Film Music: The Imitation Game

Does anyone else love listening to film scores? Because I love listening to film scores. Film music is a wonderful way to escape reality because of the (literal) stories that go along with the music.

Today I want to share one of my favorite film scores: The Imitation Game (2014).

The movie is loosely based on the biography of Alan Turing (1912-1954), British mathematician, codebreaker, and computer scientist (he basically invented the computer). The story takes place during World War II, where Turing creates a machine that decodes Nazi messages.

French film composer Alexandre Desplat composed the score in just under three weeks. This is astounding, as every little sound was placed so carefully in the score to enhance the story. Check out this podcast where Desplat talks about how he composed the main theme, and continue reading for some discussion on the music.

Notice the arpeggios in the opening of the suite. This motif plays throughout the film, representing Turing’s thinking mind and the workings of a machine. In fact, Desplat was inspired by the computer when composing this music: the computer randomized some of the piano arpeggios in the score (read more about that idea here, in an interview Desplat did with HitFix).

Over the arpeggios rises the main theme, full of mystery and hope. It’s beautiful yet tragic, possibly foreshadowing Turing’s greatest achievements and his tragic death. I find it interesting that the long, arching melody is juxtaposed against the rapid arpeggios; maybe Desplat wanted us to feel the sorrow behind the man Turing had to pretend to be and the man he actually was.

The Imitation Game score was masterfully written, and I love listening to it for inspiration. What are your favorite film scores to listen to?

The Imitation Game film score is a masterful collaboration between science and beauty. Click for more!


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I'm a pianist, composer, writer, photographer, and overall classical-music-lover who is always open to new sounds.

17 thoughts on “Film Music: The Imitation Game

  1. What an amazing blog. OMG I love what you are knowledgeable about and writing about … I will say I love music but when it is not playing I have no memory or recollection of it. Only when it is playing can I recognize it or think I remember it. I really like the music scores from Harry Potter series, Hunger Games, Holiday Christmas, White Christmas and Chariots of Fire …
    My girls take after their father and know music like he knows music … he had (maybe still does, I do not know) an incredible brain for recognizing any piece of music within 3 or 4 notes … I just thought it was an amazing gift. As I read some of your writings I am reminded of how wonderful the gift of music is to many a Souls.
    #Awesome writing … Cheers, Alexis.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I’m not that familiar with the Harry Potter score; I’ll have to go check it out.

      I love that music can be shared with everyone. Each individual has their own special relationship with music. Even if you don’t consider yourself musical, you still know how it can touch someone! Keep in touch😊


  2. Love your review and this soundtrack it’s so amazing! So happy to have found your blog I’m such a fan of orchestral movie scores and one of my all time favorite composers/ musicians would have to be Einaudi also! If you haven’t already, Rue’s Farewell from the Hunger Games soundtrack is beautiful, along with the Boy in the Striped Pyjamas soundtrack and The Theory of Everything ending song. If you listen, hope you enjoy!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the kind words, and thank you for the recommendations! I will definitely check them out. I love The Theory if Everything, but I’m not as familiar with the other two. I’ll be sure to let you know what I think of them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I need to give this one a closer listen.

    My faves include almost everything John Williams & James Horner. I’m very partial to selections from Michael Giacchino & James Newton Howard. You can’t ignore Hans Zimmer either. Gosh, so many! Clearly I’m a fan of film scores.

    Have you seen the documentary, SCORE? I highly recommend it!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ve listened to only a few film scores, including the Imitation game. Amongst them, Interstellar has been my favourite. Every time I listen to it I’m reminded of a galaxy far far away. It’s deep and surreal. Apart from that Hachiko: A dog’s story has some really great piano scores. Shawshank redemption would be on no.3….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for following my blog. I love the idea that you wrote this week on film music, especially as the film Score just started over here in Germany, and the trailer alone is worth listening to. Ps I’m a (mostly) vocal conductor and coach, and since you are interested in film music, you might like the (vocal) story of the comedian harmonists, if you haven’t seen it yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your review is amazing, what you write is absolutely accurate! I totally agree with you on how the score symbolizes the protagonist’s mind working! It makes a perfect connection! I love listening to film scores, I think you can see a whole movie in your head in just 4 minutes. Keep up with the good work, and if you have time you can check my blog on soundtracks, mainly electronic music, but with a certain aesthetic. It is still a baby so I would love an opinion from someone who writes that well!

    Liked by 1 person

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