Music used for Harry Potter seriesEdit

First heard in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's StoneEdit

  • Hedwig's Theme[1] - The dominant theme closely identified with and used in all of the Harry Potter films to date. Though titled "Hedwig's Theme" it doesn't specifically represent Hedwig the owl but rather the wider idea of magic and the Wizarding World. The theme featured prominently in the trailers and promotional material prior to the film's release - not common practice among films and composers. A concert piece of the same name also exists and is frequently performed by amateur and professional musicians alike. This arrangement can be found on the original motion picture soundtrack. MIDI sequence
  • Family Portrait - A tender, warm melody notably heard when Harry is thinking of his parents or when he sees them (as in the Mirror of Erised sequence), and in grand statements during "A Change of Season" and "Leaving Hogwarts”. Also heard in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
  • The Dursleys' Theme - A Tuba like melody played in Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets. In Philosopher's Stone as Uncle Vernon tears a Hogwarts letter and in Chamber of Secrets as Vernon drills bars on Harry's window.
  • Harry's Theme - Similarly structured to the family theme, this is associated with Harry and his friendship with Ron and Hermione. It is the more prominent theme heard in "Harry's Wondrous World". Also heard in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
  • Nimbus 2000 - Fluttery and sweeping theme associated with the Nimbus 2000 and flying. The second portion of the piece "Hedwig's Theme" is based on this theme, and a more bombastic version is heard in "The Quidditch Match". Also heard in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
  • Voldemort's Theme - Theme associated with the Dark Lord Voldemort - this is the dark, rising dance-like melody heard in "The Quidditch Match" and "The Face of Voldemort", after Voldemort's face is revealed. Also heard in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
  • You-Know-Who's Theme - Theme associated with the Dark Lord Voldemort - this is different to the other Voldemort theme; it is primarily performed by low winds or brass and appears in "The Face of Voldemort" just before Voldemort's face is revealed, as Quirrell is unravelling his turban.Also heard in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
  • The Stone Motif - This is the three-note motif associated with the Philosopher's Stone, sometimes identified as another of Voldemort's themes. Though it is used in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for general danger or mystery, a significant part of that score was adapted by William Ross from the first film and so its original representation remains unknown. This motif heavily features in the track "The Face of Voldemort" and the climax of "The Gringott's Vault". Also heard in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
  • Diagon Alley - Played in Diagon Alley, though does not heard in the original released film (only the album). Also heard in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
  • Magic Community - A festive theme heard in the film during the Diagon Alley sequence and later entering the Great Hall. Neither can be heard on the album, though a variation appears at the end of "Platform Nine-and-Three-Quarters and Journey to Hogwarts" just after Hogwarts is first revealed.
  • Hogwarts' Forever! - A noble, brass-oriented march. Despite the name, theme is always associated with Gryffindor. A grander, more intricate version of this theme is used as a Quidditch.
  • Quidditch - Fanfare theme played during the Quidditch matches. The "B" theme is an adaptation of the "Hogwarts" theme.
  • Christmas at Hogwarts - Played when winter arrives. Also heard in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
  • Forest Motif - Ominous string motif associated with the Dark Forest. Also heard in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
  • Dark Motif - Played at the intro of Philosopher's Stone and in Chamber of Secrets, The Intro of Arrival of Baby Harry.In Chamber of Secrets it's played in Prologue Book II:Escape from the Dursleys and Cakes for Crabbe and Goyle
  • Theme for Voldemort's Past/Sadness Theme - a variation of Hedwig's Theme first heard when Ollivander suspects that Voldemort's wand's brother might be suitable for Harry. It is also used in Chamber of Secrets with different instrumentation when Harry and Ron visit the petrified Hermione in the hospital wing.

First heard in Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsEdit

  • The Chamber of Secrets[2] motif - A dark and mysterious theme similarly structured to "Hedwig's Theme" which is associated with the Chamber of Secrets. A second, more frantic motif consisting of rising strings is also part of this theme, often underlaying the first idea. A concert arrangement of these two ideas exists on the original motion picture soundtrack.
  • Fawkes the Phoenix - A beautiful and heroic theme for Dumbledore's pet phoenix. It closely resembles the Chamber theme in structure but contrasts sharply in mood.
  • Gilderoy Lockhart - A pompous, comedic theme heard a few times in the movie when Gilderoy Lockhart appears. Strings and harpsichord primarily play it.
  • Dobby the House-Elf - A light, quirky but tender theme employing woodwinds and strings.
  • Moaning Myrtle - Chromatic, chordal theme primarily performed by women's vocals, associated with the ghost Myrtle. It becomes quite playful, later played by winds.
  • The Flying Car - A rhythmic, playful motif played when the Weasley's flying car is flown to Hogwarts and later escapes to the Forest.
  • The Spiders - A descending string motif associated with the spiders, in particular the Acromantulas living in the Forest. It comprises 8-note phrases, suggesting the legs of a spider.

First heard in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanEdit

  • Double Trouble[3] - a distinctly Renaissance-sounding choral piece. The Renaissance style is created using period instruments such as the recorder and harpsichord and the limited range of the melody. The children's choir used is the London Oratory School Schola. [1] The lyrics are from a scene in Shakespeare's Macbeth, in which three witches surrounding a couldron cast a spell. It is structually based on the Nimbus 2000 theme.
  • Buckbeak's theme - A majestic, "soaring" theme largely using strings. It is heard twice in the film; when Harry first rides Buckbeak and later when he and Hermione rescue Sirius.
  • A Window to the Past - A poignant theme used to represent the last connections to Harry's family, most notably Remus Lupin and Sirius Black, making heavy use of period instruments such as the recorder and harpsichord. [2]
  • The Patronus theme - Sung by an ethereal chorus, more a chord progression than actual motif or theme. Associated with the "Expecto Patronum" spell, it is poignantly layered with the "Past" theme during the climax of the film.
  • The Dark Omen motif - An ominous four-note motif associated with the Grim or Sirius Black in his animal form, notably heard in "Quidditch, Third Year" and "The Knight Bus"
  • Peter Pettigrew's Theme - An eerie harpsichord motif, it only consists of three notes though the first is repeated several times. It is not heard at all on the soundtrack album, but is frequently associated with Peter Pettigrew in the film.
  • Quidditch Fugue - A fugal idea which can be heard during the Quidditch match against Hufflepuff. It was later adapted by Nicholas Hooper and used for the Quidditch match in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

The score for PoA film relied less heavily on thematic material and more on stand-alone pieces, unlike the first two scores. These include "The Knight Bus", "Aunt Marge's Waltz", and "The Whomping Willow" among others.

First heard in Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireEdit

  • Hogwarts' March[4] - Heard before and after the Maze Sequence.
  • Hogwarts Hymn - Chorale for Strings.
  • Beauxbatons Theme - Theme associated with the Beauxbatons School and Madame Maxime.
  • The Quidditch World Cup - Themes for the Irish / Bulgarian (also used for Durmstrang) Quidditch Team. The Durmstrang theme was used in the original teaser trailer for the film.
  • Harry's Theme - New theme representing Harry, it appears notably as Harry asks Cho out to the Yule Ball and during Priori Incantatem as the echo of his parents rise from Voldemort's wand. A full verion of the theme appears on the soundtrack, called "Harry in Winter".
  • The Goblet of Fire - Main motif of the Score, a rising minor key and very ominous theme. It also represents Voldemort at times. It is used in "Frank Dies", "The Goblet of Fire" and "Voldemort".
  • Golden Egg - Theme for the First Task. Heard during the First Task and before the Quidditch World Cup.

First heard in Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixEdit

Nicholas Hooper's score for the fifth film relied far less on a thematic approach, instead favouring incidental and atmospheric music. In March and April of 2007, Hooper and the London Chamber Orchestra recorded nearly two hours of music at Abbey Road Studios in London. Unlike the film and book, the score does not follow the rule of as the series becoming darker with each subsequent installment. Despite this, two new main themes reflect the sinister new character Dolores Umbridge, and Lord Voldemort's invasion of Harry's mind.

  • Professor Umbridge (theme)[5] - Theme for the new Ministry-appointed Defence Against the Dark Arts Teacher/High Inquisitor Dolores Umbridge. Comprises two sections; the first a descending motif in high winds and glockenspiel accompanied by heavy brass and the secondary part a pompous, rising march. As the score progresses the theme becomes more ominous, reflecting the true nature of the cruel and callous Umbridge.
  • Possession - A slow, rising motif representing Voldemort's slow and calculated possession of Harry.
  • Luna - Theme for Luna Lovegood. This very wispy piece well reflects the strangeness of the character.

Others are:

  • Fireworks - A semi-rock modern music theme used for the Weasley Twins' departure while Dolores Umbridge takes the headmistress position in Hogwarts. It appears again in Half-Blood Prince during the visit to the Twins jokeshop.
  • Dumbledore's Army (theme) - Theme for the Dumbledore's Army. First heard when the Hogwarts students in Hog's head sign up to assemble the Army. It is heard again during the Quidditch trials in Half-Blood Prince.
  • Flight of the Order of the Phoenix - Another prominent theme represents the Order of the Phoenix. This rousing theme plays as the Advance Guard spirits Harry away from 4 Privet Drive.
  • The Ministry of Magic - A great Japanese Taiko drum was used for a deeper sound in the percussion.
  • Loved Ones and Leaving - Nicholas Hooper used three seemingly separate sections: the first is a sad and desolate theme representing the pain of Sirius's death, secondly a rather quirky theme apparently acknowledging Luna Lovegood and lastly, the ending part - a great finish full of lush strings, warm brass, decorated with recurring piccolo, flute and violin ostinati.

First heard in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceEdit

  • Death Eaters theme - A theme accosiated with the Death Eaters. It is a dark, brooding piece that gradually builds up to a crescendo. It is heard during the opening, The Burrow Attack and when Malfoy lets the Death Eaters into Hogwarts. It is played by a string, brass and percussion ensmble . Can be heard on the tracks "Opening", "Into the Rushes", and "Malfoy's Mission".
  • Dumbledore's theme - A subtle choral piece played whenever Dumbledore is present. Can be heard on the tracks "In Noctem", "Dumbledore's Speech", and "Dumbledore's Foreboding". A much more powerful variation of the theme can be heard on the track "Journey to the Cave". A more emotional variation is heard in "Opening" and "Dumbledore's Farewell". In Deathly Hallows part 2 "Dumbledore's Farewell" is heard during the pensieve sequence.
  • Malfoy - A mysterious piece that can be heard on "Malfoy's Mission" In the film, it can be heard when Malfoy is in the Room of Requirement and when he is talking to Snape outside of the Christmas party. A variation of the theme can be heard when Harry, Ron and Hermione are spying on Malfoy in Borgin and Burkes.
  • Lily Potter - A mysterious but gentle piece played on woodwind it is heard when Slughorn shows Harry his photographs and talks of having known Harry's mother, Lily. Later Harry mentions Lily's sacrifice to influence Slughorn to give up his memory. It can be heard on the track "Slughorn's Confession".
  • Ginny - A soft piece played on a classical guitar. It is heard when Harry first sees her at the Burrow and when she kisses him in the Room of Requirement. It can be heard on the tracks "Ginny" and "When Ginny Kissed Harry".
  • Hermione's Theme - A gentle, emotional piece played on a harp as she confesses her feeling for Ron to Harry and later as she comforts Ron in the Hospital wing after his poisoning. It can be heard on the track "Harry and Hermione".

First heard in Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsEdit

Alexandre Desplat scored Parts 1 and 2.

  • The Trio theme\Main Theme - theme associated with the trio and serves as main theme, notably heard in "Obliviate", "Hermione's parents" and "Harry's Sacrifice".
  • Death Eaters - motif associated with the Dark Lord ascending and the Death Eaters, notably heard in "Snape to Malfoy Manor" and "Death Eaters".
  • Voldemort's Theme - The theme for Voldemort can be heard several times through the film. It is the most clear when Harry and Voldemort meet during the Battle of the Seven Potters. Can be heard in "Sky Battle", "The Elder Wand" and "Voldemort".
  • Dobby's Theme - theme associated with Dobby, notably heard in "Dobby".
  • the Horcruxes theme - is a mystery melody associated with the Horcruxes. can be heard on the tracks "The Locket", "Dobby" and "Underworld" and "Broomsticks and Fire".
  • Band of Brothers theme - Desplat created a new theme for Joy and Hope which he refers to as the "Band of Brothers" theme, since it plays whenever the Order of the Phoenix or other friends are on screen. It can be heard during "Polyjuice Potion", "At the Burrow", "Harry & Ginny" ,"Grimmauld Place", "Neville", "Battlefield" and "Showdown".
  • Ron and Hermione Romance Theme - Desplat created this theme specifically for Ron and Hermione's undying love for each other. It is heard in "Ron's Speech" and when Ron and Hermione kiss in the Chamber of Secrets.
  • Lily's Theme - Theme associated with Lily Evans, Harry Potter and Severus Snape. It is the main theme of Part 2. It is a vocal theme which can be heard on the tracks "Lily's Theme", "Voldemort's End", "Snape’s Demise" and "The Resurrection Stone ". A broader, more majestic rendition is heard in "Dragon Flight"
  • The Dumbledore theme - This theme is about Dumbledore's dark past and can be heard during "The Will", the bonus track "The Dumbledores", and "The Elder Wand".
  • Statues Theme - This epic motif is the second main theme of Part 2 and is used for the epic moments in the movie. It can be heard in "Panic Inside Hogwarts", "Statues", "Courtyard Apocalypse" and "A New Beginning".
  • Good Vs. Evil theme - A silent, somewhat dark motif that plays in crucial important points in the plot. The times you hear this theme is in "The Will", "The Elder Wand", the scene where Harry and Hermione see the other mirror of the two-way mirror, and "Voldemort's End."
  • Theme of Grief - This is perhaps the most emotional theme which is only used a few times in the film on crucial sad moments. The first time you hear this theme is during "Ron Leaves" and the second time is in "Farewell to Dobby".
  • Bureaucratic theme - A funny theme which can be heard when Harry walks past Umbridge's office and sees all the employers making the guide against mudbloods. Can be heard in "Detonators".
  • Battlefield - A fast march that relates to the statues theme. It can be heard several times during "The Grey Lady", "Showdown" and "Battlefield".
  • Gringotts cart ride - This action theme is used for the chart ride in Gringotts and the Escape on the Dragon. Notably heard during "The Tunnel".


  • House Ghosts of Hogwarts Christmas Song[1] - A ghostly tune included on the soundtrack of the Philosopher's Stone.
  • Double Trouble[3] - Choir tune inspired by a scene from Shakespeare's Macbeth.
  • A Winter's Spell[3] - Choir tune briefly heard in Hogsmeade as sung by a small group of street performers.
  • This Is The Night[4] - Rock tune by the Weird Sisters inspired by the Yule Ball Dance.
  • Do The Hippogriff[4] - Rock tune by the Weird Sisters inspired by the Yule Ball Dance.
  • Magic Works[4] - Soft rock tune by the Weird Sisters inspired by the Yule Ball Dance.
  • Merpeople's Song[4] - Black Lake clue inspired by the song from the Golden Egg. We can hear this on the track entitled "Underwater Secrets".
  • Boys Will Be Boys - A muggle song by The Ordinary Boys heard playing in the boys dormitory in the Gryffindor common room scene.
  • Big Beat Repeat - A muggle song by Josh Powell heard in the Gryffindor common room after the Quidditch match.
  • In Noctem - A song cut from the sixth movie. It was supposed to play just before the death of Dumbledore.
  • Für Elise (german) / For Elise (english) - A muggle song composed by Ludwig van Beethoven played by Ron and Hermione on piano.
  • My Love is Always Here - Briefly Sung by a choir in Godric's Hollow in a church
  • O' Children - A muggle song by Nick Cave which Harry and Hermione dance to.

The movie soundtracks listingEdit

Other Harry Potter musicEdit

Video game composer Jeremy Soule composed the score for the first four Harry Potter video games and for Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup. Even if he used little material from Williams' scores, he stayed in the fanfarish magical style of the movies and created new themes evolving through the four games. His use of choirs, particularly in the third score, gives a gigantic aspect to the music.

More recently, James Hannigan has stepped in on the series, scoring the games from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix onwards. On top of some original scores, the music for these games incorporates the main John Williams themes as well as music from Jeremy Soule's scores for the first four games.

Also using epic choirs are the companies that create the music for Harry Potter's movie trailers. Music by X-Ray Dog, Immediate Music, Brand X Music, Pfeifer Broz. Music, Two Steps from Hell and Audiomachine, and John Williams's "Hedwig's Theme" can be heard in the trailers.

  • The first two movies used adaptions of John Williams's themes by Brand-X Music.
  • The third movie features both music by John Williams and original Brand-X Music cues. The fourth movie uses John Williams's, Patrick Doyle's and Brand X Music's music, and cues by Immediate Music and X-Ray Dog.
  • The fifth movie's trailer scores used cues by X-Ray Dog, Pfeifer Broz. Music, Audiomachine, Brand-X Music and Two Steps from Hell and both the original Hedwig's Theme and a new adaptation.
  • The sixth movie uses John Williams's Hedwig's Theme and Apparition on the Train, as well as cues from Brand-X Music and X-Ray Dog.

Notes and referencesEdit

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