Ennio Morricone: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

23 August 2014, 16:44 | Updated: 15 February 2019, 17:52

The score of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is chock-full of gunfire, yodelling, and even howling coyotes, but Morricone's punchy music is anything but ugly.

When it comes to Spaghetti Westerns, this popular '60s movie directed by Sergio Leone is an absolute classic.  

Set in the Southwest during the Civil War, Clint Eastwood starring as Joe forms an unlikely partnership with Mexican outlaw Tuco. 

Although Joe turns Tuco in for reward money, he later rescues him from being hanged and the duo team up to get the better of a criminal who is on the loose.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: About the main theme

The best Morricone theme? The Italian master certainly created one of the most iconic pieces of film music with his main theme, and the rest of the score to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly comes complete with all the classic Morricone traits including whistling, yodeling and gunfire. 

The main two-note motif is used for each of the main three characters from the 1966 film, but played on three different instruments. Blondie (played by Clint Eastwood) is represented by a flute, Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef) an ocarina, and Tuco (Eli Wallach) a choir. 

With Ennio Morricone's music, mock coyote howls, whips and electric guitars became a feature of film music, sending Westerns in an entirely new direction. The main theme was a hit in the charts, with the soundtrack album staying in the Billboard charts in America for over a year.