National Film Score Day | April 3
(Last Updated On: March 28, 2023)


On April 3rd, National Film Score Day recognizes the musical masterpieces called “Film Scores” and, more specifically, the very talented composers who create them.


As the opening scenes of a long-anticipated movie begin flickering across the screen, a rising cadence undulates through the theater setting the mood. A musical note plays, then two. Soon the theater fills with a beautifully layered orchestral music masterwork. This musical accompaniment to the film you are watching is called the “Film Score.”

Imagine your favorite film without a few well-placed notes enhancing the emotion of a dramatic on-screen exchange. Or a chase scene without rousing orchestral music elevating the intensity. Would Star WarsJawsThe Lord of the Rings films, or the Harry Potter films be the same without their complementary musical scores? Without the film score, would we cower so easily in fear from our seats? Would our imaginations so eagerly suspend from reality? Music heightens emotions. It also sharpens our senses and focuses our attention. Without a doubt, the film score is the fiery soul of a film.


  • Share your most memorable film score moments. Is it John Williams’ sweeping film scores for Star Wars and Harry Potter? Jerry Goldsmith’s music for Rudy, Alien, Hoosiers, or Star Trek? James Horner’s score for Titanic or Field of Dreams?
  • Listen to your favorite film scores.
  • Learn the backgrounds of great film score composers.
  • Follow Movie Score Radio on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Use #NationalFilmScoreDay to share your fond movie music memories on social media.
  • You can also check out these 7 Most Memorable Film Scores in Filmdom for more movie mania. Which ones would you add?


Jeffrey D. Kern founded National Film Score Day to celebrate and highlight the talented composers’ tireless achievements. The day also honors their treasured musical masterworks that bring so much joy to moviegoers around the globe! 

On April 3, 1942, United Artists released Alexander Korda’s film The Jungle Book. The legendary composer, Miklós Rózsa, created the orchestral score. The following year, they published a recording made directly from the soundtrack in its entirety on a 78-RPM record album with Sabu’s narration, the film’s star. The Jungle Book soundtrack became the first commercial recording of a non-musical U.S. film’s orchestral score ever to be released. The album experienced phenomenal success.

The Registrar at National Day Calendar® proclaimed National Film Score Day to be observed annually beginning in 2018!

Film Score FAQ

What’s the difference between a film score and a soundtrack? Traditionally, film scores have been instrumental music performed by an orchestra. They enhance the mood for a scene, accompany a specific character and even set the tone for the entire movie. Film scores open and close a movie, too. The soundtrack is a collection of recorded songs selected to accompany specific scenes or moments in the film. They may be already existing songs or original songs composed specifically for the film. The soundtrack also includes the film score.

Do documentaries include film scores? Many documentaries include film scores as part of their final piece. Just like the film score for your favorite thriller enhances the emotion and intensity of the movie, a documentary film score helps shape the mood and tone of the scenes playing out on the screen.


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