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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


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Can you come up with any proof that could refute what William Ross himself stated, the documented information that John Williams wrote ALL the music for the film, and prove that John Williams "barely worked on it," as you claim?

You obviously know more than the majority of people. Please share this information you have to backup this claim of yours.

It is a personal belief!

People who believe in the Bible have no proof that what is written there is the Truth. Yes their Faith does not requite evidence.

It is the same for me in this instance.

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Better late than never, eh? I posted somewhat irregularly in the beginning since I didn't have my own computer back in the day and had to do all my posting at the university. I suppose I didn't create

to quote Hillary Clinton "What difference, at this point, does it make?"

11 years and still we are discussing this thing. Hard to believe indeed.

2002 was a very busy year for JW. He scored four films in a row. He planned to score Chamber of Secrets in late Spring/early Summer 2002. However, since Spielberg asked him to start working on Catch Me If You Can earlier than planned, he had to devise a method to score the Potter film faster than initially scheduled, as William Ross points out in the interview linked above. Williams spotted the film with Chris Columbus and music editor Peter Myles in late spring 2002. Here, he and Columbus agreed to reuse some materials from the first film's score in a number of scenes merely as a time-saving procedure for JW. Enter William Ross here, who was handed spotting session notes (along with Williams' manuscript from the first score) with instructions on where and how to use cues and pieces from the first score into the scenes of the new film, while at the same time Williams wrote as much new material as he possibly could, including four brand-new themes and all of the pivotal sequences. Scoring sessions were held at London's Abbey Road in late Summer 2002 with William Ross conducting the LSO, as Williams wasn't able to fly over and conduct himself because he had to stay in Tanglewood to score Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can.

Analyzing and comparing the sheet music and recording sessions takes, it's more or less 70% new material and 30% reused cues from Sorcerer's Stone.

Is it all music composed by John Williams? Yes. Did Ross actually wrote new music? No.

End of story. Move along.

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11 years and still we are discussing this thing. Hard to believe indeed.

2002 was a very busy year for JW. He scored four films in a row. He planned to score Chamber of Secrets in late Spring/early Summer 2002. However, since Spielberg asked him to start working on Catch Me If You Can earlier than planned, he had to devise a method to score the Potter film faster than initially scheduled, as William Ross points out in the interview linked above. Williams spotted the film with Chris Columbus and music editor Peter Myles in late spring 2002. Here, he and Columbus agreed to reuse some materials from the first film's score in a number of scenes merely as a time-saving procedure for JW. Enter William Ross here, who was handed spotting session notes (along with Williams' manuscript from the first score) with instructions on where and how to use cues and pieces from the first score into the scenes of the new film, while at the same time Williams wrote as much new material as he possibly could, including four brand-new themes and all of the pivotal sequences. Scoring sessions were held at London's Abbey Road in late Summer 2002 with William Ross conducting the LSO, as Williams wasn't able to fly over and conduct himself because he had to stay in Tanglewood to score Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can.

Analyzing and comparing the sheet music and recording sessions takes, it's more or less 70% new material and 30% reused cues from Sorcerer's Stone.

Is it all music composed by John Williams? Yes. Did Ross actually wrote new music? No.

End of story. Move along.

Thank you, Maurizio.

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This must be the greatest mystery since the Kennedy assassination.

100deadman.jpg

Oh man, why don't you fuckin' stop it? Shit, this is too fuckin' big for you, you know that? Who did the score for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, who scored the film, fuck man! It's a mystery! It's a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma! The fuckin' composers and orchestrators don't even know! Don't you get it?

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Oh christ not this shit again......

He he he!

Don't worry, Mark. I will not respond to Stefanco's ridiculous comments. It is pointless. I was polite, and I will leave it at that.

Someone obviously doesnt have a sense of humour!

And it's Stefancos, not Stefanco!

Give him a bit more time to get used to this place and the people here. The brand of humour we have developed here can be very difficult to grasp or digest to a relative new comer. I remember that I took things a bit too seriously at first as well when I joined the MB. Even though we use a good deal of this humour here does not of course mean that we can't have meaningful and serious discussion.

I too find it funny how this particular case of HPCoS has moved into the realm of faith now more than of facts. People do love their conspiracy theories and are always ready believe that the murkiest explanation is the most likely since it is more interesting than the plain and obvious one. Good cynics distrust even the eye witness of course. ;)

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Sent here by Gorfaine/Schwartz for damage control on the Williams/Ross issue.

Oh drat! The jig is up!

Since June 2002.

Really? Always under this name?

Yes I have always been Incanus. Always.

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Not Olórin?

Honestly, i never noticed you until you became interesting a few years ago.

:lol: Better late than never, eh?

I posted somewhat irregularly in the beginning since I didn't have my own computer back in the day and had to do all my posting at the university. I suppose I didn't create an enormous splash since I was very polite and serious and careful.

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2002 was a very busy year for JW. He scored four films in a row. He planned to score Chamber of Secrets in late Spring/early Summer 2002. However, since Spielberg asked him to start working on Catch Me If You Can earlier than planned, he had to devise a method to score the Potter film faster than initially scheduled, as William Ross points out in the interview linked above. Williams spotted the film with Chris Columbus and music editor Peter Myles in late spring 2002. Here, he and Columbus agreed to reuse some materials from the first film's score in a number of scenes merely as a time-saving procedure for JW. Enter William Ross here, who was handed spotting session notes (along with Williams' manuscript from the first score) with instructions on where and how to use cues and pieces from the first score into the scenes of the new film, while at the same time Williams wrote as much new material as he possibly could, including four brand-new themes and all of the pivotal sequences. Scoring sessions were held at London's Abbey Road in late Summer 2002 with William Ross conducting the LSO, as Williams wasn't able to fly over and conduct himself because he had to stay in Tanglewood to score Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can.

Hey Maurizio, can I ask where you found the info on the spotting sessions? It would be great to have for my Scorepedia article :)

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That's because he barely worked on it.

That is the mantra that we have been forced to repeat over and over again.

Hey, you believe your story, and I will believe mine.

You probably believe they landed on the moon in the 60's.

Or Obama being born in the USA?

So, you were not really serious there? That was suppose to be humorous. Okay...

Sorry for giving you a hard time, Stefancos. No hard feelings.

Oh, and thanks, Incanus. By the way, are you gonna write a complete score analysis on John Williams's score to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, like you did with the first film?

2002 was a very busy year for JW. He scored four films in a row. He planned to score Chamber of Secrets in late Spring/early Summer 2002. However, since Spielberg asked him to start working on Catch Me If You Can earlier than planned, he had to devise a method to score the Potter film faster than initially scheduled, as William Ross points out in the interview linked above. Williams spotted the film with Chris Columbus and music editor Peter Myles in late spring 2002. Here, he and Columbus agreed to reuse some materials from the first film's score in a number of scenes merely as a time-saving procedure for JW. Enter William Ross here, who was handed spotting session notes (along with Williams' manuscript from the first score) with instructions on where and how to use cues and pieces from the first score into the scenes of the new film, while at the same time Williams wrote as much new material as he possibly could, including four brand-new themes and all of the pivotal sequences. Scoring sessions were held at London's Abbey Road in late Summer 2002 with William Ross conducting the LSO, as Williams wasn't able to fly over and conduct himself because he had to stay in Tanglewood to score Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can.

Analyzing and comparing the sheet music and recording sessions takes, it's more or less 70% new material and 30% reused cues from Sorcerer's Stone.

Is it all music composed by John Williams? Yes. Did Ross actually wrote new music? No.

End of story. Move along.

I like how you explained this so clearly and effectively. Do you think you could post some information on the spotting sessions, if you happen to have that tidbit of information?

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What William Ross did on Chamber Of Secrets is a very interesting subject indeed.

As it is, a movie's credit is something that is not decided lightly. The minimum credit (or no credit given) is the result of a negotiation between employee's lawyer and production company and written in a contract. Then it is up to the producer to finalize movie's credits in accordance with everyone's contracts and also to give someone a better credit than was negotiated if someone's work deserves it.

I would assume that a credit like "Music adapted by" is something that has many precedents and that it covers a very specific kind of work in the group effort that brings a film score to completion. There are industry standards generally defined by negotiations between Unions and Studios. Perhaps there is a mention of that particular credit in the book "On The Track" mentioned by the original poster. (Unfortunately I cannot find my own copy.) Otherwise, such information will be available at the Union office. I would say as a rule that people know exactly what they are contractually supposed to do and they will seldom venture to do what is somebody else's work and responsibility. A film crew is an army with a strong sense of hierarchy.

There is at least one precedent of such credit in John Williams career except this time he was the adapter: Fiddler on the Roof. Williams got the exact same credit that William Ross got on COS: "Music Adapted and Conducted by John Williams". After years of uncertainty, we now have a pretty good idea of what Williams did on that film. I would sum it up like that but please feel free to correct and complete: entire supervision of the creation of the film score; orchestration choices to expand original Broadway music; supervision of orchestrations; writing new music when necessary; conducting. And we know that though Williams wrote little new music for the film, what he wrote was spectacular.

(Incredibly enough, Jerry Bock, composer of the original music, was not credited on the cover of the soundtrack album. That can only have been the result of a serious mistake by his lawyer when negotiating with the production company.)

If John Williams insisted that the producers give William Ross that very credit on COS, a better credit than was planned, one can assume that Ross did a fairly similar work to what Williams did on Fiddler and that he went beyond the call of duty.

Does anyone know if Williams attended the scoring cessions? If not, it would mean that Ross was the only person present able to make changes or write new filler music if asked to by Chris Columbus. Of course, Ross had access to Williams' famous bag of tricks and he may just have picked there...

Similarly, the use of music from Attack of the Clones may simply be the remnant of a cue used on the temp track. This has probably happened before on at least Return of the Jedi and Home Alone 2.

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Similarly, the use of music from Attack of the Clones may simply be the remnant of a cue used on the temp track. This has probably happened before on at least Return of the Jedi and Home Alone 2.

It also happened in HP1, with the music for the troll fight resembling a cue from HA2. So it's likely that similarities between CoS cues and other, non-HP Williams scores are part of Williams' contribution to CoS, since Ross would have only been looking at HP1 for material.

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If this older William Ross interview is trustworthy then Williams actually worked on the film up until the last minute and actually wrote new material and revisions very late in the game.

In addition to that new material, Williams took several themes and expanded them into more developed pieces for the soundtrack album. "I was stunned by the amount of music he wrote," says Ross. "We were on the 12th day of a 13-day recording schedule and I received a package with new cues to record. That night I actually called John and told him I was sending the music police to confiscate his pencil! I think he just couldn't stop writing."

Ross is quick to give all credit for the CHAMBER OF SECRETS music to John Williams. Ross did not compose any new material himself; everything he wrote was based on John's material. "I believe I was there to take some of the workload off of John due to his schedule," Ross says. "In those areas where he would be using material from the original film, I think he felt it would be expedient to have someone else adapt the music to the new film, etc. That, in addition to conducting the score, was my job."

Williams insisted, though, that Ross receive a "Music Adapted by" credit onscreen. That, in turn, has confused some people into thinking Williams himself had no participation in the new POTTER score. "That credit was something that John insisted on from our first meeting," says Ross. "The reality, however, is that CHAMBER OF SECRETS is a John Williams score beginning to end."


Conducting the London Symphony Orchestra for the first time, directing the huge ensemble's performance of John Williams' magical music, was a daunting task, and would have been intimidating for any conductor. But Ross found the experience highly rewarding. "I've always found that if you show up prepared, ready to treat the musicians with respect, and go about your work with a certain degree of humility, the musicians will treat you with respect," Ross says. "I really enjoyed my time in London with the LSO. They truly made me feel at home and comfortable."

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Similarly, the use of music from Attack of the Clones may simply be the remnant of a cue used on the temp track. This has probably happened before on at least Return of the Jedi and Home Alone 2.

It also happened in HP1, with the music for the troll fight resembling a cue from HA2. So it's likely that similarities between CoS cues and other, non-HP Williams scores are part of Williams' contribution to CoS, since Ross would have only been looking at HP1 for material.

Keep in mind that Chris Columbus REALLY loves his temp tracks.

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2002 was a very busy year for JW. He scored four films in a row. He planned to score Chamber of Secrets in late Spring/early Summer 2002. However, since Spielberg asked him to start working on Catch Me If You Can earlier than planned, he had to devise a method to score the Potter film faster than initially scheduled, as William Ross points out in the interview linked above. Williams spotted the film with Chris Columbus and music editor Peter Myles in late spring 2002. Here, he and Columbus agreed to reuse some materials from the first film's score in a number of scenes merely as a time-saving procedure for JW. Enter William Ross here, who was handed spotting session notes (along with Williams' manuscript from the first score) with instructions on where and how to use cues and pieces from the first score into the scenes of the new film, while at the same time Williams wrote as much new material as he possibly could, including four brand-new themes and all of the pivotal sequences. Scoring sessions were held at London's Abbey Road in late Summer 2002 with William Ross conducting the LSO, as Williams wasn't able to fly over and conduct himself because he had to stay in Tanglewood to score Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can.

Analyzing and comparing the sheet music and recording sessions takes, it's more or less 70% new material and 30% reused cues from Sorcerer's Stone.

Is it all music composed by John Williams? Yes. Did Ross actually wrote new music? No.

End of story. Move along.

Williams actually worked on the film up until the last minute and actually wrote new material and revisions very late in the game.

In addition to that new material, Williams took several themes and expanded them into more developed pieces for the soundtrack album. "I was stunned by the amount of music he wrote," says Ross. "We were on the 12th day of a 13-day recording schedule and I received a package with new cues to record. That night I actually called John and told him I was sending the music police to confiscate his pencil! I think he just couldn't stop writing."

Ross is quick to give all credit for the CHAMBER OF SECRETS music to John Williams. Ross did not compose any new material himself; everything he wrote was based on John's material. "I believe I was there to take some of the workload off of John due to his schedule," Ross says. "In those areas where he would be using material from the original film, I think he felt it would be expedient to have someone else adapt the music to the new film, etc. That, in addition to conducting the score, was my job."

Williams insisted, though, that Ross receive a "Music Adapted by" credit onscreen. That, in turn, has confused some people into thinking Williams himself had no participation in the new POTTER score. "That credit was something that John insisted on from our first meeting," says Ross. "The reality, however, is that CHAMBER OF SECRETS is a John Williams score beginning to end."

Conducting the London Symphony Orchestra for the first time, directing the huge ensemble's performance of John Williams' magical music, was a daunting task, and would have been intimidating for any conductor. But Ross found the experience highly rewarding. "I've always found that if you show up prepared, ready to treat the musicians with respect, and go about your work with a certain degree of humility, the musicians will treat you with respect," Ross says. "I really enjoyed my time in London with the LSO. They truly made me feel at home and comfortable."

Thank you, Maurizio and Mikko, for the information.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for posting that interview with William Ross. I'll take his word for it.

In the end he didn't get to do as much as he could have on that score and I can't help but feel a touch of regret in his words. The Music Police? Really?! :>)

He's no spring chicken and he has a great career though not filled with much public recognition. I would say that being chosen by Williams was quite an honor. He seems well aware of it, at once rightfully proud and very humble. Good man.

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So, aside from conducting, to what extent did Ross' work go above and beyond what Williams' "orchestrators" typically do? Why does Ross deserve an "adapted by" album cover credit while Pope doesn't even get a mention in liner notes for other scores?

Because Ross took music JW wrote for an entirely different movie and adapted it to fit new scenes. JW's orchestrators take a piece of music written to fit a specific scene and (in JW's case) translate JW's short-hand into something that makes sense to the copyists and musicians. Ross and Pope's main functions are completely different (although Ross may have also been an orchestrator for CoS).

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I have to wonder if one of the reasons for Ross' credit, which he says Williams "insisted on," was that Williams wanted some indication to listeners that it wasn't a typical full-blown Williams score. I imagine Williams takes great pride in composing his scores from start to finish and might have wanted to provide some kind of explanation for the reused material.

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