The Info List - Best Instrumental Composition

The Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition (including its previous names) has been awarded since 1960. The award is presented to the composer of an original piece of music (not an adaptation), first released during the eligibility year. In theory, any style of music is eligible for this category, but winning compositions are usually in the jazz or film score genres. The Grammy is awarded to the composer(s) of the music, not to the performing artist, except if the artist is also the composer. There have been several minor changes to the name of the award:

In 1958 it was awarded as Best Musical Composition First Recorded and Released in 1958 (over 5 minutes duration) In 1960 it was awarded as Best Musical Composition First Recorded and Released in 1959 (more than 5 minutes duration) In 1962 it was awarded as Best Instrumental Theme or Instrumental Version of Song From 1963 to 1964 and from 1967 to 1970 it was awarded as Best Instrumental Theme In 1965 it was awarded as Best Instrumental Composition (other than jazz) From 1971 to the present it has been awarded as Best Instrumental Composition

Years reflect the year in which the Grammy Awards were presented, for works released in the previous year.


1 2010s 2 2000s 3 1990s 4 1980s 5 1970s 6 1960s 7 1950s 8 References

2010s[edit] 2018

Arturo O'Farrill for Three Revolutions, performed by Arturo O'Farrill & Chucho Valdés Nominees

Pascal Le Boeuf for Alkaline, performed by the Le Boeuf Brothers & the JACK Quartet Vince Mendoza for Chorus #3, performed by Vince Mendoza & the WDR Big Band Cologne Nate Smith for Home Free (For Peter Joe), performed by Nate Smith Chuck Owen for Warped Cowboy, performed by Chuck Owen & the Jazz Surge

59th Annual Grammy Awards (2017)

Ted Nash for Spoken at Midnight, performed by the Ted Nash Big Band


Thomas Newman for Bridge of Spies (End Title), performed by Thomas Newman Tim Davies for The Expensive Train Set (An Epic Sarahnade for Double Big Band), performed by the Tim Davies Big Band Alan Ferber for Flow, performed by the Alan Ferber Nonet Ennio Morricone for L'Ultima Diligenza di Red Rock - Versione Integrale, performed by Ennio Morricone

58th Annual Grammy Awards (2016)

Arturo O'Farrill for The Afro Latin Jazz Suite, performed by Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra ft. Rudresh Mahanthappa


Bob Mintzer for Civil War, performed by the Bob Mintzer Big Band David Balakrishnan for Confetti Man, performed by the Turtle Island Quartet Marshall Gilkes for Vesper, performed by Marshall Gilkes & the WDR Big Band Rich DeRosa for Neil, performed by the University of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band

57th Annual Grammy Awards (2015)

John Williams for The Book Thief, performed by John Williams


Stanley Clarke for Last Train to Sanity, performed by the Stanley Clarke Band Gordon Goodwin for Life in the Bubble, performed by Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band Rufus Reid for Recognition, performed by Rufus Reid Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile for Tarnation, performed by Edgar Meyer & Chris Thile

56th Annual Grammy Awards (2014)

Clare Fischer for Pensamientos for Solo Alto Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra, performed by the Clare Fischer Orchestra


Chuck Owen for Bound Away, performed by Chuck Owen & The Jazz Surge Gordon Goodwin for California Pictures for String Quartet, performed by the Quartet San Francisco Scott Healy for Koko on the Boulevard, performed by the Scott Healy Ensemble Vince Mendoza for String Quartet No. 1: Funky Diversion in Three Parts, performed by the Quartet San Francisco

55th Annual Grammy Awards (2013)

Chick Corea for Mozart Goes Dancing (Chick Corea & Gary Burton - Hot House)

Nominees (performing artists, followed by the title of the composition, with performer(s) and album title in parentheses)

Chuck Loeb for December Dream (Fourplay - Esprit de Four) Chris Brubeck & Dave Brubeck for Music of Ansel Adams: America (Temple University Symphony Orchestra - no album title listed) Bill Cunliffe for Overture, Waltz and Rondo (Temple University Symphony Orchestra - no album title listed) Bill Holman for Without a Paddle (Tall & Small - High On You)

54th Annual Grammy Awards (2012)

Béla Fleck & Howard Levy for Life in Eleven

Nominees (artists names, followed by album title, in parentheses)

John Hollenbeck for Falling Men (John Hollenbeck, Daniel Yvinec & l'Orchestre National de Jazz – Shut Up and Dance) Gordon Goodwin for Hunting Wabbits 3 (Get Off My Lawn) (Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band – That's How We Roll) Randy Brecker for I Talk To The Trees (Randy Brecker & the DR Big Band – The Jazz Ballad Song Book) Russell Ferrante for Timeline (Yellowjackets – Timeline)

53rd Annual Grammy Awards (2011)

Billy Childs for The Path Among The Trees, from Autumn: In Moving Pictures Jazz – Chamber Music Vol. 2, performed by the Billy Childs Ensemble

52nd Annual Grammy Awards (2010)

Michael Giacchino (composer) for "Married Life" (from the motion picture Up)


51st Annual Grammy Awards (2009)

John Williams (composer) for "The Adventures of Mutt" (from the motion picture Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)

50th Annual Grammy Awards (2008)

Maria Schneider (composer) for "Cerulean Skies"

49th Annual Grammy Awards (2007)

John Williams (composer) for "A Prayer for Peace" (from the motion picture Munich)

48th Annual Grammy Awards (2006)

Billy Childs (composer) for "Into The Light" performed by Billy Childs Ensemble

47th Annual Grammy Awards (2005)

Paquito D'Rivera for "Merengue" performed by Yo-Yo Ma

46th Annual Grammy Awards (2004)

Wayne Shorter for "Sacajawea"

45th Annual Grammy Awards (2003)

Thomas Newman for "Six Feet Under Title Theme"

44th Annual Grammy Awards (2002)

Alan Silvestri for "Cast Away End Credits"

43rd Annual Grammy Awards (2001)

John Williams for "Theme From Angela's Ashes"

42nd Annual Grammy Awards (2000)

Don Sebesky for "Joyful Noise Suite"


41st Annual Grammy Awards (1999)

Bela Fleck, Future Man & Victor Lemonte Wooten for "Almost 12" performed by Bela Fleck & the Flecktones

40th Annual Grammy Awards (1998)

Wayne Shorter for "Aung San Suu Kyi" performed by Herbie Hancock & Wayne Shorter

39th Annual Grammy Awards (1997)

Herbie Hancock & Jean Hancock for "Manhattan (Island of Lights and Love)" performed by Herbie Hancock

38th Annual Grammy Awards (1996)

Bill Holman for "A View From the Side" performed by The Bill Holman Band

37th Annual Grammy Awards (1995)

Michael Brecker for "African Skies"

36th Annual Grammy Awards (1994)

Kenny G for "Forever in Love"

35th Annual Grammy Awards (1993)

Benny Carter for "Harlem Renaissance Suite"

34th Annual Grammy Awards (1992)

Elton John for "Basque" performed by James Galway

33rd Annual Grammy Awards (1991)

Pat Metheny for "Change of Heart" performed by Roy Haynes, Dave Holland & Pat Metheny

32nd Annual Grammy Awards (1990)

Danny Elfman for "The Batman Theme" performed by the Sinfonia of London Orchestra


31st Annual Grammy Awards (1989)

Mike Post for "The Theme From L.A. Law"

30th Annual Grammy Awards (1988)

Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Billy Higgins & Wayne Shorter for "Call Sheet Blues" performed by various artists

29th Annual Grammy Awards (1987)

John Barry for Out of Africa

28th Annual Grammy Awards (1986)

Jan Hammer for "Miami Vice Theme"

27th Annual Grammy Awards (1985)

Randy Newman for "The Natural" John Williams for "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" the official music of the XXIII Olympiad

26th Annual Grammy Awards (1984)

Giorgio Moroder for "Love Theme From Flashdance" performed by various artists

25th Annual Grammy Awards (1983)

John Williams for "Flying – Theme From E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial"

24th Annual Grammy Awards (1982)

Mike Post for "The Theme From Hill Street Blues"

23rd Annual Grammy Awards (1981)

John Williams for The Empire Strikes Back - Soundtrack

22nd Annual Grammy Awards (1980)

John Williams for "Superman Main Title Theme"


21st Annual Grammy Awards (1979)

John Williams for "Theme From Close Encounters of the Third Kind"

20th Annual Grammy Awards (1978)

John Williams for "Main Title From Star Wars"

19th Annual Grammy Awards (1977)

Chuck Mangione for Bellavia

18th Annual Grammy Awards (1976)

Michel Legrand for Images performed by Michel Legrand & Phil Woods

17th Annual Grammy Awards (1975)

Mike Oldfield for "Tubular Bells - Theme From The Exorcist"

16th Annual Grammy Awards (1974)

Gato Barbieri for "Last Tango in Paris Theme" performed by various artists

15th Annual Grammy Awards (1973)

Michel Legrand for "Theme from Brian's Song"

14th Annual Grammy Awards (1972)

Michel Legrand for "Theme From Summer of '42"

13th Annual Grammy Awards (1971)

Alfred Newman for "Airport Love Theme"

12th Annual Grammy Awards (1970)

John Barry for "Midnight Cowboy Theme"


11th Annual Grammy Awards (1969)

Mason Williams for "Classical Gas"

10th Annual Grammy Awards (1968)

Lalo Schifrin for "Mission: Impossible Theme"

9th Annual Grammy Awards (1967)

Neal Hefti for "Batman Theme"

8th Annual Grammy Awards (1966)


7th Annual Grammy Awards (1965)

Henry Mancini for "The Pink Panther Theme"

6th Annual Grammy Awards (1964)

Riz Ortolani for "More – Theme From Mondo Cane"

5th Annual Grammy Awards (1963)

Bobby Scott & Ric Marlowe for "A Taste of Honey"

4th Annual Grammy Awards (1962)

Galt MacDermot for "African Waltz" performed by Cannonball Adderley

3rd Annual Grammy Awards (1961)

Duke Ellington for Anatomy of a Murder Soundtrack


2nd Annual Grammy Awards (1959)

Nelson Riddle for "Cross Country Suite"


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Grammy Award categories


Record of the Year Album of the Year Song of the Year Best New Artist


Best Pop Solo Performance Best Pop Duo/Group Performance Best Pop Vocal Album Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album


Best Dance Recording Best Dance/Electronic Album


Best Rock Performance Best Metal Performance Best Rock Song Best Rock Album


Best Alternative Music Album


Best R&B Performance Best Traditional R&B Performance Best R&B Song Best R&B Album Best Urban Contemporary Album


Best Rap Performance Best Rap/Sung Performance Best Rap Song Best Rap Album


Best Country Solo Performance Best Country Duo/Group Performance Best Country Song Best Country Album


Best Improvised Jazz Solo Best Jazz Vocal Album Best Jazz Instrumental Album Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album Best Latin Jazz Album

Gospel/ Contemporary Christian Music

Best Gospel Performance/Song Best Gospel Album Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song Best Contemporary Christian Music Album


Best Latin Pop Album Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album Best Regional Mexican Music Album (including Tejano) Best Tropical Latin Album

American Roots

Best Americana Album Best Bluegrass Album Best Traditional Blues Album Best Contemporary Blues Album Best Folk Album Best Regional Roots Music Album Best American Roots Performance Best American Roots Song

Music for Visual Media

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media Best Song Written for Visual Media


Best Instrumental Composition Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella Best Arrangement, Instrumental and Vocals


Best Historical Album Best Recording Package Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package Best Album Notes


Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical Best Engineered Album, Classical Best Remixed Recording Best Surround Sound Album Producer of the Year, Non-Classical Producer of the Year, Classical


Best Orchestral Performance Best Opera Recording Best Choral Performance Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance Best Classical Instrumental Solo Best Classical Vocal Solo Best Classical Compendium Best Classical Contemporary Composition

Music Video

Best Music Video Best Music Film


Contemporary Instrumental Best Contemporary Instrumental Album New Age Best New Age Album Reggae Best Reggae Album World Music Best World Music Album Spoken Word Best Spoken Word Album Children's Best Children's Album Comedy Best Comedy Album Musical Theatre Best Musical Theater Album

Special Awards

Lifetime Achievement Award Trustees Award Legend Award Grammy Hall of Fame MusiCares