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Ennio Morricone’s music in Dario Argento’s “Animal Trilogy”

Palazzo Huigens
Film disclosure
by Marco Lenzi

How does a composer think when writing music for films? How does a director think when choosing music for their films? In a broader sense, what is the relationship between sound and image? It is a theme that has ignited numerous debates in aesthetic and musicological contexts over time. It is obviously a complex, multifaceted, sometimes contradictory, yet incredibly prolific relationship that has given rise to highly diverse outcomes. The best way to approach it is to exemplify it in specific and defined cases. The music of the eclectic and versatile genius Ennio Morricone, in this sense, lends itself well to analysis: in the first three films by Dario Argento (The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, The Cat o’ Nine Tails, and Four Flies on Grey Velvet), often grouped under the label ‘animal trilogy’, it moves along lines that diverge and intertwine, using different languages, styles, and techniques.