Bands/Musicians The Best Film Score Composers  

Reference
2.9k votes 275 voters 8.1k views 178 items

Film score artists list, with photos, ranked best to worst by votes. List of good film score bands includes a filter so you can sort by the groups’s label and what albums they've put out. This list of the top film score bands in the world includes all musicians who have released recordings that have gotten distribution, and is an up-to-date list. Film score groups and artists are shown below along with any additional genres in which their music belongs. If available, you can also see information about where all film score bands on this list got started. These are truly the greatest film score bands of all time, since the most famous film score artists ever are listed, and the order is decided by actual fans of the best film score music.

You can click on the film score band names to see more information about that particular notable film score group. If they're near the top of the best film score artist list, though, then they should have at least some information available. All the top film score bands named on the list also have discographies on their pages if you click on the film score band names themselves.

The list you're viewing is made up of a variety of different artists, including Marvin Gaye and Paul Oakenfold. Rank your favorite artists to see them get to the top of the list. Is Trent Reznor better than Leonard Bernstein?

All important, significant and iconic names in film score music history deserve your votes, so make sure to choose wisely. You can only vote once on this list.

The list includes all new film score bands, and if there are any missing on the list, you can always add them yourself. Just make sure they aren't already on the list and check your spelling, because this is already an accurate compilation of the best examples of film score, as well as a good place to start if you're asking yourself, or friends, exactly how to get into film score music. Especially since the bands at the top of the list will at the very least be the best choices if you're looking for a list of good film score bands with which to start out. No point in listening to them if they aren't actually good or even half-way decent film score bands.

This list answers the questions "who are the best film score bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest film score musician ever?"

If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular film score bands that you might've heard of, but not really listened to closely enough to cast an informed vote.

Get your social circle's opnion by re-ranking this list, making it votable then sharing it. (178 items)
list ordered by

1
108 22
John Williams is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Romance, Classical music, Jazz

2
90 29
Hans Zimmer is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Electronic music, Film score, Video game music

3
80 26
Ennio Morricone is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Lounge music, Classical music, Easy listening

4
42 11
James Newton Howard is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Film score

5
41 13
Alan Silvestri is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Film score

6
35 9
Howard Shore is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Tom Islava added

7
44 17
James Horner is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Film score

8
33 9
Jerry Goldsmith is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Tom Islava added

9
44 18
John Barry is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Film score

10
40 15
Danny Elfman is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
christian.reichhold added Soundtrack, New Wave, Alternative rock

11
44 19
Henry Mancini is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Easy listening, Jazz, Film score

12
27 6
Michael Giacchino is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Tom Islava added

13
39 16
Bernard Herrmann is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Opera, Film score

14
32 11
Vangelis is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
New Age music, Electronic music, Classical music

15
24 8
Alexandre Desplat is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
BigBen added Film score

16
37 20
John Powell is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Film score

17
30 14
Nino Rota is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Opera, Film score, 20th-century classical music

18
37 21
Bill Conti is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Disco, Film score

19
26 12
Thomas Newman is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
BigBen added Film soundtrack, Film score

20
19 8
Klaus Badelt is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Film score

21
20 10
Harry Gregson-Williams is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Film score, Video game music

22
22 13
Erich Wolfgang Korngold is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Opera, Film score, 20th-century classical music

23
24 16
Basil Poledouris is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Film score

24
24 16
Elmer Bernstein is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Film score

25
15 9
Miklós Rózsa is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Film Score Composers

26
16 10
Alan Menken is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Tom Islava added

27
15 10
Brian Tyler is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
New Age music, Rock music, Electronic music

28
15 10
Clint Mansell is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Rock music, Electronic music, Industrial rock

29
28 23
A. R. Rahman is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Soundtrack, Bollywood, Indian classical music

30
15 10
Patrick Doyle is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Film score

31
17 13
Randy Newman is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Pop music, Rock music, Soft rock

32
14 10
Rachel Portman is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
BigBen added Film score

33
14 10
Maurice Jarre is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
BigBen added Film score

34
16 13
Dmitri Shostakovich is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Opera, Ballet, Art song

35
12 9
Elliot Goldenthal is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Opera, Musical theatre, Experimental music

36
9 6
Michael Kamen is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Film score

37
3 0
Lalo Schifrin is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Vasilis Koutsounakis added Spy music, Rock music, Jazz

38
15 13
Sergei Prokofiev is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Opera, Ballet, Ballet

39
14 12
Randy Edelman is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Pop music, Film score

40
13 11
Joe Hisaishi is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
New Age music, Progressive rock, Film score

41
11 9
Trevor Jones is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Film score

42
11 9
Philip Glass is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Opera, Classical music, Contemporary classical music

43
3 1
Alfred Newman is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Vasilis Koutsounakis added Film score

44
3 1
Alex North is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Vasilis Koutsounakis added Film score

45
9 8
David Shire is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Musical theatre, Film score

46
9 8
Michel Legrand is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Film score

47
8 7
Tōru Takemitsu is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Choral music, Electronic music, Chamber music

48
7 6
Sherman Brothers is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Tom Islava added Richard M. Sherman & Robert B. Sherman

49
7 6
David Arnold is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Film score

50
6 5
Dave Grusin is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Film Score Composers
Paul Hardister added