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Ennio Morricone’s Score for Once Upon a Time in the West (Part 3 of 3): The Frank/Harmonica Theme — 3 Comments

  1. Hi Mark,

    Thank you for another interesting essay on Morricone’s music.
    I hope you can find some time and inspiration to analyse some of his other Western scores with Leone.
    While there is a Filmscore Guide on The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; I have not seen any kind of analysis of “For a few dollars more”, which is my favourite part of the Leone/Morricone Dollar-Trilogy.

  2. This is wonderful Mark – so interesting. I’ll get to the piano and play some of these sections of your analysis.

    The extraordinary thing about Morricone is his versatility- no two scores sound the same. Whether it be these Sergio Leonie westerns, Tornatore’s “Cinema Paradiso” or de Palma’s “The Untouchables”, this music represents the very best of the art and I thank you for your intensive analysis of “Once Upon a Time in the West”. Curiously, I’ve never regarded these films as terribly visually interesting because they remind me too much of the ‘zoom in/zoom out’ aesthetic so much a part of 60’s and 70’s films. The music raises the stakes, though!!

    Another example of the parts of a film being better than its sum!

  3. Something interesting to mention also with the ostinato is that, based on a triplet rythm (3/4 I suppose) when the first section enters, this create an interesting polyrythhm between the guitar melody (4 beats) and the continuing ostinato played by strings (3 beats). I’m sure there would be a lot to say about Morricone use of rythm and he surely has a couple of common tricks in that field too!

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