Just in time for Halloween: The History of horror movie music

With Halloween nearly here, we’ve again reached peak horror movie on the calendar. Reverb has this look at the music that helps makes these movies so scary.

Got that? Now check out Datebook’s look at horror music.

As Alfred Hitchcock was quick to point out, Janet Leigh behind the wheel of a car could just as easily be on her way to the supermarket. It’s only when you put Bernard Herrmann’s justly celebrated score for “Psycho” behind that scene – with its jabbing string textures and angular rhythms – that the viewer’s stomach begins to tighten in anxious anticipation.

Music has a direct, hard-wired line to our most elemental physical and emotional responses. The right combination of pitches, rhythms and sonorities, deployed in just the right way, has the ability to inspire anything from jubilation to terror.

But right now Halloween is approaching, so we’ve got terror on our minds.

Keep reading.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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