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‘The Lord of the Rings’ score voted UK’s favourite film music

Howard Shore's epic soundtrack topped Classic FM's poll

By Joe Goggins

Screengrab from the trailer for 'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring'
Shore's work helped bring JRR Tolkien's world to life. (Photo: YouTube)

The soundtrack to Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy has been voted the UK’s favourite film music in a new poll.

The score to the fantasy epic, composed by Howard Shore, topped the pile after Classic FM ran their Movie Music Hall of Fame vote for 2023. Legendary composer John Williams took both of the other two places on the podium, with his scores for Schindler’s List and Star Wars in second and third place, respectively.

Over 10,000 ballots were cast in the poll, with the top 100 played out on Classic FM by Jonathan Ross on Monday (August 28). He announced Shore’s score as the winner just before 7pm, and said: “I’m so thrilled to see The Lord of the Rings make it to number one in this incredible celebration of history’s greatest film scores in the Classic FM Movie Music Hall of Fame.”

“JRR Tolkien’s adventures are beautiful, spectacular films,” Ross went on, “but the experience is so enhanced by the incredible score that I’m delighted to see Howard Shore’s music getting this much love.” Shore himself weighed in on the honour, saying: “Many thanks to all the Classic FM listeners. I’m very happy that I was able to bring you a little closer to JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth.”

Overall, five of the top twenty scores were by Williams, who continues to work at the age of 91; along with Schindler’s List and Star Wars, his Jurassic Park soundtrack was at eight, along with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone at 11 and his work on the Indiana Jones franchise at 13. You can see the full top twenty below.

Classic FM Movie Music Hall of Fame 2023:

  1. The Lord of the Rings by Howard Shore
  2. Schindler’s List by John Williams
  3. Star Wars by John Williams
  4. Out of Africa by John Barry
  5. Gladiator by Hans Zimmer
  6. Wilde by Debbie Wiseman
  7. Dances with Wolves by John Barry
  8. Jurassic Park by John Williams
  9. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by Ennio Morricone
  10. The Mission by Ennio Morricone
  11. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by John Williams
  12. Chariots of Fire by Vangelis
  13. Indiana Jones by John Williams
  14. Ladies in Lavender by Nigel Hess
  15. Doctor Zhivago by Maurice Jarr
  16. The Magnificent Seven by Elmer Bernstein
  17. Interstellar by Hans Zimmer
  18. The Godfather by Nino Rota
  19. Titanic by James Horner
  20. Pirates of the Caribbean by Klaus Badelt