The authors and artists of GrrlPunch posses extremely varied tastes and opinions, especially when it comes to music. While others may try to persuade you that Classic Rock, New Age, and 90s Grunge are the jams that should be blasting from your speaker right now, I am here to speak for an often forgotten genre that has just as much soul as R&B, as much story as musical theatre, and is as much fun as pop… I present to you my Ode to Movie Scores.
Note: You can listen along with this article! Go to Spotify, type in GrrlPunch and hit play on our “Ode to Movie Scores” playlist! (You had no idea this was going to be interactive, did you? Surprise!)
We start with the most iconic opening of all time…the Star Wars Main Title. It’s one of the most memorable scores ever, written by the Movie Score Master : John Williams. He’s written all of your favorites, from Harry Potter and Star Wars, to Jurassic Park and Jaws. Wha I love most about his composing style is how varied his pieces are. In just one song, we go from loud and rhythmic, to gentle and melodious. His compositions tell a story that we can easily follow, and pinpoint certain melodies that repeat in the movie during pivotal moments, a musical Easter Egg.
On this Playlist :
Rey’s Theme : so beautiful, from when we first meet her on Jakku. One of my favorites.
Theme from Jurassic Park : an absolute must-know.
Hedwig’s Theme : Now you know’s it’s name, instead of calling it “The Harry Potter Song”
Cantina Band : a good bop 🙂
Princess Leia’s Theme : like Rey’s Theme, also super beautiful. Can be heard many times throughout the movies.
Harry’s Wondrous World : perfect for when you want to feel like your in Diagon Alley.
Next, we stop at Disney Movie Scores. Best composers include…
Alan Menkan : The creator of all your 90s favorites like Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Beauty and the Beast, and more. On the Playlist are The Kiss (from Aladdin), the Main Titles (from The Little Mermaid), and Transformation (from Beauty and the Beast). These will definitely take you back to your childhood, and you’ll probably be able to picture the scene in your head too 🙂
Randy Newman : Pixar’s the game with Randy Newman, who’s composed the early 2000s Pixar classics like Monsters, Inc., Toy Story, A Bugs Life, and Cars. Enjoy nostalgic beauties like Monsters, Inc. (from…well…you’ve got it), Opening (from Toy Story), A Bug’s life Suite (you’ve got this one too), and McQueen and Sally (from Cars). Newman’s scores are a little more playful than Menkans, a little more modern, and have a more varied sound based on the movie.
Some other Disney scores that I love
This Land by Hans Zimmer, from The Lion King. Dramatic. Beautiful.
Bundle of Joy by Michael Giacchino, from Inside Out. This song literally is a bundle of joy.
He’s a Pirate by Klaus Badelt, from Pirates of the Caribbean. If you listen to this, you become a pirate too.
Heimr Arnadalr by Christophe Beck from Frozen. This one has voices too, but it’s in Norwegian, so it can still count as a score right?
Steamboat Wille by Lewis Bertram, a Disney Classic.
Married Life by Michael Giacchino, from Up. It’s one of the best.
Overture by the Sherman Brothers, from Mary Poppins. The Sherman Brothers can’t be topped.
Another reason I love movie scores, it because they can provide an excellent atmosphere for whatever you’re doing. Reading some Sci-Fi? Try listening to the the scores of Star Trek, Interstellar, or Stranger Things. Want to feel like you’re in a French Cafe? Turn on Last Tango in Paris (from Eat Pray Love) or Vianne Sets Up Shop (from Chocolate. The best movie for some French feels. Johnny Depp included). Just lounging around your house? Some of my favorite relaxing scores include Call Me By Your Name(which is my current favorite movie, soundtrack and book), and La La Land. As you listen to more and more movie scores, you’ll often be able to pick up on a composers style, and be able to tell their music apart from one another, just as you can tell the difference between Barbara Streisand and Michael Jackson.
I hope that this quick journey through the movies has been surprising, nostalgic, inspiring, and heartwarming. Movies by themselves are great, but they would be nothing without the scores and music that supports them. I’ve included a few honorable mention scores at the end of the playlist, but I hope that you continue on and develop your own playlist of favorites. It could inspire you too to write your own Ode to Movie Scores