What melody comes to your mind when you think about your favorite movie? Movie soundtracks often are the secret-sauce creating successful blockbusters. It’s the soundtrack that adds depth and emotions. That’s why movie soundtracks are super popular – especially with piano players. And one of the best ways to enjoy playing is to practice music you like and are familiar with. That is the reason why we have created a list of the top 20 movie theme songs to play on the piano.
First, we will start with songs directed towards beginning piano players and progress into more ambitious movie themes. And since you may not always be familiar with the titles of songs in film we will share a link to give you a reminder. But be assured: Even if you don’t know the title you will recognize most of the movie soundtracks as soon as you hear them.
1. Let It Go – Frozen
We all know the movie Frozen and it’s Grammy and Oscar winning song “Let It Go.” And here we have a great beginner version for the piano. It’s in the key of C and the left hand doesn’t move much so you can focus on the melody.
Here is the piano sheet music for Idina Menzel Frozen (Level 27/100)
2. Hanging Tree – Hunger Games
This song was sung by Jennifer Lawrence’s character in Hunger Games. While it is a little ambitious a beginning player can figure it out if they take it slow.
Here is the piano sheet music for Hanging Tree’s Hunger Games (Level 37/100)
3. Speak Softly Love – Godfather
The melody is hugely popular. And still many do not know the title to this (fantastic) movie: This is the main theme to the Godfather. It was a pop song written in 1972 and Andy Williams had the biggest hit with it. Try and find a mandolin player to join you.
Here is the piano sheet music for Speak Softly Love from Godfather (Level 44/100)
4. He’s A Pirate – Pirates of the Caribbean
Klaus Badelt and Hans Zimmer wrote this for the end scene of Pirates of the Caribbean. Hans Zimmer is a name you will see often in the movie music world as he has scored over 150 films! The halting rhythm this one has is from its 3/4 time signature.
Here is the link to the piano sheet music for He’s A Pirate from Pirates of the Caribbean (Level 36/100)
5. Hedwig’s Theme – Harry Potter
This is the main theme to all the Harry Potter movies. While it is an ambitious piece it is a very pretty composition by John Williams that clearly has a magical feeling to it.
Here is the link to the piano sheet music for Hedwig’s Theme from Harry Potter (Level 48/100)
6. Married Life – Up
At times a sweet song with a nice 3/4 waltz feel and then it moves into more of a ballad, the song interprets life’s ups and downs wonderfully.
Here is the link to the piano sheet music for Married Life from Up (Level 55/100)
7. Bella’s Lullaby – Twilight
This is the lullaby Edwin writes for Bella in the movie Twilight. In real life Carter Burwell composed this song years before for the woman he loved.
Here is the link to the piano sheet music of Bella’s Lullaby from Twilight (Level 44/100)
8. Skyfall – James Bond 007: Skyfall
Another Academy Award Oscar winning song co-written and produced by Adele. It appears to have a lot of chord changes, but if you take it slow you will get it.
Here is the link to the piano sheet music for Adele’s song Skyfall (Level 46/100)
9. River Flows In You – Twilight
This was written by the South Korean pianist Yiruma. Besides being used in Twilight it is common to hear this tune on easy listening and adult contemporary stations. It’s definitely one of the most popular pieces among contemporary piano players.
Here is the link to the piano sheet music for Yiruma’s River Flows In You (Level 53/100)
10. Any Other Name – American Beauty
Thomas Newman’s score was nominated for the Oscar and won many other awards. He has composed music for a ton of films since the 80’s!
Here is the link to the piano sheet music of Any other Name from American Beauty ( Level 53/100)
11. Moon River – Breakfast at Tiffany’s
This Oscar and Grammy winning song written by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer is also the signature song of Andy Williams. But here we have the version by Audrey Hepburn. Clearly this song is associated with the greats in music and acting. A true classic!
Here is the link to the piano sheet music of Henri Mancini’s Moon River (Level 41/100)
12. Circle of Life – The Lion King
Elton John composed this hit that was nominated for an Oscar. The opening line of this song is sung by South African composer Lebo M. Circle of Life for sure is among the most popular movie soundtracks of all time.
Here is the link to the piano sheet music of Elton John’s Circle of Life (Level 53/100)
13. Lord of the Rings Main Theme / In Dreams – Lord of the Rings
Howard Shore’s theme is used several times in the Lord of the Ring’s soundtrack. That mix of epic the world will end soundtrack with simple country Hobbit living melodies delivers a nice musical contrast.
14. My Heart Will Go On – Titanic
Winner of an Oscar for best original song and Celine Dion’s best known tune. If you were alive in the late 90’s you couldn’t have missed it! Take it slow with the melody first if this song is a little hard for you.
We have the piano sheet music of Titanic’s My Heart Will Go On for you (Level 55/100)
15. Feather Theme – Forrest Gump
The movie Forrest Gump not only has a great orchestral soundtrack it also features some of the best pop tunes over the years. This piece is getting closer to the advanced songs so it may be a lot to tackle.
Play the Feather Theme on the piano (Level 50/100)
16. Imperial March – Star Wars
It’s probably safe to say we all know Darth Vader’s theme. Another composition by the great John Williams. It’s not easy to play, but familiarity will help.
To play the Imperial March from Star Wars on the piano use this sheet music (Level 50/100)
17. Pink Panther – The Pink Panther
Composed by Henry Mancini and winner of an Oscar this well-known tune is just so darn catchy. In fact it is a little ambitious to play, so start with the main riffs you know in your head and work from there.
Here you can get the piano sheet music of Henri Mancini’s Pink Panther Theme (Level 46/100)
18. Mia and Sebastian’s Theme – La La Land
This beautiful and advanced piano theme has a great mix of minor 7ths, major 7ths, and some suspended chords. It’s one of our favourites.
We have the piano sheet music from La La Land’s Mia And Sebastian’s Theme for you (Level 57/100)
19. As Time Goes By – Casablanca
This song written by Herman Hupfeld is so famous now, that you hear it at the start of most Warner Bros. movies! Here we have it in the original key that Sam sang it in: Db.
Get the piano sheet music from Casablanca’s As Time Goes By (Level 60/100)
20. Over the Rainbow – Wizard of Oz
Not only did this song win an Oscar, it is Judy Garland’s signature song. A wonderful but advanced song filled with chords like major and minor 7ths, 6ths, slash chords… it’s a doozy!
Click here to get the piano sheet music of Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Level 56/100)
And there you have the top 20 movie theme songs to play. No doubt some of them are tough, but with patience you will get there. If a song is too advanced just break the chords down, find the main riffs/themes, and slowly build up until you can bring it all together on the piano. Keep practicing and you will get it!