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Ennio Morricone RIP

Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight.

by Jon Davis, Published 2020-07-06

Morricone was born in Rome in 1928, and started studying harmony at the age of 12. He was soon composing his own music, and by the time he got his degree in composition and trumpet he was already writing for radio, television, and stage as well as the concert hall.

His first credited film score was Il Federale in 1961, and he soon showed the ability to function in nearly any style, from historical drama to popular comedy, and had a flair for using non-musical sounds in his work. In 1964 he helped found Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza, a group of composers interested in the avant-garde and improvisation, and was involved with it until 1980.

His worldwide profile skyrocketed with his score for Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars in 1964, and continued throught Leone's subsequent Westerns For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. His use of unconventional sounds, as well as twanging electric guitar, turned the Western genre upside down, shunning the typical orchestral arrangements for quirky, modern sounds.

Morricone died in Rome as a result of complications after a fall.

Filed under: Obituaries

Related artist(s): Ennio Morricone

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