“Harry Potter” Is the Most Recognizable Film Score of All Time, New Poll Suggests

In a recent study conducted by OnePoll, 2,000 participants were tested by their recognition of iconic film scores. Out of the study, Harry Potter landed on top as the most recognizable film score of all time at 36%.



The study involved playing small bits of film scores, with participants choosing which movie the score belonged to. It was not specified which Harry Potter scores were included in the study. Followed by Harry Potter on the list were Titanic at 32% and Inception at 23%. Also in the top ten were West Side Story, Gone with the Wind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws, Psycho, Star Wars, and Rocky.

A good chunk of participants were confident in their knowledge of film scores yet struggled to guess even some of the more well-known film scores. In fact, 45% mistook John Williams’s Star Wars for something else or surrendered by saying they didn’t know. The Inception theme by Hans Zimmer was often mistaken for Harry Potter, while Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Dark Knight seemed to be confused for one another.

The study was conducted to promote the smartphone OPPO Find X3 Pro. Along with this promotion, iconic film composer Hans Zimmer (Gladiator, Interstellar, Pirates of the Caribbean) had this to say about creating a great film score:

You’re supposed to do something new, and you’re supposed to do something inventive. You’re supposed to put all these things together into two notes.

A majority of participants agreed that a great film score can make or break a movie viewing experience. Similarly, respondents agreed that a poor movie can be improved with a great film score.

Do you have a favorite film score that is woven into the tapestry of your life? Comment below.

Press Release

“Harry Potter,” “Titanic” and “Inception” have officially been named the top three most recognizable film scores of all time, according to new research.

A study of 2,000 respondents played clips of movie scores and had respondents choose which movie they corresponded with. When it came to the most iconic movie themes of all time, “West Side Story” and “Gone with the Wind” came out high along.

“Psycho” and “Star Wars” instantly caught respondents’ attention and made it in the top ten too.

The majority of the respondents bragged that they can identify movies on the music alone, but they may need to get their ears checked, as the results of the film score quiz had some puzzling results.



Despite “Star Wars” being among the list of most recognizable themes, 45% of respondents actually guessed incorrectly or didn’t know what film this music was from.

The iconic, ear[-]piercing theme from the classic horror trope “Psycho” was also misidentified as the theme for “Pirates of the Caribbean” by 17%.

The survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of OPPO Find X3 Pro revealed [that] when respondents were asked to listen to the theme from “Sherlock Holmes,” 31% of respondents said they simply didn’t have a clue.

When asked to listen to the “Inception” theme, three in 10 respondents thought they were taking a trip to Hogwarts and incorrectly thought this was the theme to “Harry Potter.”

A quarter of respondents thought Indiana Jones was about to snatch another artifact when listening to the theme for “The Dark Knight” – misidentifying this theme as “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

Acclaimed composer Hans Zimmer said when it comes to creating an iconic score, “You’re supposed to do something new, and you’re supposed to do something inventive. You’re supposed to put all these things together into two notes.”

No matter what a song’s cinematic origins were, two in three (63%) confessed to wishing their lives were punctuated by a movie score, and some have already tried to make this a reality.

Forty-five percent of those polled are already blasting film scores in their headphones and listening to movie soundtracks while going about their life.

For those pressing play on movie themes on the daily, the top film score to listen to was “Inception.”

The mind-bending film’s score topped the lists for best scores to listen to while cleaning, working and even exercising.

One in three (37%) pretend they’re swimming (or running) away from Jaws while exercising while 32% catapult themselves on an imaginary adventure with Indiana Jones while they clean.

A film’s score can truly make or break the movie experience, with 59% of respondents agreeing a poor score ruins the movie for them – conversely, a good score can make a bad film a bit more bearable (62%).

Zimmer also commented on his recent ringtone collaboration with OPPO and said, “We are living in this very digital, very electronic age. Now your phone rings everywhere, and everyone else’s phone rings everywhere. We suddenly have the opportunity to actually make the world sound a little bit nicer.”



1. “Harry Potter” - 36%
2. “Titanic” - 32%
3. “Inception” - 23%
4. “West Side Story” - 23%
5. “Gone with the Wind” - 20%
6. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” - 19%
7. “Jaws” - 18%
8. “Psycho” - 18%
9. “Star Wars” - 18%
10. “Rocky” - 12%


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Jillian Loveday

I grew alongside Harry since I was 12 years old. It is such a treat to be a part of the best book club any Harry Potter fan could ask for. I graduated in 2016 with a Creative Writing degree and since then I have been doing freelance writing on the side. Outside of the literary world, I love the outdoors, hiking, and binge-watching Parks and Rec for the billionth time.