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Old February 11 2013, 02:55 AM   #1
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Location: Washington State
Does Bernard Herrmann's "Psycho" theme sample "Ode to Joy"?

I was just remembering how I'd played Bernard Herrmann's "Psycho" theme for my mother a few years ago, who'd never seen the movie. I noted how particularly haunting the graceful high-pitched melody was in comparison to the rest of the lower-pitched, thundering strings. She agreed, and said it sounded a lot like Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" chorus. I hadn't noticed that, but upon re-listening, was entirely convinced.

Check it out here, at the 34, 106, and 132 second marks: Psycho Opening Credits

The first few notes of this melody strike me as very similar to the iconic "BA BA BA BA, BA BA BA BA"s of the "Ode to Joy" chorus. Of course, from there, the likenesses falters and soon sputters out, while the lower thundering strings continue on. And wouldn't it be totally perfect for the movie's themes and daring to violate and cut up perhaps the most famous happy melody of all time?

But, searching the Googles just now, I was unable to find this observation anywhere else. If it was a deliberate homage on Hermann's part, it seems to have gone unnoticed, at least so far as I can tell.

Anyone else agree?
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