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Harry Potter- Hedwig's Theme

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Scarlett Du

on 8 July 2015

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Transcript of Harry Potter- Hedwig's Theme

Storyline of Film
The film starts with the death of Harry Potter's parents, who were wizards, killed by the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, who couldn't kill Harry. Harry is taken in by his aunt and uncle, and doesn't know he is a wizard. When Harry is accepted into Hogwarts, a school for Witchcraft and Wizardy, he realises that he is famous in the wizarding world. He becomes good friends with Ron Weasley, and later, Hermione Granger. Throughout the films, Harry finds himself in all kinds of situations, and nearly dying several times. He witnesses the return of Lord Voldemort and sets out on a dangerous mission with his friends to try and kill Voldemort.
John Williams is a pianist, composer, and conducter from America. He was born in 1932 in New York, United States.
It was this composer who wrote Hedwig's Theme for the Harry Potter films, though he only composed the music written in the first three films out of seven, as he left, choosing to do something else.
He composed music for many popular films such as Star Wars, Jaws, and Indiana Jones.
The structure of Hedwig's theme has two parts: a slower, more mysterious, part (A) and a faster, thrilling part (B). The piece starts with the slower part, and then changes to the faster part about 45 seconds into the song, but this section doesnt't last long , and the slower section comes again. 1 minute and 40 seconds into the piece, the faster part come in again. In this section of the piece, there a sections of the fast part, connected with another part, which isn't as slow as the starting melody, and 4 minutes into the piece there is the starting melody comes in starts again. This lasts for about 25 seconds before the faster section returns. This does not play for long, and the starting melody is played. However, towards the end of the piece, it seems to be more of a mixture of both parts.
This section starts with a high pitch, but then begins to transform into a lower pitch. Later in this section it turns into a slightly higher pitch. The notes move in steps, but also leaps. The leaps appear more frequently and so this section has a more angular melody. This section is in G major.

This section starts with quite a low pitch, however, at about 1 minute 53 seconds, the pitch becomes higher. Just after 2 minutes 5 seconds, the pitch turns much higher, before turning back into the previous pitch, then changing to a higher pitch again, and then it gradually becomes lower and lower, before the pitch ascends and returns to a higher pitch. The melody moves in a combination of steps and leaps, a wide range of pitch, however, the music is more scalic than angular. In this section there is an occasional accompaniment of a lower pitch than the main melody.

The ending of this piece is a chaotic combination of both high and low notes, and this creates a jagged melody.
Tone Colour
There are no vocals in Hedwig's theme. The piece begins with a celeste playing solo, and the tone colour of the celeste is quite metallic but also quite soft. The upper strings then come in, followed by the oboe. The strings have a bright tone colour, while the oboe sounds nasal and clear, a little like the bassoon, and both a instruments with a double reed.
The melody is played by many instruments, including the woodwind family, brass, tuned percussion, a harp, tand the celeste. Some of the strings also play the melody. The flute has a smooth tone colour and the clarinets have a rounded sound. The brass instruments sound loud, and some are bright, while other brass instruments are more mellow sounding. The harp sounds smooth and flowing, and the tuned percussion has a metallic tone colour. These instruments sound very majestic when they are playing th main melody, but not as much when it is in the background.

Dynamics and Expressive Techniques
This part is played legato, smooth and connected, and mysteriously. The section begins in piano, and there is a crescendo as other instruments play the main melody it gradually becomes louder, with a crescendo, to mezzo piano. It then rises ito a forte and sounds majestic.

This part, in contrast to Part A, is played in staccato, with accents and tenutos on the first note of some bars to emphasise the beat. There i an occasional slur in the section, which is emphasised with a tenuto. Then the section turns into piano, before changing back into forte after a crescendo.

In the ending, the piece cresecdos, and then suddenly becoming softer, before becoming loud again and ending on a fortissimo.
At the beginning when the celeste play solo, the tone colour is very thin, as there is only one instrument playing, and without a counter-melody. When the strings come in with the oboe, the texure becomes thicker, and even thicker when the melody is played over the upper strings, who play the accompaniment.
At the beginning of Part B, the texture is less dense than it was towards the middle of Part A, but it gradually grows thiker throughout the section as more instruments are added. There are a few celeste solos in this section, and so the texture becomes very thin. After these sections the texture becomes thicker and thicker until it is as dense as it was previously.
The overall tone colour is quite thick in Hedwig's theme, but owards the end it grows thinner, but then with an outburst.
Harry Potter- Hedwig's Theme
John Williams
Harry, Ron, Hermione and Draco in the Forbidden Forest
Video Clip
Slow (A): 4 seconds
Fast (B): 1 minute 55 seconds
End: 4 minutes 35 seconds
The time signature of this section is 3/4, and has a moderate tempo. The beat in this section is quite regular. The overall duration of the notes is quite long. This section alternates between long notes and short notes, and has a dotted rhythm. At the end of this section, there is a long note with short trill-liike notes playing in the background, which then leads to part B.

The tempo changes into a quick speed in this section, and the time signature changes to 4/4, or common time. The beat is accentuated. The notes in this section are very short, with the occasional longer minim. This part is mainly semiquavers, with a few quavers. However, in the middle of this section there are other sections with notes of a longer duation.

The ending is a mixture of long notes overlapping short notes, and ends on a long note followed by a relatively shorter note.

Concepts of Music in Relation to the Film
The film is about a magical world, and so the mysterious atmosphere created by Part A reflects the wonders of the magical world. The majestic tone colouralso creates a sense of wonder and the world's majestic characteristics. Suspense is created by suspending the note, and reflecting the emotions of the characters when they are tense.
Part B reflects the excitement in Harry' magical world, with the loud dynamics it conveys the feeling of unexpected occurrences, which reflects a trait of the magical world. The thicker texture also emphasises the excitement in the magical world, and also the characters' emotions.
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