Book Series Studies on Italian Music History, vol. 18

Italian Film Music, 1950s-1970s

Between Tradition, Innovation, and Internationalisation

Franco Sciannameo (ed)

  • Pages: 454 p.
  • Size:210 x 270 mm
  • Illustrations:32 b/w, 48 musical examples
  • Language(s):English, Italian
  • Publication Year:2023

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-60846-4
  • Hardback
  • Available

This book provide a tribute to Italian Film Music of 1950s-1970s


Born in Maglie (Italy), violinist, musicologist, and cultural historian Franco Sciannameo writes and lectures extensively on contemporary music and its relation to politics, cinema, and the arts. He has worked with several celebrated composers, including Giacinto Scelsi, Vieri Tosatti, Nino Rota, Franco Donatoni, Ennio Morricone, Franco Evangelisti, and Paul Chihara. Sciannameo is College of Fine Arts Distinguished Scholar & Teaching Professor of Music in the School of Music at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


The music heard in Italian cinema along the arch of the three decades highlighted in this book, has not only made history but has become an unspoken of patrimony of humanity. This book provides a platform to build a lasting tribute to those composers who were, indeed, the “sounding” protagonists of hundreds of films – from Fellini’s «La dolce vita» to Tornatore’s «Cinema Paradiso» to a myriad of cultural documentaries and productions made for cinema and television. The book is divided into three parts comprising essays on the music of Nino Rota, lesser-known composers yet important on the national circuit like Carpi, Gervasio, Vlad, and Chailly, and four essays dedicated to the towering figure of Ennio Morricone whose legacy will continue to hover over Italian cinema of the 50s-70s for many decades to come. An introductory essay, 17 chapters annotated and provided with musical examples, tables, and iconographic material written by internationally known academics specialised in Italian film music; bibliographies and abstracts following each essay; biographies of the contributing authors; and an index organized by names and subjects, make this volume an indispensable research tool free of geopolitical barriers and ideological constrains in the bourgeoning field of Film Music.


Franco Sciannameo

Part One: One the Road with Nino Rota
Giada Viviani
Un viaggio audiovisivo lungo il Po. Mario Soldati e Nino Rota agli esordi della televisione
Francesco Finocchiaro
«We Were the Leopards»: Strategies of Adaptation from Tomasi di Lampedusa to Visconti & Rota
Anna Igielska
Visconti’s Integration of Opera Excerpts: Towards a Comparative and International Perspective
Pasquale Giaquinto
‘Kremmerzian’ Influence in Nino Rota’s Music for the Cinema of Federico Fellini: ‘Rosa Aurata’ in Giulietta degli spiriti (1965)
Franco Sciannameo
Fellini’s Melophobia, Rota and Prova d’orchestra

Part Two: Homages, Considerations, New Horizons
Franco Sciannameo
L’Armata Brancaleone and the Musical that Never Was
Antonio Ferrara
La grottesca combinazione audiovisiva di un pastiche parodistico di danze: l’allestimento musicale di Sedotta e abbandonata
Marida Rizzuti
Film Music in the Concert Programs of the Orchestre Sinfoniche della RAI of Milan and Rome
Oreste Palmiero
Fiorenzo Carpi e il cinema (con un catalogo delle sue colonne sonore e un contributo biografico)
Beatrice Birardi
Comporre con «spontaneità controllata»: la musica per film secondo Raffaele Gervasio
Anna Scalfaro
Music for TV Dramas by Luciano Chailly
Marco Cosci
«How Does the Italian Cultural Heritage Sound?» The Case of Roman Vlad’s Documentary Music
Giacomo Albert
Sound in Italian Experimental Cinema 1950s-1970s: Between Audiovisual Counterpoint, Deconstructions, Asynchronies, Remediations, and Collages

Part Threee: Ennio Morricone beyond Absolute Music
Hugh Maloney
Film Music as Greek Chorus: Ennio Morricone and Il ritorno di Ringo
Antonella Coppi – Stefano Cucci
Unusual Linguistic and Syncretic Opposites in the Music of Ennio Morricone
Alessandro Mastropietro
Informal Film Music: Morricone, De Seta and Un uomo a metà (1966)
Maria Birbili
Sam Fuller’s and Ennio Morricone’s White Dog: Auteur Cinema Meets the Civil Rights Movement

Abstracts and Biographies
Index of Names