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MUSIC 115 Grossmont Cuyamaca Music of Alfred Hitchcock Films Essay


1. Choose to write your essay on either Vertigo OR Citzen Kane.

2. Answer all the prompts below for that movie.

3. Other essay requirements:

  • IN YOUR OWN WORDS. I want and expect student writing. Sharing essays with others constitutes cheating and will result in a zero for both parties. I will FAIL cut and paste jobs.
  • 1-2 pages in length
  • 12-pt Times New Roman; double spaced
  • Spelling, capitalization and word usage should be accurate to receive full credit.
  • You MUST include a Works Cited page and cite ALL sources in MLA format. You must use in-text citation.

  • VERTIGO1. on the music of Herrmann in Vertigo. Click here to go to the reading.ANSWER:
    • Using your textbook, define “ostinato”.
    • How does Herrmann use ostinato – what effect does this compositional technique create in the viewer? Cite your sources.


    • Who was the director of Vertigo? Provide a brief bio in your own words and cite your sources.
    • Who was the music composer for Vertigo? Provide a brief bio in your own words and cite your sources.

    2. Find the clip “Kim Novak in Vertigo (1958)”

    • IMPORTANT! Watch this clip TWICE. First with NO SOUND, second time WITH SOUND.
    • ANSWER: After watching the clip without – then WITH sound – what information does the music give you about the characters that you would not know otherwise (there is no dialogue in this scene).

    3. Find the clip “Vertigo (10/11) Movie CLIP – Judy Becomes Madeleine (1958)” on the Viewing and Listening page in the Unit: Movie Music 1

    • Watch the entire clip.
    • ANSWER: How does Herrmann’s music work in this scene? At what point in the action does the music reach its high point? How is this reflected in the visual (the lighting effects in particular?) Cite your sources.


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