Morricone began composing at the age of six and his professional career began in Italy's fledgling pop industry as an arranger where he quickly gained a reputation for his idiosyncratic utilisation of everyday sounds.
He first gained international attention in the mid-60s with his landmark scores for Leone, work characterised by the utilisation of twangy guitar and melodramatic strings augmented with ricocheting bullets, whipcracks, whistling, chiming bells and even the sound of watches ticking.
Morricone, who would usually write the score prior to the filming and is seen at a 1995 recording session in Rome, speaks also about his serious works composed for concert hall performances.
Numerous clips from his scores for Leone's Spaghetti Westerns are included as well as other work including The Battle of Algiers, The Mission and Cinema Paradise. Interviewees include filmmakers David Puttnam, Brian De Palma, John Boorman and Bernardo Bertolucci as well as Leone scholar Christopher Frayling.