Italian soundtracks  

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"Italian soundtracks from the late 60s to mid 70s are practically a genre to themselves and have long been a treasure trove for those who seek unique jazzy psychedelic beats. In the early 90s, both the retro-exotica crowd and the rare groove DJs re-discovered Italian soundtrack music thus giving it a big boost in popularity."--blurb to The Psych Jazzy Beat Of I Marc 4

"It goes without saying that Italian horror soundtracks were essential [in making the film Berberian Sound Studio (2012)] - Morricone, Bruno Nicolai, Riz Ortolani, Stelvio Cipriani, Fabio Frizzi, Claudio Gizzi, Goblin. --Peter Strickland interviewed in Sight and Sound

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Italian soundtracks of the 1960s and 1970s have become a musical genre in themselves and are rather collectible. Ennio Morricone is the best-known film composer of Italy, followed by Piero Piccioni, Armando Trovaioli, Giovanni Fusco, Piero Umiliani, Nino Rota, Bruno Nicolai, Riz Ortolani, and Stelvio Cipriani.

Musical compositions that have escaped their natural habitat include "More" (1962) by Ortolani, "Tema di Londra" (1967) by De Masi and Alessandroni, "Deep Down" (1968) by Morricone, "Mah Nà Mah Nà" (1968) by Umiliani and "Sessomatto" (1973) by Trovajoli.

And then there is the soundtrack composition "Il barone rosso" by Luciano Michelini which became the theme song of the comedy show, Curb Your Enthusiasm.



Among early music for Italian films from the 1930s was the work of Riccardo Zandonai with scores for the films La Principessa Tarakanova (1937) and Caravaggio (1941). Post-war examples include Goffredo Petrassi with Non c'e pace tra gli ulivi (1950) and Roman Vlad with Giulietta e Romeo (1954). Another well-known film composer was Nino Rota whose post-war career included the scores for films by Federico Fellini and, later, The Godfather series. Other prominent film score composers include Ennio Morricone, Riz Ortolani and Piero Umiliani.


"The award for Best Original Score was won by Nino Rota for The Godfather Part II; Giorgio Moroder for Midnight Express; Nicola Piovani for Life is Beautiful; Dario Marianelli for Atonement; and Ennio Morricone for The Hateful Eight. Giorgio Moroder also won the award for Best Original Song for Flashdance and Top Gun.

Lounge music

Perhaps the best-known composition is "Tema di Londra" (1967) by De Masi and Alessandroni.

Compilations include Beat at Cinecittà, three volumes of downtempo, jazz and easy listening from 1960s and 1970s Italian cinema featuring Piero Piccioni, Nora Orlandi, Riz Ortolani, Fred Bongusto, Armando Trovajoli, released (1996-1999).

Other compilations are Loungissima, Easy Tempo and Cinecocktail.

See Italian jazz, Gert Wilden

See also

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