Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer became one of 2023’s biggest movies. The visuals and performances were stunning, but so too was the score. If you want to find music like the Oppenheimer soundtrack for your content, keep reading.
Did Hans Zimmer do the Oppenheimer soundtrack?
Hans Zimmer is one of the world’s most famous composers, having scored the likes of The Lion King, Gladiator, and 12 Years a Slave. He’s often worked with Oppenheimer director Christopher Nolan, laying down classic themes for the Dark Knight trilogy, Interstellar, and more.
However, Hans Zimmer didn’t do the Oppenheimer soundtrack. In fact, he’s not scored a Nolan film in a while – the last one he had a hand in was 2017’s Dunkirk.
Who wrote the Oppenheimer soundtrack?
The Oppenheimer Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was written by Swedish composer Ludwig Göransson. If you’re not familiar with his work, the Grammy- and Oscar-winning musician has scored movies like Creed, Black Panther, and Turning Red. He’s also co-written and produced songs with cutting-edge artists like Childish Gambino and Chance the Rapper.
Göransson started collaborating with Nolan in 2020, for the mind-melting Tenet. Oppenheimer marks the second time the two have worked together.
Want to use songs similar to the Oppenheimer soundtrack for your content? Hit the button below for our collection of cinematic playlists.
It’s also worth noting that the American composer and piano player Thomas Kotcheff co-wrote two songs for the Oppenheimer soundtrack. Those songs are ‘Trinity’ and ‘Something More Important.’
Why do people like the Oppenheimer soundtrack?
Oppenheimer was hyped the moment its teaser launched, almost an entire year before the movie’s release date. But once the second full trailer dropped in May 2023, that excitement cranked up to a whole new level.
Naturally, the visuals were incredible. The sheer weight of the cast was enough to justify the hype. But the music. Based around violins and building to a genuinely terrifying crescendo, the Oppenheimer trailer music was oppressive, uplifting, hopeless, powerful – all those things and more at once. For a topic as heavy and complicated as Oppenheimer’s story, it was perfect.
The finished soundtrack is 94 minutes of contemporary classical, steeped in orchestral, electronic drama. It’s well worth a listen on its own, but it really comes to life when paired with the movie.
How to find songs similar to the Oppenheimer soundtrack
Göransson’s work on Oppenheimer is a cut above, and it gives many of the movie’s scenes extra impact. The mixture of orchestral and electronic, the multiple tempo changes, the peaks and troughs – it’s a masterclass in suspense.
If you want to include it in your content, though, things can get tricky. Using the official Oppenheimer music via social media platforms’ music libraries will eat into your earnings; if you decide to bypass this and use tracks without obtaining the correct rights, you could end up in hot water.
Unless you’re planning to spend tons of money licensing one of Göransson’s songs, you can find plenty of Oppenheimer-style music with Epidemic Sound.
Thanks to our direct licensing, you’re free to use over 40,000 royalty-free tracks without having to worry about copyright. Hop into the 30-day free trial below, and keep reading for 5 Oppenheimer-esque tracks to use in your content.
5 songs to give your content that Oppenheimer feeling
Want to sweep viewers off their feet with your content’s soundtrack? Check out our Oppenheimer-esque suggestions below.
Trevor Kowalski – Fractured Paintings
Oppenheimer is a film built on nail-biting, hand-wringing tension. Trevor Kowalski nails that atmosphere with 'Fractured Paintings,' those flourishes of piano skating around the tick-tick-tocking strings, almost like a countdown. Music made for the edges of seats.
Lama House – Swerve Space
Göransson’s score isn’t all over-the-top bluster and high drama. Sometimes, it’s the subdued, low-key stuff that gets under your skin – that’s what Lama House accomplishes on ‘Swerve Space.’ It’s a pulsing, ambient track that sounds more like echolocation than a blockbuster tune. Which, when you think about it, is the perfect balance to strike for an Oppenheimer soundtrack vibe.
Ruiqi Zhao – The Game Begins
We’re back to bells and whistles with ‘The Game Begins,’ which brings a… stressful aura. Ruiqi Zhao’s on top form here, weighing sharp timpani hits against frantic strings and brass. If you’re looking to explore footage with a certain push and pull element, this is the track for you.
Dream Cave – Question Mark
Dream Cave delivers more chills with ‘Question Mark,’ relying on creeping synth and eerie chimes to hammer the point home. It straddles the same modern classical/electronica shtick the Oppenheimer soundtrack does, spicing up the digital soup with gorgeous, deep strings.
Lupus Nocte – Astral
Lupus Nocte mostly deals in synthwave and garish ‘80s excess, but ‘Astral’ is subdued by his standards. The synth builds and builds to a crescendo, then… nothing. Just scant, delicate piano, before the track swells into another round of orchestrated, electronic gusto.
Still not found the perfect song to get that Oppenheimer soundtrack feeling? We’ve got you covered. Check out our dedicated cinematic playlists here.