Ennio Morricone: Never Predictable, Always Memorable

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From the iconic wail of The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly to the mix of diegetic and non-diegetic sound in The Thing, composer Ennio Morricone isn’t afraid to take risks, get weird, and create musical accompaniments that are positively haunting… even if they’re not necessarily easy to hum along with. He’s worked with luminaries like Sergio Leone, Dario Argento, Brian De Palma, Quentin Tarantino, Terrence Malick, and even John Carpenter (who, it could be argued, knows a thing or two about scoring a movie). From Bulworth to The Untouchables (and its unmistakable Battleship Potemkin reference), chances are you love a Morricone score and don’t even know it.

In this video, you’ll hear exactly how much the movies Morricone has made music for relying on his mastery of dissonance, mood, and tension — and, in one case, what happens when you take his music out. Hint: It certainly doesn’t improve things.

Watch Now: Or rather, listen now! The Bird With the Crystal Plumage, a prime example of Morricone’s mastery of score, is available for streaming on Fandor.

Do you love movie music? Then why don’t you “settle the score” with our videos on composers as varied and beloved as Hans Zimmer, Trent Reznor, Rachel Portman, Nick Cave, and Jonny Greenwood? While you’re at it, check out our exploration of the cinematic legacies of Queen, Prince, Led Zeppelin, and David Bowie, and the signature sounds of directors Sam Raimi, Nicolas Winding Refn, Guillermo del Toro, Wes Anderson, Clint Eastwood, Agnès Varda, and Andrei Tarkovsky.

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