On today’s episode we’re talking electronic music…and the importance of a thorough resume.


You’re on the Sound Beat.


Miklos Rosza had long considered using electronic music in a film. He got his chance when director Alfred Hitchcock and producer David O. Selznick approached him about scoring 1945’s Spellbound. Wanting to add an atmospheric, contemplative air to the piece, he settled on the theremin.


Here’s a quote from Dr. Samuel Hoffmann.


I put down theremin on my card…without thinking much about it. When Miklos Rozsa thought of using a theremin in his score for Spellbound he called the union to see if any players were available. I was the only one listed at that time who could read music.


Before Rozsa’s call, Hoffmann was a practicing podiatrist in the Hollywood area. After the score won an Oscar, Hoffman and the theremin would feature in films like “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, “It Came from Outer Space” and more…see the whole list right now at soundbeat.org.


Sound Beat is produced at the Belfer Audio Archive, Syracuse University Libraries.


I’m Brett Barry.