Nicholas Hooper on Scoring Half-Blood Prince


Jul 24, 2009

Posted by SueTLC

Composer Nicholas Hooper has given another interview, this time to IFMagazine, where he speaks again about scoring the film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Mr. Hooper speaks on bringing in some of the cues from his music for Order of the Phoenix as well as working with the now iconic “Hedwig’s Theme” for HBP. Quotage:

Although a lot of things seem logical after the event, I tend to write instinctively, allowing things to develop in their own way. It would be easy to say that I meant to use such and such a theme in a “brilliant stroke of genius.” But in fact a lot of what works comes out of trying things out first, and then discussing them later. A bit like throwing paint at the wall one day and coming in to have a look at it the next to see what shape it makes. The use of the Possession theme from HP V (where Voldemort possesses Harry) came back as an idea when Voldemort is first mentioned by the name of Tom Riddle in Dumbledore’s speech at the start of the new term. It seemed to work there and gradually worked its way into the movie following Dumbledore’s own involvement with Voldemort. This along with a new theme created the DNA for the whole score. Placing John Williams’ themes became obvious as we went along. The beginning of the film has to have at least a hint of Hedwig’s Theme (look out for the end of it in the brass just before the Death Eaters attack London). Later in the film, Hedwig’s theme gave a sense of being back in a POTTER movie, so it was used on the train to Hogwarts and Harry’s arrival at the Weasley’s home. I also enjoyed using a bit of William’s Quidditch theme in the Quidditch match to point up Ron’s amazing goal saving.

Readers will recall of course, as first noted here on July 14, then several days later, Mr. Hooper will not be returning to provide the score for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, as legendary John Williams is indeed in talks to return to the series and create the music for the final Harry Potter films. Nicholas Hooper says again:

“I have made the decision not to do the next two HARRY POTTER films. I’ll be handing the baton on to another composer. It has been a roller coaster ride, and, I feel, an enormous privilege to have the opportunity to have scored such great films and such a fantastic story.”

Thanks so much Alex, and to IFMagazine!

51 Responses to Nicholas Hooper on Scoring Half-Blood Prince

Avatar ImageAbiDumbledore says: He did a good job! I guess it will be good if John Williams comes back!Avatar ImageHP United says: Looking forward to seeing John Williams return. I was disapponted with the HBP score actually.Avatar ImageRedbeard says: He did a really good job, esspecially for the sixth film. I'm actually kind of sad to see him go. John Williams is great, but a bit of a cliché by now. On the other hand, PoA had a great unique score, so let's hope Williams will be just as inspired if he scores the last two movies. Avatar ImageEnricoDc says: I wish WB don't make another decision that makes the HP fans dissapointed, John Williams return is the only best for the last 2 HP films, Appointing another composer besides JW is really a bad idea, Otherwise they will make musical scores for DH that makes us all amaze like what JW did on the 1st three HP films...Avatar Imagecghambright says: He did an amazing job with OOTP and HBP! Those are the only two soundtracks that I own. I have HBP on repeat right now. But I hope people know that just because Hooper isn't returning...that doesn't mean we will get John Williams. He might be too busy and we could end up with some entirely new. Avatar ImageTeatopatronusesla says: Actually I didn't really enjoy the OoTP score, but I think Hooper did a much better job in HBP - maybe he had a better knowledge and more experience....? I thought JWilliams was returning? Guess not then...haha and yeah I have HBP on repeat too. I've had it on repeat since Saturday when I watched the film. I listen to the more sadder ones when I go to bed :) too bad they don't make harry potter dreams pop up! hahaAvatar ImageA Chocolate Frog says: Awesome!! I really, really like Hooper's scores for OotP and HBP. But I'm excited for a new composer too...fingers crossed for John Williams!! :DAvatar Imagebudgie says: I liked Hooper's score, and have listened to it on my i-pod while driving to see the HBP. Williams score for POA was definitely a better listen over-all though.Avatar Imagegryffindor1991 says: I thought the score of HBP was so good. My favorites though are PoA and GoF.Avatar Imagelevi-OH-sa not levio-SA says: it was a bit too similar to ootp at times, but i really liked the creepy chanting choir sets a lot more for this movie :]Avatar ImageBookworm Jen says: I loved the scores for both OotP and HBP, but I'm hoping John Williams will return for DH to bring things full circle.Avatar Imageno1hpfan says: HBP is my favorite score but Williams is my favorite composer and i hope he comes back... he can do some great things with the last two Avatar ImageThatJordanEdwards says: After HBP, I'm actually sad to see Hooper go. This score is a great improvement from OotP and is, overall, more enjoyable to listen to (for me, at least). That being said, I'm still really pulling for John Williams to return for the Sevens. Avatar ImageThatJordanEdwards says: After HBP, I'm actually sad to see Hooper go. This score is a great improvement from OotP and is, overall, more enjoyable to listen to (for me, at least). That being said, I'm still really pulling for John Williams to return for the Sevens. Avatar ImageMidnightSun321 says: i really liked the score :). shame he isnt cuming back tho. xxAvatar ImageMidnightSun321 says: i really liked the score :). shame he isnt cuming back tho. xxAvatar ImageMidnightSun321 says: i really liked the score :). shame he isnt cuming back tho. xxAvatar ImageMoose_Starr says: That's just so cool ... I thought it was only a rumor about John Williams coming back to score DH, like I knew Nicholas Hooper was going but, I didnt know there was more to it than that. How cool that John Williams is in talks to return to the HP movies ... I sure hope that he does :)Avatar ImageHermione Elizabeth says: I think he did a great job to capture both movies with his music! I especially love the HBP soundtrack with all it's themes like the Death Eaters Theme and Dumbledore's Theme. I also think that the HBP soundtrack is better then OoTP even though they are both great! I'm kinda sad to see him go.....Avatar ImageAelaeras says: He did a really good job, like everyone else is saying.... >.>Avatar Imageshellscotie says: I wish he come back. In this whole series the possession scene in OOTP is the only scene that got me teary bc the music wrench my heart. I really love his score especially in the cave scene in HBP. it's so epic.Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: He did a very good job...Avatar ImageWingardium Leviosa says: I liked the score on HBP, but I will be excited if John Williams returns.Avatar Imageliv-wa says: I really enjoyed Hooper's scores. If Williams is back for Deathly Hallows though, I would be pleased.Avatar Imagex_Potter_Lover_Forever_x says: I didn't mind the music for HBP but I thought it could have been better I was most looking forward to The Phoenix Lament (in a werid way!) but it was quite dissapointing. But he was never awful and I was never really, really concious of the music which is the way it's meant to be. However, really I want John Williams' back for the last two films. His music was great especially the momentous Hedwig's Theme I mean you have to have that if Hedwig dies right? :'( *sob sob* *HERE, HERE FOR BRINGING BACK JOHN WILLIAMS!*Avatar Imagelau399 says: I was glad about this. I didn't like his style at all but I have to say that I do like the OOTP soundtrack but HBP was not impressive! it could have been better. The orchestration is weak and boring at times. Is not a cd that I would listen to because is not interesting to me. Avatar ImageGTHunter says: williams is betterAvatar Imagestarlesswinter says: Hooper, Hooper, Hooper... that is NOT a Quidditch theme. It's just the Double Trouble theme reworked, and therefore it's completely inappropriate for this film.Avatar Imageccking says: the scor was fantastic, I really wish he was coming back :( I thought that it was one of the best scores ever on an HP film, he could've done alot with DH Avatar Imagedrhawks says: I COULD NOT BE HAPPIER! :) Hooper... you went out with style. Kudos to you, my man. I'm so pumped about the opportunity to have John Williams coming back for the next 2 films! I think his best work is when he tries to write "dark" themes :) He's great at "light" stuff (aka HP 1 and 2) but you look at his work in films like Munich and Memoirs of a Geisha :) and it's simply amazing. Do it john! Avatar ImageAwakened says: I just got the HBP soundtrack a few hours ago. It was a very similar to OotP at parts, but overall really nice. Even so, I'm pulling for John Williams to return - his work is really iconic.Avatar Imagegot2lovme says: I loved the music on the film. Really great stuff.Avatar Imageweasleywannabe1997 says: John Williams would be fabulous! If not him, why not Patrick Doyle??Avatar ImageAelaeras says: Yeah, he did a good jobAvatar Imagekmac says: Hooper did an excellent job scoring both films, he really did handle the different themes throughout very well, but John Williams is probably my favourite conductor (of more modern times), so I'll be very excited if he returns.Avatar ImageNot Slytherin says: I really enjoyed Hooper's work. Thanks for a job well done!Avatar ImageMugglejeff says: Gryffindor’s need to roar!!! Avatar ImageMugglejeff says: Gryffindor’s need to roar!!! Avatar Imagehibou333 says: Congratulations Nicholas Hooper!!!! Great scores!!! I really enjoy your music and it blends really well with the HP movies. I will be listening for a long time to come :DAvatar ImageJadeDanielle says: I like the score to HBP on its own, but I was so disappointed with it actually in the film. Quite often the music really didn't match the scene that was playing.... But, like I said, it sounds good by itself!Avatar ImageDillonLarson says: I don't have anything against Hooper, but John Williams is a film score legend. He created Hedwig's Theme, which has defined the entire Harry Potter brand. I would be thrilled for him to come back!Avatar Imagedeadtree says: OotP and HBP are the only two Potter soundtracks I own-- I'm sad to see him go!Avatar Imagedeadtree says: OotP and HBP are the only two Potter soundtracks I own-- I'm sad to see him go!Avatar Imagenibbler says: He scored HBP??? He basicly copy-pasted score from movie 5. Weasley theme is the same.Avatar ImageMaja_Leonora says: I loved the score for Order of the Phoenix, but was rather unimpressed with what he did for Half-Blood Prince. His compositions are usually good, and the themes that were picked up from OotP were beautifully adapted. HBP was probably better done as a movie, score included. I was just sorry not to have more new stuff, that's all. Also towards the end; I'd have liked something more significant for the the whole end of the movie. The cave was allright (I think, I cant remember it too well), but DD's death could, and should, have been so much more!Avatar ImageEnergizerBunny says: Personally, I really really REALLY don't want John Williams do return, even though tons of people like his music, I find he doesn't do epic music very well, and unless I'm mistaken, Deathly Hallows is very much an epic book. I'd (as unlikely as it is) like for them to get Hans Zimmer to do them.Avatar Imagefelicitas says: I still think John Williams did the best job, though I'm glad that Nicholas Hooper was used twice instead of bouncing from composer to composer. I wish John Williams could have done them all though...Avatar ImageR-for-H says: I really loved the score!! It fitted the film perfectly!! I am hoping to buy it soon! xDAvatar Imagefluteguy18 says: I hope they bring John Williams back in the sense that he pulls from the material he used in POA. That music was beautiful (and as a conservatory music major, I know). If they don't bring him back, I hope they get someone like Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings) or James Horner (Titanic), but that they retain elements from the original thematic material and leit motif. Both of those composers wrote revolutionary music that was not only epic in scope but in mood/style.Avatar Imagehermyone08 says: glad to know his thoughts and feelings :)Avatar ImageDavid_uk says: I was rather disappointed with both scores. I thought both were far too invisible for my liking. (I prefer heavy scores such as Lord of the Rings, or Goblet of Fire, even though GoF was my least favourite film overall). HBP was better, but then there were also times in HBP where there was silence when I expected music and vice versa. Bring back Williams... or Howard Shore... or maybe Patrick Doyle if not. Either of the three I'll be happy with.

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