A film score (also sometimes called background score, background music, film soundtrack, film music, or incidental music) is original music written specifically to accompany a film. The score forms part of the film's soundtrack, which also usually includes pre-existing music, dialogue and sound effects, and comprises a number of orchestral, instrumental, or choral pieces called cues, which are timed to begin and end at specific points during the film in order to enhance the dramatic narrative and the emotional impact of the scene in question.[1] Scores are written by one or more composers, under the guidance of, or in collaboration with, the film's director or producer and are then usually performed by an ensemble of musicians – most often comprising an orchestra or band, instrumental soloists, and choir or vocalists – and recorded by a sound engineer.

Film scores encompass an enormous variety of styles of music, depending on the nature of the films they accompany. The majority of scores are orchestral works rooted in Western classical music, but many scores are also influenced by jazz, rock, pop, blues, new-age and ambient music, and a wide range of ethnic and world music styles. Since the 1950s, a growing number of scores have also included electronic elements as part of the score, and many scores written today feature a hybrid of orchestral and electronic instruments.[2]

Since the invention of digital technology and audio sampling, many modern films have been able to rely on digital samples to imitate the sound of live instruments, and many scores are created and performed wholly by the composers themselves, by using sophisticated music composition software.

Songs are usually not considered part of the film's score, although songs do also form part of the film's soundtrack.[3] Although some songs, especially in musicals, are based on thematic ideas from the score (or vice versa), scores usually do not have lyrics, except for when sung by choirs or soloists as part of a cue. Similarly, pop songs which are "needle dropped" into a specific scene in film for added emphasis are not considered part of the score, although occasionally the score's composer will write an original pop song based on their themes, such as James Horner's "My Heart Will Go On" from Titanic, written for Celine Dion.

Process of creation[]


The composer usually enters the creative process towards the end of filming, at around the same time as the film is being edited, although on some occasions the composer is on hand during the entire film shoot, especially when actors are required to perform with or be aware of original diegetic music. The composer is shown an unpolished "rough cut" of the film, before the editing is completed, and talks to the director or producer about what sort of music is required for the film in terms of style and tone. The director and composer will watch the entire film, taking note of which scenes require original music. During this process, the composer will take precise timing notes so that he or she knows how long each cue needs to last, where it begins, where it ends, and of particular moments during a scene with which the music may need to coincide in a specific way. This process is known as "spotting".[4]

Occasionally, a filmmaker will actually edit their film to fit the flow of music, rather than have the composer edit his score to the final cut. Director Godfrey Reggio edited his films Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi based on composer Philip Glass's music.[5] Similarly, the relationship between director Sergio Leone and composer Ennio Morricone was such that the finale of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and the films Once Upon a Time in the West and Once Upon a Time in America were edited to Morricone's score as the composer had prepared it months before the film's production ended.[6]

In another notable example, the finale of Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was edited to match the music of his long-time collaborator John Williams: as recounted in a companion documentary on the DVD, Spielberg gave Williams complete freedom with the music and asked him to record the cue without picture; Spielberg then re-edited the scene later to match the music.

In some circumstances, a composer will be asked to write music based on his or her impressions of the script or storyboards, without seeing the film itself, and is given more freedom to create music without the need to adhere to specific cue lengths or mirror the emotional arc of a particular scene. This approach is usually taken by a director who does not wish to have the music comment specifically on a particular scene or nuance of a film, and which can instead be inserted into the film at any point the director wishes during the post-production process. Composer Hans Zimmer was asked to write music in this way in 2010 for director Christopher Nolan's film Inception;[7] composer Gustavo Santaolalla did the same thing when he wrote his Oscar-winning score for Brokeback Mountain.[8]


When writing music for film, one goal is to sync dramatic events happening on screen with musical events in the score. There are many different methods for syncing music to picture. These include using sequencing software to calculate timings, using mathematic formulas and free timing with reference timings. Composers work using SMPTE timecode for syncing purposes.[9]

When syncing music to picture, generally a leeway of 3-4 frames late or early allows the composer to be extremely accurate. Using a technique called Free Timing, a conductor will use either (a) a stopwatch or studio size stop clock, or (b) watch the film on a screen or video monitor while conducting the musicians to predetermined timings. These are represented visually by vertical lines (streamers) and bursts of light called punches. These are put on the film by the Music Editor at points specified by the composer. In both instances, the timings on the clock or lines scribed on the film have corresponding timings which are also at specific points (beats) in the composer/conductor score.

Written click track[]

A written click track is a method of writing bars of music in consistent time values (i.e. 4 beats in :02⅔ seconds) to establish a constant tempo in lieu of a metronome value (e.g. 88 Bpm). A composer would use a written click if they planned to conduct live performers. When using other methods such as a metronome, the conductor has a perfectly spaced click playing in his ear which he conducts to. This can yield stiff and lifeless performances in slower more expressive cues. One can convert a standard BPM value to a written click where X represents the number of beats per bar, and W represents time in seconds, by using the following equation:

Written clicks are expressed using 1/3 second increments, so the next step is to round the decimal to either 0, 1/3, or 2/3 of a second. The following is an example for 88 BPM:

2.72 rounds to 2.66, so the written click is 4 beats in :02⅔ seconds.

Once the composer has identified the location in the film they wish to sync with musically, they must determine the musical beat this event occurs on. To find this, they use the following equation, where bpm is beats per minute, sp is the sync point in real-time (i.e. 33.7 seconds), and B is the beat number in 1/3 increments (i.e. 49⅔).


Once the spotting session has been completed and the precise timings of each cue determined, the composer will then work on writing the score. The methods of writing the score vary from composer to composer; some composers prefer to work with a traditional pencil and paper, writing notes by hand on a staff and performing works-in-progress for the director on a piano, while other composers write on computers using sophisticated music composition software such as Digital Performer, Logic Pro, Finale, Cubase, or Protools.[10] Working with software allows composers to create MIDI-based demos of cues, called MIDI mockups, for review by the filmmaker prior to the final orchestral recording.

The length of time a composer has to write the score varies from project to project; depending on the post-production schedule, a composer may have as little as two weeks or as much as three months to write the score. In normal circumstances, the actual writing process usually lasts around six weeks from beginning to end.

Maestro Ilaiyaraaja is known to have completed most of his film scores within a week including spotting, syncing, writing and recording. On many occasions he has scored for around 55 movies a year and has written scores for more than a 1000 films in various Indian languages, and one in English.

The actual musical content of a film score is wholly dependent on the type of film being scored, and the emotions the director wishes the music to convey. A film score can encompass literally thousands of different combinations of instruments, ranging from full symphony orchestral ensembles to single solo instruments to rock bands to jazz combos, along with a multitude of ethnic and world music influences, soloists, vocalists, choirs and electronic textures. The style of the music being written also varies massively from project to project, and can be influenced by the time period in which the film is set, the geographic location of the film's action, and even the musical tastes of the characters. As part of their preparations for writing the score the composer will often research different musical techniques and genres as appropriate for that specific project; as such, it is not uncommon for established film composers to be proficient at writing music in dozens of different styles.


Once the music has been written, it must then be arranged or orchestrated in order for the ensemble to be able to perform it. The nature and level of orchestration varies from project to project and composer to composer, but in its basic form the orchestrator's job is to take the single-line music written by the composer and "flesh it out" into instrument-specific sheet music for each member of the orchestra to perform.

Some composers, notably Ennio Morricone, orchestrate their own scores themselves, without using an additional orchestrator. Some composers provide intricate details in how they want this to be accomplished and will provide the orchestrator with copious notes outlining which instruments are being asked to perform which notes, giving the orchestrator no personal creative input whatsoever beyond re-notating the music on different sheets of paper as appropriate. Other composers are less detailed, and will often ask orchestrators to "fill in the blanks", providing their own creative input into the makeup of the ensemble, ensuring that each instrument is capable of performing the music as written, and even allowing them to introduce performance techniques and flourishes to enhance the score. In many cases, time constraints determined by the film's post-production schedule dictate whether composers orchestrate their own scores, as it is often impossible for the composer to complete all the required tasks within the timeframe allowed.

Over the years several orchestrators have become linked to the work of one particular composer, often to the point where one will not work without the other. Examples of enduring composer-orchestrator relationships include Jerry Goldsmith with Arthur Morton and Alexander Courage; John Williams with Herbert W. Spencer; Alan Menken with Danny Troob and Michael Starobin; Carter Burwell with Sonny Kompanek; Graeme Revell and Michael Giacchino with Tim Simonec; Alan Silvestri with James B. Campbell and William Ross; Miklós Rózsa with Eugene Zador; Alfred Newman with Edward Powell, Ken Darby and Hugo Friedhofer; Danny Elfman with Steve Bartek; Mark Isham with Ken Kulger; David Arnold with Nicholas Dodd; Randy Edelman with Ralph Ferraro and Stuart Balcomb; Basil Poledouris with Greig McRitchie; and Elliot Goldenthal with Robert Elhai. Others have become orchestrators-for-hire, and work with many different composers over the course of their careers; examples of prominent film music orchestrators include Pete Anthony, Jeff Atmajian, Brad Dechter, Bruce Fowler, John Neufeld, Thomas Pasatieri, Conrad Pope, Nic Raine and J.A.C. Redford.

Once the orchestration process has been completed, the sheet music is physically printed onto paper by one or more music copyists and is ready for performance.


When the music has been composed and orchestrated, the orchestra or ensemble then performs it, often with the composer conducting. Musicians for these ensembles are often uncredited in the film or on the album and are contracted individually (and if so, the orchestra contractor is credited in the film or the soundtrack album). However, some films have recently begun crediting the contracted musicians on the albums under the name Hollywood Studio Symphony after an agreement with the American Federation of Musicians. Other performing ensembles that are often employed include the London Symphony Orchestra (performing film music since 1935)[11] the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra (an orchestra dedicated mostly to recording), the BBC Philharmonic, and the Northwest Sinfonia.

The orchestra performs in front of a large screen depicting the film, The conductor and musicians habitually wear headphones that sound a series of clicks called a "click-track" that changes with meter and tempo, assisting to synchronize the music with the film.[12]

More rarely, the director will talk to the composer before shooting has started, so as to give more time to the composer or because the director needs to shoot scenes (namely song or dance scenes) according to the final score. Sometimes the director will have edited the film using "temp (temporary) music": already published pieces with a character that the director believes to fit specific scenes.

Elements of a film score[]

Temp tracks[]

In some instances, film composers have been asked by the director to imitate a specific composer or style present in the temp track.[13] On other occasions, directors have become so attached to the temp score that they decide to use it and reject the original score written by the film composer. One of the most famous cases is Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, where Kubrick opted for existing recordings of classical works, including pieces by composer György Ligeti rather than the score by Alex North,[14] although Kubrick had also hired Frank Cordell to do a score. Other examples include Torn Curtain (Bernard Herrmann),[15] Troy (Gabriel Yared),[16] Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Klaus Badelt),[17] Peter Jackson's King Kong (Howard Shore),[18] and The Bourne Identity (Carter Burwell).[19]


Films often have different themes for important characters, events, ideas or objects, an idea often associated with Wagner's use of leitmotif.[20] These may be played in different variations depending on the situation they represent, scattered amongst incidental music. An example of this technique is John Williams' score for the Star Wars saga, and the numerous themes associated with Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, and Princess Leia (see Star Wars music for more details).[21] Music of The Lord of the Rings film series uses a similar technique, with recurring themes for many main characters and places. Others are less known by casual moviegoers, but well known among score enthusiasts, such as Jerry Goldsmith's underlying theme for the Borg in Star Trek: First Contact, or his Klingon theme from Star Trek: The Motion Picture which other composers carry over into their Klingon motifs, and he has brought back on numerous occasions as the theme for Worf, Star Trek: The Next Generation's most prominent Klingon.[22] Michael Giacchino employed character themes in the soundtrack for the 2009 animated film Up, for which he received the Academy Award for Best Score. His orchestral soundtrack for the television series Lost also depended heavily on character and situation-specific themes.

In 1983, a non-profit organization, the Society for the Preservation of Film Music, was formed to preserve the "byproducts" of creating a film score:[23] the music manuscripts (written music) and other documents and studio recordings generated in the process of composing and recording scores which, in some instances, have been discarded by the movie studios. The written music must be kept to perform the music on concert programs and to make new recordings of it. Sometimes only after decades has an archival recording of a film score been released on CD.

Source music[]

Most films have between 40 and 120 minutes of music. However, some films have very little or no music; others may feature a score that plays almost continuously throughout. Dogme 95 is a genre that has music only from sources within a film, such as from a radio or television. This is called "source music" (or a "source cue") because it comes from an on screen source that can actually be seen or that can be inferred (in academic film theory such music is called "diegetic" music, as it emanates from the "diegesis" or "story world").[24] An example of "source music" is the use of the Frankie Valli song "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" in Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter. Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 thriller The Birds is an example of a Hollywood film with no non-diegetic music whatsoever.

Artistic merit[]

The artistic merits of film music are frequently debated. Some critics value it highly, pointing to music such as that written by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Aaron Copland, Bernard Herrmann, and others. Some consider film music to be a defining genre of classical music in the late 20th century, if only because it is the brand of classical music heard more often than any other. In some cases, film themes have become accepted into the canon of classical music. These are mostly works from already noted composers who have done scores, for instance Sergei Prokofiev's score to Alexander Nevsky or Vaughan Williams' score to Scott of the Antarctic. Others see the great bulk of film music as meritless. They consider that much film music is derivative, borrowing heavily from previous works. Composers of film scores typically can produce about three or four per year. The most popular works by composers such as John Williams and Danny Elfman are still far from entering the accepted canon. Even so, considering they are often the most popular modern compositions of classical music known to the general public, major orchestras sometimes perform concerts of such music, as do pops orchestras.


According to Kurt London, film music "began not as a result of any artistic urge, but from a dire need of something which would drown the noise made by the projector. For in those times there was as yet no sound-absorbent walls between the projection machine and the auditorium. This painful noise disturbed visual enjoyment to no small extent. Instinctively cinema proprietors had recourse to music, and it was the right way, using an agreeable sound to neutralize one less agreeable."[25]

Before the age of recorded sound in motion pictures, efforts were taken to provide suitable music for films, usually through the services of an in-house pianist or organist, and, in some cases, entire orchestras, typically given cue sheets as a guide. A pianist was present to perform at the Lumiere brother's first film screening in 1895.[26] In 1914, The Oz Film Manufacturing Company sent full-length scores by Louis F. Gottschalk for their films. Other examples of this include Victor Herbert's score in 1915 to The Fall of a Nation (a sequel to The Birth of a Nation) and Camille Saint-Saëns' music for The Assassination of the Duke of Guise in 1908. It was preceded by Nathaniel D. Mann's score for The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays by four months, but that was a mixture of interrelated stage and film performance in the tradition of old magic lantern shows.[27] Most accompaniments at this time, these examples notwithstanding, comprised pieces by famous composers, also including studies. These were often used to form catalogues of photoplay music, which had different subsections broken down by 'mood' and genre: dark, sad, suspense, action, chase, etc.

German cinema, which was highly influential in the era of silent movies, provided some original scores such as Fritz Lang's movies Die Nibelungen (1924) and Metropolis (1927) which were accompanied by original full scale orchestral and leitmotific scores written by Gottfried Huppertz, who also wrote piano-versions of his music, for playing in smaller cinemas. Friedrich W. Murnau's movies Nosferatu (1922 - music by Hans Erdmann) and Faust – Eine deutsche Volkssage (1926 – music by Werner Richard Heymann) also had original scores written for them. Other films like Murnau's Der letzte Mann contained a mixing of original compositions (in this case by Giuseppe Becce) and library music / folk tunes, which were artistically included into the score by the composer.

In France before the advent of talkies, Erik Satie composed what many consider the first "frame by frame" synchronous film score for director René Clair's avant-garde short Entr'acte (1924).[28][29] Anticipating "spotting" techniques and the inconsistencies of projection speeds in screenings of silent films, Satie took precise timings for each sequence and created a flexible, aleatoric score of brief, evocative motifs which could be repeated and varied in tempo as required.[30] American composers Virgil Thomson and Aaron Copland cited Satie's music for Entr'acte as a major influence on their own forays into film scoring.[31]

When sound came to movies, director Fritz Lang barely used music in his movies anymore. Apart from Peter Lorre whistling a short piece from Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt, Lang's movie M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder was lacking musical accompaniment completely and Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse only included one original piece written for the movie by Hans Erdmann played at the very beginning and end of the movie. One of the rare occasions on which music occurs in the movie is a song one of the characters sings, that Lang uses to put emphasis on the man's insanity, similar to the use of the whistling in M.

A landmark event in music synchronization with the action in film was achieved in the score composed by Max Steiner for David O. Selznick's 1933 King Kong. A fine example of this is when the aborigine chief slowly approaches the unwanted visitors to Skull Island who are filming the natives' sacred rites. As he strides closer and closer, each footfall is reinforced by a background chord.

Though "the scoring of narrative features during the 1940s lagged decades behind technical innovations in the field of concert music,"[32] the 1950s saw the rise of the modernist film score. Director Elia Kazan was open to the idea of jazz influences and dissonant scoring and worked with Alex North, whose score for A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) combined dissonance with elements of blues and jazz. Kazan also approached Leonard Bernstein to score On the Waterfront (1954) and the result was reminiscent of earlier works by Aaron Copland and Igor Stravinsky with its "jazz-based harmonies and exciting additive rhythms."[32] A year later, Leonard Rosenman, inspired by Arnold Schoenberg, experimented with atonality in his scores for East of Eden (1955) and Rebel Without a Cause (1955). In his ten-year collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock, Bernard Herrmann experimented with ideas in Vertigo (1958) and Psycho (1960). The use of non-diegetic jazz was another modernist innovation, such as jazz star Duke Ellington's score for Otto Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder (1959).


Academy Award nominees and winners[]

The following list includes all composers who have been nominated for an Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the Best Original Score category (which, over the years, had gone by a variety of names, included song scores and arrangements, and been split into awards for scoring in dramas and comedies). Winners of the Award appear in bold. Note: Composers whose only Oscar nominations came in the Best Original Song category are not listed, and Best Original Song wins are not counted in the wins tally.

  • John Addison (1 win)
  • Larry Adler
  • Peter Herman Adler
  • Lynn Ahrens
  • Daniele Amfitheatrof
  • Louis Applebaum
  • Ashrick Adams
  • Robert Armbruster
  • Leo Arnaud
  • Malcolm Arnold (1 win)
  • Kenny Ascher
  • Gil Askey
  • Luis Enríquez Bacalov (1 win)
  • Burt Bacharach (1 win)
  • Constantin Bakaleinikoff
  • Buddy Baker
  • Victor Baravalle
  • John Barry (4 wins)
  • Marco Beltrami
  • Richard Rodney Bennett
  • Robert Russell Bennett (1 win)
  • Alan Bergman (1 win)
  • Marilyn Bergman (1 win)
  • Elmer Bernstein (1 win)
  • Leonard Bernstein
  • Jay Blackton (1 win)
  • Chris Boardman
  • Ludovic Bource (1 win)
  • Phil Boutelje
  • Leslie Bricusse (1 win)
  • Bruce Broughton
  • George Bruns
  • Ralph Burns (2 wins)
  • Carter Burwell
  • William Butler
  • R. Dale Butts
  • David Byrne (1 win)
  • Jorge Calandrelli
  • John Cameron
  • Gerard Carbonara
  • Charlie Chaplin (1 win)
  • Saul Chaplin (3 wins)
  • Frank Churchill (1 win)
  • Cy Coleman
  • Anthony Collins
  • Alberto Colombo
  • Bill Conti (1 win)
  • Aaron Copland (1 win)
  • Carmine Coppola (1 win)
  • Frank Cordell
  • John Corigliano (1 win)
  • Alexander Courage
  • Andraé Crouch
  • Mychael Danna (1 win)
  • Ken Darby (3 wins)
  • John Debney
  • Georges Delerue (1 win)
  • Jacques Demy
  • Alexandre Desplat (2 wins)
  • Adolph Deutsch (3 wins)
  • Frank De Vol
  • Robert Emmett Dolan
  • Patrick Doyle
  • Carmen Dragon (1 win)
  • Anne Dudley (1 win)
  • Tan Dun (1 win)
  • George Duning
  • Brian Easdale (1 win)
  • Roger Edens (3 wins)
  • Hanns Eisler
  • Danny Elfman
  • Duke Ellington
  • Jack Elliott
  • Leo Erdody
  • Yuri Faier
  • Percy Faith

  • George Fenton
  • Cy Feuer
  • Jerry Fielding
  • Nat W. Finston
  • Stephen Flaherty
  • Louis Forbes
  • Leo F. Forbstein
  • Ian Fraser
  • Gerald Fried
  • Hugo Friedhofer (1 win)
  • Douglas Gamley
  • Joseph Gershenson
  • Michael Giacchino (1 win)
  • Herschel Burke Gilbert
  • Philip Glass
  • Lud Gluskin
  • Ernest Gold (1 win)
  • Elliot Goldenthal (1 win)
  • Jerry Goldsmith (1 win)
  • Michael Gore (1 win)
  • Johnny Green (4 wins)
  • Walter Greene
  • Peter Greenwell
  • Jonny Greenwood
  • Ferde Grofé
  • Louis Gruenberg
  • Dave Grusin (1 win)
  • Vince Guaraldi
  • Jonas Gwangwa
  • Richard Hageman (1 win)
  • Earle H. Hagen
  • Karl Hajos
  • Al Ham
  • Marvin Hamlisch (2 win)
  • Herbie Hancock (1 win)
  • Leigh Harline (1 win)
  • W. Franke Harling (1 win)
  • George Harrison (1 win)
  • Marvin Hatley
  • Isaac Hayes
  • Jack Hayes
  • Lennie Hayton (1 win)
  • Ray Heindorf (3 wins)
  • Charles Henderson
  • Bernard Herrmann (1 win)
  • Jerry Hey
  • Werner Heymann
  • David Hirschfelder
  • Joel Hirschhorn
  • Samuel Hoffenstein
  • Frederick Hollander
  • James Horner (1 win)
  • James Newton Howard
  • Justin Hurwitz (1 win)
  • Alberto Iglesias
  • Mark Isham
  • Calvin Jackson
  • Werner Janssen
  • Maurice Jarre (3 wins)
  • Jóhann Jóhannsson
  • Quincy Jones
  • Jan A. P. Kaczmarek (1 win)
  • Gus Kahn (1 win)
  • Bronislau Kaper (1 win)
  • Fred Karlin
  • Al Kasha
  • Edward Kay
  • Roger Kellaway
  • Randy Kerber
  • Jerome Kern
  • Erich Wolfgang Korngold (2 wins)
  • Irwin Kostal (2 wins)
  • Kris Kristofferson
  • Tylwyth Kymry
  • Francis Lai (1 win)
  • Arthur Lange
  • Michel Legrand (2 wins)

  • John Leipold (1 win)
  • John Lennon (1 win)
  • Alan Jay Lerner
  • Joseph J. Lilley
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • Frederick Loewe
  • Jeremy Lubbock
  • Michel Magne
  • Henry Mancini (2 wins)
  • Dario Marianelli (1 win)
  • George Martin
  • Peter Matz
  • Peter Maxwell Davies
  • Toshiro Mayuzumi
  • Paul McCartney (1 win)
  • Rod McKuen
  • Bill Melendez
  • Alan Menken (4 wins)
  • Gian Carlo Menotti
  • Johnny Mercer
  • Mahlon Merrick
  • Michel Michelet
  • Cyril J. Mockridge
  • Lucien Moraweck
  • Angela Morley
  • Giorgio Moroder (1 win)
  • Jerome Moross
  • Ennio Morricone (1 win, Honorary Oscar)
  • John Morris
  • Boris Morros
  • Jeff Moss
  • Javier Navarrete
  • Anthony Newley
  • Alfred Newman (9 wins)
  • David Newman
  • Emil Newman
  • Lionel Newman (1 win)
  • Randy Newman
  • Thomas Newman
  • Jack Nitzsche
  • Alex North (Honorary Oscar)
  • Owen Pallett
  • Edward Paul
  • Frank Perkins
  • Nicola Piovani (1 win)
  • Edward H. Plumb
  • Rachel Portman (1 win)
  • John Powell
  • André Previn (5 wins)
  • Charles Previn
  • Steven Price (1 win)
  • Prince (1 win)
  • A. R. Rahman (1 win)
  • David Raksin
  • Sid Ramin (1 win)
  • Raymond Rasch (1 win)
  • Joe Renzetti (1 win)
  • Trent Reznor (1 win)
  • Frederic E. Rich
  • Nelson Riddle (1 win)
  • Hugo Riesenfeld
  • Richard Robbins
  • Milan Roder
  • Heinz Roemheld (1 win)
  • Ann Ronell
  • David Rose
  • Joel Rosenbaum
  • Leonard Rosenman (2 wins)
  • Laurence Rosenthal
  • Atticus Ross (1 win)
  • Nino Rota (1 win)
  • Gennady Rozhdestvensky
  • Miklós Rózsa (3 wins)
  • Larry Russell (1 win)
  • Ryuichi Sakamoto (1 win)

  • Conrad Salinger
  • Hans J. Salter
  • Buck Sanders
  • Gustavo Santaolalla (2 wins)
  • Philippe Sarde
  • Walter Scharf
  • Victor Schertzinger (1 win)
  • Lalo Schifrin
  • Stephen Schwartz (1 win)
  • Morton Scott
  • Caiphus Semenya
  • Marc Shaiman
  • Ravi Shankar
  • Artie Shaw
  • Al Shean
  • Richard M. Sherman (1 win)
  • Robert B. Sherman (1 win)
  • Nathaniel Shilkret
  • Howard Shore (2 wins)
  • Dmitri Shostakovich
  • Leo Shuken (1 win)
  • Louis Silvers (1 win)
  • Alan Silvestri
  • Marlin Skiles
  • Frank Skinner
  • Paul J. Smith (1 win)
  • Herbert W. Spencer
  • Ringo Starr (1 win)
  • Fred Steiner
  • Max Steiner (3 wins)
  • Leith Stevens
  • Georgie Stoll (1 win)
  • Morris Stoloff (3 wins)
  • Robert Stolz
  • Gregory Stone
  • Herbert Stothart (1 win)
  • Cong Su (1 win)
  • Harry Sukman (1 win)
  • Irvin Talbot
  • Alexandre Tansman
  • Rod Temperton
  • Max Terr
  • Ken Thorne (1 win)
  • George Aliceson Tipton
  • Dimitri Tiomkin (3 wins)
  • Ernst Toch
  • Peter Townshend
  • John Scott Trotter
  • Jonathan Tunick (1 win)
  • Vangelis (1 win)
  • Tom Waits
  • Don Walker
  • Oliver Wallace (1 win)
  • William Walton
  • Stephen Warbeck (1 win)
  • Edward Ward
  • Ned Washington (1 win)
  • Franz Waxman (2 wins)
  • Kenneth Webb
  • Roy Webb
  • Kurt Weill
  • Jerry Wexler
  • Matthew Wilder
  • John Williams (5 wins)
  • Patrick Williams
  • Paul Williams
  • Meredith Willson
  • Charles Wolcott
  • Albert Woodbury
  • Gabriel Yared (1 win)
  • Gary Yershon
  • Victor Young (1 win)
  • Hans Zimmer (1 win)
  • David Zippel

Source: The Official Academy Awards Database [1]

Other award nominees and winners[]

The following list includes all composers who have been nominated for one of the other major film music awards (Golden Globes, BAFTA Awards, Grammy Awards, Emmy Awards, International Film Music Critics Association), but have never been nominated for an Oscar for their scores (Songwriting nominations are not included in the Oscar nominees list). Winners of an Award appear in bold.

  • Panu Aaltio (IFMCA)
  • Neal Acree
  • Tree Adams
  • Mark Adler
  • Petri Alanko
  • Van Alexander
  • John Altman (Emmy)
  • Elik Alvarez
  • Armand Amar (IFMCA)
  • Benny Andersson
  • Jerome Angelot (BAFTA)
  • Oscar Araujo (IFMCA)
  • Craig Armstrong (Globe, BAFTA, Grammy)
  • Ólafur Arnalds (BAFTA)
  • David Arnold (Emmy, Grammy)
  • Lee Aronsohn
  • Nick Arundel
  • Georges Auric
  • Bruce Babcock (Emmy)
  • Chris P. Bacon
  • Angelo Badalamenti
  • Klaus Badelt
  • Clint Bajakian
  • Lorne Balfe
  • Richard Band
  • Roque Baños (IFMCA)
  • Gato Barbieri
  • Andrew Barnabas
  • Nathan Barr
  • Daemion Barry
  • Lionel Bart
  • Steve Bartek (IFMCA)
  • Ben Bartlett (BAFTA)
  • Stephen Barton
  • Arnau Bataller (IFMCA)
  • Tyler Bates
  • Jeff Beal (Emmy)
  • Christophe Beck (Emmy)
  • Jeff Beck (BAFTA)
  • Hal Beckett
  • Dom Beken
  • Jacques Belasco
  • David Bell
  • Richard Bellis (Emmy)
  • César Benito
  • Charles Bernstein
  • Amin Bhatia
  • Nick Bicât
  • Alan Blaikely
  • Howard Blake
  • Terence Blanchard
  • Frankie Blue
  • Todd Boekelheide
  • Marc Bonilla
  • Pieter Bourke
  • Simon Boswell
  • Perry Botkin Jr.
  • David Bowie
  • Mark Bradshaw
  • Steven Bramson
  • Jon Brion
  • Michael Brook
  • Joseph Brooks
  • Dirk Brossé
  • Russell Brower
  • Bill Brown
  • Stephen Bruton
  • Velton Ray Bunch (Emmy)
  • Geoffrey Burgon (BAFTA)
  • T-Bone Burnett (BAFTA)
  • Andy Burrows
  • Edmund Butt
  • Brian Byrne
  • John Cacavas
  • Sean Callery (Emmy)
  • John Cameron
  • Mark Rayen Candasamy
  • Paul Cantelon
  • Sam Cardon
  • Kristopher Carter
  • Dick Cathcart
  • Cat's Eyes
  • Bartosz Chajdecki
  • Jay Chattaway (Emmy)
  • The Chemical Brothers
  • Paul Chihara
  • Sylvain Chomet
  • Alexander Cimini
  • The Cinematic Orchestra
  • Clannad (BAFTA)
  • Eric Clapton (BAFTA)
  • Stanley Clarke
  • Sarah Class
  • Alf Clausen
  • George S. Clinton
  • Elia Cmíral (IFMCA)
  • Robert Cobert
  • Adam Cohen
  • Griffin Cohen (IFMCA)
  • Harvey Cohen
  • Gareth Coker
  • Ray Colcord
  • Lisa Coleman (Emmy)
  • Michel Colombier
  • Frank Comstock
  • Joseph Conlan
  • Ry Cooder
  • Stewart Copeland
  • Normand Corbeil (BAFTA)
  • Joel Corelitz
  • Jane Antonia Cornish (BAFTA)
  • Elvis Costello (BAFTA)
  • Bruno Coulais (IFMCA)
  • Paddy Cunneen
  • Michael Curran (IFMCA)
  • Jessica Curry
  • Daft Punk (IFMCA)
  • Burkhard Dallwitz (Globe)
  • Jeff Danna
  • Mason Daring
  • Shaun Davey
  • Martin Davich (Emmy)
  • Caine Davidson
  • Terry Davies
  • Carl Davis (BAFTA)
  • Don Davis (Emmy)
  • Dean De Benedictis
  • Dick DeBenedictis
  • Tim De Laughter
  • Paco de Lucía
  • Manuel De Sica
  • Zacarías M. de la Riva
  • Barry De Vorzon
  • Marius de Vries (BAFTA)
  • Jason Derlatka
  • Olivier Deriviere (IFMCA)
  • Bryce Dessner
  • Vince DiCola
  • James Di Pasquale (Emmy)
  • Neil Diamond (Globe, Grammy)
  • Ramin Djawadi
  • Nicholas Dodd
  • Jim Dooley (Emmy)
  • Pino Donaggio
  • Steve Dorff
  • Joel Douek
  • Johnny Douglas
  • Gustavo Dudamel

  • David Duke
  • Charles Dumont
  • Robert Duncan
  • Bob Dylan
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Fred Ebb
  • Alex Ebert (Globe)
  • Randy Edelman
  • Greg Edmonson (BAFTA)
  • Jon Ehrlich
  • Jared Emerson-Johnson
  • Jonathan Eng
  • Paul Englishby (Emmy)
  • Brian Eno (BAFTA)
  • Roger Eno
  • Micky Erbe
  • Kolja Erdmann
  • Ilan Eshkeri (IFMCA)
  • Laurent Eyquem (IFMCA)
  • Harold Faltermeyer (Grammy)
  • Louis Febre (Emmy)
  • Andrew Feltenstein
  • Allyn Ferguson (Emmy)
  • Peter Filleul
  • Ron Fish
  • Dan Foliart
  • Robert Folk
  • Troels Brun Folmann (BAFTA)
  • Ben Foster
  • David Foster
  • Charles Fox (Emmy)
  • David Michael Frank
  • Benjamin Frankel
  • Dominic Frontiere (Globe)
  • Mitchell Froom
  • Darren Fung
  • Peter Gabriel
  • Pascal Gaigne
  • Craig Stuart Garfinkle
  • Brian Gascoigne
  • Chris Gerolmo
  • Lisa Gerrard (Globe)
  • Barry Gibb
  • Maurice Gibb
  • Robin Gibb
  • Philip Giffin
  • Norman Gimbel
  • Scott Glasgow
  • Evelyn Glennie
  • Nick Glennie-Smith
  • Murray Gold (IFMCA)
  • Nick Gold
  • Billy Goldenberg (Emmy)
  • Joel Goldsmith
  • Jonathan Goldsmith (BAFTA)
  • William Goldstein
  • Howard Goodall (Emmy, BAFTA)
  • Miles Goodman
  • Ron Goodwin
  • Gordon Goodwin
  • Ludwig Göransson
  • Christopher Gordon
  • Morton Gould
  • Gerald Gouriet
  • Patrick Gowers (BAFTA)
  • Ron Grainer
  • Jason Graves (BAFTA)
  • David Gray
  • Bernard Green
  • Jonny Greenwood
  • Harry Gregson-Williams
  • Rupert Gregson-Williams
  • Nathan Grigg
  • Mark Griskey
  • Herbert Grönemeyer
  • Tony Gronick (BAFTA)
  • Guy Gross
  • Larry Groupé
  • Akari Groves (BAFTA)
  • Jay Gruska
  • Ivor Guest
  • Edo Guidotti
  • Róbert Gulya
  • Christopher Gunning (BAFTA)
  • Arlo Guthrie
  • Andrew Hale (BAFTA)
  • Simon Hale (BAFTA)
  • Hiroyuki Hamada (BAFTA)
  • David Hamilton
  • Jan Hammer
  • John P. Hammond
  • James Hannigan (IFMCA)
  • Joe Harnell
  • David Hartley
  • Richard Hartley (Emmy)
  • Richard Harvey (BAFTA)
  • Jimmie Haskell (Emmy)
  • Paul Haslinger
  • Knut Avenstroup Haugen (IFMCA)
  • Alan Hawkshaw
  • Alex Heffes
  • Neal Hefti
  • Reinhold Heil
  • Christian Henson
  • Joe Henson
  • Oliver Heuss
  • Andrew Hewitt
  • Derek Hilton
  • Joe Hisaishi (IFMCA)
  • Christopher Hoag
  • Michael Hoenig
  • Wataru Hokoyama
  • Lee Holdridge (Emmy)
  • Tom Holkenborg
  • Richard Holmes
  • Junior Homrich
  • Nellee Hooper (BAFTA)
  • Nicholas Hooper (BAFTA)
  • Kenyon Hopkins
  • Richard Horowitz (Globe)
  • David Housden
  • Ken Howard
  • Dave Howman
  • Justin Hurwitz
  • Dick Hyman
  • Inti-Illimani
  • Jerrold Immel
  • Steve Jablonsky
  • Henry Jackman
  • Joe Jackson
  • Andre Jacquemin
  • Richard Jacques
  • Chaz Jankel
  • Elton John
  • Carl Johnson (Emmy)
  • Adrian Johnston (BAFTA, Emmy)
  • Joshua Johnson
  • Nathan Johnson (IFMCA)
  • Quincy Jones III
  • Dan Jones (BAFTA)
  • Ron Jones
  • Trevor Jones
  • Michael Josephs
  • Wilfred Josephs
  • Federico Jusid (IFMCA)
  • Michael Kamen (BAFTA)
  • John Kander
  • Yugo Kanno

  • Laura Karpman
  • Brian Keane
  • John M. Keane
  • Victoria Kelly
  • Arthur Kempel
  • Rolfe Kent
  • Wojciech Kilar
  • Kaki King
  • Paddy Kingsland
  • Grant Kirkhope (IFMCA)
  • Kitarō (Globe)
  • Christopher Klatman
  • George Kleinsinger
  • Kevin Kliesch
  • Johnny Klimek
  • Mark Knopfler
  • Geoff Knorr (IFMCA)
  • Philipp F. Kölmel
  • Krzysztof Komeda
  • Koji Kondo
  • Rei Kondoh (BAFTA)
  • Abel Korzeniowski (BAFTA, IFMCA)
  • Tsutomu Kouno
  • Joe Kraemer (IFMCA)
  • Henry Krieger
  • Kurt Kuenne
  • Jesper Kyd (BAFTA)
  • Russ Landau (Emmy)
  • Robert Lane (BAFTA, IFMCA)
  • Mark Leggett
  • Christopher Lennertz
  • Paul Leonard-Morgan
  • Mica Levi
  • Stewart Levin
  • James S. Levine
  • Jed Leiber (BAFTA)
  • Jeff Lippencott
  • Matthew Llewellyn
  • Rick Lloyd (BAFTA)
  • Brian Lock
  • Andrew Lockington (IFMCA)
  • Joseph LoDuca (Emmy)
  • Robert Logan
  • Henning Lohner
  • Chuck Lorre
  • John Lunn (Emmy)
  • Daniele Luppi
  • John Lurie
  • Robert Lydecker
  • Danny Lux
  • David Mackay
  • Dan Mackenzie
  • Maurizio Malagnini (IFMCA)
  • Nuno Malo (IFMCA)
  • Mark Mancina
  • Johnny Mandel (Grammy)
  • Chuck Mangione
  • Hummie Mann (Emmy)
  • Clint Mansell
  • David Mansfield
  • Matthew Margeson
  • Gerard Marino
  • Franklyn Marks
  • Gary Marlowe (Grimme, Max Ophuels, Jerry Goldsmith) Gary Marlowe
  • Wynton Marsalis
  • Peter Martin
  • Cliff Martinez (BAFTA, IFMCA)
  • Rob Mathes
  • Curtis Mayfield
  • Paddy McAloon
  • Michael McCann
  • Dennis McCarthy (Emmy)
  • Bear McCreary (Emmy, IFMCA)
  • Michael McCuistion
  • Mark McKenzie
  • Joel McNeely (Emmy)
  • Gil Mellé
  • Wendy Melvoin (Emmy)
  • Bruce Miller
  • Philip Miller
  • Sheldon Mirowitz
  • Dudley Moore
  • Charlie Mole
  • Hugo Montenegro
  • Zeltia Montes
  • Tony Morales
  • Andrea Morricone (BAFTA)
  • Trevor Morris (Emmy)
  • Mark Mothersbaugh
  • Nico Muhly
  • Joseph Mullendore
  • John Murphy
  • Walter Murphy (IFMCA)
  • Jennie Muskett
  • Stanley Myers (BAFTA)
  • Jimmy Nail
  • John Nau
  • Diego Navarro
  • Blake Neely
  • Garth Neustadter (Emmy)
  • Joey Newman
  • Lennie Niehaus (Emmy)
  • Eímear Noone
  • Graeme Norgate
  • Alva Noto
  • Julian Nott (IFMCA)
  • Michael Nyman
  • Hazel O'Connor
  • Dustin O'Halloran (Emmy)
  • Mike Oldfield
  • Terry Oldfield
  • Brian d'Oliveira
  • Miguel d'Oliveira
  • Riz Ortolani
  • Mark Orton
  • Karen Orzolek
  • Kow Otani
  • John Ottman
  • John Paesano
  • Marty Paich
  • Jim Parker (BAFTA)
  • John Carl Parker
  • Van Dyke Parks
  • Alex Patersen
  • Larry Paxton
  • Danny Pelfrey
  • Daniel Pemberton
  • James Peterson (IFMCA)
  • Jean-Claude Petit (BAFTA)
  • Barrington Pheloung
  • Stu Phillips
  • Winifred Phillips
  • Martin Phipps (BAFTA)
  • Douglas Pipes (IFMCA)
  • Michael Richard Plowman
  • Basil Poledouris (Emmy)
  • Jocelyn Pook
  • Conrad Pope (IFMCA)
  • Vince Pope
  • Arie Posner
  • Mike Post (Emmy)
  • Zbigniew Preisner
  • Alan Price (BAFTA)
  • Andy Price
  • Michael Price (Emmy)
  • Paul Pritchard
  • Craig Pruess
  • Mac Quayle
  • Queen

  • Harry Rabinowitz
  • Nic Raine
  • Alfred Ralston
  • Ron Ramin
  • Don B. Ray
  • Mike Reagan
  • J. A. C. Redford
  • Brian Reitzell
  • Graeme Revell
  • Víctor Reyes (IFMCA)
  • Tim Rice
  • Jeff Richmond
  • Max Richter
  • Frank Ricotti (BAFTA)
  • Kevin Riepl
  • Lolita Ritmanis
  • Richard Rodgers (Emmy)
  • Edward Rogers
  • Simon Rogers
  • Sonny Rollins
  • Philippe Rombi
  • Harold Rome
  • Dan Romer
  • Jeff Rona
  • Brett Rosenberg (IFMCA)
  • Lior Rosner
  • William Ross
  • Glen Roven
  • Arthur B. Rubinstein (Emmy)
  • Pete Rugolo (Emmy)
  • Mark Russell
  • Jeff Russo
  • The RZA
  • Jeremy Sams (BAFTA)
  • Antonio Sánchez (Grammy)
  • Mikael Sandgren
  • Arturo Sandoval (Emmy)
  • Anton Sanko
  • Kevin Sargent
  • Naoki Satō
  • Sarah Schachner
  • Dominik Scherrer
  • Erik Schrody
  • Walter Schumann (Emmy)
  • David Schwartz
  • Nan Schwartz
  • Garry Schyman (BAFTA)
  • Ilona Sekacz
  • Theodore Shapiro (IFMCA)
  • Russell Shaw
  • Edward Shearmur (Emmy, IFMCA)
  • Freddy Sheinfeld
  • Philip Sheppard
  • Bill Sherman
  • Kevin Shields
  • David Shire
  • Ryan Shore
  • Clinton Shorter
  • Lawrence Shragge
  • Carlo Siliotto
  • Carly Simon
  • Paul Simon
  • Michael Skloff
  • Henrik Skram
  • Cezary Skubiszewski
  • Alexis Smith
  • Mark Snow
  • Johan Söderqvist
  • Maribeth Solomon
  • Jeremy Soule (BAFTA)
  • Tim Souster (BAFTA)
  • Richard Spiller
  • Glen Stafford
  • Michael Stearns
  • Morton Stevens (Emmy)
  • Gary Stockdale
  • Richard Stone
  • Michael Storey
  • Marc Streitenfeld
  • Charles Strouse
  • Marty Stuart
  • Koichi Sugiyama
  • Taj Mahal
  • Tamiya Terajima
  • Mikis Theodorakis (BAFTA)
  • Third Ear Band
  • Bob Thiele Jr.
  • Mark Thomas
  • Duncan Thum
  • Yann Tiersen
  • Martin Tillmann
  • Chris Tilton
  • Nobuko Toda
  • Sheridan Tongue
  • Pinar Toprak (IFMCA)
  • Colin Towns
  • Joseph Trapanese
  • Ernest Troost (Emmy)
  • Tim Truman
  • Tom Tykwer
  • Brian Tyler
  • Masami Ueda (BAFTA)
  • Nobuo Uematsu
  • Björn Ulvaeus
  • Jack Urbont
  • Marc Vaíllo
  • Jeff Van Dyk
  • Eddie Vedder
  • Cris Velasco
  • Fernando Velázquez (IFMCA)
  • James L. Venable
  • Lucas Vidal
  • Joseph Vitarelli (IFMCA)
  • W. G. "Snuffy" Walden (Emmy)
  • Shirley Walker
  • Jack Wall
  • Benjamin Wallfisch
  • Don Was (BAFTA)
  • Mark Watters
  • Richard Wells
  • Rick Wentworth
  • Nigel Westlake
  • Jonathan Whitehead
  • Norman Whitfield (Grammy)
  • Frederik Wiedmann
  • Kristin Wilkinson
  • Marc Wilkinson
  • Patrick Williams (Emmy)
  • Nancy Wilson
  • Stanley Wilson
  • Austin Wintory (BAFTA, IFMCA)
  • Debbie Wiseman
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Christopher Wong
  • John Robert Wood
  • Alex Wurman (Emmy)
  • Timothy Michael Wynn
  • Hiroshi Yamaguchi (BAFTA)
  • Mahito Yokota
  • Christopher Young (IFMCA)
  • Kenneth C. M. Young
  • Geoff Zanelli (Emmy)
  • Marcelo Zarvos
  • Benh Zeitlin
  • Aaron Zigman
  • Inon Zur
  • Atli Örvarsson

Sources: HFPA Award Search [2], BAFTA Awards Database [3], Primetime Emmy Award Database [4], Grammy Awards Archive [5], IFMCA Awards Archive [6]

Box office champions[]

The following list includes all composers who have scored one of the 100 Highest Grossing Films of All Time, but have never been nominated for a major award (Oscar, Golden Globe etc.)

  • William Alwyn – Swiss Family Robinson (1960)
  • Joseph DeBeasi – American Sniper (2014)
  • David Buttolph – House of Wax (1953)
  • Brad Fiedel – Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
  • Alexander Janko – My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
  • Bill Justis – Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
  • Harald Kloser – The Day After Tomorrow (2004), 2012 (2009)
  • Heitor Pereira – Despicable Me (2010), The Smurfs (2011), Despicable Me 2 (2013)
  • Trevor Rabin – Armageddon (1998), National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)
  • Thomas Wanker – 2012 (2009)
  • Pharrell Williams – Despicable Me (2010), Despicable Me 2 (2013)
  • Chris Wilson – My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

Source: Box Office Mojo – All-Time Domestic Box Office Grosses [7], All-Time Domestic Box Office Grosses Adjusted for Inflation [8], All-Time Worldwide Box Office Grosses [9]

Relation with directors[]

Sometimes, a composer may unite with a director by composing the score for many films of a same director. For example, Danny Elfman did the score for all the movies directed by Tim Burton, with the exception of Ed Wood (score by Howard Shore) and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (score by Stephen Sondheim). Other examples are John Williams with Steven Spielberg, Jerry Goldsmith with Joe Dante and Franklin Schaffner, Ennio Morricone with Sergio Leone, Mauro Bolognini with Giuseppe Tornatore, Alan Silvestri with Robert Zemeckis, Angelo Badalamenti with David Lynch, James Newton Howard with M. Night Shyamalan, Éric Serra with Luc Besson, Patrick Doyle with Kenneth Branagh, Howard Shore with David Cronenberg, Peter Jackson, and Martin Scorsese, Carter Burwell with Joel & Ethan Coen, Hans Zimmer with Christopher Nolan, Harry Gregson-Williams with Tony Scott, Clint Mansell with Darren Aronofsky, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross with David Fincher.,[33] John Lasseter with Randy Newman, Andrew Stanton with Thomas Newman, Joe Kraemer with Christopher McQuarrie, Michael Giacchino with J. J. Abrams and Brad Bird, and James Horner with James Cameron and Ron Howard.

Production music[]

Many companies such as Jingle Punks, Associated Production Music, FirstCom Music, VideoHelper and Extreme Music provide music to various film, TV and commercial projects for a fee. Sometimes called library music, the music is owned by production music libraries and licensed to customers for use in film, television, radio and other media. Unlike popular and classical music publishers, who typically own less than 50 percent of the copyright in a composition, music production libraries own all of the copyrights of their music, meaning that it can be licensed without seeking the composer's permission, as is necessary in licensing music from normal publishers. This is because virtually all music created for music libraries is done on a work for hire basis. Production music is therefore a very convenient medium for media producers – they can be assured that they will be able to license any piece of music in the library at a reasonable rate.

Production music libraries will typically offer a broad range of musical styles and genres, enabling producers and editors to find much of what they need in the same library. Music libraries vary in size from a few hundred tracks up to many thousands. The first production music library was set up by De Wolfe in 1927 with the advent of sound in film, the company originally scored music for use in silent film.[34] Another music library was set up by Ralph Hawkes of Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers in the 1930s.[35] APM, the largest US library, has over 250,000 tracks.[36]

See also[]

  • AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores
  • Filmi, Bollywood film music
  • List of film score composers
  • List of film director and composer collaborations
  • Music of Bollywood
  • Musivisual Language
  • Sheet music
  • Theatre music
  • Score, a 2016 documentary film about film scores

Film music organizations[]

  • ASCAP - Performing rights organization
  • BMI - Performing rights organization
  • PRS for Music - Performing rights organization (UK)
  • Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund
  • Screen Composers Guild of Canada
  • Society of Composers and Lyricists

Film music review sites[]

Independent specialist original soundtrack recording labels[]

  • 1M1 Records
  • Digitmovies AE
  • Entr'acte Recording Society
  • Film Score Monthly
  • The Hit House Music
  • Intrada Records
  • La-La Land Records
  • Milan Records
  • MovieScore Media
  • Perseverance Records
  • Prometheus Records
  • Trunk Records
  • Varèse Sarabande


  • Film Score Monthly


  1. ^ Savage, Mark. "Where Are the New Movie Themes?" BBC, 28 July 2008.
  2. ^ "Bebe Barron: Co-composer of the first electronic film score, for 'Forbidden Planet'". The Independent (London). 8 May 2008. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  3. ^ Rockwell, John (21 May 1978). "When the Soundtrack Makes the Film". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  4. ^ Karlin, Fred; Wright, Rayburn (1 January 2004). "On the Track: A Guide to Contemporary Film Scoring". Routledge. 
  5. ^ "About the Naqoyqatsi team". 
  6. ^ "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - Expanded Edition Soundtrack (1967)". 
  7. ^ "We Built Our Own World: Hans Zimmer and the Music of 'Inception'". 
  8. ^ "". 
  9. ^ "SMPTE". 
  10. ^ Kompanek, Sonny. From Score To Screen: Sequencers, Scores And Second Thoughts: The New Film Scoring Process. Schirmer Trade Books, 2004. ISBN 978-0-8256-7308-5
  11. ^ London Symphony Orchestra and Film Music Script error: No such module "webarchive". LSO. Retrieved 30 June 2011
  12. ^ "5 RTAS Plug-Ins You Can Download for Free". 
  13. ^ George Burt, The art of film music, Northeastern University Press
  14. ^ Paterson, Jim. "2001 A Space Odyssey - Original soundtrack by Alex North, commissioned but unused by Stanley Kubrick, conducted by Jerry Goldsmith". 
  15. ^ "Torn Curtain Soundtrack (1966)". 
  16. ^ "Gabriel Yared's Troy - Article". 
  17. ^ "Filmtracks: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Hans Zimmer/Klaus Badelt)". 
  18. ^ "Music on Film:: News:: Article in Variety about James Newton Howard's King Kong score".,161. 
  19. ^ "". 
  20. ^ "Definition of LEITMOTIF". 
  21. ^ "". Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. 
  22. ^ FilmChat (2013-05-07). "Music for Klingons, part one: Jerry Goldsmith" (in en-US). FilmChat. 
  23. ^ "Film Music Society". 
  24. ^ "". 
  25. ^ London. Film Music, p.28. Faber and Faber. Cited in Albright, Daniel, ed. (2004). Modernism and Music, p.96n40. ISBN 0-226-01267-0.
  26. ^ Film music: a history By James Eugene Wierzbicki, p.20
  27. ^ Fairylogue was released 24 September 1908; Assassinat was released 17 November 1908
  28. ^ Ornella Volta (ed.), "Satie Seen Through His Letters", Marion Boyars Publishers, London, 1989, p. 199.
  29. ^ "Erik Satie", Royal Opera House (UK) website, at
  30. ^ Robert Orledge, "Satie the Composer", Cambridge University Press, 1990, p. 244.
  31. ^ Justin Wintle (ed.), "New Makers of Modern Culture", Routledge, 2016, p. 1342.
  32. ^ a b Cooke, Mervyn (2008). A History of Film Music. New York: Cambridge University Press. 
  33. ^ "Are David Fincher And Trent Reznor The Next Leone and Morricone?". 4 October 2014. 
  34. ^ De Wolfe, Warren (1988). de wolfe millennium catalogue. London: De Wolfe Music. 
  35. ^ Wallace, Helen (2007). Boosey & Hawkes The Publishing Story. London: B&H London. ISBN 978-0-85162-514-0. 
  36. ^ "PRWeb July 2007". Retrieved 2007-07-20. 

Further reading[]

  • Andersen, Martin Stig. "Electroacoustic Sound and Audiovisual Structure in Film". eContact! 12.4 — Perspectives on the Electroacoustic Work / Perspectives sur l’œuvre électroacoustique (August 2010). Montréal: CEC.
  • Dorschel, Andreas (ed.). Tonspuren. Musik im Film: Fallstudien 1994–2001. Universal Edition, Vienna 2005 (Studien zur Wertungsforschung 46). ISBN 3-7024-2885-2. Scrutinizes film score practice at the turn from the 20th to 21st century. In German.
  • Elal, Sammy and Kristian Dupont (eds.). "The Essentials of Scoring Film". Minimum Noise. Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Harris, Steve. Film, Television, and Stage Music on Phonograph Records: A Discography. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 1988. ISBN 0-89950-251-2.
  • MacDonald, Laurence E. (1998) The Invisible Art of Film Music: A Comprehensive History. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 9781461673040.
  • Holly Rogers and Jeremy Barham, The Music and Sound of Experimental Film. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.
  • Slowik, Michael. After the Silents: Hollywood Film Music in the Early Sound Era, 1926-1934. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014.
  • Spande, Robert. "The Three Regimes - A Theory of Film Music" Minneapolis, 1996.
  • Stoppe, Sebastian, ed. Film in concert: film scores and their relation to classical concert music. Glückstadt: Verlag Werner Hülsbusch, 2014. ISBN 978-3-86488060-5.
  • Stubblevine, Donald J. Cinema Sheet Music: A Comprehensive Listing of Published Film Music, from Squaw Man (1914) to Batman (1989). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co., 1991. ISBN 0-89950-569-4.
  • Various contributors [wiki]. "Films with Significant Electroacoustic Content". eContact! 8.4 — Ressources éducatives / Educational Resources (September 2006). Montréal: CEC.

External links[]

Film music organizations
Journals (online and print)