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What is it That Makes Us ❤ 'Spaghetti Western' Type Music?
Secret formulas?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (13 votes) 
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ELCBK
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February 2, 2022 - 1:23 pm
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3 Weird coincidences have me starting this thread... 

First, we've recently been talking about "The House of The Rising Sun" (a Folk Rock Ballad) in Ripton's Campfire Music Thread.  Then, I found a thread in the Fiddlerman HOTRS GP - implying there might be a correlation between it and Ennio Morricone's 'Spaghetti Western Style' music.  Top everything off, this morning I watched the new "Star Wars - Book of Boba Fett" episode & I realized the Theme score was staring me in the face with 'Spaghetti Western Style' written all over it! 

 

💥 All I can do is put forth some info - that I hope is helpful enough for those of YOU who DO know more about Music Theory, chord progressions, rhythm, cadence, etc... to shed some light on what makes us ❤ this Style of music! 

 

Is Fiddlerman's HOTRSP Inspired by Ennio Morricone Thread

Here's and interview with Eric Burdon (The Animals) - who made HOTRS famous, he explains that the film "Walk On The Wild Side" (1962 - about a New Orlean Brothel) was the inspiration for the Solo. 

The Animals - Eric Burdon on Story of The House Of The Rising Sun

Ennio Morricone was an amazing, prolific Composer of many styles, but pretty sure he'll always be known as the KING of 'Spaghetti Western Style'! 

I tried to find out why & found 2 (short) interesting articles! 

5 Compositional Elements That Define The Music of Ennio Morricone - Soundfly

Ennio Morricone Interview - The Quietus

Think Morricone's experimentation with Avant Garde was important and LOVE the 'making-do-with-a-low-budget-inspires-creativity' thing!  BUT, pretty sure there must be more to the types of motifs and chord progressions. 

Some people may not be familiar with the fairly new Star Wars' spinoff from "The Mandalorian" to "The Book of Boba Fett".  Both are Sci-Fi versions of a 'Spaghetti Western' - and the music kinda confirms it. 

 

The MANDALORIAN // Danish National Symphony Orchestra (LIVE)

Several good Cello covers of this "The Book of Boba Fett" theme - here's one at Pulse Music Media.

I did find a kinda video analysis of how Composer Ludwig Göransson transitioned the music score from "The Mandalorian" over to the "Boba Fett" theme, but I don't think this guy is explaining it very well (just flat 5ths, some rhythm & melody?). 

https://static0.therichestimages.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/mandalorian.jpg

ANYONE KNOW if if there's a combination of triads, specific chord progressions, quirky rhythm, etc... that makes 'Spaghetti Western' Style music so addictive? 

- Emily

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ABitRusty
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February 2, 2022 - 2:10 pm
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facepalm ...but i think it sounds like a sea shanty..

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ELCBK
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February 2, 2022 - 2:22 pm
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😳... so THAT'S why I like it!  ...?

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Gordon Shumway
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February 2, 2022 - 3:01 pm
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1. Minor keys

2. Jews harps

3. Trumpets

4. Electric guitars

5. Lots of reverb

6. Coconut shells

Andrew

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ABitRusty
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February 2, 2022 - 4:42 pm
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@elcbk idk... if you like the western movie music id say the vocal HUUG HUUB or whatevr in the book of bobba fett is reminding you of it.   that part does to me.  the bobba fett tune seems a liytle more pirate or seafarin the westrn tunes seem more like a march or quickstep.. both have the pull you along rhythm.. boba fett seems more like riding waves ...the westerrns seem more like a horse gallop.. maybe thats the connection.   the also seem more like dark tunes...you have said you like them.

what do you think?   

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ELCBK
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February 3, 2022 - 12:45 am
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@Gordon Shumway , @ABitRusty -

Was hoping you could help me see a correlation more like in the "5 Compositional Elements of Ennio Morricone", but there's some great insight in the 2nd article/interview.

My novice obsevations:

Yeah, the vocal mantra. 

Using the voice as an instrument. 

There's horns used, and I believe Göransson uses strings where Morricone would use guitar. 

Some reverb and echo. 

Some call & response.

A driving pulse. 

A whimsical melody that switches between major & minor - but, has to be different to define Boba Fett is not an actual Western. 

I think looking at both of Göransson's themes, "The Mandalorian" + "Boba Fett", together, helps - but I don't have any sheet music to look at, so guessing there's a similar type of harmony I can't put my finger on, possibly other similar elements.  

 

What about HOTRS?  From the discussion in the linked thread (OP) - is there any resemblance there, maybe harmony wise, other than a dark mood derived from a minor key and a driving pulse? 

Am I detecting some 'Blues' elements at work in these pieces? 

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ELCBK
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February 3, 2022 - 1:04 am
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Still of Music Theory interest, this doesn't specifically relate to my previous partial analysis (observations, really), but SO COOL to take 2 different scenes from the series "The Mandalorian" and add a little iconic influence! 

The first is as if Ennio Morricone put a finger on it - the 2nd is if Akira Kurosawa stamped his name on it! 

 

I feel there's similarities, but I'm just frustrated I don't understand music composition well enough to see exactly what makes them similar and why it works! 

Btw... hope I got across in my OP, with the Cello cover of "Boba Fett" and the Danish Orchestra, that we all should consider playing this Style of music on Violin, Viola & Cello. 🤗

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Gordon Shumway
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February 3, 2022 - 3:51 am
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I didn't even understand the question. I thought it was what makes spaghetti western music. I hate emojis dazedred_cursing

Andrew

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ELCBK
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February 3, 2022 - 4:05 am
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OMG! 

May have just found an extremely helpful video!  About 'Spaghetti Western' chords, rhythm characteristics and, of course, the special electric guitar FX - which can be done on our fiddles! 

 

I've watched several videos showing how to get the 'Spaghetti Western' guitar tones with reverb, but we don't need that on Violin, Viola or Cello, cause we have varied bow strokes and vibrato, etc... 

It has to be important to understand those special FX, so we can mimic them (or substitute similar) on our acoustic, as well as our electrified instruments. 

🤔... still thinking the use of specific chords, and how they are executed, may be more important. 

4 chords! (chords that start on the 4th note)

Maybe this is great music to try different bowing positions to add greater effects.

DEEP, DARK TONES!  Perfect for 5-string VIOLA! 

Maybe strung F, C, G, D, A!!! 

 

🤔... wondering if a huge part of my problem is I haven't learned how to IDENTIFY INTERVALS well enough? 

 

 

https://musictheoryonline.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2015/10/intervals-3.pngImage Enlarger

Hope learning to associate intervals with tunes

will help others as well as myself! 

- Emily

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ELCBK
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February 3, 2022 - 5:25 am
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@Gordon Shumway -

Sorry, let me refer back to my 1st comment:

First, we've recently been talking about "The House of The Rising Sun" (a Folk Rock Ballad) in Ripton's Campfire Music Thread.  Then, I found a thread in the Fiddlerman HOTRS GP - implying there might be a correlation between it and Ennio Morricone's 'Spaghetti Western Style' music.  Top everything off, this morning I watched the new "Star Wars - Book of Boba Fett" episode & I realized the Theme score was staring me in the face with 'Spaghetti Western Style' written all over it! 

Basically, I want to identify shared musical composition characteristics - that are related to 'Spaghetti Western' Style. 

...and these do have a few of the general features you listed, but I was hoping we could find more specific elements that are shared. 

- Emily

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Gordon Shumway
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February 3, 2022 - 7:35 am
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I didn't read any of the thread - just the question "what makes us love it?" and answered, purely as a joke, the question "what makes it?" (as I misread the question).

Now you are indeed asking "what makes it?". To which I refer you to my first response, lol!

Andrew

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ELCBK
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https://images.hdqwalls.com/download/the-mandalorian-star-wars-official-4k-yv-1440x2960.jpg

 

For people who actually read the info I offered up -  

There's some structural elements I feel cross over to Sci-fi Western/Space Cowboy music and at least some other 'badass hero' oriented film music.  I certainly don't love 'Spaghetti Western' Style music just because of the use of specific instruments, because other instruments can be substituted. 

I can easily give an example of Ennio Morricone 'Spaghetti Western' music that proves this. 

 

 

- Emily

 

 
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ABitRusty
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February 3, 2022 - 8:02 pm
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@elcbk said... "

wondering if a huge part of my problem is I haven't learned how to IDENTIFY INTERVALS well enough?"

you probably know better than you think even if the naming isnt up to speed.  as youve learned more and more tunes hasnt it become easier to sorta just know where the fingers go?   In general for what we practice i mean.

I think the biggest similarities in the music youve brought up is the rhythm and use of vocals. to me.   thats what id pick out first

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ABitRusty
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also @elcbk where the term cowboy chords on guitar is used.   at least in general..it usually is refering to the use of open chords in first position.  hopefully not to be confused with the naming used in the video.    in other word you could be playing "cowboy chords" strumming along to a bon jovi tune around the campfire.

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ELCBK said
Still of Music Theory interest, this doesn't specifically relate to my previous partial analysis (observations, really), but SO COOL to take 2 different scenes from the series "The Mandalorian" and add a little iconic influence! 

The first is as if Ennio Morricone put a finger on it - the 2nd is if Akira Kurosawa stamped his name on it! 

 

I feel there's similarities, but I'm just frustrated I don't understand music composition well enough to see exactly what makes them similar and why it works! 

Btw... hope I got across in my OP, with the Cello cover of "Boba Fett" and the Danish Orchestra, that we all should consider playing this Style of music on Violin, Viola & Cello. 🤗

  

question..

if you took the characters out of the desert and placed them in anartica.. would the spagetti western music still apply?   would it seem out of place?  what about in an alpine village?

i think its the familiarity with clint eastwood westerns and that music that makes similar scenes and characters want the similar music.  which is probably why the soundtrack compsers chose what they chose.

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ABitRusty
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February 3, 2022 - 9:54 pm
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🤫🤭

 

waiting.. 

hopefully youll catch it @elcbk

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Fiddlerman
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@ELCBK - Not really sure what inspired my HOTRS. I have a great memory but it's VERY short. LOL

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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ELCBK
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@ABitRusty - 

I'm sure the 'Spaghetti Western' scenario of; reluctant heroes, cruel villains, violence, bleak landscapes, and non-traditional music scores - can take place anywhere.

Personally, I was very disappointed with Morricone's score for "The Thing" - no iconic melody he's known for and guess I liked the overly-dramatic flair & 'otherworldly' sound of Dimitri Tiomkin's original 1951 score. 

Dimitri Tiomkin supposedly influenced Elmer Bernstein, famous for his iconic "The Magnificent Seven" (1960) score - or more 'Epic' Western than 'Spaghetti' (?) 

 

Leading me back to Akira Kurosawa (via "Seven Samurai") - because of his HUGE influence on Spaghetti and Sci-fi Westerns. 

The Film Music of Akira Kurosawa

Kurosawa used 8 composers for his various films - eclectic, using European Classical to Jazz, flavored with traditional Japanese and indigenous 'Ainu' sounds - similar to our Native American.  

I shouldn't be surprised if I'm also hearing, what might be considered, elements of traditional Japanese folk music influence in some of Morricone's - galloping rhythm is commonly associated with traditional shamisen playing and the 'Mukkuri' is a traditional bamboo jews harp of the Ainu, bending guitar strings like on the Koto, traditional woodwinds, drum rhythms, etc... 

Traditional Japanese Music (Edo-Tokyo Museum)

Ainu Mukkuri

Maybe a closer look at some chord progressions? 

 

 

Guess I need to try some. 😊 

...going to have to buy some Mukkuri for the Grandkids!

- Emily

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@elcbk there is an impending doom kinda sound of the thing 80's version suited the isolation.  it wouldnt work on much anything else prob.  Nor would the spagetti western stuff work on the thing.  i think what i meant was since we have seen those movies it makes sense to have that kinda music in an action kinda movie set in the desert with good vs bad guys.   Movee it out of the desert im not sure.  especially in anarctica..

so whats good about these topics that get started is learning different things ( pun? )  🙄 as you pointed out the music is iconic with the gener, but i couldnt have told you anything about the composer till you started the thread.   I certainly had NO IDEA he also did THE THING...i was just gonna link it as an example.   I DID know the feeling and forboding feel it had but not who scored it.   so when i saw it was the composer it made me laugh.  JUST TOO FUNNY.  thats what i meant about "hopefully youll catch it"  🤣  I know that was a random sorta comment but hopefully makes sense now.

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