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Hello, JWFan! I made an account here some time ago, though I never really got around to actually posting... :blush:

 

But despite my earlier lack of loquaciousness, I now turn to you in need of your unparalleled John Williams wisdom! Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets had quite a bit of tracked music - i.e., music lifted directly from the recording sessions for Philosopher's Stone in place of having original material. I'm trying to make edits that match the tracked cues as closely as possible, but there are a few parts that have me stumped, and I'm hoping you guys can help me out in identifying certain tracks.

 

Also, quick shout-out to Incanus for his marvelous look at the PS score. It's helped me a lot in IDing certain tracks and it's a great read. He is a talented writer and listener for sure!

 

Listed here are all the tracked cues in the film, courtesy of the music summary sheets presented in Fred Karlin and Rayburn Wright's On the Track book, and which parts of them I've been able to match with their PS sources. I've provided videos for the ones I haven't been able to fully identify; apologies in advance for their quality (they're all mono since my video editor refuses to export in proper stereo at times). I can post much nicer-sounding copies of the audio in MP3 or lossless if you think it'd be helpful (and if such a thing is allowed here). Although the audio in the videos is taken from the front and rear channels of the film's surround sound mix, in the end I'm editing all of these straight from the lossless sessions files.

 

[2m9] HOWLER LETTER FOR RON: the first half is sourced from "Escaping Frog"; the rest from "Don't Burn My Letter".

 

[5m1-2] HARRY IS A PARSLEMOUTH: according to the summary sheets, a new cue was originally intended at some point to be recorded for this sequence, but they ended up tracking music instead. The first 30 seconds are from "You're A Wizard, Harry", but I can't pin down where that variation of Hedwig's Theme is from.

 

[6m4A] ENTERING THE DIARY:

0:00-1:24 - "The Library Scene"

1:25-1:44 - "Hermione's Reading"

That's as far as I've gotten with this cue. At 1:45 it sounds certainly like "The Moving Stairs", but the pitch is noticeably altered! Those sound editors and their shenanigans. I am in no capacity educated in music at all, but if any of you have any knowledge about these sorts of things, and how I can alter the pitch of the sessions cue to match the film's as closely as possible, that'd be quite helpful.

 

[8m2A] THE CHAMBER OPENS: I haven't gone very in-depth with this cue yet, but is it just me, or is the grandiose rendition of the three-note loop near the end tracked from an earlier Chamber of Secrets cue - "Meeting Tom Riddle"? I could be off on that one since, again, I haven't listened closely to this one as of this writing.

 

[8m2CENTERING THE CHAMBER: This is easily the longest tracked cue.

0:00-0:52 - "The Chess Board"

0:52-1:12 - "Checkmate"

1:13-1:52 - "Hagrid's Flashback"

1:53-2:12 - "The Library Scene"

2:13-2:26 - "The Black/Blue Forest"

2:27-3:50 - Here's where it gets tricky. It's definitely some variation of the three-note loop, and there certainly are sound-a-likes in "Three Note Loop" and a bit of "The Mirror Scene", but here it is at a pitch that doesn't seem to match any of those two. Was the pitch once again altered by a music editor? Also, listen closely and you might here that they layered "The Chess Board" over this as well... what a weird decision to make.

3:51-4:12 - "The Chess Board"

4:13-4:28 - "Three Note Loop"

4:29-4:47 - "The Mirror Scene"

4:48-5:03 - Once again, it sounds like a pitch-shifted "Three Note Loop" with "The Chess Board" layered on top.

5:04-end - "The Chess Board" continues on its own until it segues into an all-new cue.

 

[8m4] BASILISK CONFRONTS HARRY: I haven't actually looked at this one yet at all, but I'll probably get stumped on this one too. :P

 

[8m6] DEMISE OF TOM RIDDLE: It's all from the latter half of "The Mirror Scene", though they changed the tempo of the track several times.

 

Hopefully you guys know your Harry Potter scores better than I do! I appreciate any help you guys can give, and do let me know if the files I provided just sound too awful to be able to recognize anything.

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I haven't studied the film for tracked music, but I'd wager that virtually everything you're wondering about was recorded for COS. They re-recorded a lot of stuff adapted from SS. Over 20% of the score, I believe.

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1 hour ago, Datameister said:

I haven't studied the film for tracked music, but I'd wager that virtually everything you're wondering about was recorded for COS. They re-recorded a lot of stuff adapted from SS. Over 20% of the score, I believe.

 

30-40% is more like it. I would be inclined to think that they're just re-used themes too, but the music summary sheets clearly indicate that they're tracked. Plus the bootleg that surfaced a few years ago includes none of them, nor did Bill Wroble find anything on them when he went through the score (well, he found a note on one of them - 8m2A - that it required "0 musicians").

 

Spoiler

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10 hours ago, Datameister said:

I'd still have to watch the film to figure it all out, though...and I don't want to watch that film. :P

 

Why not? Honestly I think CoS is my favorite of them all. It's way more interesting and fun than, say, Yates's films.

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10 hours ago, Skelly said:

 

Why not? Honestly I think CoS is my favorite of them all. It's way more interesting and fun than, say, Yates's films.

 

Oh I can't stand COS! Such an awkward and uncomfortable film to watch for me. It takes all of SS's worst tendencies, magnifies them, and dumps all its redeeming qualities. It suffers from some truly awful sequelitis at times, and the abundance of reused music (tracked or not) really just amplifies that "here we go again" feeling.

 

I'm happy for you that you enjoy it, but for me, it's the bottom of the barrel!

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I never can seem to understand why so many people consider PoA to be the best of them all.

The only real reason I can think of is that all the other ones are even worse.

 

The good parts of PoA are indeed pretty good. But it is extremely uneven and doesn't even make sense within its own context.

Let alone in relation to the other films. Let alone in relation to the books.

And there's some seriously stupid stuff in there. All in all, hardly an amazing film.

 

Of course that sentiment does not apply to the music. John Williams single-handedly made that film worthwhile for me.

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1 hour ago, Stefancos said:

You are obviously wrong. Better stick to seafaring movies, Piet

The reasons for my opinion on PoA are quite valid. For one, the werewolf looks retarded.

An extra line of dialog added that wasn't in the book basically means that Hermione is a werewolf (she isn't), which is even more retarded.

It is also the shortest movie of them all, yet skips over probably a bit too much story content that could easily have been fit in.

 

I can come up with plenty more criticism, all of which would be perfectly true.

But how heavily those facts weigh for you personally is, of course, purely personal preference.

Indeed its good points are probably better than the good points of the other movies.

So if you ignore the bad, I can imagine it being "the best of them all".

But "the best movie in an uneven series filled with missed opportunities" is faint praise... :o

 

To me personally, PoA was probably my favourite of the books.

The movie adaptation was a massive let-down as there really is no reason why it couldn't have been better.

I could think of a couple of things myself that would, without too many large changes, substantially improve that film.

The fact that apparently nobody in charge bothered to do any of that has baffled me for years.

 

I have to admit I quite liked both the first and second films in the series. Those actually fit with the tone of the source material.

Though indeed the first was quite "playing it safe", while the second one was a bit overly familiar.

So definitely not perfect films either. But at least OK and certainly worthy of the name.

 

It went quickly downhill from there for me as the movies started to feel more and more like massive missed opportunities.

While the general story elements remained intact, the general "fun" and "magic" that made the books so good was hardly to be found in the later films.

Instead, there was "doom and gloom". And the "epic wizard battles that look like puffs of smoke circling each other". Not cool!

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I can relate to your sentiments about the later films. They never really found a way to nail the tone, though I thought it got better in the last 3 films. Ultimately, my fandom really just extends to the books and the Williams music, though. (And to some extent, the very competent adaptation of the films at Universal's theme parks.) The films themselves are all flawed in their own ways.

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4 hours ago, Pieter_Boelen said:

It went quickly downhill from there for me as the movies started to feel more and more like massive missed opportunities.

While the general story elements remained intact, the general "fun" and "magic" that made the books so good was hardly to be found in the later films.

Instead, there was "doom and gloom". And the "epic wizard battles that look like puffs of smoke circling each other". Not cool!

 

Completely agree. The first four films were very good at surprising the audience with all sorts of little ways that magic works in the wizarding world.

With Yates, it all felt so cut-and-dry. In terms of magic, there was almost nothing we hadn't seen before.

 

DH part 1 is just awful. "Doom and gloom" is a theme there and I wouldn't mind it so much if the film weren't hitting you over the head with it with the low brightness level. There's so little magic in it, too. Heck, here's how they advertised the film!

 

Spoiler

EmmaWatson-1.jpg

 

At that point of course, everyone knew what Harry Potter was, but without the text there's no pinning down what type of film it is. Nothing that indicates adventure or fantasy at all.

 

The editing for almost all the later films is pretty atrocious too.

 

5 hours ago, mrbellamy said:

That'd be the other problem is that it panders excessively to people who haven't seen the first film or read the books, which is the opposite problem of the later ones. Cringeworthy lines like "There's only one place we're going to get all of this....Diagon Alley!" or "Millicent Bulstrode....Slytherin!" It hammers not just all the new creations into you but all the old stuff as well. Gets tedious and isn't as enjoyable as when it was all being discovered and learned anew, and as you say the reused music adds to the stale feeling.

 

Yes, subtlety is hardly a talent of Chris Columbus's.

 

Personally I think the re-use of so many themes helped make the two films feel cohesive. Since the film series explored several different styles in its ten years, sometimes going from one film to the next is a jarring experience because it's so different from what you saw last time. It makes it easier for me appreciate the various forms of repetition in Chamber of Secrets, musical and otherwise.

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I will agree that none of the films is particularly bad. So in that respect, one could argue the series as a whole is fairly consistent.

Though within each film itself, there can be rather massive highs and lows that average out to being acceptable in their own way.

 

The main objections I have are to very specific elements that make me seriously question what the *** the filmmakers were thinking.

Clearly they did want to make these films proper good, so what happened? I'd be really very curious to know.

 

Personally I can think of zero valid reasons why the films couldn't have been more consistently good than they turned out to be.

I know often enough book adaptations end up changing stuff and that may not meet everyone's preferences.

In this case I very much like the source material, so perhaps I am too attached to how I imagined those films to play out based on their books.

Could that be the reason why I find so many of the changes compared to the books to not just be different, but to be notably stupid?

 

My other most favourite book series though is Hornblower, which I may like even a bit better than Harry Potter.

Those have had a TV miniseries made, as well as a very old movie, all of which are very, very different from each other.

But in that example I appreciate them all of them. Definitely very well-done adaptations.

 

So what makes Harry Potter so different?

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18 hours ago, mrbellamy said:

Thing is, as much as I have my gripes with the films, I also am not sure that there's ever been a series that ran for eight movies that each maintained a reasonably high level in quality.

 

police-academy-1.jpg

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You're A Wizard: Hedwig's Theme is taken from the ending of Dumbledore's Caution, but the ending is edited or might be a different performance.

 

Entering The Diary: Diagon Alley ending

 

The Chamber Opens: Three Note Loop from HP1

 

I love the 'repetitiveness' in the music. Perfect continuity!

 

DAVID YATES SUCKS.

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Continuity implies continuation...as in, covering new ground along the same path. The post-Williams scores may have abandoned the path altogether, but COS made the mistake of just going backwards and covering the same ground twice.

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1 hour ago, bollemanneke said:

The Chamber Opens: Three Note Loop from HP1

 

That's what I thought as well - I thought it was 0:23 onward, albeit with internal edits - but they don't quite match up. The film has more pronounced brass, and a grander lead-up to the melodramatic measure of the loop.

 

But thanks for the other IDs.

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I cannot disagree with Datameister's words though.

That being said, I probably like CoS better than all non-Williams scores that followed.

 

Some of the adaption is quite nice on its own. And there is still plenty of new stuff.

But it is also admittedly flawed.

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Agreed. The new material is mostly great (Dobby's theme aside), and if you can get past the been-there-done-that feeling of the recycled material, it's all quite wonderful too. But the old hat feeling sure doesn't do the film any favors.

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3 hours ago, artguy360 said:

What's wrong with Dobby's theme? It's a nice understated piece that captures Dobby's general dopey-ness. I like that piece a lot.

 

There's no objective complaint I can level against it...and I don't think I would even argue that it doesn't fit the character. But something about its tepid servility really rubs me the wrong way. Just a personal taste thing. Lockhart's theme may be a direct rip-off of "No Ticket", but I enjoy listening to it more.

 

I will say that I really like the brief appearance of Dobby's theme when he's freed, though.

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I was never a big fan of Dobby's Theme.

But with it actually hearing it being used in the complete soundtrack, I like it a fair bit better now.

 

There were rather a lot of new themes in CoS, weren't there?

Almost overcompensates for the reused sections of music.

 

Out of curiosity, how do you guys reckon Home Alone 1 & 2 compare to each other?

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