Science Fiction Music: The Best of the Instrumental Genre

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

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

From the early days of synthesizers to the modern era of electronic music, science fiction music has been a staple of the genre. Here are some of the best examples of science fiction music from the last few decades.

Introduction to Science Fiction Music

Science fiction music is a genre of instrumental music that often has futuristic or dreamlike themes. It can be used in a variety of settings, such as in movies, video games, and television shows. This type of music often utilizes synthesizers and other electronic instruments to create sound effects and strange sounds.

What is Science Fiction Music?

Science fiction music is a genre of music that typically deals with futuristic or imaginary themes. This type of music often features heavy use of electronics and synthesizers, and is sometimes referred to as “synthwave” or “electronica”. Science fiction music often has a dark, mysterious, or futuristic sound, and can be used to create an atmosphere of suspense or fear. It is commonly used in film and television scores, particularly in scenes set in outer space or involving futuristic technology.

The Origins of Science Fiction Music

Science fiction music, also known as sci-fi music, is a genre of music that typically combines electronic music with futuristic themes and elements from other genres, such as classical, rock, and jazz. Although the genre is relatively new, its roots can be traced back to the early 20th century.

In the 1920s and 1930s, science fiction movies and radio shows began to include musical scores. These early scores were often recycled from other movies or borrowed from existing classical pieces. However, some composers began to experiment with creating new music specifically for science fiction stories.

One of the earliest examples of this isRussian composer Dmitri Shostakovich’s score for the 1936 film “Cosmos: A Space Odyssey.” This score included several original compositions that conveyed a sense of awe and wonder at the vastness of space. It was hugely influential on subsequent sci-fi scores, particularly in how it used brass instruments to create a sense of grandeur.

Other early examples of science fiction music include Bernard Herrmann’s score for “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951), which introduced eerie theremin sounds to create an otherworldly atmosphere; Alex North’s score for “Spartacus” (1960), which featured an ambitious mix of genres; and Jerry Goldsmith’s iconic score for “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” (1979).

Since these early pioneering efforts, science fiction music has continued to evolve and grow in popularity. In recent years, it has been used in a wide variety of films, TV shows, video games, and other media. Some notable examples include John Williams’ score for “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982), Ennio Morricone’s work on “The Thing” (1982), Clint Mansell’s score for “Moon” (2009), Mica Levi’s music for “Under the Skin” (2013), and Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow’s work on “Ex Machina” (2015).

The Evolution of Science Fiction Music

Since the early days of film, music has played an important role in setting the tone and atmosphere of a movie. This is especially true for science fiction movies, which often rely on an otherworldly or futuristic atmosphere to create a sense of wonder and suspense.

Science fiction music has come a long way since the early days of film. Today, composers have access to a wide range of instrumental and electronic sounds that can create truly unique and otherworldly soundscapes. While some film scores still rely on traditional orchestral instruments, others make use of cutting-edge synthesizers and computer-generated sounds to create truly unique sonic worlds.

Over the years, science fiction music has been used to score some of the most iconic films in history. From classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey to more recent blockbusters like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, science fiction film scores have had a profound impact on both the movies they accompany and the wider world of film music.

The Best Science Fiction Music Albums

When it comes to finding the best science fiction music, there are a lot of great albums out there. However, some of the best science fiction music is instrumental. This type of music can be perfect for setting the mood for a science fiction movie or TV show. It can also be great for creating a sense of tension and suspense. Here are some of the best science fiction instrumental albums.

“The War of the Worlds” by Jeff Wayne

“The War of the Worlds” is an album by Jeff Wayne, based on the H. G. Wells novel of the same name. The album was released in 1978, and a remastered version was released in 2005. It is a concept album, with narration and vocal contributions by Richard Burton, Phil Lynott, Julie Covington, Justin Hayward, and David Essex. The album tells the story of an alien invasion of Earth by the Martians.

The music on the album is primarily instrumental, with some elements of rock, electronic, and classical music. The album was very successful, reaching number 1 in the UK charts and selling over 2 million copies worldwide. It has been certified 5x Platinum in the UK and 3x Platinum in the US.

“Star Wars: A New Hope” by John Williams

“Star Wars: A New Hope” was composed by John Williams and released in 1977. The soundtrack was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score. The music of “Star Wars” includes the iconic “Main Title Theme” and “Imperial March”, as well as other well-known pieces such as “Princess Leia’s Theme” and “Yoda’s Theme”.

“E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” by John Williams

Released in 1982, this film score by John Williams was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Original Score, and won for Best Original Song with “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial”. The movie was a massive hit, and the soundtrack album reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, making it the first movie score to do so. It remains one of the best-selling albums of all time, with over 22 million copies sold worldwide.

“Close Encounters of the Third Kind” by John Williams

John Williams’ score for “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” was released in conjunction with the film in 1977. The album featuresWilliams’ entire score, as well as the film’s legendary five-note theme. “Close Encounters” is widely considered to be one of Williams’ best scores, and it is certainly one of the most iconic and recognizable pieces of sci-fi music ever composed.

“Blade Runner” by Vangelis

“Blade Runner” is a soundtrack album for the 1982 film of the same name, composed by Greek electronic composer Vangelis. The music has been released on three occasions: the first time in 1982 alongside the film’s release; the second in 1994 as an expanded edition; and the third in 2007 as a special 25th anniversary release. All three versions of the album feature different tracks, with the 2007 release containing the most tracks at 18.

The album mixes Vangelis’ synth-based compositions with normal orchestra instruments, such as electric guitars, drums, and Peruvian flutes. It is one of his most popular albums, and often appears in “Best of” lists for science fiction or electronic music.

The Future of Science Fiction Music

The science fiction genre has been around for many years and has seen a recent resurgence in popularity. One of the things that makes science fiction so great is the music. The best science fiction music is instrumental and creates a feeling of wonder and excitement. It is the perfect genre for those who want to be transported to another world.

The Rise of Electronic Music

The future of science fiction music is likely to be electronic. This is due to the increasing popularity of electronic music, as well as the fact that it is much easier to create electronically than with traditional instruments.

There are many different types of electronic music, but the two most common are synthesizers and drum machines. Synthesizers can create any type of sound, from very simple to very complex, and are often used to create the sound effects in science fiction movies and TV shows. Drum machines create percussion sounds, which are often used for action scenes or for creating a sense of tension.

Electronic music has been around for centuries, but it was not until the early 20th century that it began to be used for entertainment purposes. The first science fiction movie to use an electronic score was “Metropolis” in 1927, and since then, many other movies and TV shows have followed suit. Some of the most famous examples include “Star Wars,” “Blade Runner,” “The X-Files,” and “Stranger Things.”

The popularity of electronic music has only grown in recent years, thanks in part to the rise of streaming services like Spotify and Pandora. These services make it easy for people to discover new artists and songs, and they have helped to popularize genres like EDM (electronic dance music) and dubstep.

It is impossible to say exactly what the future of science fiction music will be, but it seems clear that electronic music will continue to play a major role.

The Decline of Orchestral Music

Orchestral music has been declining in popularity for many years now. This is due to a number of factors, including the increased popularity of electronic music, the decreasing popularity of classical music, and the declining popularity of movie scores (which are often orchestral). While there are still some great orchestras out there, they are increasingly being overshadowed by other genres.

The Impact of Technology on Music

Science fiction music is a genre of instrumental music that is often inspired by or based on themes from science fiction. The genre can be divided into two primary subgenres—electronic and orchestral. The electronic subgenre includes music that is produced using electronic instruments and technology, while the orchestral subgenre includes music that is performed by an orchestra or other live musicians.

Science fiction music has been influenced by a variety of factors, including advances in technology, the popularity of science fiction films and television shows, and the popularity of video games. One of the most significant ways that technology has impacted science fiction music is through its ability to create new and unique sounds. Electronic instruments and computer-generated sounds can create a feeling of otherworldly space, which is often used in science fiction film and television scores. In addition, advances in recording technology have made it possible to create realistic simulations of acoustic instruments, which are often used in science fiction soundtracks.

The popularity of science fiction films and television shows has also had a significant impact on the development of science fiction music. Many early science fiction films were scored with traditional orchestral music, but as the genre developed, composers began to experiment with electronic sounds and instrumentation. This experimentation culminated in the development of an entirely new style of music known as electronica, which became popular in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, many film and television scores still incorporate traditional orchestral elements, but they often make use of synthesizers, samplers, and other electronic instruments to create a more futuristic sound.

The popularity of video games has also had a major impact on science fiction music. In the early days of video gaming, most games were designed for arcade systems, which limited the kind of music that could be used due to the lack of storage space on these systems. As home console systems became more advanced, however, composers began to experiment with longer pieces of music that could be stored on these systems. This experimentation led to the development of what is now known as game-music or video game soundtracks; these soundtracks often make use of synthesizers and other electronic instruments to create an immersive gaming experience.

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