Ennio Morricone: good film scores have been replaced by the bad and the ugly

Ahead of a world tour, revered composer says today’s film-makers sell their movies short by using electronic instruments or amateur musicians

Italian famous composer Ennio Morricone conducts an anthology of almost all of his greatest successes at the Auditorium Pio, 14 october 2006 IN ROME, during the first edition of Rome film festival. AFP PHOTO / GIULIO NAPOLITANO (Photo credit should read GIULIO NAPOLITANO/AFP/Getty Images)
Italian famous composer Ennio Morricone conducts an anthology of almost all of his greatest successes at the Auditorium Pio, 14 october 2006 IN ROME, during the first edition of Rome film festival.
(Photo Getty Images)

Too many films are blighted by lacklustre music, with directors failing to grasp the potential of a great score to enhance the viewing experience, one of cinema’s most revered composers has said.

Ennio Morricone, 88, criticised the use of “amateur” composers or synthesised sounds, rather than real instruments, in what he called a misguided attempt to cut costs.

While acknowledging the many directors who understood the emotional power of music – with Hans Zimmer (Gladiator) and John Williams (Schindler’s List) among the industry’s most brilliant composers – he said: “The standard of composition for film has deteriorated. I have suffered a lot in watching many films because of that.

“There are some directors who actually fear the possible success of music,” he added. “They fear that the audience or the critics will think the film has workedbecause there was a very good music score.”

Over a 60-year career, the Italian maestro has written some of cinema’s most memorable scores, from Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly to Oscar-winning classics such as The Mission and Cinema Paradiso.

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You can read the rest of this article by Dalya Alberge on the Guardian website

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