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  • Zoe Lim

The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

a picture of game of thrones' jon snow, night king and daenerys targaryen sitting on the throne

Ever since sound has been introduced to film, it has become an important part of the cinema experience. What makes a film score great is when it can evoke and convey emotions without the use of lyrics, very much like classical and other types of instrumental music.

Even though the use of soundtracks is essential in every movie, film scores still remain as some of the most underrated genres of music. Most of the time when we go to watch a movie, we are either watching it for the plot, acting or cinematography. Rarely, do we watch a movie just for its film score. Yet, every once in awhile, a film soundtrack outshines the movie itself, making it an iconic and unforgettable composition, recognized by all corners of the world.

Without further ado, here is a list of the 8 greatest film scores of all time.

  1. The Godfather

Widely recognized as the world's greatest movie of all time, The Godfather is also known for its memorable film score - The Godfather Waltz. What makes this score so unique is that is participates in the storytelling, showing themes of love, betrayal, melancholy and drama all in a matter of 3 minutes.

2. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good, the Bad and the ugly is highly known as the greatest spaghetti western movie that catapulted Clint Eastwood into stardom. The main title for this film's highlight is its "wolf-call", which resembles the howling of a coyote. It is a two-note melody that is a frequent motif used for its three main characters.

3. Harry Potter

Harry Potter, one of the biggest franchise in the world, perfectly captures the wonder and adventures of a boy wizard. As soon as we hear the opening notes of 'Hedwig's Theme', we are whisked away into the magical world of Harry Potter.

4. Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park's theme song is one of the best scores of John Williams. It is a mixture of majestic strings and horns that evoke emotions of awe and wonder of the dinosaurs themselves. What makes the score remarkable as well, is its ability to capture the balance of the beauty and savagery of the re-created dinosaurs.

5. Star Wars

The series' epic main title is once said to be the most recognisable and iconic theme in cinema history. It builds up a person's mood with excitement at the beginning, feelings of being heroic and adventurous in the middle and victorious at the end. With the fusion of brass and strings, we are taken away into the Star Wars galaxy, with exciting adventures awaiting for us.

6. Game of Thrones

The only TV-series on our list, Game of Thrones itself is an iconic drama about nine noble families waging war against each other in order to gain control over the land of Westeros. Yet, its main title was also an immediate hit, even among those who don't watch the series. Its distinctive riff provides momentum for an epic and fantasy-filled journey into the mythical medieval world of dragons and noble dynasties.

7. Interstellar

Interstellar's score sounds minimalistic yet powerful in capturing the relationship between a father and a daughter - which was one of the main themes in the film itself. The organ notes resembles that of a ticking clock as the group of astronauts travel through a wormhole in search of a new home for mankind.

8. Pirates of the Caribbean

Another one of Hans Zimmer's best soundtracks, the main theme for Pirates of the Caribbean is bristling with adrenaline and action. The score paints pictures of piratical endeavours, acrobatic swordplay and the hoisting of the mainsail. One can't help but feel heroic and adventurous when listening to this soundtrack.


Zoe is an avid fan of all kinds of music. Her primary instrument is the guitar but she is always passionately learning how to play other instruments such as the drums and keyboard. She is currently playing the bass guitar in a band and has been routinely involved in music since she was a child.

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