Harry Lubin : Menacing Suspense

blog post by Melissa Haley

Menacing Suspense

Calling all fans of classic spooky television music: UCLA Library Special Collections’ Harry Lubin television and motion picture music (PASC-M 28) now has an updated finding aid! One of the masters of genre music, composer Harry Lubin (1906-1977) is best known for his work for the television series One Step Beyond (aired 1959-1961) and The Outer Limits (aired 1963-1965). Both programs are represented in the collection, along with music for The Loretta Young Show and other original compositions for television and film projects.

The docudrama One Step Beyond explored the paranormal and unexplained events, and even involved its host John Newland ingesting “magic mushrooms” in Mexico for research purposes. Lubin composed the opening theme “Fear” (later covered by the Ventures) and other music for the series.

Theme and cue titles listed in Lubin’s original inventory--Panic, Mental Illness, Bewildered, Wailing, and Bloody Hand Stomp-- paint an evocative picture of the program.

Music sheet for Bloody Hand Stomp

Themes and cues for The Outer Limits are equally evocative of that show, with titles like An Apparition and Monster Theme. The sci-fi series featured numerous stories about aliens, space travel, time warps, and the like. Other Outer Limits themes and cues give a sense of moods (Foreboding, Sinister & Dramatic, Ominous & Suspense, Scare Chords)

Scare Chords

and also indicate that Lubin incorporated unconventional instruments, such as theremin and novachord into his music.

Theramin and Novachord

So if you want to "make weird effects" with your own music, come see the original Harry Lubin scores in Library Special Collections!

No Weird Effects