By John Takis
As promised, here’s an updated and comprehensive look at the POA score in the film and on the album. It may not be entirely accurate, but I’ve pointed out the areas where I have some doubts or uncertainties. Again, times are approximate and cue titles that are not given on the album are my own invention.
Lumos! (1:38) Track 1
The main title, a standard arrangement of ‘Hedwig’s Theme’.
TV Source Music Probably released, but not on this album
Source cues tend to fade in and out, so I’ve left them untimed. Heard coming from the television, this one plays before and after the following cue. A tango, accompanying a dancer on some sort of variety show, might this possibly be the ‘La Cumpastra’ mentioned in the credits.
Aunt Marge’s Waltz (2:15) Track 2
This comical Rossini-esque waltz for Aunt Margaret blowing up like a balloon is only heard in this scene.
Family Photo (0:16) Unreleased
First quote of the new ‘memory’ theme, as Harry looks at a magical photo of his parents.
The Bus Stop (1:24) Track 3 [0:00-0:23]/Unreleased
The first thirty seconds of this cue are ambient horror music for the first appearance of the Grim. It transitions into a bumpy, comical quasi-theme for the arrival of the Knight Bus and the attendant busboy. Part of this music is on the CD.
The Knight Bus, Part 1 (0:56) Track 3 [0:24-1:20]/Unreleased
Two tuba-note blasts (cut from the album) launch the first part of the wacky ‘Knight Bus’ cue. This part of the cue comes to an abrupt halt as Harry hits the window.
The Knight Bus, Part 2 (1:17) Track 3 [1:21-end]/Unreleased
The second half of the ‘Knight Bus’ scene appears to have been re-scored for the final cut of the film. If one listens to the album cut (which is 1:32 in length), the music is (1) the stretching sequence (humorously featuring an accordion), (2) ominous music that probably underscores the busboy telling Harry about Sirius Black, and (3) more wacky music for the arrival at the Leaky Cauldron. But in the film, Harry learns about Black before the stretching sequence, and the cue features the eight-note ‘threat’ motif on harpsichord (which is not the same as the harpsichord motif heard at the beginning of ‘Quidditch, Third Year’, although the two ideas are often heard in conjunction). This important motif is NOWHERE on the album, the CDs most significant omission. In conclusion, the album version of ‘The Knight Bus’ is probably an alternate cue, or the film version is re-edited. It is quite possible that the threat motif was overlayed later, as it appears to have been done with ‘The Werewolf Scene’
The Leaky Cauldron (Source Music) Unreleased
Spare, Celtic-sounding music.
The Monster Book (0:50) Track 12 [0:00-0:28]
The album shortens the gaps between the frenetic bits as Harry wrestles with his new textbook, but the music is all there.
Egyptian Flute (Source Music) Unreleased
Plays in the background as one of the Weasley children demonstrates the fine art of rope-charming.
Grave Danger (1:00) Unreleased
Low strings and then the threat motif on harpsichord again, as Mr. Weasley warns Harry about Black.
Night Voyage (0:19) Unreleased
A short, lovely flute version of the Double Trouble theme, heard over shots of the train at night. The first appearance of this theme.
Apparition On The Train (2:15) Track 4
Substantially the same as on the album, this highly effective suspense cue has a wordless choral note grafted onto the end of it in the film, anticipating the Patronus music.
Arrival At Hogwarts/Double Trouble (0:56) Unreleased/Track 6 [partial]
A brief mysterioso introduction segues into the midst of ‘Double Trouble’, which has been majorly edited down.
A Word Of Caution (0:42) Unreleased
Foreboding music as Dumbledore warns of the Dementors of Azkaban. Then a light statement of the DT (Double Trouble) theme for his words of hope.
Back At Griffendor (0:20) Unreleased
A variation on the DT theme.
Night Becomes Day (1:02) Track 9 [1:30-end]
Spectacular contrasting variations on the DT theme, the first a wickedly thrilling cue for the Dementors arriving at Hogwarts; the second a delightful, flutey variation for the unfortunate bluebird that flies into the whomping willow the following morning.
The Grim (0:28) Unreleased
Suspenseful bit for the omen in the tea leaves.
Hagrid The Professor (0:42) Track 11 [0:31-1:16]/Unreleased
Medieval-sounding variation on the DT theme. The last :42 of Track 11 do not appear to be used in the film (though it’s possible I’m confusing this passage with 0:31-1:16 in my memory). They may belong to an alternate scoring of this scene. There are a few seconds lead-in in the film that may be unreleased, the album version could simply be a significantly longer alternate.
Meeting Buckbeak (1:20) Unreleased
String rhythms foreshadow ‘Saving Buckbeak’ during Harry’s first encounter with the Hippogrif. Buckbeak’s theme is NOT in this cue, it appears to be reserved for the scenes where he is flying, but we do hear another statement of the DT theme.
Buckbeak’s Flight (1:43) Track 6 [partial]
Unfortunately edited down in the film. The album version runs 2:08. This is the first of only two appearances of the gorgeous Buckbeak theme, preceded by some of the wildest percussion since ‘Sand People Attack’ in Star Wars. An album (and score) highlight.
The Castle (0:43) Track 11 [0:00-0:31]/Unreleased
Medieval music, probably inspired by the fact that the Headless Hunt is going on in the background of this Hogwarts dinner scene. The film includes a tapping-cymbal intro not on the album.
Trying To Catch Smoke (0:45) Track 10 [1:17-end]
Another transitional cue; the children discuss Black, then we cut to a shot of flowers withering and a Dementor circling Hogwarts. I am not 100% sure that my identification of this cue as being on the album is correct.
Big Band Source #1 Released, but not on this album
From the LP Professor Lupin plays underneath the Boggart scene. The music entertwines with Williams’ score. I think this is from ‘Swing, Swing, Swing’, but I’m not sure.
The Boggart (2:22) Track 12 [0:29-end]
As I said, this cue is entertwined with the Big Band source music, which begins first and continues after, so it’s hard to get a sense of how many seconds of score are here. My cue time is for both the source and score. The 2:00 we get on the album is probably the whole thing.
Fears (0:32) Track 7 [0:00-0:32]
A flute version of the memory theme. Possibly the opening of Track 7, possibly unreleased.
Remembering Lily (1:03) Track 7 [partial]/Unreleased
Another flute version of the memory theme, then a fuller version that features an oboe accompaniment which is definitely not on the CD. It’s conceivable that the first part of Track 7, ‘A Window To The Past’, is an alternate version of this cue. See ‘Winter Comes’ for more speculation about Track 7.
The Portrait Gallery (1:31) Track 10 [0:00-1:18]/Unreleased
In the film, this cue (an off-kilter arrangement of the DT theme) begins with a low rumble that is not on the album. On the album, it appears to cross-filter to another cue, which I believe to be ‘Trying To Catch Smoke’.
Secure The Castle! (0:25) Unreleased
Huge brass chords for the locking gate, reminiscent of Elliot Goldenthal’s ‘Final Fantasy’ score.
Secrets Of The Castle (1:30) Track 9 [0:00-1:30]
Subdued, haunting version of the DT theme as Harry eavesdrops on Dumbledore and Snape beneath the nighttime dome of the Great Hall. With interspersed quotes of Hedwig’s theme, this track never fails to induce goosebumps.
Quidditch, Third Year (3:47) Track 13
The secondary threat motif opens this cue, which quickly explodes into a fantastic action cue reminiscent of Williams’ music from AOTC. Listen for variations on the secondary threat motif.
Winter Comes (2:26) Track 7 [2:28-end]/Unreleased
The 1:26 we have of this memory theme-based cue is preceded by an unreleased buildup featuring Hedwig’s theme, and also omits a passage that features a great intercutting of the memory theme with Hedwig’s theme. There is also some missing mischief-type music at the end. It’s remotely possible that more of Track 7, the unused portion, was intended to play under this scene.
Mischief (1:53) Unreleased
A rather low-key cue for the scene and transitions where Harry is given the Marauder’s Map. It features the primary threat theme, again on harpsichord.
The Snowball Fight (1:01) Track 8 [1:21-end]
A short cue, but pure joy to listen to.
A Winter’s Spell (Source Music) and Pub Source Unreleased
These two source cues serve as background music for the town of Hogsmeade. It is virtually impossible to make any real sense of the barely-heard ‘A Winter’s Spell’except to affirm that it was not previously heard in the first Harry Potter film, nor any of the Home Alone films. The Pub Source sounds like it might have been loosely based on the memory theme.
Harry’s Vow (2:10) Unreleased
A sympathetic, string-based cue for Harry uncovering more shocking secrets about Sirius Black. After his vow to kill Black, we have a brief choral segment that anticipates the upcoming sequence (and might actually BE the next cue (see below).
The Patronus Light (0:30) Track 15 [partial]
The album cue features 1:12 of this wordless, non-melodic chorus/ambient underscore. One suspects that Williams recorded a single version of this cue for use in this scene and other scenes that feature the chorus (such as the preceding ‘Harry’s Vow’). Alternatively, the chorus originally ran continuously from ‘Harry’s Vow’ to ‘The Patronus Light’ and a portion of it was dialed out in the middle (there is a 22-second gap between the cues).
Dementor Test (0:16) Unreleased
A brief bit for the Boggart (in the shape of a Dementor) rising out of the trunk.
Another Memory (0:26) Unreleased
This short cue seems to hearken back to the distinctive choral progression from HP1, I’m thinking specifically of ‘Olivander’s Wands’.
Spellcasting (1:26) Unreleased
The first part of this wonderful cue foreshadows ‘The Dementor’s Converge’. The second part gives us another tender variation on the memory theme, with just a hint of dischord.
Peter Pettigrew (1:17) Unreleased
This substantial development of the threat motif associated with Pettigrew should have been on the album. Not to mention the fact that it’s a great suspense cue, as Harry goes wandering in the dark looking for a dead man.
Crystal Gazing (0:37) Unreleased
Because the ambient sound of this cue is so close to ambient sounds of Prof. Trelawney’s divination class, it’s hard to tell exactly where this cue ends.
Hermione Leaves (0:37) Unreleased
A surprisingly disquieting underscore for an upset Hermione leaving the class.
Premonition Of Evil (1:19) Unreleased
It’s unfortunate this cue isn’t on the album, it’s a spacey, mystical, almost Hermannesque piece for Trelawney’s prediction.
Preparing For Execution (0:27) Unreleased
Short cue based around the first few notes of the DT theme.
Hagrid And Buckbeak (0:35) Unreleased
A non-thematic little oboe tune as Hagrid talks about Buckbeak.
The Axe Falls (2:20) Track 17 [0:00-2:20]
As heard on the album, terrific dramatic build-up, only in the film, the tolling bells add a great effect!
Chasing Scabbers (1:27) Track 14 [1:34-end]
With its rapid pizzicato and frantic strings, this cue is reminiscent of ‘Nocturnal Activities’ and ‘The Mine Car Chase’ from Temple of Doom.
The Whomping Willow (1:20) Track 8 [0:00-1:20]
Another thrilling and percussive action cue.
The Shrieking Shack (1:09) Unreleased
Suspense cue featuring the threat motifs as Harry and Hermione search for Ron.
Confusing Confrontation (5:33) Unreleased
Williams music for this scene blends so well with the creaks and groans of the Shrieking Shack that it’s hard to tell where the music starts or ends (the sound design of this film is excellent)! The exact length of this cue is suspect, but it’s mostly atmospheric, the drama coming from the performances is so effective, it doesn’t need much help.
Lupin’s Transformation/The Werewolf Scene (5:08) Track 14 [0:00-1:33]/Track 16/Unreleased
This extended cue starts out tenderly with Harry talking to Black (there is an unreleased quote of the memory theme), then turns ugly for Lupin’s Transformation and the werewolf fight. The cue continues right up to:
The Dementor’s Converge (3:12) Track 19
Phenomenal cue, featuring a tremendous and terrifying build-up. The chorus at 1:06 recalls ‘Stealing The Stones’ from TOD. The climax, with its dissonance, choral overlays, and grand interpolation of the memory theme, is truly spectacular.
Forward To Time Past (2:33) Track 18
The subsequent cues leading up to the finale, all blend together. It begins with a great time travel cue, with a ticking clock, backwards notes, and ringing bells.
Meddling With Time (2:39) Unreleased
Continuation of the time travel material, while leading into ‘Saving Buckbeak’.
Saving Buckbeak (4:20) Track 17 [2:21-end]
One of the score’s longer cues, essentially an extended suspense piece over an eight-note marimba ostinato that recalls ‘Catch Me If You Can’.
Convergence (4:55) Track 20 [0:00-1:57]/Unreleased
The unreleased portion of this cue features the memory theme, and some revisiting of the werewolf material, but the brunt of the climax is on the album, essentially ‘The Dementor’s Converge’ Take 2. The music continues in:
Sirius Black’s Escape (1:44) Unreleased
One of the score’s best unreleased cues, joyous, pulse-pounding excitement, and featuring the second and final appearance of Buckbeak’s theme. Continues in:
Finale (2:26) Track 20 [1:58-end]
Features a final climactic statement of the memory theme for Sirius Black’s farewell.
Time To Go Back (1:14) Unreleased
‘Forward To Time Past’ revisited, as Harry and Hermione rush back to where they’re supposed to be. There’s a quote of Hedwig’s theme towards the end, after they reach Ron.
Big Band Source #2 Probably released, but not on this album
Plays underneath Lupin’s goodbye scene. This scene cuts to what appears to be a tracked quote of music from ‘The Castle’.
Mischief Managed! (indeterminate) — Track 21/Unreleased
Before the final track (and end credits suite) collapses into album edits, we get 2:49 of original material (including statements of the Nimbus 2000 theme, Hedwig’s theme, and Double Trouble). In the film, however, we get an extra 12-seconds or so of original material at the beginning of the credits before DT picks up. The album order of the credits suite is: Mischief Managed (original material); Double Trouble variations (original material); A Window To The Past (the unreleased part there’s a slim chance it was composed specially as a bridge for the end credits, but I’m doubtful); Buckbeak’s Flight (complete); The Snowball Fight (complete); Double Trouble (complete); The Knight Bus (complete); Aunt Marge’s Waltz (complete). All this is followed by a brief solo statement of Hedwig’s theme. In the film, the harpsichord threat motif is also added after this. Also, the film reverses the position of “The Knight Bus” and “Double Trouble”.
My best guess at a final album breakdown looks like this:
1. Lumos! (Hedwig’s Theme) — Track 1
2. Aunt Marge’s Waltz — Track 2
3. The Bus Stop/The Knight Bus — Track 3 (significantly edited)
4. The Monster Book — Track 12 [0:00-0:28]
5. Apparition on the Train — Track 4
6. Double Trouble — Track 5
7. Night Becomes Day — Track 9 [1:30-end]
8. Hagrid the Professor — Track 11 [0:32-end] (including possible unused/alternate material).
9. Buckbeak’s Flight — Track 6 (more complete than in the film)
10. The Castle — Track 11 [0:00-0:31]
11. Trying To Catch Smoke — Track 10 [1:17-end] (probably)
12. The Boggart — Track 12 [0:29-end]
13. A Window to the Past — Track 7 [0:00-2:28] (possibly unused, but possibly containing parts of “Fears” and/or “Remembering Lily”)
14. The Portrait Gallery — Track 10 [000-1:18]
15. Secrets of the Castle — Track 9 [0:00-1:30]
16. Quidditch, Third Year — Track 13
17. Winter Comes — Track 7 [2:28-end] (significantly edited)
18. The Snowball Fight — Track 8 [1:21-end]
19. The Patronus Light — Track 15
20. The Axe Falls — Track 17 [0:00-2:20]
21. Chasing Scabbers — Track 14 [1:34-end]
22. The Whomping Willow — Track 8 [0:00-1:20]
23. Lupin’s Transformation — Track 14 [0:00-1:33]
24. The Werewolf Scene — Track 16
25. The Dementor’s Converge — Track 19
26. Forward to Time Past — 18
27. Saving Buckbeak — Track 17 [2:21-end]
28. Convergence/Finale — Track 20 (significantly edited)
29. Mischief Managed — Track 21
I would guess that Williams wrote somewhere in the area of 95-100 minutes of music for this movie. We get less than an hour of original music on the soundtrack album.