Discover the Art of Sound

What Is the Difference Between a Movie Soundtrack and Score?




Difference Between a Movie Soundtrack and Score

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

When you think about the sound of a movie, what comes to mind? If you said “music,” you’re right! But did you know that there are different types of music in films? Let’s talk about those types and how they fit into the filmmaking process:

You may notice that music is often accompanied by soundtracks when you watch a movie. A movie soundtrack is only the movie’s soundtracks. However, a movie score has a structure and emotional impact. A movie composer composes a film score. It has multiple layers. It includes music both within and outside of the storyline, including the sounds that the characters hear.

A Movie Soundtrack Refers to The Music Played in Scenes

A movie soundtrack refers to the music played in scenes. On the other hand, the score refers to all of the music used in a movie. A soundtrack is often released before a film’s release date and can be bought separately from the film. A score is usually composed after filming has wrapped up and edited together with footage of actors performing actions based on emotion and moods that are portrayed through their movements.

A good example of this difference would be if you were watching a suspenseful scene in your favorite action movie where characters are running away from danger while being chased by an army of zombies or aliens as they try not to get caught while they pass through different locations such as houses or streets; during these types of situations there will probably be soundtracks playing but there might not necessarily be scores unless something dramatic happens like an explosion goes off nearby which makes both music types come together (especially if it happens during an intense moment).

A Movie Score Refers to The Music Composed for The Film

A movie score refers to the music composed for the film. Typically, a composer will write music before a film is shot, and then record it after filming ends. In some cases, composers will compose during production, called “on-set” scores. The best known example of this is John Williams’ iconic theme for Star Wars (1977).

The Music from A Film’s Score Can Appear on The Soundtrack

Score and soundtrack are two different things. Both are equally important for the success of any film, so let’s find out how they differ.

The score is composed for a movie after it has been filmed, while the soundtrack consists of songs used in the movie. The music from a film’s score can also appear on the soundtrack, but it may not always be included if there are too many songs or if another song takes its place instead.

Generally speaking, scores are recorded before filming begins and often feature live orchestras playing original compositions by composers who have worked on previous movies by that director or studio, such as John Williams (Star Wars), Danny Elfman (Tim Burton), Howard Shore (Lord Of The Rings) etc..

Soundtracks Often Feature Songs Not Used in The Film

It’s also worth noting that soundtrack albums often include songs that aren’t used in the film. This may be because they didn’t fit with the movie’s tone, or they were written specifically for it. Sometimes, they’re just popular tracks that were released at around the same time as the movie came out and have nothing to do with it at all!

In contrast, scores are composed by professional composers who work on only one project at a time, rather than having many projects going at once like composers who write soundtracks do. Scores are created specifically for a film or TV show; if you hear them outside of their intended context (like hearing an excerpt from John Williams’ Star Wars score playing during an ad), then you’ll know something’s wrong!

Scores May Be Produced by A Studio, a Composer or A Combination of Both

There are three types of soundtracks:

  • Studio-produced. These are often used for animated films, or sequels and franchise films. This is because the music needs to be consistent with the previous installments to
  • maintain continuity. For example, all of the Star Wars movies use John Williams’ scores, even though new composers were hired for each film (he was originally hired as composer for Episode VII).
  • Composer-produced. This is common when a composer has written several musical scores and wants it released on vinyl or CD format so that people can listen to it at home or in their cars (or other devices). Examples include Danny Elfman’s Mission: Impossible theme song and Hans Zimmer’s Inception score.

The Score Is Often Recorded Before the Movie Is Completely Filmed

Soundtrack and Scores Are Different Things

Soundtrack and scores are different things but they are both essential parts of the film making process. You may be wondering if there is a difference between the soundtrack and score of a film. The answer is yes, and it doesn’t matter if you are directing an indie movie or working on an animated blockbuster – both are important parts of the filmmaking process. The soundtrack of a film refers to all of the songs used in its production, whereas the score refers to all music composed for it.

The score can be recorded before or during filming, depending on how much time is available before release date and whether or not studio musicians are needed for recording purposes (if so, then recording will likely be done after filming). A few well-known examples include “Star Wars” composer John Williams’ work with director Steven Spielberg; he was able to record his compositions while they were still editing their footage together so that he could get ideas out quickly without having to worry about technology being too slow back then (when everything had floppy disks).

Source Music Is from An On-Screen Source

The music used in movies is often source music, as it’s not created specifically for the film. In many cases, source music combines on-screen sounds and non-diegetic music. These pieces are usually intended to enhance the story, rather than add background music.

Source music is distinct from incidental music. Incidental music is only created for visual presentation. Diegetic music is the kind of music that a character would hear in a film, and it’s usually considered within the narrative context of the story. Star Wars’ cantina band sequence is a common example.

Although this type of score is often orchestral, it’s not limited to that. For example, in the classic film Groundhog Day, the music is composed of popular songs from the 1950s and 1960s and is thus considered source music. This music recreates the sound environment of American teens in the early 60s and combines it well with dialogue and images.

Composed Music Is a Compilation of All of The Film’s Soundtracks

A film’s soundtrack is a collection music that was composed for the film. Film soundtracks are usually composed by composers, who also provide the music for the film. These composers must be willing to make changes, such as removing footage or making changes to the music, to achieve the desired sound. Although it is simple for an editor to cut a 2-second clip of footage, this can pose a challenge for the composer. The goal of film music is to make each instrument sound good, while maintaining the balance between all the elements.

Some filmmakers consider the curated soundtrack almost as important as the film itself. For instance, Quentin Tarantino incorporates several of his favorite songs into his films. In the same way, James Gunn used “Awesome Mix Vol. 1” in his movie “Guardians of the Galaxy”. The soundtrack carried great significance to the film’s main character and ended up charting on music charts everywhere.

It Elicits a Psychological Response

Psychologists have investigated the effect of movie soundtracks on human emotions. Specifically, they studied the cardiovascular response to movies that evoked fear or sadness. Other studies have examined the affective rating system for pictures, or Picture System, as well as how it affects an individual’s emotional state. Researchers have also looked at the effects of fear on risk judgments and memory.

The study showed that film clips can evoke an emotional response, especially for films dealing with violent content. It also found that movie clips of a certain film can evoke different emotional states in different environments. Some films evoke anger or disgust, while others evoke joy and amusement.

It’s Composed by A Movie Composer

The film composer creates the movie’s music score. The music is played during the movie and helps the audience get emotionally involved in the story. They also help set the mood of the various scenes in the movie. The composer is usually not the director of the movie.

John Williams and Howard Shore are two of the most prominent movie composers. These composers have composed the music for many blockbuster movies. They have also collaborated with well-known directors. For example, John Williams has composed music for all the films directed by Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, and won five Oscars for collaborations with the director. Howard Shore, Danny Elfman, and Stephen Sondheim are also composers. They composed the music for Tim Burton’s films.

As streaming platforms emerge, film composers have become increasingly wary of relying on new technologies and the internet to boost their popularity. They fear that their future may be threatened by the advent of streaming services and their own dwindling market. They also fear that new technologies could undermine the quasi-feudal system in Hollywood.

Movie composers often use electronic instruments to create a memorable sound. Some composers use orchestral instruments in their scores. Some composers specialize in specific genres of movies, such as science fiction and fantasy films. These composers can create a unique sound and often complement the film’s visuals.

Many of the best-selling soundtracks to movies are often credited back to a particular composer. John Williams’ scores for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and other films are some of his most well-known works. His other collaborations include his score for the first three Harry Potter movies. They consistently top the best-selling soundtrack charts.


I hope this article has helped you to understand the difference between soundtracks and scores, and what they both mean for your favorite movies.

About the author

Latest posts

  • From Drake To Kurt Cobain: Exploring The Use Of Ai In Replicating Music Icons

    From Drake To Kurt Cobain: Exploring The Use Of Ai In Replicating Music Icons

    The world of music is constantly evolving and its icons are often remembered for their distinct musical styles. From Drake’s catchy rap verses to Kurt Cobain’s grunge anthems, each artist has left a lasting legacy on the industry. Now, with the emergence of artificial intelligence technology, it is possible to replicate these iconic sounds as…

    Read more

  • Unleash Sonic Mayhem with Heavyocity’s Damage Guitars & Damage Rock Grooves

    Unleash Sonic Mayhem with Heavyocity’s Damage Guitars & Damage Rock Grooves

    Heavyocity Media, a renowned name in the music industry, has release of its latest product, Damage Guitars & Damage Rock Grooves. This explosive collection of expertly-crafted, heavy guitar tones, face-melting riffs, lush, clean guitars, and flawless performances is set to revolutionize your music production process. Bursting with rhythm and energy, Damage Guitars is ready to…

    Read more

  • Ethera Gold Prometheus: The Ultimate Male Vocal Sample Library

    Ethera Gold Prometheus: The Ultimate Male Vocal Sample Library

    Ethera Gold Prometheus, the latest addition to the award-winning Ethera Gold series by Stefano Maccarelli, is a groundbreaking male vocal sample library designed for cinematic and video game music composers. This collection features three talented male singers and over 38 multi-sampled Kontakt instruments, offering a range of powerful and emotional sounds that can add depth…

    Read more