North By Northwest Score

The Original Score:

Here below is the video of the Re-Score for the film North by Northwest. The reason its slightly lower quaility than the file given is because my computer could not handle a ‘mov’ in logic so I had to convert to mp4 🙂




 My objective for this task was to compose a score using brass instrumentation for the film North By Northwest.

Visual element/s highlighted

The part I especially wanted to highlight was at 0.58’ where the plane turns round and dives towards the main character. The pitch and texture of the ostinato gradually increases, creating tension and suspense, which are relieved in a climactic crescendo once the plane has narrowly missed the character.

The composers approach you adopted:

I developed my piece based on Bernard Herman’s main theme for ‘North By Northwest’. The main theme is based on call and response in the brass section and begins in the key of Am before being modulated to the minor 7th (Gm) in the second phrase. I implemented this throughout my piece using not only the call and response method but also similar instrumentation and tonality.

A MIDI/ sequencer technique you learnt:

For the first time I used the exs24 zone editor to trigger the different brass variations through inputting MIDI triggers from the piano roll.

A music technique you learnt through doing the task:

Musically I used several instrumental playing techniques including glissando, staccato, legato and trills to create variation within the brass arrangement.

What did you learn through this task that is an example of practice as research?

This is practice as research as I attempted to added realism to my orchestral score by using elastic time. This was extremely effective at 58’ where the increase in tempo illustrates the planes acceleration.

What mark for this task would you award yourself and why?

I would give this task a 70% because I successfully explored the areas of the brass family with reference to Bernard Herrmann’s original score in an attempt to create a piece that would seem similar to fit the musical context of the film.

Word count: 254



n/a. (n/a). North By Northwest – Bernard Hermann. Available: Last accessed 25/2/2011.


6 responses to “North By Northwest Score

  1. excellent work ! love your orchestration ! (did you show this to your dad?) the report could be a little more polished, though.It is not practice as research unless you have understood or solved a practical problem through your practice… need to make this explicit…. you are almost there ! great work as always ! 🙂

  2. Rogers mate, fair play, your piece is immense. Your trills and embellishments are spot on!

  3. Justin Williams

    This is very impressive. Looks like you are doing great things in this module, and this is a really creative application of a musical style.

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