Guide to the Louis Herrmann collection of Bernard Herrmann scores PA Mss 153
Finding aid prepared by Zachary Liebhaber, 2019.
UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Research Collections
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara 93106-9010
2019 August 13
Title: Louis Herrmann collection of Bernard Herrmann scores
Identifier/Call Number: PA Mss 153
UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Research Collections
Language of Material:
2.59 linear feet
(2 flat boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1930s-1950s
Abstract: Manuscript scores and musical sketches by Bernard Herrmann to compositions for film and television, as well as concert works,
dating from the 1930s through the 1950s.
Physical Location: Special Research Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library
Researchers must use microfilm in lieu of originals when available.
See "terms governing use and reproduction" below.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Unless noted otherwise, copyright to the concert works are owned by Norma Shepherd Herrmann. Permissions for Norma Herrmann's
properties can be cleared through her publishing company by contacting:
Bernard Herrmann Music Company
7221 Del Norte
Goleta, CA 93117
Some scores and parts are available through MMB music in St. Louis:
MMB Music, Inc.
Contemporary Arts Building
3526 Washington Avenue
Saint Louis, Missouri 63103-1019
tel. (314) 531-9635.
A number of the film scores have been microfilmed by the Library of Congress and are identified as Microfilm 87/20, 037 (Mus).
In order to preserve the originals, all users must use microfilm when available. Additionally, requests for copies of film
scores that have been microfilmed should be directed to the Library of Congress. LC requires written permission from the individual
copyright holders before they will provide copies. Letters of permission should be sent directly to:
Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20540-4570.
Fax: (202) 707-1771
All of Herrmann's film music was written under composer-for-hire contractual agreements. It is standard practice for studios
to specify in these contracts the publisher who will take the copyright for the music produced under the agreement. Most of
the publishers named in his contracts have been sold a number of times. As a result, the best way to ascertain copyright ownership
of a film score is to consult the performance rights societies ASCAP and BMI for current ownership. Herrmann was a member
of ASCAP until the end of 1959, when he joined BMI. This guide indicates the ASCAP or BMI affiliation and the initial publisher
of most of the film scores. Contact the appropriate society with the name and date of the film, indicating that you want to
locate the current copyright holder to request permission for a photocopy of the unpublished score.
ASCAP has two offices:
1 Lincoln Plaza
New York, NY 10023
7920 Sunset Blvd., Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90046
ACE, ( http://www.ascap.com) a searchable database of ASCAP titles is available on the web to verify current ownership status.
BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) is located at:
320 W. 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
The society should respond with an address and contact person. Write this person with your request, telling them what use
you plan to make of what you are requesting. A searchable database of BMI compositions ( http://www.bmi.com) titles is available
on the web to verify current ownership status.
Copies of scores that have not been microfilmed and recordings can be obtained from UCSB with permission of the copyright
owner. Send permissions and requests to:
Curator of Performing Arts Collections
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
fax: (805) 893-4676
The above address can be used for any other inquiries about the collections.
For inquiries about performing Herrmann's film music contact:
Themes and Variations
[Identification of Item], Louis Herrmann collection of Bernard Herrmann scores, PA Mss 153. Department of Special Research
Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Donated in the memory of Louis and Ruth Herrmann, brother and sister-in-law of Bernard Herrmann, by Frederica H. Amstey and
Patricia H. Brecher, 2019.
Born in New York City in 1911, Bernard Herrmann was educated at New York University, where he studied with Philip James (composition)
and Bernard Wagenaar (conducting); and at Juilliard, where he studied with Percy Grainger (composition) and Albert Stossel
(conducting). He was an active member of Aaron Copland's Young Composer's Group during the early thirties, and initiated a
friendship with Charles Ives after discovering some of Ives's privately published scores at the New York Public Library. In
1931 he formed the New Chamber Orchestra, with which he conducted works by himself and his peers, including Jerome Moross
and Arthur Berger, as well as works by Charles Ives.
His exposure with the New Chamber Orchestra attracted the attention of John Green, who hired Herrmann as a staff arranger
and conductor at CBS Radio in 1933. His talents as a composer became evident when he submitted a score for narrator and orchestra
using Keat's poem La belle dame sans merci in late 1934. He soon became involved in the scoring of radio dramas with the innovative
and experimental series Columbia Workshop. He also worked with Orson Welles as music director of the Mercury Theater of the
Air. He pursued his interest in conducting with the CBS Symphony, eventually winning an appointment as chief conductor in
1941. His dramatic cantata Moby Dick, for male soloists, male chorus, and large orchestra, received its world premiere with
the New York Philharmonic under John Barbarolli's direction in April of 1940.
Herrmann's association with Welles led him to Hollywood in 1939 when the Mercury Theater was contracted by RKO Radio Pictures
to make a film. Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons resulted, both scored by Herrmann. He continued his work as conductor
of the CBS Symphony Orchestra and as a composer of scores for radio dramas through the 1940s, and took four assignments from
20th Century-Fox that appealed to him: Jane Eyre (1943), Hangover Square (1944), Anna and the King of Siam (1946), and The
Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947). His work on Jane Eyre inspired him to adapt Wuthering Heights as an opera (1943-1951), which he
ranked as his most important work.
With the swift post-war decline of commercial radio, Herrmann's rewarding career as the conductor of the CBS orchestra and
composer of music for radio drama evaporated. Hollywood presented the only practical career alternative; Herrmann moved to
California in 1951, and for four years worked exclusively at 20th Century-Fox. Most of the work during this time was on adventure
films set in exotic locales ( Beneath the Twelve-Mile Reef, White Witch Doctor, The King of the Khyber Rifles, The Egyptian,
etc.). In 1955 he began to freelance, and became involved with Alfred Hitchcock's feature filmmaking operation. He went on
to score many of Hitchcock's most successful films ( Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, etc.). Herrmann continued to conduct
during this period, though almost exclusively in England. He most frequently conducted the Halle and BBC Orchestras.
In the early 1960s, Herrmann's career began to unravel once again. His bellicose temper, fed by his failure to secure a conducting
post, began to threaten his offers to guest conduct. His recalcitrance over details of production scuttled every opportunity
to stage his opera Wuthering Heights. In Hollywood the studio system began to deteriorate rapidly. Popular songs became very
much in demand from film producers looking to squeeze every last potential dollar out of their films. This popular music syndrome
proved the downfall of Herrmann's relationship with Alfred Hitchcock. Asked to write in a popular idiom for Torn Curtain (1966),
Herrmann instead produced a very intense and unorthodox score, in an effort to better serve the dramatic needs of the film.
Hitchcock regarded this as an act of insubordination and betrayal, and fired Herrmann only moments after hearing the score
for the first time.
Unable to find work in Hollywood, Herrmann began to take film assignments in England and make commercial recordings for London
Records. His films from this period included two directed by Francois Truffaut, Fahrenheit 451 and La marieé etait en noir.
Eventually a younger group of filmmakers began to emerge in the 1970s, led by Brian DePalma ( Sisters and Obsession) and Martin
Scorcese ( Taxi Driver). Suffering from a heart condition aggravated by years of chain smoking, Herrmann was unable to take
full advantage of this resurgence of interest in his work. The evening before Christmas Eve 1975, after finishing the recording
sessions of Taxi Driver, Herrmann died in his sleep at the age of 64.
Scope and Content
Manuscript scores and musical sketches by Bernard Herrmann dating from the 1930s through the 1950s. Items include a full manuscript
musical score by Bernard Herrmann for Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 1947 film
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir; musical sketches by Bernard Herrmann for his
Moby Dick Cantata, which premiered in 1940 at Carnegie Hall with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of John Barbirolli; musical sketches
and a vocal score to the television show
A Christmas Carol, which aired as an hour long episode for
The Show of the Stars, directed by Ralph Levy, in 1954; and a score to Bernard Herrmann's sole opera
Wuthering Heights, with a libretto by Herrmann's first wife, Lucille Fletcher, based on the novel by Emily Brontë.
Related Archival Material
Bernard Herrmann papers, PA Mss 3, Department of Special Research Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library.
Music manuscripts of Herrmann's music for CBS Radio may be found in the CBS Collection at the New York Public Library.
Music manuscripts of Herrmann's music for CBS Television may be found in the CBS Collection in the Music Library Special Collections
Several significant music manuscripts (
Citizen Kane full score, sketches of
Anna and the King of Siam) are in the Music Division of the Library of Congress.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Composers -- United States -- 20th century
Motion picture music -- 20th century
Music -- Manuscripts
Scores (documents for music)
Herrmann, Bernard, 1911-1975 -- Archives
Herrmann, Bernard, 1911-1975 -- Christman Carol
Herrmann, Bernard, 1911-1975 -- Ghost and Mrs. Muir
Herrmann, Bernard, 1911-1975 -- Moby Dick
Herrmann, Bernard, 1911-1975 -- Wuthering Heights
Fletcher, Lucille -- Wuthering Heights
Full autograph score to
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
Sketches to the television show
A Christmas Carol
Vocal score of
A Christmas Carol
Score from opera