Creating a Film Score: Harry Potter

TPA students (and parents) may find the following feature of interest: “Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 4: Sound and Music.” It is 54 minutes long.

[Well, the YouTube video was removed “due to a copyright claim by MC for Warner Brothers.”  Oh, dear!]

In lieu of the longer video, which I believe is now available commercially, here’s a short video, narrated by composer John Williams about some of the thinking that goes into a film score:


Students of music history will recognize that the film composers for the Harry Potter series utilized the leitmotiv technique, developed in nineteenth century European opera (notably, Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz) and especially exploited with a vengeance by opera composer Richard Wagner.  Students of film also will acknowledge that composers for epic films have been using this technique — which associates musical ideas with theatrical ideas — for years, perpetually as far back as the 1930s.

Unfortunately, film audience members often pay little or no attention to the film score.  Poor dears!  Unlike TPA students, they frequently are unaware that some of the best in pop culture derives directly from classical culture.  Time will only tell what our students, whose study is exclusively in the classics, will accomplish in years to come!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *