Music, Sound, and the Moving Image

Music for Murder, Machines, and Monsters

‘Moat Farm Murder’, The Twilight Zone, and the CBS Stock Music Library

Music, Sound, and the Moving Image (2017), 11, (2), 157–186.

Abstract

The re-use of storylines from radio plays on early television was not uncommon; indeed, much of the television programming of the 1950s and early 1960s consisted of repurposed radio scripts. Columbia Presents Corwin ‘Moat Farm Murder’ (Bernard Herrmann, 18 July 1944) was among the many radio programmes from the 1940s that had music featured in The Twilight Zone. Of the radio plays to feature music in the series, ‘Moat Farm Murder’ provided more cues than any other CBS radio score.

Cues from ‘Moat Farm Murder’ are found in eleven episodes of The Twilight Zone (CBS, 1959–1964). The use of music from radio dramas and their re-uses in television has thus far not been examined. This essay looks at the composition of the ‘Moat Farm Murder’ radio score and Corwin’s collaboration with Herrmann in it, as well as the re-use of radio music in The Twilight Zone. Through this case study of ‘Moat Farm Murder’, better knowledge of how the CBS Stock music library was used, in tandem with the way in which other similar network and production company cue libraries worked.

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Wissner, Reba A.