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Who is the "Beethoven" in the Film Music Scene?

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Music reflects mood. It can convey feelings, and it's not surprising that music in film plays an important role in creating the scene's mood or conveying the characters' emotions. Sometimes, film music goes beyond and represents the film itself. For instance, if you listen to Harry Potter's introduction music, you can instantly immerse yourself in the world of Hogwarts. Similarly, with the music from Star Wars, you'll find yourself exploring space after just a few notes. Film music is more than mere background; it is the soul of the film.

However, while people can easily define the most influential classical composers—such as Beethoven, Beethoven, or Beethoven—it is relatively harder to pinpoint the "Beethoven" of the film music scene. Let's consider some candidates for the "Beethoven" of film music!

1. John Williams

Harry Potter, Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. What a name! These movies are one of the most iconic films in America, and they have one in common. It is that they have John Williams as a music composer! John Williams, the most successful film music composer in America, cannot be ignored when it comes to film music. It is not only because the movies that he participated in were widely watched but also because his music is considered to be contributing to the success of film! I am sorry, I already bring up the one who has the most possibilities to be regarded as the film music “Beethoven.” Certainly, the emotional depth, thematic richness, and sheer brilliance of John Williams' music have left an incredible mark on the world of film music. We cannot post about film music without mentioning him!

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2. Ennio Morricone

While John Williams is an expert of blockbuster movie music, here is another legendary composer in the world of film music who has a different style of music. Lyrical, emotional, and extraordinarily beautiful melody! Ennio Morricone, an Italian composer is renowned for his intricate yet innovative compositions. Even if you are not a fan of Italian foods, you probably are a fan of his music. You will notice his music as soon as you hear one of his most recognizable compositions. You will take a time machine to go into the is a 1966 Italian epic spaghetti Western film once you listen to this music from “The Good the Bad and the Ugly.”

His music is impactful as he has the ability to evoke powerful emotions through his music. The music from "The Mission," and "Cinema Paradiso" showcase his ability to enhance the narrative through music.

While John Williams is often associated with grand, orchestral scores in the realm of fantasy and adventure, Ennio Morricone's unique and diverse contributions make him another strong candidate for the title of a "Beethoven" in the world of film music. Even though Ennio Morricone has passed away, his music continues to shape the way we experience and remember films through its extraordinary compositions.

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3. Hans Zimmer

Whenever I listen to this film music, I immediately go into the space, wandering the ocean of time. “Interstellar,” the movie that tells about how rich and scary the space can be, resonates with the music. Or, I could say that the music contributed for people to re-imagine space, making them swimming in the time library, if you remember the scene. Not only "Interstellar, " Zimmer's notable works include the music for films like "The Lion King," "Gladiator," "Inception," and "The Dark Knight Trilogy." His ability to create immersive and atmospheric soundscapes has made him a prominent figure. Moreso, he is well known for using unconventional instruments in music. Take an example of “Interstellar” again, he used electronic elements to create this unique sound. In “Lion King,” he used percussion actively in order to resonate with the animals. His impact on the industry, as well as the emotional resonance and memorability of his scores, position Hans Zimmer as another "Beethoven" of film music in the eyes of many.

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4. Bernard Herrmann

Let me introduce the composer who composed unforgettable thriller music! Do you want to know who was the composer working with the legendary film director, Alfred Hitchcock? It was, Bernard Herrmann! He is often considered one of the pioneers of film scoring and has left an enduring legacy in the world of cinema. His notable works include the scores for Hitchcock's films such as "Psycho," "Vertigo," and "North by Northwest." Herrmann's ability to use music to enhance tension, suspense, and emotion within a film has had a profound impact on the art of film scoring.

Bernard Herrmann's contributions to the world of film music, particularly his work with Hitchcock, have solidified his reputation as a masterful composer. While his style may be distinct from other composers like John Williams, Ennio Morricone, or Hans Zimmer, Herrmann's influence on the evolution of film music is undeniable, making him another noteworthy figure in the pantheon of great film composers.


Well, I understand that it is extremely difficult to choose one among these composers as they have their own styles and narratives in music. If you want to feel the grand and enormous scale of music, you can simply visit John Williams’s work. He is the master of creating music that cannot be forgotten once you immerse yourself in the blockbuster soundtracks. When it comes to more lyrical, emotional, and beautiful music, don’t forget Ennio Morricone! He will never disappoint you if you want to dive into the intricate world of music. What about Hans Zimmer? He is the master of instruments, knowing how to adequately use them at the proper time in a film. Last but not least, Bernard Herrmann is known to be a musical figure who composed some of the most recognizable film music.

Although it is hard to decide among these, I would strongly encourage you to start listening if you want to feel the film. You don’t have to watch; just listen! You will understand what I mean here. Once you start listening, you will likely go back to the film scene you liked the best.

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