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Top Five Movie Composers

Updated on August 12, 2017

Movie Composers Are Overlooked


When going to see a movie, many people chose to see a movie that they think looks good by an actor or actress who is in it, or maybe by the name of the director or producer. Not many people will go see a movie based upon the composer of the music in the film. Music plays a key important role in film. After all, music does set the tone and mood for certain scenes and sequences. For example, an intense action sequence will have a fast paced and upbeat rhythm to it, or an intimate scene will require more of a passionate tone of music to collaborate with the movie. Either way, music plays a huge role in film making and I have chosen five well respected and successful music composers that I think are the best in composing music for films. Also, I will chose what films I think that their best performance was done.

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Top Five Movie Composers


  1. John Williams- Many people have seen most, if not all of Stephen Spielberg's movies. Well, most of all Spielberg's films have music conducted by legend music composer, John Williams. From the infamous theme of Jaws, to the classical sounds from Jurassic Park, Williams has composed many famous and big name movies that I am sure people would recognize just by hearing the theme songs he composed. Other works that have made Williams the best composer in film history is, Star Wars, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Indiana Jones and the Harry Potter film series. All these are great works of music, but my favorite would have to be the famous theme to one of the most notorious superheros to ever make it to the big screen, Superman. Every time I hear the theme to this movie it just makes me want to fly up, up, and away. And who does not know the theme to Superman? Not to many people around. Just like Spielberg being a legend and a successful film maker, John Williams has conducted music that has earned him many awards from the Academy.

  2. Hans Zimmer – Next on the list is a composer who I feel will become the next John Williams. One of my personal favorites and well known composer, Hans Zimmer combines fast paced music with melodic and angelic tones that make him second on my list. Zimmer has composed music for blockbuster films like, The Rock, Crimson Tide, Pearl Harbor, Black Hawk Down and the The Dark Knight. Zimmer is no strange to awards either. He is a Grammy winner and has had many of is original movie scores nominated for many awards. One of the most exciting and the best movie score is to the epic movie Gladiator. During the battle scenes, the music provides excitement and intense tones which makes this performance one of Zimmer's most successful movie scores, which also earned him a Golden Globe. Hans Zimmer provides the perfect balance for composing movie for both intense and calm film sequences which make him a wonderful film composer.

  3. Danny Elfman- To set the tone to most of Tim Burton's dark, scary yet beautiful films, Burton collaborates with a composer who seems to match up perfectly for setting the mood in Burton's films. Danny Elfman has provided audiences with music that is so different from many other composers. With an eerie, yet melodic tone, Elfman really knows how to combine such emotions from films that make him another great movie composer. Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Spider-man, and Men in Black One and Two, are just a few of Elfman's most recognizable works from film. His original theme for Tim Burton's Batman is the best of Elfman's works. With the film being a darker version of the “Cape Crusader,”Elfman's music for this film set the mood perfectly. Danny Elfman has great talent that separates him from most composers and his creative music works well with all his films.

  4. Trevor Rabin – Starting out in British Rock music, Trevor Rabin, guitarist turned film composer is no stranger to bring great scores to the big screen. Combining guitar riffs with a music orchestra, Trevor Rabin is another creative film composer with many successful film titles to credit him with. Con-Air, Gone in Sixty Seconds, Enemy of the State and Remember the Titans, Rabin composes music that is original and somewhat more contemporary than most composers. His best work was combining music that would set off many emotions and tones in the Michael Bay blockbuster, Armageddon. Combining guitar, piano and a full orchestra, this score for this film is top notch. Armageddon was an action adventure with many emotional scenes which is why many other composers could not have written and performed the music like Trevor Rabin did. With Rabin's contemporary edge in today's film industry, he makes himself stand out among the rest with clever and creative music for films.

  5. Mark Mancina – Last on the list is a composer who seems that if an action film needs high intensity music, this composer is the perfect solution. From Bad Boys, Twister, Training Day and Shooter, Mark Mancina gives directors just what they ask for, intense and fast paced music. With chase scenes that are full of action, Mancina thrives on providing the perfect music to set the mood and to set the tone of suspense. His best work would have to be the action, suspense thriller, Speed. For those who have seen this film, you know that most of the film was one big suspenseful chase scene with lots of thrills and excitement. Mark Manicina provided a score for this film that fit like a glove. Mark Manicina's ability to provide action packed music makes him another composer that is worth mentioning.

Harry Gregson-Williams and Steve Jablonsky are both creeping up on my list now. Looking back at these magnificent composers, many more musicians are starting to become my favorites.


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    • Fullerman5000 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ryan Fuller 

      5 years ago from Louisiana, USA

      thanks for checking this one out paddy. I love Hans Zimmer.

    • PaddyMac1984 profile image

      Patrick McCormack 

      5 years ago from Nottingham, England

      Great hub, always looking out for people who enjoy film scores as much as I do. Hans Zimmer is a legend and got to love Rabin. Cheers.

    • Fullerman5000 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ryan Fuller 

      7 years ago from Louisiana, USA

      inception blew my mind. if i had heard it before this hub, that would have been on there. Thanks for the feedback

    • cathj28 profile image


      7 years ago from Midwest, USA

      I'm glad to see my favorite film composer Hans Zimmer made it to your list! His work on Inception is one of the best scores I've ever heard. The music on The Painted Veil was great too. If you haven't listened to (or seen) National Treasure by Trevor Rabin, I highly recommend that.

    • Fullerman5000 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ryan Fuller 

      7 years ago from Louisiana, USA

      Yeah Hans Zimmer is the man. Plus his score for Inception was just superb. Thanks for the feedback, ill check out your hubs

    • Irenebonjour profile image


      7 years ago from MA, USA

      my favorite is hans zimmer!! :D awesome hub!! i find it realli informative. thanks for sharing!! please visit my hub too!!


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