Composer Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975) conducted and scored for CBS radio including Welles’ War of the Worlds before moving into film scoring beginning with Citizen Kane and many of Alfred Hitchcock’s films.
The collection includes most of Herrmann’s film scores as well as correspondence, financial records, and photographs, sound recordings, and published scores.
For a description of the collection, list of items in the collection, and procedures for using or obtaining copies of scores, consult the finding guide in the Online Archive of California (OAC). Photographs in this collection have been digitized and are now available through the OAC.
A paper copy of the finding guide is also available in the Special Collections Reading Room.
Other Herrmann Resources
There are two other public institutions holding Herrmann scores. UCLA has a collection of his scores and the New York Public Library has the scores from the CBS Library. UCSB owns a microfilm copy of the NYPL materials which can be used on site in Special Collections.
Some Bernard Herrmann web resources of interest:
- Bernard Herrmann Estate – Website maintained by Herrmann’s estate
- The Bernard Herrmann Webpages – Comprehensive Herrmann web resource
- Film Music Society – An organization dedicated to the preservation of film music
- Themes and Variations – Rents many of Herrmann’s scores for performance
Duplication & Copyright
Copies of scores that have not been microfilmed and/or recordings can be obtained from UCSB only with the permission of the copyright holder. Please see the information below for assistance on locating copyright holders.
Send requests for duplication with proof of permission from the appropriate copyright holder to:
David Seubert, Curator
Performing Arts Collection
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
Phone: (805) 893-5444
Fax: (805) 893-4676
seubert [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu
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. 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
Phone: (202) 707-5640
Fax: (202) 707-1771
photoduplication [at] loc [dot] gov
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. 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. The finding guide for our collection 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.
ACE (www.ascap.com/ace), a searchable database of ASCAP titles, is available on the web to verify current ownership status.
ASCAP has two offices:
1 Lincoln Plaza
New York, NY 10023
Phone: (212) 621-6329
7920 Sunset Blvd., Suite 300
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Phone: (213) 883-1000
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.
BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) is located at:
320 W. 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
Phone: (212) 586-2000
A searchable database of BMI compositions (www.bmi.com) titles is available on the web to verify current ownership status.
For inquiries about performing Herrmann’s film music contact:
Themes and Variations
Phone: (203) 227-5709