"In scoring Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, which is generally considered the original 'slasher' movie, Bernard Herrmann provided not only gripping cues for psychological and physical terror, but also deeply emotional underscoring for plights facing Janet Leigh's character. Herrmann's score identifies with Leigh's character while commenting on her situation as a detached observer. This is hardly surprising, given Herrmann's gift for suggesting character traits of an almost subliminal nature. Unlike on his other work for Hitchcock, Herrmann works with an all-strings orchestra, as if to call attention to the horrible, almost incestuous intimacy of the story as well as its stark black and white cinematography."
– from Chapter 6: A Fearful Earful of Kristopher Spencer’s Film and Television Scores, 1950-1979