Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Music Honours


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)


Faculty of Education and Arts

First Advisor

Dr Cat Hope


Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975) has long been regarded as one of the most important composers of film music. Emerging during a time when the majority of film scores worked primarily with the physical action onscreen or what was immediately obvious in the dramatic narrative, Herrmann's innovative compositional style instead focused on the unconscious and the psychological states at work. The following thesis is a discussion of the key elements of Herrmann's unique film score style and, via case studies of the three lonely male protagonists in the films Citizen Kane (Welles, USA, 1941), Vertigo (Hitchcock, USA, 1958) and Taxi Driver (Scorsese, USA, 1976), an investigation into how he gave a musical narrative to the tortured characters he scored for onscreen.