What Are Your Favorite Film Scores?

There’s an interesting thing that happens when a film score is removed from its source material and enjoyed on its own merits. One of my personal favorite scores is Bernard Herrmann‘s Taxi Driver soundtrack. What is on-screen the audio accompaniment of Travis Bickle’s apocalyptic mindset of madness takes on a surreal, otherworldly beauty that I find myself returning to repeatedly not only due to my fascination with 1970s New York City, but also because Herrmann’s music for the film (the last he created before his December 1975 death) has moments of romantic hope buried among all the melancholy. It is great music to listen to on rainy, sleepless nights too, incidentally.

The true power of film scores is further illustrated when an iconic piece of music is repurposed for use in another movie. Take, for example, this incorporation of John Williams‘ iconic Star Wars theme into Ferris Bueller’s Day Off:

Film music has permeated our lives so much, that we don’t even realize it. Even as you read these words, someone somewhere swimming at a pool or visiting a beach has just made a joke by imitating the famous “duh duh…duh duh…duh duh duh duh..” notes of Williams’ main theme for Jaws. Either on screen or off, film scores are an indelible part of our cultural heritage.

For this weekend’s Open Thread, I’m interested in hearing what film scores you regularly listen to and in what context. Keep it strictly to instrumental soundtracks, as soundtracks with pop songs are another — and equally fantastic — thing entirely.

What scores do you find yourselves listening to? Where and why? Let us know!