Top 10 Movie Score Composers



no movie would be complete without these musically inclined individuals welcome to watchmojo.com and today we're counting down our picks for the top ten composers for film for this list we're choosing composers based on their film work and how memorable iconic recognized and/or critically acclaimed they have been in my bones I feel the wolf-bats call me number 10 and yo Morricone have you ever seen a Western standoff parody without this ultra iconic theme from the good the bad and the ugly the daring composer was also innovative and resourceful adding sound effects like gunshots to his scores when he couldn't use a full orchestra while he is perhaps most well known for his Western soundtracks Ennio Morricone repertoire is full of instantly recognizable works in fact he is written for and with a huge range of genres and emotions just take a listen to his melancholic theme from Days of Heaven if you need to hear more number nine Jerry Goldsmith consider the soundtrack of Disney's Mulan there are the songs we love to sing oh man and then there are the quieter more reflective tracks credit the latter to this composer who claimed he tries for emotional penetration with his work goldsmith certainly succeeded considering the Milan soundtrack earned him both an Oscar nod and a Golden Globe nomination this is also evident in his other compositions as he's written spine-tingling pieces for the omen and the hopeful heroic theme from Star Trek first contact Goldsmith has been recognized as one of the most versatile composers out there which allowed him to work with some of the biggest directors around number eight James Newton Howard this popular composer has made great films greater you first and has given us something good to say about certain others she is led by love the world moves for love like many other composers on this list James Newton Howard demonstrates a great ability to write four different styles unlike some of our other favorites his work is not as easily recognizable that's certainly not a bad thing though Newton Howard being so chameleon-like lets his scores speak for themselves and they are truly music to our ears one listened to the music behind pretty woman the Dark Knight my turn and the Hunger Games and you'll see why please add something number 7 James Horner while our previous entry might be tough to distinguish from film to film our number seven is the complete opposite as he's one of the most easily identifiable composers in Hollywood after all he's the man behind the best-selling orchestral film soundtrack ever Titanic and when you listen to James Horner's tracks from different movies you may pick up on common melodies and motifs just compare some of the music from Avatar with enemy at the gates to see that consistency I have a class you must let the growth please but if ten Academy Award nominations are any indication sticking to what works obviously works for Horner number six Howard sure you probably know him best for this precious theme and though he'd been scoring film since the early 70s it was his work for the Lord of the Rings trilogy that won Howard Shore three Oscars don't suppose we'll ever see them again the mayhem mr. Frodo he then went on to write critically celebrated and award-nominated scores for movies like Hugo The Aviator wrap yourself in right there you ought to be able to see just great and Eastern Promises when it comes to his music for the film adaptation of JRR Tolkien's fantasy novels sure was considered an odd choice he was associated with darker films rather than epic adventures California stay away from here stay away from me I'll come in here it may have been a risk but obviously it was one that paid off a hundredfold number five alan silvestri this composer is another one who has written an incredibly memorable theme just listen to the sweet main title from Forrest Gump Alan Silvestri's Forte is uplifting and exciting soundtracks such as the scores for the afro mentioned comedy drama and the Polar Express if you want to feel fuzzy inside look no further than this composer and apparently we're not the only ones who think so I started moving around music Silvestri whose other credits include the Back to the Future trilogy and several films in the Avengers franchise has been nominated for two very much deserved Academy Awards and Golden Globes number four Hans Zimmer when you start looking into modern film soundtracks this composers name is going to be one of the first and one of the most frequent that you see on Zimmer is everywhere having composed not only from many popular live-action movies like The Thin Red Line gladiator and inception but also for animated films like The Lion King which won him an Academy Award adaptable and innovative Zimmer is easily one of the best composers today because he can take it because it's not a hero number three bernard herrmann we bet that even viewers who haven't seen psycho can identify this track can you believe that Alfred Hitchcock originally wanted the shower scene without music bernard herrmann had a fantastic knack for setting up moods try asking your film professor to analyze psychos opening credits and he or she will tell you the whole movie is right there Herman has also composed for two of the most famous and possibly the two best films of all time vertigo and Citizen Kane this composer had some serious talent number two Danny Elfman this composer is in a lot of cases beloved for his work on the small screen and on a certain directors films and we agree with his beloved status wholeheartedly however Danny Elfman has scored for many films beyond Tim Burton's such as men in black and milk when we think of his work though we think of sweet and beautiful but at the same time weird and offbeat and this explains his great match with Burton Elfman has also performed his own scores onstage and lent his singing voice to Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas and our Jack the pumpkin King have grown so tired of the same old before we unveil our number one pick here are a few honorable mentions Oh you number one John Williams where do we begin with this composer John Williams is practically a household name or at least the music he's composed should be he's just everywhere and his adventurous scores for movies like Star Wars et Jurassic Park and Harry Potter have become the cornerstones of many a childhood we can't even begin to cover the entire work of this five-time oscar-winning composer though we can't leave without a mention of Star Wars you and Indiana Jones without a doubt john williams has gone down in history as one of the film composing giants do you agree with our list Judy gah who's your favorite film composer for more sweet-sounding top 10s published every day be sure to subscribe to watchmojo.com about

38 thoughts on “Top 10 Movie Score Composers

  1. I’m sorry but how is Hanz zimmer not 2 and how his Ennio Morriconne not number 3. Also, I think Yann Tiersen should be on this list as well because his soundtrack for Amelie and Schindlers list was great.

  2. Always those stupid films (Citizen Kane, Psycho) that no one of our retarded Generation has ever seen…(they are classics tho)

  3. This Ennio Morricone Music at 01:46 is not his theme, it's the Aquarium from Camille saint-saens' carnaval des animaux. Morricone might have adapted it, but it's not "his".

  4. James Horner Must be No.1 ( Titanic + Zoro + braveheart + enemy at the gate + Troy ) what are u talking about guys

  5. WTH Ennio is 10….

    1. John Williams
    2. Hans Zimmer
    3. Ennio Morricone (not 10 lol)

    I am surprised James Newton Howard is so neglected by everyone in the comments, he has such a special place in my book since he is so versatile. He is not the most memorable but he certainly knows how to make each film mean something.

  6. Morricone is ten. Bitch, he is THE western composer. Who else can say their musical signature became a genre trope? He deserves at the very least 3, if not 1.

  7. I think we all know that John Williams is #1 worthy. Maybe just leave him out because of that. It’s getting boring hearing his name over and over again. How about a video about the top 10 most underrated or unheard of film composers?

  8. Where's the superman theme by John Williams? Most populat than E.T, Indiana Jones and Jaws… As popular as his Star Wars score!

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