10 Most Recognizable Film Scores

A film score is the background music of a film. The term soundtrack may be confused with film score , a soundtrack however, also includes everything audible in the film including sound effects and dialogue. A score is written specifically to accompany a film, by the original film’s composer(s). Some well-known orchestral soundtracks or better say film scores include:


10. A Gift of Thistle – James Horner


James Roy Horner an American composer, orchestrator and conductor of orchestral and film music is noted for the integration of choral and electronic elements in many of his film scores, and for frequent use of Celtic musical elements for his body of work in the notable  score called “A gift of Thistle” for Brave Heart.


9. Main March – John Williams


John Towner Williams also an American composer, conductor, and pianist, in a career that spans six decades, Williams has composed many of the most famous film scores in Hollywood history, including the theme for superman. Williams worked with director Richard Donner to score the 1978 film Superman.


8. Circle of Life – Hans Zimmer

The Lion King

Hans Florian Zimmer, a German film composer and executive score producer. He has composed music for over 100 films.  Zimmer traveled to Africa in order to use African choirs and drums in the recording of his scores. On the strength of this work, Disney Animation Studios approached Zimmer to compose the score for the 1994 film The Lion King. This was to be his first score for an animated film. Disney studio bosses expressed fears that Zimmer would be killed if he went to South Africa, so the recording of the choirs was organized during a visit by Lebo M. Zimmer won numerous awards for his work on The Lion King, including an Academy Award for Best Music (Original Score), a Golden Globe, and two Grammys. In 1997, the score was adapted into a Broadway musical version which won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1998.


7. Waltz – Nino Rota

The GodFather

Nino Rota was a world-renowned Italian composer and academic who is best known for the themes he composed for the first two films of Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather trilogy, receiving for the latter the Academy Award for Best original Score in 1974.


6. Hymn to the Sea – James Horner


James Horner’s career spans over three decades and he has composed several of Hollywood’s most famous film scores. His score to the 1997 film Titanic remains the best selling orchestral film soundtrack of all time. At the 70th Academy Awards, Horner won Oscars for Best Original Dramatic Score and Best Original Song for “My Heart Will Go On” (which he co-wrote with Will Jennings). In addition, Horner and Jennings won three Grammy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for the soundtrack .


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