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People who create music. More specifically, people who put extremely careful craftsmanship into their music. These aren't just artists that "jam out" their songs. These are artists who usually use sheet music, or at the very least computer software to plan out their music.
- Erik Aho: An American composer who has contributed to the soundtrack of Family Guy, American Dad! and The Amazing Race. He has also composed soundtracks for No One Lives Forever, Drakan and The Suffering.
- Laurie Anderson
- David Arnold: a British composer who in a moment of Irony composed the score to Independence Day. He also composed the theme to the 2012 London Olympics.
- Eduard Artemyev: Pioneer of electronica since the 1960s, and film composer for Andrei Tarkovsky, Nikita Mikhalkov, and Andrei Konchalovsky.
- Takanori Arisawa
- Samuel Barber
- John Barry: James Bond's music man.
- Irving Berlin
- Elmer Bernstein: Wearing a cowboy hat and riding a horse never sounded so "magnificent".
- Leonard Bernstein
- Leslie Bricusse
- Carter Burwell
- John Cage. Everything Is an Instrument meets True Art Is Incomprehensible. In a good way.
- Bill Conti
- Aaron Copland: Mentioned in a few spots on the Wiki. Fanfare For the Common Man is Crowning Music of Awesome in distilled form, but he's probably most famous for Rodeo which you've almost certainty heard, either in a western or in the background while someone told you what Beef is for, and while he didn't compose the melody, he did immortalize the Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts" in his ballet Appalachian Spring.
- Don Davis, famous for composing the scores for The Matrix trilogy.
- John Debney
- Alexandre Desplat
- Bob Dylan
- Randy Edelman
- Danny Elfman
- Ilan Eshkeri
- George Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue. 'Nuff said.
- Michael Giacchino
- Philip Glass, composer of the score for The Thin Blue Line, Koyaanisqatsi, and the Stephen Hawking biopic A Brief History of Time (not related to the book of the same name), and an accomplished composer in his own right, besides, Glass is also notable for collaborating with Mickey Hart (drummer from The Grateful Dead) on the intro music for the Opening Ceremony at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, a work named "Call to the Nations".
- Murray Gold
- Jerry Goldsmith: He has boldly gone where no other composer has ever gone before.
- Joel Goldsmith: Son of the legendary Jerry Goldsmith, and composer of several Stargate TV spin-offs.
- Marvin Hamlisch
- Yoshiki Hayashi. X Japan and related projects. Yoshiki has also has done film pieces for Saw IV (title track "IV" is his work), Catacombs, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Goemon, an Akira Kurosawa memorial project, and for the Golden Globes awards ceremony for 2012 and 2013.
- Bernard Herrmann: generally considered the father of the modern film score, he was most famous for composing many of the scores for the films of Alfred Hitchock.
- Joe Hisaishi
- Gustav Holst: Born in England to Swedish parents, his suite "The Planets" has been an inspiration to composers for generations. If you've ever watched a movie, you've heard his influence.
- James Horner: Star Trek II and III. Searching for Bobby Fischer. Apollo 13. Braveheart. Titanic. Glory. Avatar. Are you beginning to realize the awesomeness??
- Akira Ifukube: The official composer for Godzilla. The man created Godzilla's roar by himself.
- Masumi Itou (alias Hikaru Nanase)
- Charles Ives
- Steve Jablonsky
- David Julyan
- Michael Kamen
- Susumu Hirasawa
- Yuki Kajiura
- Yoko Kanno
- Erich Wolfgang Korngold
- Yevgeny Krylatov
- Leiber And Stoller
- John Mackey
- Henry Mancini: The Pink Panther. The Peter Gunn theme (used in the video-game Spy Hunter). the Baby Elephant Walk.
- Clint Mansell: Formerly of Pop Will Eat Itself, now specializes in minimalistic, emotional, frequently creepy scores for films such as Requiem for a Dream and Moon.
- Bear McCreary: Composer of scores to Battlestar Galactica and others.
- Alan Menken
- Olivier Messiaen
- Ennio Morricone
- Mark Mothersbaugh: Of Devo and a billion TV and movie ventures.
- Alfred Newman: Composed the 20th Century Fox fanfare.
- David Newman
- Emil Newman
- Joey Newman
- Lionel Newman
- Maria Newman
- Randy Newman
- Thomas Newman
- Michael Nyman
- Basil Poledouris
- Cole Porter
- Miklós Rózsa
- Alexei Rybnikov
- Hiroyuki Sawano
- Stephen Schwartz
- The Sherman Brothers: Sibling Team responsible for many classic Disney song scores but arguably their biggest, most succesful hit was Mary Poppins.
- Howard Shore
- Dmitri Shostakovich
- Alan Silvestri: Back to the Future is one of his more famous film-scores.
- Stephen Sondheim: A prolific composer of Broadway musicals.
- Max Steiner
- Lindsey Stirling
- Igor Stravinsky
- J.G. Thirlwell
- Yann Tiersen
- Viktor Tsoi: Composed and sang for his band, Kino.
- Brian Tyler
- Scott Walker
- Ron Wasserman: Best known for providing the music for the early seasons of Power Rangers.
- Jeff Wayne, creator of the rock operas War of the Worlds and Spartacus.
- Andrew Lloyd Webber: British composer of worldwide hit musicals including Cats and The Phantom of the Opera.
- Kurt Weill
- John Williams: If you've ever seen Star Wars, you've heard his music, but that's only one of many, many, many, many films for which he has composed. Usually the regular composer for Steven Spielberg. Besides films, he also composed the official theme for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles (a work which has since officially become the Olympic Fanfare), a broadcast theme for coverage US coverage of the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, the official theme for the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, and the official theme for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. You've also heard his piece "The Mission" if you've watched NBC Nightly News, as it's that news-cast's official theme-song.
- Frank Zappa
- Hans Zimmer
- Alexander Brandon: Best-known for his work on Deus Ex.
- Chikayo Fukuda: The main music composer at CyberConnect2, and composed the music for the .hack series, Naruto Ultimate Ninja Series and Asura's Wrath. Started out by composing the music for Tails Sky Patrol.
- Masashi Hamauzu: Composed for the SaGa series and the Final Fantasy series. Was a late-comer to both franchises, but helped redefine their music.
- Miki Higashino: Composed for the Gradius series, the Suikoden series and two of Konami's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games.
- Shinji Hosoe: One of the "Sampling Masters" behind the music for Ridge Racer.
- Kenji Ito: Composed for the SaGa series and the World of Mana series.
- Akari Kaida: Composed for several Mega Man games, and notably for Breath of Fire III, Resident Evil, Ōkami and the Luminous Arc series.
- Hiroki Kikuta: Composed Secret of Mana, Seiken Densetsu 3 and Koudelka, and also founded the company that developed the Shadow Hearts games.
- Koji Kondo: Main composer for the Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda series.
- Mahito Yokota: Composer for those same franchises under Kondo's supervision; he's been in charge of composing for live orchestras.
- Yuzo Koshiro
- Daisuke Ishiwatari: Better known as the man who created Guilty Gear and its godly soundtrack. He also did the soundtracks for BlazBlue and Hard Corps: Uprising. If you get into a discussion regarding fighting game music, chances are he or his works will immediately pop up.
- Masaharu Iwata: Most-often working in collaboration with Hitoshi Sakimoto.
- Yuzo Koshiro
- Jesper Kyd: Assassin's Creed I amongst others, started out in the Amiga scene.
- Shoji Meguro: Composed the music for a lot of Shin Megami Tensei games, most notably Persona.
- Yasunori Mitsuda: Composed for the Chrono series, Xenogears, Xenosaga Episode 1, and various other games.
- Manabu Namiki: Frequent collaborator with 8ing/Raizing and Cave
- Michiko Naruke: Composed the Tenshi No Uta and Wild ARMs series.
- Yoshihiro Sakaguchi: Composer for Capcom, under the pseudonym Yuukichan's Papa. Created the "sound" of Mega Man and contributed to the Street Fighter series.
- Hitoshi Sakimoto: Uematsu's more or less 'successor' to the Final Fantasy series.
- Motoi Sakuraba: Composer for most of the Tales Series, Baten Kaitos, Star Ocean, and Golden Sun, among others.
- Yoko Shimomura: Composer for Gargoyle's Quest, Street Fighter II, Breath of Fire, Live A Live, Front Mission, Super Mario RPG, Parasite Eve, Legend of Mana, the Kingdom Hearts series, the Mario & Luigi series, among others. Long list.
- Jeremy Soule: Airy atmospheric tracks, such as in Oblivion.
- Koichi Sugiyama: Aside from his work on several famous Japanese TV series, he is also the man behind the music of Dragon Quest. Nobuo Uematsu considers him an influence. He also composed the score for Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989).
- Masafumi Takada: Longtime collaborator of Suda 51 for titles such as Killer7 and No More Heroes
- Tommy Tallarico: Responsible for the music of many, many games, such as Cool Spot and Earthworm Jim.
- Hirokazu Tanaka: Composer for many early games for Nintendo, including Dr. Mario, EarthBound, Fire Emblem, Kid Icarus, Metroid, Super Mario Land and Tetris.
- Nobuo Uematsu: When you think of video game music, his name typically comes up, because he did all the music for the first nine Final Fantasy games. He also composed some pieces for Chrono Trigger.
- David Wise: Composer for Battletoads, Donkey Kong Country, Snake Rattle And Roll, Star Fox Adventures and Wizards And Warriors.
- Michiru Yamane: Important composer in the Konami Kukeiha Club who did most of the Castlevania series music and eventually became independent.
- Akira Yamaoka: Another Konami Kukeiha Club veteran who quickly achieved breakout success with Silent Hill
- Olivier Deriviere: A French creator who is most commonly known either for the Ominous Latin Chanting of ObsCure and Alone in the Dark V games or the digital, glitchy soundtrack of Remember Me.