Score vs Soundtrack – What’s the Difference?

A film score, often known as film music, is an original composition for a movie that is composed and recorded especially for it. On the other hand, a soundtrack is a collection of songs chosen to be included in a film.

At its heart, music is about the experience of sound and evoking emotions in the listener.

If you are a big fan of soundtracks, or perhaps you’re a huge movie buff, you’ll appreciate what we’ve got here. This article will explore the difference between a music score and a soundtrack. Read on to learn more about the differences between these two musical elements!

Film music has two basic types: score and soundtrack. Scores are composed especially for a film and are usually orchestral. They are meant to set the mood of a scene or the film’s tone.

They create an emotional bond between the audience and the action on screen. While a soundtrack is often based on popular music tracks, the score is usually composed specifically for a film.

What is a Film Score?

Scores do not include vocal music. They are instrumental pieces performed by a band or orchestra. They are often written before filming begins, but sometimes they are composed after the film has been completed. In either case, a score is meant to elicit the tone of the film.

If you’ve ever watched an action movie and been positively excited by what you saw on screen, this is probably because the music evoked that feeling in you.

A film score is meant to add or expand the atmosphere of a film. It can be created as an instrumental or an orchestral piece of music. For example, Hans Zimmer’s score for The Dark Knight is considered a film score. He’s also responsible for creating the score for Inception and Interstellar.

Without a score, you won’t fully experience the emotion and energy in a scene. This is why a music score is an integral part of watching a film, especially if it’s a thriller or horror movie. The sound effects just add an extra layer of terror or excitement. But if the music piece is missing, you can’t fully enjoy the movie.

What is a Soundtrack?

A soundtrack is a compilation of music tracks. Sometimes already popular songs can be used in a film, and sometimes they’re simply inspired by the movie and its plot or characters.

Nowadays, soundtracks are more popular than scores. An example of a soundtrack is Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1. This album contains music that was used throughout the film with popular songs like “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede and “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum.

The music in the soundtrack is very much tied to the movie, but it’s not based on it like a score is. A soundtrack usually just contains tracks that other artists have already made, and the lyrics don’t always reflect what’s going on in the film. Some soundtracks include original music created for the movie, but it’s not the central part of what makes a soundtrack.

So What Are Some Differences Between a Score and a Soundtrack?

Film scores can be composed in various ways, but one of the most fundamental differences is how they set the movie’s mood. Unlike soundtracks, film scores are multi-dimensional compositions that incorporate music within the storyline.

The creators of a film score typically take their cues from the movie and the director’s vision. A film score encompasses all the musical aspects of the movie, from background music to climactic moments, and is a unique piece of music that complements and enhances the movie.

A soundtrack, on the other hand, features only background music. The main difference between a film soundtrack and a film score is that a film soundtrack is a compilation of songs that the characters in the movie can hear.

A film soundtrack is composed exclusively of songs is not an original piece, and is a collection of songs that can be played as the movie plays. The purpose of the soundtrack is to help the viewer experience the movie as realistically as possible.


Everyone knows how important it is to have a good soundtrack or score when watching a movie or a television show. An excellent score can bring any story alive, and a good soundtrack can help us immerse ourselves in the atmosphere of whatever we’re watching.

Still, here are some critical differences between the score and the soundtrack of a movie. The soundtrack has very little to do with the plot. This is why the most memorable movies are the ones where the score is the best part. A score will include the music that plays during key action moments, while a soundtrack is just one extensive song list.

Now that you’ve learned more about the differences between scores and soundtracks, you can let us know your favorite movie/TV score or soundtrack down in the comments. And you can check out our blog for some great articles about music.