Culture Magazine

Harry Potter and the Sorcerous Score

By Superconductor @ppelkonen

"Ahh music. A magic beyond all we do here."--Albus Dumbledore,
from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerous Score

French promotional poster for Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone.
Image © Warner Brothers Pictures used here for promotional purposes only.

So this evening I was relaxing at home, watching (for the umpteenth time) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (or Philosopher's Stone as it's known outside the U.S.) That's the first movie in the recently completed film series, for you Muggles who read my blog.

Pianist David Pasqualini plays his piano arrangement of "Hedwig's Theme" on the piano, the opening of the Harry Potter score.

I found myself paying particular attention to the movie's score, a gorgeous, Romantic confection by John Williams, which establishes leading motives and themes for the main characters that run throughout the following seven movies. But what was even more interesting was the resemblance of key "Harry" themes to musical ideas heard first heard in the score of Wagner's Das Rheingold.
John Williams has a long history of writing film scores that borrow freely from other composers. And no, he's not the only composer who does that--Wagner himself borrowed from Beethoven on more than one occasion.
Mr. Williams' six scores for the Star Wars movies were directly inspired by the works of Richard Strauss, Gustav Holst and other "cosmic" composers. Discerning ears can also catch bits of Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Carl Orff, and Dmitri Shostakovich in his music.
But the Harry scores (for the first, second and third movies in the series) are among his most Wagnerian works. The opening theme of the movie (commonly referred to as "Hedwig's Theme" after Harry's owl) opens in the distinctive "Nibelung" rhythm that comes to define Alberich and his race of dwarves in Wagner's operas.

Here, you can hear the Wagner theme played in piano transcription by pianist Lennon Aldort.
The second part of the theme, a descending minor melody, actually quotes a phrase sung by one of the Rhinemaidens in the opening scenes of Das Rheingold:

Later, more menacing passages in the film recall the grimmer moments of Siegfried, with stabbing bass trumpet and a slithering theme followed by descending tuba. The whole thing is in a minor key, developed thematically from the opening in a flowing, organic way:

"The Forbidden Forest." Tracking session from the score of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

The whole thing just breathes evil. Doesn't it?

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Carolina Strong & Have You Marked Yourself Safe?

    Carolina Strong Have Marked Yourself Safe?

    Still getting through Hurricane Florence here in the Carolinas. While I live in central NC, we have had our share of flooding, trees down, power outages and yes... Read more

    The 18 September 2018 by   Midlifemargaritas
  • Questions to Be Asked About Discussion of Sexual Abuse: Why Is Abuse of...

    Questions Asked About Discussion Sexual Abuse: Abuse Vulnerable Females Adult Males Shrugged Easily?

    Speaking from the vantage point of a "but half-woke" straight male, David Roberts writes, Sexual discrimination, harassment, and abuse are everywhere. Read more

    The 18 September 2018 by   William Lindsey
  • What to Do Instead of Counting Calories?

    A while ago, Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt met Dr. Jason Fung to discuss calorie counting. Is it the best way to lose weight or is it more complicated than the theory... Read more

    The 18 September 2018 by   Dietdoctor
  • Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

    Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

    @ San Francisco, CA June 2018 A Virgin Atlantic Dreamliner on final approach for landing at SFO.  Virgin operates 17 Dreamliners in their current fleet,... Read more

    The 18 September 2018 by   Htam
  • On Waiting…


    We are sitting in a government office in Suleimaniyah (commonly called Suli) and we are waiting. We left Rania at seven in the morning. The sun had already... Read more

    The 18 September 2018 by   Marilyngardner5
  • Is Low-carb the Best Treatment for Reversing Diabetes?

    Low-carb Best Treatment Reversing Diabetes?

    The diabetes diet debate has shifted, and the result could save millions of people. The question used to be, is a low-carb high-fat diet dangerous? Is it going... Read more

    The 18 September 2018 by   Dietdoctor
  • London Design Festival 2018 - Interesting New Designs

    London Design Festival 2018 Interesting Designs

    15 - 23 September 2018 chair ‘Iklwa’, design Mac Collins at 100% design Leading bathroom brand VitrA participates for the first time in designjunction,one of th... Read more

    The 18 September 2018 by   Trendoffice

Paperblog Hot Topics