Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Soundtrack

This is a response to a conversation I had with my friend over Facebook. His comment was:

the music was different. usually its all orchestral nd stuff. this time there was electronic john hopkins liek stuff and medeval sounding acoustic guitars. im talking background music specifically

just my opinion

Background music. Exactly. That’s all it was. It didn’t have any of the usual flare of a John Williams score. There wasn’t anything memorable in it, except perhaps the music Daniel and Emma danced to, which doesn’t really count.

They didn’t even use the main theme “Hedwig’s Theme” during the title sequence or credits, which they normally do.

Sure, the music did a great job of adding to the atmosphere, but that was all it was, atmospheric music. John Williams himself has this way of adding to the atmosphere fantastically whilst creating incredibly memorable tunes. Everyone knows the main Harry Potter tune, Darth Vader’s Theme, Star Wars Main Title, the Superman Theme, the Jaws theme, the list goes on.
No one’s going to remember the music from this film in my opinion.

(Follow the break to get down to the ratings and the next film)

That said, the ratings have been pretty good. According to Wikipedia:

  • Soundtrackgeek.com: 9/10
  • Shadowlocked.com: 4/5. They also added: “While this is a good soundtrack, there’s something about it that keeps it from being great. But it did make me more excited to see the new film.”
  • BlogHogwarts: 4.2/5. “Desplat has satisfied the expectations. Nevertheless, I must confess the music didn’t find my ‘soul’
  • Filmmusicsite.com: 7/10. “Desplat was really on to something when he wrote this soundtrack, and perhaps if he had given it a little more thought, he would have recognized how close he had come to writing something outstanding. Instead, the soundtrack’s musical gems come and go and never fully develop, leaving the listener disappointed by how close the soundtrack came to musical greatness.”
While the statistics seem to suggest it’s gotten pretty good ratings, if you look at the comments, you’ll see they agree with me. The soundtrack simply didn’t have anything to set it above any other film’s soundtrack.
My personal rating? I’d give it a 6/10. It would be even lower if I wasn’t taking into account the fact it is actually a film score. However, because it does do a very good job of adding atmosphere, I think it deserves to get pushed up a little. 

There was originally speculation that John Williams himself would come back for the final film. While this was the plan of both Williams and the films’ director, unfortunately they have conflicting schedules, so this won’t be the case. Because of this, the composer of this film will be returning to do the second part of The Deathly Hallows.
The composer of this film — Alexandre Deslpat, whose other works include:  The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Fantastic Mr. Fox; and The Twilight Saga: New Moon — stated that:

“I would take every opportunity to use the fabulous theme composed by John Williams. I’d say it has not sufficiently been used in the latest movies, so if I have the opportunity and if the footage allows me, I’m going to arrange it” 

I agree thoroughly with the first part of that statement. I also thought that the previous films lacked the use of the original motifs written down by John Williams. However, I still enjoyed their soundtracks as individual soundtracks.
It’s unfortunate, in my opinion, that he didn’t go through with his original plan to use Williams’s themes more, because that would have been a huge boost to the overall quality of the score.

If you have a different opinion, I urge you to let me know why. Or, if you have anything to add, please go ahead in the comments. I’m interested to see what you have to say.

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