music The Best Soundtrack Composers  

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List Rules Any musician or composer who has created the official soundtrack for a film

When you're watching movies, the music in the background often plays an essential role in shaping the mood of what you're seeing. Though seemingly playing a minor role, the soundtrack of a movie has a major impact on viewers, whether they realize it or not. Thus, soundtrack composers are just as critical as the actors in determining how a movie turns out. The best soundtrack composers have a knack for building up the film's score to where you subliminally don't know what you're feeling emotionally even though a particular moment is resonating. It's not an easy feat to be a soundtrack band, but the best soundtrack artists are heads above their competitors.

So, who are considered the best soundtrack composers and soundtrack bands? For starters, you can't have a list of soundtrack bands and soundtrack composers without the likes of Hans Zimmer, Christophe Beck, and Danny Elfman not be at or near the top of the list. These are easily the most well known soundtrack composers in film. Often times, they'll put together the best soundtrack musicians to perform the music they scored and bring it to life. The greatest soundtrack bands need a leader, and these composers are often leading the charge by helping mold what music they're going to play that enhances the film.

That said, what exactly are the best soundtrack bands and soundtrack composers? It's not an easy question to determine an answer for, but ultimately, it's up to you to decide. This list answers the questions "who are the best soundtrack bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest soundtrack musician ever?" If you notice someone who fits this criteria and isn't showing up, feel free to add them to this list.
list ordered by

1
74 6
John Williams is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
John Williams Romance, Classical music, Jazz

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2
52 5
James Horner is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Amy Boal added James Horner Film score

3
40 5
Alan Silvestri is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Alan Silvestri Film score

4
39 5
Howard Shore is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Amy Boal added Howard Shore Film score

5
40 16
Danny Elfman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Danny Elfman Soundtrack, New Wave, Alternative rock

6
45 18
Hans Zimmer is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Hans Zimmer Electronic music, Film score, Video game music

7
26 10
Randy Newman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Amy Boal added Randy Newman Pop music, Rock music, Soft rock

8
21 6
Trevor Rabin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Amy Boal added Trevor Rabin Rock music, Classical music, Pop rock

9
23 6
Ennio Morricone is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
dca1983 added Ennio Morricone Lounge music, Classical music, Easy listening

10
18 4
Nino Rota is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Nino Rota Opera, Film score, 20th-century classical music

11
18 3
Henry Mancini is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Amy Boal added Henry Mancini Easy listening, Jazz, Film score

12
14 2
Michael Giacchino is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Michael Giacchino Film score

13
20 8
A. R. Rahman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
A. R. Rahman Soundtrack, Bollywood, Indian classical music

14
6 2
Alexandre Desplat is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Amy Boal added Alexandre Desplat Film score

15
4 6
Christophe Beck is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Christophe Beck Film score

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16
3 0
Bernard Herrmann is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Bernard Herrmann Opera, Film score

17
5 3
Klaus Badelt is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Amy Boal added Klaus Badelt Film score

18
3 1
Ranker Video
Michael Samons added Thomas Newman Film soundtrack, Film score

19
3 1
Alan Menken is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
LarsyLou added Alan Menken Pop music, Musical theatre, Operatic pop

20
2 0
Joe Hisaishi is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
levalex88 added Joe Hisaishi New Age music, Progressive rock, Film score

21
3 2
Bear McCreary is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Amy Boal added Bear McCreary Film score

22
8 9
Trent Reznor is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Trent Reznor Alternative hip hop, Dark ambient, Synthpop

23
4 1
Rockford Kabine is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Rockford Kabine Soundtrack, Trip hop, Psychedelia

24
3 0
Ranker Video
Michael Samons added Clint Mansell Rock music, Electronic music, Industrial rock

25
1 1
Cliff Eidelman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
LarsyLou added Cliff Eidelman Film score

26
1 1
Michiru Yamane is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
AdanNet added Michiru Yamane

27
0 0
Jo Yeong-wook is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
levalex88 added Jo Yeong-wook Film score

28
2 0
Domenico Capuano is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
choichu added Domenico Capuano Pop music, Electro, Film score

29
0 0
Two Steps from Hell is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Marina Velcu added Two Steps from Hell

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30
4 3
Gustavo Santaolalla is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Gustavo Santaolalla Soundtrack, Nuevo tango, Chicano rock

31
4 3
Andrea McArdle is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Andrea McArdle Soundtrack

32
4 3
Dan Pinto is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Dan Pinto Soundtrack, New Age, New Age music

33
2 1
V. Harikrishna is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
V. Harikrishna Soundtrack, World music, Film score

34
0 1
Yuhki Kuramoto is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
levalex88 added Yuhki Kuramoto

35
7 7
Akira Yamaoka is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Akira Yamaoka Soundtrack, Dark ambient, Trip hop

36
3 3
Hossein Alizadeh is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Hossein Alizadeh Soundtrack, Film score, Persian traditional music

37
3 3
David A. Hughes is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
David A. Hughes Soundtrack, Synthpop, New Wave

38
3 3
Chloƫ Agnew is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Chloƫ Agnew Soundtrack, Adult contemporary music, Celtic music

39
3 3
Crouch End Festival Chorus is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Crouch End Festival Chorus Popular music, Soundtrack, Classical music

40
3 3
Bob Bradley is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Bob Bradley Soundtrack, Pop music, Rock music

41
3 3
Dan Muckala is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Dan Muckala Hip hop music, Soundtrack, Pop music

42
3 3
Berny-Ignatius is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Berny-Ignatius Soundtrack, Folk music, World music

43
3 3
Barry Adamson is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Barry Adamson Spy music, Soundtrack, Lounge music

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44
3 3
Bill Ryder-Jones is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Bill Ryder-Jones Soundtrack, Alternative rock, Minimal music

45
2 2
Atticus Ross is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Atticus Ross Dark ambient, Post-industrial music, Alternative rock

46
2 2
Deepak Dev is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Deepak Dev Soundtrack, Indian pop, World music

47
2 2
Costas Andreou is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Costas Andreou Soundtrack, Film score, Electronica

48
2 2
Schpilkas is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Schpilkas Urban contemporary, Soundtrack, Pop music

49
2 2
Dead combo is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Dead combo Soundtrack, Ambient music

50
2 2
Michael McCann is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Michael McCann Soundtrack, Pop music, Trip hop