Music has always been the heart of the movie industry. Intimate parlor rooms, crazy fraternity parties, a grand coronation or a foggy road are all are enhanced by music that fits what the audience sees on screen and helps to tell the story. With the Oscars being presented on Sunday to wrap up this year’s awards season, Pandora celebrates the music that makes our movies great with two genre stations: Film Scores and Movie Soundtracks. Let’s take a look back at some of the memorable music that Hollywood has offered moviegoers over the years.

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The use of original film scores dates back to the early 20th century when silent movies started to emerge. Due to the loud film projectors (and perhaps audience members!), music was used to mask the distracting noises. In-house instrumentalists performed improvised music using cue sheets to help guide them through the film. As movies evolved to include sound, Hollywood began hiring composers to create original film scores typically performed by an ensemble of musicians like an orchestra, band, instrumental soloists, choir or vocalists.

On our Film Scores station, you’ll hear a homage to Hollywood’s classic movies up to the most recent blockbusters. This past year brought an array of film scores from films like Skyfall, Life of Pi, Anna Karenina, Lincoln and Argo. You will also hear works from renowned composers like:

Also on the Film Scores station are selections from popular movie trilogies like The Godfather, Indiana Jones, Back To The Future, The Lord of The Rings and The Pirates of the Caribbean.

Music in film helps convey emotion and carry the viewer through specific scenes that may otherwise be difficult to follow. Whether it is “As Time Goes By” or “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing,” specific songs can conjure up memories of the films they came from.

On the Movie Soundtracks genre station, you’ll hear songs written for or made famous by their films. These include some of the most popular soundtracks over the past year like Twilight, The Hunger Games and Pitch Perfect, along with acclaimed songs like “Skyfall” from 007 Skyfall, “Suddenly” from Les Miserables, “Everybody Needs A Best Friend” from Ted, “Pi’s Lullaby” from Life of Pi and “Before My Time” from Chasing Ice. We also included some of our film favorites like “Superfly,” “Stayin’ Alive” and “My Heart Will Go On” on the station.

You’ll also hear tunes from movie musicals like The Sound of Music, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Moulin Rogue and Dreamgirls as well as popular Disney films such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Monsters, Inc.
Scores and soundtracks help impact the emotional intensity of a film, from enhancing drama to manipulating the sentiments and feelings of the viewer. What movie scores or soundtracks have resonated the most with you?

Michelle S (Curation Team)

Oldies Curator

I dig all things ‘60s: garage punk, obscure psych, Stax and Motown soul stompers. My first CD purchases were REM’s Out of Time and Boyz II Men’s Cooleyhighharmony. I still own both! I’m pretty much immersed in music – hitting up local record shops, catching live shows at crusty dives, and DJing around town at various venues and bars.


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