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Ennio Morricone Analysis - The Frank/Harmonica Theme (Once Upon a Time in the West)


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#1 Ludwig

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 02:46 AM

Here is the last installment of my three-part series on Morricone's classic score for Once Upon a Time in the West:

http://www.filmmusic...armonica-theme/

Since I first heard of his "micro-cell" technique (explained in the post), I have found it in many other of his cues. Interesting technique that I haven't seen in other film composers' music.

Enjoy!


Currently on my blog on film music analysis (www.filmmusicnotes.com): BOOK REVIEW - John Williams's Film Music, by E. Audissino


#2 TheGreyPilgrim

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 03:58 AM

Very interesting stuff Mark, as always.


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#3 Sharky

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Posted Yesterday, 04:23 PM

 

Mark, how do you hear these divisi harmonic clusters starting at 0:21? I get E7-Eb7-D7-Db7-C7 and then A6-Ab6-G6-Gb6-F6 - repeating an octave lower each time.



#4 Ludwig

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Posted Today, 05:53 AM

It starts by outlining the same notes as the ostinato, E-D#-C, then continues adding notes downward: B-A-G#-G-F.

 

It continues down after that too, but gets very hard to pick out. I can hear D for sure below the F, but I'd guess there's E in there and maybe D# as well. I think there's a C# after the D. Then the high register adds Bb, and probably other notes beneath it like A and maybe others.

 

The most interesting thing about these glassy lines is that they begin in a comprehensible, tonal way, basically outlining the A minor chord suggested at the opening with the ostinato and bass pedal on A. Then it gradually becomes an atonal mass. Nice technique to express either the mystery of Harmonica or the insanity of Frank.


Currently on my blog on film music analysis (www.filmmusicnotes.com): BOOK REVIEW - John Williams's Film Music, by E. Audissino





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