A Look at the Best Sci-Fi Movie Soundtracks

Music and film work together perfectly. A great score can evoke feelings of excitement, sadness, terror, and joy, beautifully complimenting what is happening on-screen to pull the viewer in.

Music and film work together perfectly. A great score can evoke feelings of excitement, sadness, terror, and joy, beautifully complimenting what is happening on-screen to pull the viewer in. A fantastic score can be what sets a film apart. Sound and music play a huge role in the Sci-fi genre. Perhaps more so than in any other as it must build a sense of the unknown. When we’re watching the world we are so unfamiliar with, it comes down to the performances and the music to ground the film and make it relatable to the audience. Here are some movie soundtracks that achieve this perfectly and leave you humming along long after the credits roll.

Star Wars

No list of Sci-fi films is complete without mentioning Star Wars. John Williams score is perfect. From the Cantina Band song to Rey’s theme, the music always compliments and enhances the action and the main theme tune is something we are all so familiar with. No one seeing The Force Awakens for the first time can have failed to feel a chill when the main theme played for the first time after so long. All students of music or an online MME degree know how difficult it can be to create a memorable piece of this magnitude.

2001: A Space Odyssey

Even if you’ve never seen 2001, there is a good chance you are familiar with its most famous pieces of music. In part, that is because 2001: A Space Odyssey doesn’t actually have an original score. One was written specifically for the film but rejected by director Stanley Kubrick as he didn’t feel it fit with his work. Instead, he chose to use classical pieces. This turned out to be an inspired decision as the score builds suspense and intrigue in a way few others have managed. The famous opening music you’re thinking of is Also Sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss.

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

The score for Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, again, by the great John Williams is powerful, dramatic, and delightfully eerie. It builds a sense of threat and makes the film’s trip into the unknown even more terrifying while also highlighting notes of wonder and humanity with its softer sounds. This score is thoughtful, complex, and rewarding.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture

When it came to composing the score for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Jerry Goldsmith had a tough job. Star Trek already existed as a TV show, with its own theme tune and score. His job was to create music for the film, which allowed it to both complement and reinvent the TV show. The makers of the movie needed to keep TV fans on board, whilst also welcoming new fans to the franchise. It had to be different, yet not alienating.

The catchy theme tune was universally loved and went on to be used in future films and the vastly popular TV series, Star Trek The Next Generation.

If you are interested in learning more about music and how it can evoke feelings and emotions, consider applying for an online masters in music.

You can move towards creating your own legendary soundtracks at: musicedmasters.kent.edu

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth.

In the past few years he has written for ‘Star Trek’ Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: www.scifipulseradio.com

When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics.

Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net

You can contact ian at: [email protected]

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