Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Composed By: Nicholas Hooper
Distributed by: New Line Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the movie adaptation of the sixth novel in the beloved series of novels by J.K. Rowling. This particular film is darker in nature than the last. The novel it is based upon is best known for the death of a well-liked main character. In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry must aid Dumbledore in learning what Professor Slughorn, the recently returned Spells professor, is hiding about Voldemort. The secret must be revealed before Voldemort and his faithful Death Eaters can hatch their evil plan to take over Hogwarts.
The musical score of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Soundtrack is composed by Nicholas Hooper. A British television and film score composer, Hooper has created musical scores for Land of the Tiger, Andes to Amazon, The Girl in the Café, Prime Suspect: The Final Act and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
The soundtrack contains much of the original themes of Harry Potter as created by John Williams, but these are mixed in with Hooper’s newly created themes, giving the soundtrack that familiar feeling while still projecting a new sound. There are quite a few variations in genre throughout this soundtrack. Irish and Welsh music are represented in Wizard Wheezes, a track that unfortunately never appeared in the film, a crying shame since it is a rather lively and enjoyable number. This genre is also represented in The Weasley Stomp, another lively, toe-tapping number. A Latin tempo is infused into A Slug Party causing one to tap their feet and nod their heads along time with the music. The sad music accompanying Farewell Aragog is reminiscent of sad Irish tunes saluting the death of an old friend (no, I haven’t given away the big secret of the film).
Hooper uses a multitude of styles to pull off this soundtrack. Guitars and strings are used to denote sentimentality and sweetness in When Ginny Kissed Harry. Flutes give the appearance of innocence while strings and horns remind us that all is not as innocent as it seems in Slughorn’s Confession. Harsh sounding electronic noise in addition with orchestral music played in lower registers impart to the listener that something wicked this way comes. Disjointed sounds and whispering voices are enough to freak the listener out in the Drink of Despair. Faster tempos and rising crescendos accompanied by a choir let us know when something very important is taking place in the film.
Having seen the film, I can honestly say that Nicholas Hooper’s musical score for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince perfectly interprets the movie to the listener, providing insight into the emotional rollercoaster of the adventure Harry and his friends are about to undertake. The intensity of some of the tracks is relieved by the lightheartedness of others, offering balance to the score as a whole. As an accompanying piece to the film, the score serves to enhance the experience. Nicholas Hooper has proven that he was the perfect choice of composers to create the musical score of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince..