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“[A film’s score] should be able to, away from the picture, conjure up the same sort of feelings and images that it was meant to on screen.” — Patrick Doyle
Filmmakers have a long history of adapting fantasy-driven literary works into major feature films, and quite successfully at that.
Adventure-filled stories that cross over into fictional worlds appeal to viewing audiences and production teams for a number of reasons.
A main reason is that filmmakers have the opportunity to construct a new world from the ground up — through set design, costume design, CGI, and other post-production techniques.
And the audience, in turn, can immerse themselves in a world that is unlike anything they’ve seen or experienced in their own.
Film composers like Patrick Doyle, Howard Shore, John Williams, and Harry Gregson-Williams have a critical part in transforming a fantasy-based narrative from a book or script into a memorable motion picture.
In this piece, we discuss a few of the most memorable and fantastical scores in the history of film.
And because composing an original score for your next production isn’t always possible, we’re also sharing recommendations from Soundstripe’s music library to help simplify your song search.
Peter Jackson directed all three film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” novels. The first film was released in 2001, almost 50 years after the first novel’s publication.
Film composer Howard Shore had a major part in the series’ scoring. The video below shows an orchestral performance of “Concerning Hobbits” — a lighthearted and hopeful melody that was composed for the first film and recurred throughout the series.
The film scoring for the film adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series is well-renowned and recognized by global audiences.
Over the course of the films’ productions, four directors were involved in one or more of the adaptations: Chris Columbus (2001-2002), Alfonso Cuarón (2004), Mike Newell (2005), and David Yates (2007-2011).
Though John Williams only scored the first three films, his compositions carried on throughout the series.
In the video below, Williams conducted the Vienna Philharmonic in a performance of “Hedwig’s Theme.”
Andrew Adamson directed the first two film adaptations of C.S. Lewis’ “The Chronicles of Narnia” series. Director Michael Apted (2010) took over production for the third installment, “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.”
The first film “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” was released more than 50 years after the novel’s publication in 1950.
Harry Gregson-Williams is the principal film composer behind many of the memorable tracks from the series. He wrote and composed songs such as “The Blitz, 1940,” “From Western Woods to Beaversdam,” and “Evacuating London.”
The video below shows Harry Gregson-Williams conducting an orchestral performance of “Evacuating London.”
Music licensing isn’t a process that most of us look forward to.
You may find yourself negotiating with copyright holders for weeks (if not longer) in the hopes of securing the licenses you need — sometimes with success, but not always.
Once you get the all-clear to use a song in one project, the process begins again as you start preparing for the next one.
When working against set budgets and deadlines, it’s important to have a resource that you can turn to at a moment’s notice.
At Soundstripe, we’re here to provide the peace of mind you need to keep creating, complication-free.
So if you license a song for any project, that song is covered by our license forever — no red tape, no gray areas.
If you’re in search of music with a whimsical, hopeful, and lighthearted feel, check out our Big Epic Beauty playlist.
Many talented artists — including the ones listed below — used instruments like the violin, cello, piano, strings, and synth to produce the music in this playlist. The songs tend to be low to medium energy and are often described as calm, reflective, and inspiring.
For royalty-free fantasy music that brings high energy to your project, the Epic Blockbuster playlist has a broad selection of songs to choose from.
If you need music that enhances moments of suspense, turmoil, and action, the songs included below are some of the best-suited for doing just that. Songs like “Romans” and “Fire” are striking because they can be characterized as both suspenseful and hopeful.
The primary instruments behind many of these tracks are the drums, cello, violin, and piano.
While our top picks from Big Epic Beauty and Epic Blockbuster are fairly segmented by energy level and mood, our recommendations from the Epic Score playlist bring even more variety to the table.
The artists included below composed these tracks with instruments like the percussion, cello, violin, drums, and piano. Certain songs like “The Planets Align” are characterized as suspenseful and reflective while others like “Age of Heroes” are hopeful and inspiring.
You can license any of these royalty-free fantasy tracks within seconds through Soundstripe. And if you want to peruse the music library more before making the final call, the filter functions are designed to simplify your search.
With a monthly or annual subscription, you can license any song any time for this current project and the next.