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.
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list ordered by
1
John Williams is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Romance, Classical music, Jazz
2
Ennio Morricone is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
dca1983 added Lounge music, Classical music, Easy listening
3
James Horner is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Amy Boal added Film score
4
Hans Zimmer is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Electronic music, Film score, Video game music
5
Alan Silvestri is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Film score
6
Howard Shore is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Amy Boal added Film score
7
Danny Elfman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Soundtrack, New Wave, Alternative rock
8
Henry Mancini is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Amy Boal added Easy listening, Jazz, Film score
9
Nino Rota is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Opera, Film score, 20th-century classical music
10
Michael Giacchino is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Film score
11
Alexandre Desplat is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Amy Boal added Film score
12
Randy Newman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Amy Boal added Pop music, Rock music, Soft rock
13
A. R. Rahman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Soundtrack, Bollywood, Indian classical music
14
Trevor Rabin is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Amy Boal added Rock music, Classical music, Pop rock
15
James Newton Howard is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
hoosh added Film score
16
Bernard Herrmann is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Opera, Film score
17
Ranker Video
Michael Samons added Film soundtrack, Film score
18
Vangelis is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Conker added New Age music, Electronic music, Classical music
19
Joe Hisaishi is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
levalex88 added New Age music, Progressive rock, Film score
20
Klaus Badelt is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Amy Boal added Film score
21
Trent Reznor is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Alternative hip hop, Dark ambient, Synthpop
22
Bear McCreary is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Amy Boal added Film score
23
Alan Menken is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
LarsyLou added Pop music, Musical theatre, Operatic pop
24
Ranker Video
Michael Samons added Rock music, Electronic music, Industrial rock
25
Christophe Beck is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soundtrack Composers
Film score