By The Sound Man, Bill Lane

   With a wave of her arm, or with the fingers of one or both hands forming a peace sign together with an arm wave or a subtle flick of the wrist, Samantha could will virtually anything to happen. But then, so could Serena, the Countess Pirhana, and a host of others. What made Samantha stand out in the witchly crowd? It was her special non-flamboyant personal touch to the art of witchery, her famous trademark twitch of the nose. (Daughter Tabitha would in turn adopt its usage, but would wriggle her nose with the help of her finger, before abandoning the twitch altogether for a hand gesture in the final two seasons).

   The origin of the trademark twitch is quite interesting, as it was accidentally discovered by William Asher (Liz's husband and director of the series) unbeknownst to Liz. She had an apparent nervous wriggle of the upper lip that Asher picked up on, something no one else could imitate and, after it having become an issue between them, her subconscious 'twitch' was finally pointed out to her, it was incorporated into the show and it became a hit! (Source [though very loosely quoted]: The Bewitched Book, by Herbie J Pilato, Dell Publishing).

   As was the case with many 60's television comedies, rarely did something uniquely cute take place without the accompanying sound back-up, and Bewitched was no exception here. Sound effects were devised to accompany this new twitch phenomenon and, though slightly complex of nature, have not thoroughly escaped cataloguing. It is my aim here to elaborate on these variants.

  First and foremost, there was the "standard twitch" sound effect, which lasted from the pilot of the series through the 8th and final season. The notes are: B flat -- G -- B flat -- G -- B flat, these being 5 note strikes of the second highest octave of the contemporary piano keyboard. Of course, a piano was not used, but you could try this out on a piano for fun (as I did as a youngster) and it would sound really close. I couldn't say with 100% percent certainty what instrument was used, though I would tend to believe it was a vibraphone. But this twitch sound effect wasn't as uniform and simple as it sounds.

  The twitch sound was, more or less, standard throughout the series. Yet there were some variants to it. As early as in # 1 ("I, Darrin, Take this Witch, Samantha"), we see some experimentation under way. Look and listen to Sam's first two attempts (and first two twitches of the series) to get Endora to disappear from the honeymoon suite. Twitch # 1 has a slightly quicker tempo than that of most of the twitches of the rest of the series. Twitch # 2 hits the other extreme: very slow and another instrument may have been used here, both of them featured here back to back: . It is even given a slow echoing effect in # 135 ("I Confess"), when Sam twitches Darrin into a deep slumber.

  Sometimes, this standard "witch twitch" was lengthened from 5 strikes to 7 as in # 114 ("Birdies, Bogeys and Baxter"), where Samantha in one instance sends Darrin's golf ball flying around the course , and at one point the first note is (accidentally?) hit twice e.g. in # 188 ("Samantha's Secret Is Discovered"), when Samantha makes the ashtray float from the coffee table into Darrin's hand . This is also the same standard sound effect that was (I would believe) distorted in the opening scenes of # 165 . At the end of that very same episode, the first B flat was eliminated when Samantha reversed Arthur's tablecloth trick . The longest variant I can recall is Samantha's twitch in #136 ("A Majority of Two"), where she backs up time a second or two at the airport so Mr. Mishimoto and the stewardess can cross paths .

  But this "standard" twitch sound effect was not the only one used. At times in the first season, as well as at least once in the 4th season, something resembling a vibraphone was used and approximately one octave lower than the standard sound effect I mentioned above. It had a slightly higher pace. For example, in # 11 ("It Takes One to Know One"), when Samantha's face is superimposed over Darrin and Janine's in Janine's apartment . It turns up again in #118 ("Allergic to Macedonian Dodo Birds"), when Samantha transforms Morning Glory Circle from a harbour into a street again . (Funny trivia: In # 2, ["Be It Ever so Mortgaged"], this same "twitch" sound effect was used as Endora's disappearing mark when she was avoiding Darrin during the first part of the episode! And there were no twitches involved there.)

  A random twitch effect is heard at the end of # 110 ("Business, Italian Style"), when Samantha helps Darrin speak Italian to their dinner guests and I don't recall it being used anywhere else . Another alternative twitch sound is used in # 115 ("The Safe and Sane Halloween"), when Samantha changes Tommy from a goat back into a boy . This has a slightly higher tone than even the standard twitch and is also more quickly paced. This same sound effect was also used by Tabitha in # 134 ("Tabitha's Cranky Spell") , and in the opener of # 149 ("Samantha Fights City Hall") .

  But silence can also be golden and, though unaccompanied by any of the above sound effects, or any sound effect for that matter, the twitch leaves its mark and still holds strong in # 1 ("I, Darrin, Take this Witch, Samantha"), when Samantha enables the table lighter to light for Darrin in their hotel suite, # 126 ("Snob in the Grass"), when Samantha ceases the dog's romp across the patio, and in the tail-end of # 131 ("How Green Was My Grass"), when Samantha whisks Darrin's coffee cup and saucer back up onto the table without his noticing it. In the latter, Sam's arm gesture is sound-assisted, but the twitch is left silent.