Half-Blood Prince Composer Nicholas Hooper Talks Style and Score in New Interview

Jul 07, 2009

Posted by: EdwardTLC

HBP Film

The Los Angeles Times Hero Complex Blog recently spoke with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince soundtrack composer Nicholas Hooper, who spoke about his role and influence in creating the music for the sixth film. Having worked with film director David Yates on various other projects over the past nineteen years, Mr. Hooper discusses the process of putting his own stamp on the score for the latest film by saying:

“I started by listening to a lot of the John Williams
score, particularly from the third movie, “Prisoner of Azkaban’ which
I loved and I suppose is closest to what I was trying to do. I used
some of his themes, particularly his Hedwig theme. After that, we all
decided that it was best if I moved into my own way of composing rather
than trying to emulate John Williams, which is impossible. I did a
different kind of score for “Half-Blood Prince’ really. It was
simpler, the way I write music is simpler.”

Mr. Hooper goes on to talk of the kind of feeling he wanted to portray “towards the end of the film, right before Dumbledore is killed.” However, he goes to say that even though the piece “sequence was dropped from the film,” he was able to use it for “it had in it the seeds of the germ of the idea that actually follows
Dumbledore’s progress throughout the film and comes to quite a musical
height at the point where Harry and Dumbledore travel to find
Voldemort’s secret Horcrux in the cave. It’s a big moment.”

The interview continues with the composer speaking more to the various themes he created for various characters in the film. One theme being for the character of Draco Malfoy. Quoteage:

“[The theme] follows him throughout all his visits to the room of requirements.
Definitely a Malfoy theme, yeah. It’s an odd mixture of dark and sad.
Well, not sad exactly. It’s moving though. Here’s this poor boy who has
been kind of pulled into this. You don’t just feel he’s really evil. So
the music couldn’t be about his being evil. It’s not about that. It’s
about this kid being pulled out of his depth, really.”

Finally, the interview wraps up with the composer speaking of one of his favorite pieces from the film. He says, “I think my favorite moment was Harry and Dumbledore in the cave
because it’s just so big and tough. A couple of people came to listen
to it when I was finished and they were in tears after they heard the
recording and I thought, “Oh, that’s nice.” I feel like I moved people.
I have to say the Harry and Ginny moment is another favorite… They’re in the room
of requirements and they’re trying to hide something and they even come
across Malfoy’s secret and they don’t know it. Then they kiss. It’s a
lovely, beautiful moment in the film. It comes out of an earlier moment
when Harry sees Ginny at the beginning of the film. It’s not music that
reoccurs throughout the film. It’s just one special melody in the

As readers will recall, a host of bonus material will be available on the CD version of the soundtrack including “a free digital download of the entire soundtrack in 5.1 Surround Sound, along with bonus exclusive content.” The Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince soundtrack will be released on July 14th and is currently available for pre-order over in our own Cauldron Shop and iTunes.

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.