Apocalypto (soundtrack)

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Apocalypto: Original Score
Film score by
ReleasedDecember 5, 2006
RecordedFall 2006
GenreFilm score
ProducerSimon Rhodes, James Horner
James Horner chronology
All the King's Men
Apocalypto: Original Score
The Life Before Her Eyes
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars
Empire2/5 stars
Filmtracks2/5 stars
The MovieMusic Store4/5 stars
Movie Music UK3/5 stars
Movie Score Reviews2/5 stars
Movie Wave3/5 stars
ScoreNotes4.5/10 stars
SoundtrackNet3/5 stars

Apocalypto: Original Score is the soundtrack to the 2006 film of the same name by Mel Gibson. It was released on the Hollywood Records label.


The music is composed by James Horner and features vocals by Pakistani singer Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and English musician Terry Edwards. The Apocalypto soundtrack is Horner's third time collaborating with Gibson. Horner had previously composed the score for Gibson's 1993 The Man Without a Face and his 1995 epic film Braveheart.

Straying away from his repertoire of orchestral music, Horner's mainly improvised Apocalypto soundtrack makes use of a large array of exotic instruments, such as the Tromba Marina, Swedish bark trumpets and the usage of Ugandan wildebeest horns in addition to synth pads.[1] The soundtrack was recorded at London's Abbey Road Studios over the course of several weeks during the fall of 2006.[2]

Woodwind specialist Tony Hinnigan also contributed to the film score, borrowing numerous instruments from the New Globe Theatre and assembling the music crew.

Gibson described Khan’s vocal contribution to the score:

“He’s a valuable asset to our soundtrack. His dulcet tones add emotion and drama, and we have a very narrow palette as far as orchestra. We don’t have an orchestra so he is fulfilling a lot of the functions that would usually be supplied by the use of a full orchestra. Just all in one man; he’s a one-man band.”[3]

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by James Horner.

1."From the Forest..."1:55
2."Tapir Hunt"1:31
3."The Storyteller's Dreams"3:41
4."Holcane Attack"9:28
6."Entering the City with a Future Foretold"6:05
7."Sacrificial Procession"3:40
8."Words Through the Sky - The Eclipse"5:11
9."The Games and Escape"5:15
10."An Elusive Quarry"2:15
11."Frog Darts"2:45
12."No Longer the Hunted"5:50
13."Civilisations Brought by Sea"2:20
14."To the Forest..."7:31
Total length:60:33


  1. ^ Apocalypto » James Horner » Cinemusic.net
  2. ^ Apocalypto (James Horner) soundtrack review Archived July 17, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ov2Wc63kCAI Video diary of recording the Apocalypto score at Abbey Road Studio, October 2006