From the late 1950s to the mid-1960s, Herrmann scored a series of notable mythically themed fantasy films, including Journey to the Center of the Earth and the Ray Harryhausen Dynamation epics The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, Mysterious Island and The 3 Worlds of Gulliver. His score for The 7th Voyage was highly acclaimed by admirers of that genre of film and was praised by Harryhausen as Herrmann's best score of the four.
Popular film composer Danny Elfman counts Herrmann as his biggest influence, and has said hearing Herrmann's score to The Day the Earth Stood Still when he was a child was the first time he realized the powerful contribution a composer makes to the movies. Pastiche of Herrmann's music can be heard in Elfman's score for Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, specifically in the cues "Stolen Bike" and "Clown Dream", which reference Herrmann's "The Murder" from Psycho and "The Duel With the Skeleton" from 7th Voyage of Sinbad respectively. The prelude for Elfman's main Batman theme references Herrmann's "Mountain Top / Sunrise" from Journey to the Center of the Earth, and the Joker character's "fate motif" heard throughout the score is inspired by Herrmann's Vertigo. More integral homage can be heard in Elfman's later scores for Mars Attacks! and Hitchcock, the latter based on Hitchcock's creation of Psycho, as well as the "Blue Strings" movement of Elfman's first concert work Serenada Schizophrana.
In 1960 the collaboration between Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann was never stronger, and he was given the reigns once again, but friction developed as Hitchcock with his limited budget would not give him his customary salary of $35,000. Hitchcock initially suggested a jazz score, which Herrmann summarily rejected. With a severely restricted budget, Herrmann was forced to improvise and so made an audacious decision early on to only employ a 50-piece string orchestra consisting of fourteen first violins, twelve second violins, ten violas, eight cellos and six contrabasses. This choice removed the many tools composers traditionally used for horror films, including cymbal rolls, ominous horns, percussive strikes and shrieking woodwinds. Yet strings have the greatest versatility of expression of all the orchestral groups and Herrmann used them all to great effect. He set the tone for the film with his Main Title, which featured the now famous chilling and driving string ostinati. Herrmann stated that this prelude was portentous, a promise of the violence soon to unfold with all its horrific and twisted ugliness. Within its contrapuntal writing he sought to instill naked and raw terror.
"Prelude", also known as "Psycho Theme" or "The Theme from Psycho" is from Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 horror-thriller film, Psycho. It serves as the theme for Norman Bates throughout the film. 781b155fdc