmann’s music for Marnie

Tom Schneller

Abstract


The score for Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie (1964) features three main themes, as well as several subsidiary motifs closely related to the main themes. I examine how the complex relationship between the characters is reflected in a network of motivic connections. The music also serves to emphasize Hitchcock’s use of recurring visual motifs that gradually escalate in intensity. The music that accompanies these visual points of correspondence amplifies their teleological trajectory through a process of registral, orchestrational, and dynamic expansion, and thus plays an important role in helping to articulate the overall dramatic structure of the film.

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DOI: 10.1558/pomh.v5i1.55

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