Sound Dimensions by Ennio Morricone: A Journey of Discovery

Franco Sciannameo (2021)

This article [read here] (Remarques sur la Musique pour l’emaginaire de Ennio Morricone et Bruno Nicolai) traces the history and development of the so-called “Library Music,” an all-encompassing commercial phenomenon that flooded the world music market during the 1950-1980 time span with a music product that included every genre destined for any function according to the wishes of the buyer/listener/user.

The author argues about the practical efficiency of the criteria adopted by Morricone and Nicolai in selecting titles borrowed from the scientific domain to connote their compositional efforts. 

In 1972, RCA Italiana commissioned composers Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai to create some 103 pieces or sound fragments of electronic and electro-acoustical music as an intellectually oriented contribution to the Italian American recording company’s already well-stacked library music collection. Morricone and Nicolai entitled their comprehensive work Dimensioni sonore – Musiche per l’immagine e l’immaginazione and assigned to each piece–composed individually, not as a team–abstract terms such as Correlativo, Cromosfera, Epiciclo, Magma, Scissione, Tangente and so on. A strategy, one may think, aimed to free the buyer/listener/user from any suggestions or mental conditioning elicited by an explicit title.

This project was made possible by Frank-Ratchye Further Fund Grant #2022-005.