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Music in Once Upon a Time in the West

by Paul Cote

In this scene, we see the way that music can guide our emotional response to seemingly neutral images onscreen. While the landscape shots of Monument Valley are certainly beautiful, they carry little narrative or affective information by themselves.  The music, however, compels us to regard this imagery with bittersweet nostalgia.  Morricone's sentimental melody creates the tone for this sequence.

Music in Once Upon a Time in the West

This scene illustrates the way music can dominate the tone of a seemingly neutral set of landscape shots.

from Once Upon a Time in the West (1969)
Creator: Sergio Leone
Distributor: Paramount
Posted by Paul Cote