Essential Seven Star Trek Music Scores

The music of a TV or Film project can make or break a film. If done right, the music can be just as memorable as the visuals of the film. The theme should invoke the feeling you have watching the film. Occasionally, a score can be better than the film. One example of this is the music for Transformers 2. From John Williams to Danny Elfman to Howard Shore, these composers pay an important role in the film-making process. One of our favorite composers is the late Jerry Goldsmith. He is probably best known for his work in the Star Trek films. However, other composers were also influential in writing music for the franchise. That is why this list focuses on the Essential Seven Star Trek Music Scores:

7) Nemesis A New Ending

Composed by Jerry Goldsmith
Jerry Goldsmith’s last film score was for Star Trek: Nemesis. Sadly, most of the score is redundant and very weak compared to Mr. Goldsmith’s previous work. What is missing is a main theme that introduces the film, and carries throughout. It isn’t until the end credits do we hear what could have been. The final track “A New Ending” begins with the song  “Blue Skies” leading into the main Star Trek theme. From there we finally get a taste of a  Star Trek: Nemesis theme. If the theme had played out over the film more, I believe that it could have been a fitting end to Jerry Goldsmith’s last score.

6) Star Trek (2009) End Credits

Composed by Michael Giacchino
Michael Giacchino had big shoes to fill. While J. J. Abrams had to revamp the franchise, Michael had to refresh the music without losing that epic quality of previous scores. Michael’s score is an adventurous, uplifting score periodically using hints of past Star Trek themes. He chose the end credits with a nice balance between revitalization of the next phase of Star Trek music and loyalty to the past.

5) Insurrection Theme

Composed by Jerry Goldsmith
One day, Star Trek: Insurrection will get the recognition it deserves. Sadly it is lumped with the bad “Odd Numbered” Trek films. One of the reasons I think the film is so successful is Jerry Goldsmith’s score. The film opens on the Baku village with a very romantic peaceful theme. That theme is carried throughout the film with the romance between Picard and Anij, and Riker and Troi.

4) Ilia’s Theme

Composed by Jerry Goldsmith
I began this list providing an example how the music can be better than the film. Star Trek: The Motion Picture is another example of this. The film is a mess. The music conducted by Jerry Goldsmith is considered a masterpiece to film score buffs. The highlight being “Ilia’s Theme,” focused on the navigator killed to be used as the voice of the alien probe V’ger.

3) TNG: The Inner Light

Composed by Jay Chattaway
This is a fan favorite episode of Star Trek. An alien probe strikes Picard with an energy beam rendering him unconscious. For 2o minutes he lives the life of a citizen on the long since gone planet Kataan. As Kamin, Picard learns to play a flute in this second life.  “The Inner Light” was a simple flute melody composed by Jay Chattaway, later recorded for The Best of Star Trek Music.

2) First Contact Opening Titles

Composed by Jerry Goldsmith
Star Trek First Contact opens with the triumphant “First Contact” theme. It gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. Jerry Goldsmith’s score captures the feeling of exploration, while the Borg themes provide the feeling of terror and surprise!

1) Star Trek TV Theme

Composed by Alexander Courage
Easily the most remembered music from the Franchise. The Star Trek theme played during the opening credits of the original series is essential Star Trek score. The theme had some help with the “Space: the final frontier” monologue recited by William Shatner. Jerry Goldsmith used portions of the original theme throughout his scores. Alexander Courage was able to capture the excitement and wonder of the show reminding us of the Enterprise’s mission “To boldly go where no man has gone before!”

The Essential Seven is a weekly list of seven items that we at believe needs to be identified. Want our opinion on a topic for a future list? Email Lando Da Pimp. Don’t agree with our list? Then leave a comment. We will try not to laugh at your dumb opinion! ;-)

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