In the production of older films, a common method for creating a "dream" sound effect involved the utilization of a musical instrument known as the theremin. The theremin is an electronic musical instrument that was invented in the early 20th century and is one of the earliest examples of electronic music. It is unique in that it is played without physical contact and instead utilizes the player's movements in proximity to two metal antennas to control pitch and volume.
The theremin's ethereal and otherworldly sound made it a popular choice for creating dream-like and surreal soundscapes in films, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s. It was utilized in numerous classic science fiction and horror films, such as "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and "The Thing from Another World". The instrument's eerie and haunting sound added to the suspense and atmosphere of these films and helped to create a dream-like state for the audience.
The theremin was also utilized in a number of classic film scores, including Miklós Rózsa's score for "Spellbound" and Bernard Herrmann's score for "The Day the Earth Stood Still". In these scores, the theremin was used to create a sense of otherworldly mystery and to evoke a dream-like state for the audience.
In addition to its use in film scores, the theremin was also utilized in popular music recordings of the 1950s and 1960s. Musicians such as Led Zeppelin, The Beach Boys, and The Doors utilized the theremin in their recordings to create a psychedelic and dream-like sound.
In recent years, the theremin has seen a resurgence in popularity as a musical instrument and is utilized by a new generation of musicians and film composers. However, despite its continued use, the theremin remains a symbol of the dream-like soundscapes of classic films and continues to be associated with the creation of a surreal and otherworldly atmosphere.
In conclusion, the theremin was a crucial tool utilized in the creation of the "dream" sound effect in old movies. Its unique sound and ethereal quality made it a popular choice for filmmakers and composers looking to evoke a dream-like state for the audience. The theremin remains a staple of classic film scores and is remembered as a symbol of the dream-like soundscapes of classic films.