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Old February 11 2013, 03:51 AM   #2
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Re: Does Bernard Herrmann's "Psycho" theme sample "Ode to Joy"?

It matches the cadence (for the first 13 notes), but not the melody. The part you're referring to goes A#-B-C#-B-A#-G#-F#-F, E-F#-G-A-B-G-F#-E. The part of "Ode to Joy" you're thinking of goes F#-F#-G-A-A-G-F#-E, D-D-E-F#-F#, E-E. In other words, "Psycho" is start-up-up-down-down-down-down-down, down-up-up-up-up-down-down-down, while "Ode to Joy" is start-same-up-up-same-down-down-down, down-same-up-up-same, down-same. There's enough similarity that I can see how one could remind you of the other, but they're clearly different melodies.

Bernard Herrmann was known for sometimes borrowing pre-existing melodies, but, as with James Horner, it was his own melodies that he recycled. For instance, his Marnie theme was a reworking of the Arabesque portion of the theme to The 7th Voyage of Sinbad.
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