The Best Instrumental Music of 2015

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


A list of what we think are the best instrumental pieces of music from 2015.

Best Pop Instrumental: “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson

Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” was one of the hottest tracks of 2015, and it’s no surprise that the song won the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. The infectious track features a stellar performance by Bruno Mars on vocals, but it’s Ronson’s funky bassline that really makes the song groove.

Best Jazz Instrumental: “Maiden Voyage” by Herbie Hancock

“Maiden Voyage” by Herbie Hancock is the best jazz instrumental of 2015. It is a musical journey that takes the listener on a voyage through Hancock’s musicality, emotions, and imagination.

Best Classical Instrumental: “Allegro con brio” by Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Allegro con brio” is one of the best classical instrumental pieces of 2015. This song is perfect for any classical music lover, and it is sure to give you chills.

Best Hip-Hop Instrumental: “Runnin'” by The Pharcyde

“Runnin'” by The Pharcyde is the best hip-hop instrumental of 2015. The beat is classic hip-hop, with a heavy bass line and simple drums. The Instruments used are all traditional hip-hop instruments, including a turntable scratching and a sample of an old funk song. The Pharcyde’s use of these instruments creates a nostalgic feeling that is perfect for a hip-hop song.

Best Electronic Instrumental: “Climax” by Usher

This was a pretty good year for instrumental music, with plenty of excellent releases in a variety of genres. But one track stood out above the rest: Usher’s “Climax.”

Released in February, “Climax” is a sleek, sinuous R&B track that draws as much from ’90s house music as it does from contemporary pop. It’s propelled by a simple, throbbing bassline and topped with airy synths and Usher’s smooth, seductive vocals.

But what makes “Climax” truly special is its sense of dynamics. The track ebbs and flows, building from a gentle simmer to a full boil before cooling down again. It’s a masterfully crafted piece of electronic pop that deservedly topped our list of the best instrumental tracks of 2015.

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