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A friend has asked me what is the source of this Halloween-type musical
phrase.

Variations are used to cue a spooky mood in countless songs and films,
here's just one example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKI1YeKv6Jc

The article linked to below points to two possible sources - the silent
movie composer John Stepan Zamecnik, and the *Remick Folio of Moving
Picture Music vol. I*, published March 24, 1914, by Jerome H. Remick & Co.,
New York and Detroit and compiled and edited by J. Bodewalt Lampe.

http://soundandthefoley.com/2013/04/04/villains-theme/

I'd like to see the sheet music from the folio. Is there a prior source in
classical music, or a recording from the early 20th Century?

Thanks