Top 10 Original Movie Scores

A list created by: Lee Sonogan

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“When you write the music for a film do you know whether the film will be a great success? I tell them, ‘No, I was mainly concerned about finishing the music in time.” – Maurice Jarre

A film score is original music written specifically to be for a movie. Most scores from movies are electronic or come from an orchestra. The composer or composers who create the music in a movie are very important in most cases. It can make the scenes in any movie way better than originally filmed. The following top 10 listed will be my current chosen ranked composed scores made for movies.

10. Psycho – Bernard Herrmann

The original horror film score that influenced everyone else. Creator Alfred Hitchcock said “33% of the effect of Psycho was due to the music,”. The horror string of the frightening sounds are perfect for horror/thriller movies.

9. Schindler’s List – John Williams

Out of twelve nominations and seven Academy Awards won, the original score also went to John Williams. Being a sad style of sound in most tracks, it is one of the best sad music I have heard. This score deserves to be on such a list like this.

8. American Beauty – Thomas Newman

A fun original score that adds to the uniqueness of the movie as a whole. A composer of exceptional work this film score nearly won an academy award. Listening to this again it is making me remember the movie a lot. Great movie and amazing sounds.

7. Ex Machina – Ben Sailsbury & Geoff Barrow

Sci-fi movies have amazing film scores. This one may be very underrated just like the movie. It is scary at times with it being brutal with many of the great scenes in the movie. Watching this movie for the first time I immediately liked the musical score of it.

6. Intersteller – Hans Zimmer

Eerie and a spectacle needed to make the movie more appealing to watch. The director, Christopher Nolan said to Hans Zimmer before releasing the movie. “I am going to give you an envelope with a letter in it. One page. It’s going to tell you the fable at the center of the story. You work for one day, then play me what you have written,”.

5.  Star Wars: The Original Trilogy – John Williams

John Williams has created some of the most memorable scores for film compared to most composers. Star Wars is only one of them. Nearly every scene in Star Wars is connected to his music somehow.

4.  Blade Runner – Vangelis

Never watched the movie until one of my friend suggest to me. A sci-fi, crime genred movie made in the eighties it was a great movie for the time. It had its own gritty look, original style and the film score was impressive. The combination of those three just mentioned plus a good overall story made it the movie it was.

3. The Social Network – Trent Reznar & Atticus Ross

Watching this movie a few years ago I forgot how amazing the film score really was. Trent Reznor from the band Nine Inch Nails brings his style of music to the movie screen. Watching a few scenes on YouTube yesterday to remember the movie, it makes me want to watch the movie again. If I do I could do a movie review on it.

2. The Matrix – Don Davis

Most tracks on this bring forth pure energy. It truly is a great experience to listen to. Ground breaking for its time the music in it was also. Its style is worth remembering with the manipulation of the fast strings and long horns in the music.

1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – Howard Shore

Winning two Academy Awards, all three film scores go over 9 hours and are a big part why the Lord of the Rings seemed so epic. The composer Shore, also did the score to the movies Se7en and The Silence of the Lambs. Which would be in my top 50 list if I were to make it. It is filled with one classic theme that is considered one of the best scores ever written.

This Top 10 is subjective towards my own personal preferences and it is ok if you do not agree with my list. Ideas of more original score lists I could do include: Tv shows, Worst original scores of all time, and Animated movies/tv shows.

“There’s always a question of duration, there’s a question of who the orchestra is. No one is free to write what you want – you collaborate on a film score, and one of the good things is that someone else’s work is motivating you.” – Michael Nyman

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