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Music Recommendations

Movie Soundtracks

Allison Lo

The first thing that comes to mind when people think of movies is usually the characters… or the plot... or even the special effects. But one aspect of film that is often overlooked is the music. Sure, everyone knows songs from movies like Frozen and Titanic, but hardly anyone stops to listen to the actual soundtrack of most movies.

Although they are often overlooked, movie soundtracks are instrumental (ha ha) to the full movie experience. They create a unique atmosphere for every film, reflecting the feelings of the characters and the mood of the story. Most people don’t realize how much the music in the background affects their emotions (trust me, without the music, every iconic movie scene becomes extremely bland). Film scores are just one of those things that people only notice when they’re gone. Personally, I like listening to movie music because it makes me feel like I’m experiencing the movie all over again. 

No movie experience is ever the same, especially because each composer has a different style. While composers like Alan Menken are major influences for modern styles of film music, other composers like Hans Zimmer and Alexandre Desplat capture darker themes in their music.

Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer has written music for many suspenseful thrillers such as Inception, Interstellar, and The Dark Knight trilogy. He is known for incorporating different instruments into scores depending on their themes. For example, he uses a broken piano for the Sherlock Holmes soundtrack and organ music for Interstellar. Even the music for The Lion King is incredibly powerful – anyone who didn’t cry when Mufasa died probably isn’t human.

Alan Menken
Disney princess movies may be famous for their theme songs, but their soundtracks are definitely worth listening to as well. I love Disney songs, so with his work on movies like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Tangled, and Hercules, I can definitely say that Alan Menken is one of my favorite soundtrack composers.

Michael Giacchino
Pixar movies like Up are famous for being emotional rollercoasters. Michael Giacchino, the composer behind Up, has composed film scores for other Pixar movies such as Inside Out, Ratatouille, and The Incredibles. Giacchino’s film scores often consist of a simple theme with variations that are happy, sad, full of excitement, or even reminiscent. 

John Williams
One of the most widely known movie soundtrack composers in cinematic history, John Williams created famous soundtracks for Jaws, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, and Jurassic Park. Although he uses more traditional instruments and orchestral elements in his compositions, his iconic soundtracks are unlike any other.

Movie soundtracks are a great choice if you’re looking for music to listen to while studying. 

They aren’t overly distracting, and you can listen to tracks from your favorite movies to relax or to make homework more exciting (which definitely isn’t a bad idea). If you’re like me and you enjoy getting lost in the feeling and atmosphere of movies, then soundtracks are the perfect type of music for you.