Instrumental Inspiration

Part 1 – Movie Composers

Sometimes, all a writer needs is an image or a sound to create. Something to spark their inner creativity. But we all know that songs with lyrics can be the nemesis of writers. I’ve heard plenty of stories about writers who accidentally write down the words of the song they’re listening to. So that leaves us with instrumental songs. The question is; where can I find good instrumental music that actually inspires me? Let me introduce you to the spectacular world of original soundtracks (OSTs). OSTs are the background music for movies and games and we all know how amazing some movie and game soundtracks came be.

I’d like to take the time to introduce some of the more well-known movie composers and give you links to one of two of their works. You may recognize a few of them, perhaps even all of them. I simply hope they aid you in your imaginative process. And so we begin…


Hanz Zimmer

Hanz Zimmer: Many of you may know of Hanz Zimmer. Considered “one of Hollywood’s most innovative musical talents”, Hanz Zimmer has spent years making OSTs. You may have heard his work in such movie as: Rainman‚ Gladiator‚ The Lion King, The Prince Of Egypt, The Last Samurai, Pearl Harbor, Black Hawk Down, Spirit: Stallion Of The Cimarron, Sherlock Holmes, Inception and many, many others. I highly recommend him and have listened to his music for a long time, enjoying every minute of it. (Click his name for his Wikipedia page and a list of all the movies he’s scored for)

Gladiator: Now We Are Free

Black Hawn Down: Leave No Man Behind


John Powell

John Powell: I’ve only recently learned the name is this amazing composer. Yet, I still strongly recommend him because I’ve listened to his works without knowing his name and they are wonderful. Some of more well-known movies he composed for are: the Bourne Trilogy, Shrek, Mr and Mrs. Smith, Bolt, Kung-Fu Panda, Ice Age: The Meltdown, How To Train Your Dragon, Green Zone, and yet again, many more. If you’ve seen any of these movies you can attest to how good he is. (Yet again, click his name for his Wikipedia page and a list of movies he’s scored for)

How To Train Your Dragon: Romantic Flight

The Bourne Supremacy: Berlin Foot Chase


Future World Music

Future World Music: Yet another of my new findings, Future World Music offers a great choice of songs. You can find a full list of their compositions on their website (click their name) but here are a few of the movie they wrote for: Spiderman 3, Blood Diamond, Live Free Die Hard, Beowulf, The Golden Compass, I Am Legend, Hancock, Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Monster’s Vs. Aliens, the Day the Earth Stood Still, Star Trek, and others. As you can see by the short list I’ve given you, Future World Music has a variety of sounds for a writer to be inspired by. (Click their name for their website where you can find a list of all the movies they’ve composed for)

Final Judgment



Two Steps From Hell

Two Steps From Hell: My favorite composers by far. Two Steps from Hell has composed a wide variety of music and never ceases to inspire me. They have a long list of movies, but here are some of the most known ones: Inception, Avatar, Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, Up, Wall-E, I Am Legend, 10,000 B.C., Blood Diamond, and, of course, many others. I’ve listened to TSfH the most of all these artists and would highly recommend them. (Click the first half of their name for their wiki page. Click the second half of their name for their website and other information)

A Place In Heaven




These are my top four favorite composers at the moment and I enjoy listening to them all the time, especially while writing. You can easily hear their music if you buy the OSTs of the movies they’ve composed for; simply look them up on or Google them. The links below each group/composer go to a YouTube video featuring a song of theirs. YouTube is a great place to sometimes find their tracks.

A note about Two Steps From Hell: they have only one (1) public album they you can buy, but you can find many of their songs on YouTube if you’re desperate.

A follow-up post shall be coming soon covering the OSTs of games…

~ by R.S.Sharkey on February 6, 2011.

2 Responses to “Instrumental Inspiration”

  1. I didn’t think TSfH and FWF actually wrote soundtracks. I thought they did music for the trailers, actually.

    Great list.

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