Back in the time when I was writing my article on the different methods to overcome writer’s block I discovered the exceptional positive impact of orchestral movie soundtracks in regards to the stimulation of my creativity, as a lot of these songs helped me to get inspired in an amazingly refreshing way. Within a couple of months I found more and more inspiring movie scores and started to put on my headphones and play these songs whenever I needed to be creative in any kinds of ways. I don’t know exactly how to describe it, but whenever I listened to some of these highly inspiring songs (for example: Time by Hans Zimmer) I reach an “epic state of mind”, where I’m totally motivated, inspired and carried away by enthusiasm for the project I’m working at, especially when that project requires creativity. It’s quite difficult to describe this state of mind, but whatever it is, it helps me to focus on my work and come up with epic ideas and thoughts. I guess the fact that there are no distracting vocals in these orchestral songs helps me not to get sidetracked from what I’m doing, but to focus even more and come up with even better ideas.
In case you are also dependent on your creativity I highly recommend you to test if orchestral movie soundtrack scores help you to enhance your creativity; after all you have nothing to lose. It’s quite easy to put on headphones and play some inspiring movie songs, while you are writing on a book/article/poem, painting on a scaffold/piece of paper, shooting/editing a photo or are doing any other kinds of creative stuff; and in case these songs help you to peak creativity and inspire you it was worth trying! As a side tip, you should favor movie soundtracks from movies that you really like, as the songs might elicit the emotions of the movie within you.
With my attempt to find a way to enhance my creativity and to overcome the writer’s block I had discovered a completely new universe that I hadn’t noticed throughout my life, as with the research for my article about writer’s block I started to listen to movie scores for the very first time, without watching the movie. From this point onwards, I was keen to find as many inspiring orchestral movie soundtracks as possible, but unfortunately I couldn’t find inspiring scores of popular & modern movies, which is why I started creating this collection. In the following you’ll find some of my most favorite movie soundtracks that motivate me, enhance my creativity and help me whenever I’m facing a lack of inspiration. Please note, that this collection only includes modern scores of relatively new movies, as these are my personal favorites.
Best Inspiring Orchestral Movie Soundtracks
#1 Inception (2010) soundtrack by Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer, recognized as one of the most innovative composer Hollywood’s, created with his soundtrack for the theatrical movie Inception an outstanding masterpiece. His songs provoke emotions and create an amazingly epic feeling that precisely fits to the action on the movie screen. His brooding bass line and the synths are an omnipresent part of the adventurous action scenes in the movie make it even more fascinating. Especially the songs “Dream is Collapsing“, “Dream Within A Dream” and “Time” are epic orchestral movie songs and always help me to catch inspirational ideas and thoughts, that often arise while further listening to the songs. Nevertheless, “Old Souls“, “Radical Notion“, “We Built Our Own World” and “528491” are thought provoking and inspiring masterpieces as well.
Bottom line: If you liked the movie inception, you will most likely love the soundtrack! The best songs are:
- Dream is Collapsing
- Dream Within A Dream
#2 Tron Legacy (2010) soundtrack by Daft Punk
At this point, I have to confess that I’ve never watched any movies of the Tron universe, so I have absolutely no clue what these movies are all about, nevertheless the soundtrack that was composed by Daft Punk is a superb creation, especially when you like Daft Punk. Songs like “Outlands“, “C.L.U“, “Rinzler” and “Solar Sailer” are – in my opinion – the best songs of the Tron Legacy soundtrack and help me to get energized whenever I’m listening to them. Some of the tracks seem to have some influences of Hans Zimmer’s Inception soundtrack, but Daft Punk has included their typical style and vibes into the songs, which makes this score so unique and astonishingly different. Other songs that could be of interest for you (if you liked the ones named above) are “Armory“, “End of Line“, “Fall” and “The Game has Changed“.
Bottom line: The Tron Legacy Soundtrack is highly addictive, especially when you like Daft Punk. Nevertheless, the songs are completely different from the work that Daft Punk has produced earlier, so don’t be disappointed if the songs do not sound Daft Punk-ish at the beginning. The best songs are
- Solar Sailer
#3 The Batman (2008) soundtracks by Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer was the composer of the soundtracks to Batman Begins and The Dark Knight and created another two masterpieces that match the quality of his amazing score for Inception. Both of the soundtracks are completely different from each other, which is why both soundtracks sound so amazingly unique and come with some very inspiring songs. My personal favorites from both scores are “Like a Dog Chasing Cars” and “Agent of Chaos” [especially the part from 2:15 - 3:40 is epic and helped me to peak creativity quite often] (from The Dark Knight Soundtrack composed James Newton Howard); but also “Macrotus” and “Molussus” (both from the Batman Begins soundtrack) are stunning masterpieces that have helped me to become both motivated and excited and are worth listening. Furthermore, I also liked “Antrozous“, “Barbastella” from the Batman Begins score and “Aggressive Expansion“, “Harvey Two-Face“, “I’m not a Hero“, “Watch the World Burn” and “Why so serious?” from The Dark Knight soundtrack.
Bottom line: Hans Zimmer provides finest action music with these two masterpieces that include some epic songs that are both, sad and beautiful, but also energizing and motivating. If you like Hans Zimmer’s creations the scores are a “must-listen”. The best songs are:
- Like a Dog Chasing Cars
- Agent of Chaos
#4 The Book of Eli (2010) soundtrack by Atticus Ross
The Book of Eli is a post-apocalyptic action film that was directed by the Hughes brothers and the vibe of this score composed by Atticus Ross fits perfect into the scenery of the movie. “The Passenger “and “The Journey” are my favorites of the soundtrack, as they are both inspiring and thought-provoking with their atmospheric and slightly violent tones. “Amen” and “Panoramic” are another two tracks that are worth listening, as the post-apocalyptic vibes surround you with a feeling of calmness (“Panoramic“) and intensity and inner excitement (“Amen“).
Bottom line: The four songs I’ve mentioned are absolutely worth listening to, but it depends on whether you like the post-apocalyptic vibe that comes with the soundtrack or not, as it is an omnipresent part of the songs. The best songs are:
- The Passenger
- The Journey
#5 Avatar (2009) soundtrack by James Horner
I guess that the soundtrack score for Avatar was one of the most anticipated ones (besides Inception) in 2010, as it was reported that James Horner had worked for over a year to make this soundtrack a true masterpiece that would match James Cameron’s epic movie Avatar. My favorite of the soundtrack is called “Becoming one of “The People” Becoming one with Neytiri” and comes with stunning ethnic vocals and slight jungle rhythms in the background. Two other songs that are highly addictive and recommendable are “Quaritch” and “War” and might also help you to become inspired, especially when you have the impressive pictures of the movie in mind. Most of the critics considered the Soundtrack to the movie Avatar as a solid score that perfectly fits to the the fantastic scenery of the movie.
Bottom line: Avatar by James Horner is a great soundtrack, that is worth a try, especially when you loved Avatar. If you haven’t seen the movie you might find it difficult to experience the whole atmosphere of the songs. The best songs are:
- Becoming one of “The People” Becoming one with Neytiri
#6 Lord of the Rings (2001 – 2003) by Howard Shore
Howard Shore composed the complete recordings for the Lord of the Rings trilogy and did an outstanding job with his soundtracks, as everyone could hear when watching the movie. Some might even go so far to say that the soundtracks for the Lord of the Rings trilogy are part of Shore’s best works, but whatever you call it; the songs for Lord of the Rings are epic, this is for sure. Every one of the three soundtracks contains highly inspirational songs, such as the – very commonly known – main theme “The Fellowship” (from “The Fellowship of the Ring” soundtrack). I cannot tell you how often this inspirational score bailed me when I was being stuck with writer’s block and couldn’t find the right inspiration or ideas. My favorite songs are “The Fellowship“, “Concerning Hobbits“, “The Ring goes South“,”Flight to the Ford” (from “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring“); “Foundations of Stone“, “The White Rider“, “Helm’s Deep“, “Isengard Unleashed” (from “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers“); “Minas Morgul“, “The Ride of the Rohirrim“, “Anduril” and “The Return of the King” (from “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King“).
Bottom line: The score to the Lord of the Rings trilogy is a fantastic masterpiece that has yet to find its equal in this genre. I’m very sure that if you loved the movies you will also love the very inspirational score. Listening to this great score will evoke the spirit of the saga and the epic scenes of the movie. The best songs of the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy are:
- The Fellowship
- The Ring goes South
- Foundations of Stone
- The White Rider
- Return of the King
#7 Transformers (2007) soundtrack by Steve Jablonsky
Steve Jablonsky worked for seven years with the composer Harry Gregson-Williams for Remote Control Productions, which is headed by Hans Zimmer. After this he became the music director for all movies that Michael Bay produced since 2005, inclusively the blockbuster Transformers. Jablonsky did a fantastic job and created a masterpiece with his score that people will remember for years to come. The transformers soundtrack that comes with excellent orchestral work is pretty close to be the perfect action score and was definitely one of the best scores in the year 2007. My favorite songs are “Autobots“, “Optimus“, “Arrival to Earth“, “Scorponok” and “No Sacrifice, no Victory“.
Bottom line: Transformers isn’t just a score for those that loved the film, but also a fantastic score for those that haven’t even watched the movie or weren’t interested in the storyline. The score for Transformers has set the standard for action movie scores to come and is pretty close to be perfect. It’s definitely worth listening to this excellent score that is mixed with the highest quality. The best songs of the score are
- Arrival to Earth
- No Sacrifice, no Victory
#8 The Last Samurai (2003) soundtrack by Hans Zimmer
Yet another score by Hans Zimmer that has made it into this collection. The reason that he is represented that much in the charts is not just because Hans Zimmer is my favorite composer, but simply because he makes so many fantastic and wonderful soundtracks. His score for The Last Samurai is, when compared to soundtracks like Inception or Batman, quite different, as it is a more calm and peaceful soundtrack, whose songs often evolve from moments of peacefulness into moments of power, which perfectly resembles the atmosphere of the movie. My favorite songs are “Red Warrior“, “Taken“, “To Know My Enemy“, “A Way of Life” and “Idyll’s End“.
Bottom Line: The score of The Last Samurai is a wonderful and inspiring masterpiece that is worth listening to. You should especially give it a try when you love peaceful scores that are in a perfect balance with exploding drums and percussions that resemble the ominous and power. The best songs are:
- A Way of Life
- Red Warrior
- Idyll’s End
#9 The Fountain (2006) soundtrack by Clint Mansell
The Fountain was a movie that I must have totally missed when it was in cinema; at least I haven’t seen any trailers or advertisements for it on TV. The storyline of the movie seems to be split into the past, the present and the far future and comprises the time span from 1000 years, accordingly to the trailer. The movie itself wasn’t a blockbuster and left the box office quite fast, but the motion picture score received a Grammy award, besides various nominations, which means that it could be part of the phenomenon where the score for the movie is better than the movie itself. Nevertheless, I gave the score a try and man, it was worth it! My favorite songs are “Tree of Life“, “Death is the Road to Awe“, “First Snow” and “The Last Man“.
Bottom Line: The score for The Fountain is a rather peaceful, calm and simplistic one, but it’s definitely worth listening to this limited variety of instruments. Clint Mansell did a great job with this score and succeeded in creating the atmosphere for three completely different time periods that the movie covers. The best songs are:
- Tree of Life
- Death is the Road to Awe
#10 The Last of the Mohicans (1992) by Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman
Okay, let’s finish this compilation of the best inspiring film scores with a classic. The score for The Last of the Mohicans is one of these scores that grow and become better the more you listen to it. In the beginning it might not be an overwhelming experience, but the more often you listen to the songs the more will you discover the beauty of the score produced by Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman that perfectly resembles the intense story of the last Mohican. My favorite songs are “Last of the Mohicans (Theme)“, “The Kiss“, “Massacre/Canoes“, “Promentory” and “Front Battle“.
Bottom line: The score builds a joyful intensity the more you listen to it. Even though the movie was published nearly 18 years ago, the soundtrack hasn’t lost any of its value. The best songs are:
- Last of the Mohicans
- Fort Battle
More inspiring songs from soundtracks & reader’s suggestions:
In the above I listed ten albums that include most of my favorites when it comes to inspiring movie scores; nevertheless, I also found some single songs from different soundtracks that are quite inspiring as well. These songs can be found in the following list:
- Binoculars by Tomandandy (Resident Evil: Afterlife Soundtrack)
- Fireplaces Escape by Alexandre Desplat (Harry Potter 7 Soundtrack)
- Opening by Danny Elfman (Terminator Salvation Soundtrack)
- The Might of Rome by Hans Zimmer (Gladiator Soundtrack)
- My Name is Lincolnby Steve Jablonsky (The Island Soundtrack)
- All Others Pay Cash by Harry Gregson-Williams (The Taking Of Pelham 123 Soundtrack)
- Epilogue by James Newton Howard (I am Legend Soundtrack)
- Dead Alreadyby Thomas Newman (American Beauty Soundtrack)
- Invincible by Mark Isham (Invincible Soundtrack)
- Injectionby Hans Zimmer (Mission Impossible II Soundtrack)
- Infinite White and The Shard by Steve Jablonsky (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen)
- Drink up me Hearties by Hans Zimmer (Pirates of the Caribbean 3)
- Take her to sea, Mr. Murdoch by James Horner (Titanic Soundtrack)
- Main Title by Alan Silvestri (Predator Soundtrack)
- Titan Spirit by Trevor Rabin (Remember the Titans Soundtrack)
Reader’s suggestions & contributions:
- Journey to the Line – Hans Zimmer (The Thin Red Line)
- Chevaliers de Sangreal – Hans Zimmer (The Da Vinci Code)
- An Epitath to War – James Horner (Glory)
- Main Title/Takeoff – James Horner (The Rocketeer)
- Farewell And End Title – John Barry (Dances With Wolves)
- Theme from Schindler’s List – John Williams (Schindler’s List)
- Leave No Man Behind – Hans Zimmer (Black Hawk Down)
- Attack – Hans Zimmer (Pearl Harbor)
- Optimus – Steve Jablonsky (Transformers)
- Lost in the Wild – Jerry Goldsmith (The Edge)
- A Small Measure of Peace – Hans Zimmer (The Last Samurai)
- Parting Words – Michael Giacchino (Lost)
- Oceanic 815 – Michael Giacchino (Lost)
- Oceans Apart – Michael Giacchino (lost S3)
- Moving On – Michael Giacchino (Lost S6)
- Memories – Clint Mansell (Moon)
- The Stargate Opens – David Arnold (Stargate)
- Roslin and Adama – Bear McCreary (Battlestar Galactica)
- All of them! – Hans Zimmer (King Arthur)
- Freedom Fighers – Two Steps From Hell (Star Trek Trailer)
- Landing Peleliu – Hans Zimmer (The Pacific)
- Humility and Love – Christopher Young (Creation)
- Clubbed to Death – (The Matrix Soundtrack)
- Dances with wolves – John Barry (Dances with wolves Soundtrack)
- Now We Are Free – Hans Zimmer (Gladiator)
- The All Spark – Steve Jablonsky (Transformers)
- Tomb of The Primes – Steve Jablonsky (Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen)
- The Avengers – Alan Silvestri (Marvel’s The Avengers)
- Icarus – Michael McCann
- Maestro – Hans Zimmer
- Flight – Hans Zimmer
- Lady in the water – James Newton
- Cool runnings – Hans Zimmer
- True Romance – Hans Zimmer
- Just visiting – John Powell
- Lux aeterna – Clint Mansell
- Command and conquer: fantasia – Thomas Tallis
- Perfume – Story of a Murderer
That was my & the readers collection of the most inspiring movie soundtrack songs that I & we know of. Nevertheless, there is just one unanswered question:
How to use orchestral movie soundtracks to become inspired?
This part is, after having found some inspiring and thought-provoking soundtracks quite easy: put on your headphones and turn on the music! Close your eyes and get inspired by the tones and sounds that form imaginative images within your mind. Don’t hesitate to start doing whatever comes into mind or turn on the music whenever you need to become inspired!
This collection of inspiring movie soundtracks was presented to you by our Personal Growth Blog.