On a Musical Note...

musical score & batonOne of my favorite aspects of a movie, beyond the plot and the characters, the dialogue and the costumes, is the orchestral soundtrack. I love how a skilled composer can use the score to build emotion, foreshadow danger, identify characters, establish setting and, most important of all, pull the viewer into the heart of the movie. I firmly believe that a film without a score to support it would fall apart. At the very least, the movie would lack the added emotional depth a successful film score provides.

Below, I’ve listed a few of my favorite current composers, as well as some of their most popular film scores.  This is certainly not a complete list (I deliberately left out John Williams because I feel his scores are already well known), but it does offer a wide array of musical and movie styles.

If you have already seen the movies listed, I recommend watching them again. This time, pay attention to the score and see how the composer uses the music to support and elevate the rest of the film.

Kimberly's Favorite Film Composers:

Julie & JuliaThe QueenThe HoursDoubtLord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

Alexandre Desplat

Philip Glass

Howard Shore

GladiatorInceptionKing ArthurLion KingSherlock Holmes

A.R. Rahman

Gustavo Santaolalla

Hans Zimmer

Flickr CC: score Photo by: NgKKh


What a great topic! I've

What a great topic! I've enjoyed the music of the composers you listed. You're so right about the way music can transform a movie, whether we realize it or not. One of my favorite composers is Patrick Doyle, who has scored several British movies, like Henry V and Sense and Sensibility. And the great John Barry, who wrote music for movies like Born Free and Dances with Wolves. So many composers have provided the soundtrack for great movie memories.

Oddly enough, I

Oddly enough, I had considered putting Patrick Doyle on the list, but left him off due to space. I love his score for Sense & Sensibility, but my favorite is Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire.

I'm sure you've heard the news by now about John Barry passing away on Sunday, January 30th. He had quite the career and wrote a number of very familiar scores.

Thanks for reading and commenting! 

I LOVE Philip Glass.  His

I LOVE Philip Glass.  His Einstein on the Beach piece is like nothing I have ever heard before (and nothing I have heard since).

Great post!

Agreed. My favorite of his

Agreed. My favorite of his works is the Metamorphosis cycle for piano. It's incredibly beautiful. I'm also partial to The Hours soundtrack. There's something calming about how circular a good majority of his music is.

Thanks for reading!