Harry Potter (John Williams)

Film Music
Listen to the five excerpts (and only the first five minutes of each).

These are examples of movie soundtracks, specifically opening title sequences and main themes. The title sequences are meant to invite the viewer into the ambience of the film, and “set up” the nature of the film itself, while the main themes are meant to signify the main idea of the film or its main character.

1 – Interstellar (Hans Zimmer)

https://youtu.be/UDVtMYqUAyw (Links to an external site.)

2 – Belle (Rachel Portman)

https://youtu.be/yox68tHEEvI (Links to an external site.)

3 – Spiderman (Danny Elfman)

https://youtu.be/1f5ykkGJvMU (Links to an external site.)

4 – Halloween (John Carpenter)

https://youtu.be/pT4FY3NrhGg (Links to an external site.)

5 – Harry Potter (John Williams)

https://youtu.be/Oban0vQYy7o (Links to an external site.)

Provide a response (approximately 200–300 words per example) to the following questions for each excerpt:

Describe what you feel the music is attempting to convey. Do not describe the film itself, but what aspects of the film the music is attempting to convey. What kind of film is this? When is it set? What can you guess about the protagonist?

How is it doing so? Use terminology learned in this course to support your argument. (Go back to the module on Function, and note how I describe the TV theme music).
This assignment is not about describing the film or the use of music in the film itself —a much higher weight is placed upon the second question!

Sample Solution