Harry Potter Soundtracks

Rochelle September 15, 2015 @ 3:42PM

Although I prefer the Harry Potter books over the movies, the movies have an undeniable charm and sense of magic about them. One of my favorite aspects of the movies is the music that was written for them. The music is gorgeous and fits all eight movies perfectly!

As you listen to them you will notice that the
Harry Potter soundtracks evolve as Harry Potter grows and changes. The early soundtracks are very light hearted but they start to turn dark as Lord Voldemort gets stronger. The final films are very dark yet are also hopeful and filled with determination. But even when things seem darkest throughout the stories, there are moments of fun, often courtesy of Fred and George Weasley but sometimes from other characters.

You have a couple of options when it comes to buying a
Harry Potter soundtrack. You can buy each as a CD or as digital music. I've included links to both Amazon and iTunes. Amazon offers CD and digital MP3 formats for each soundtrack, and iTunes offers digital MP3s.

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Soundtrack

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Soundtrack
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Date Released: October 30, 2001
Composer: John Williams

This is the first soundtrack and it is the most light hearted of the eight albums. John Williams penned the instantly recognizable
Hedwig's Theme that truly sets the magical tone for the movie.

I have a love/hate relationship with this album. I love most of it and hate the rest. There's no middle ground for me on this one.

Here is a playlist of this album (I have indicated my favorites by putting an asterisk after the song titles, like this*):

  1. Prologue *
  2. The Arrival of Baby Harry *
  3. Visit to the Zoo and Letters from Hogwarts *
  4. Diagon Alley and The Gringotts Vault *
  5. Platform Nine-and-Three-Quarters and The Journey to Hogwarts *
  6. Entry into the Great Hall and The Banquet *
  7. Mr. Longbottom Flies *
  8. Hogwarts Forever! and The Moving Stairs
  9. The Norwegian Ridgeback and A Change of Season *
  10. The Quidditch Match *
  11. Christmas at Hogwarts
  12. The Invisibility Cloak and The Library Scene
  13. Fluffy's Harp
  14. In the Devil's Snare and The Flying Keys
  15. The Chess Game *
  16. The Face of Voldemort
  17. Leaving Hogwarts *
  18. Harry's Wondrous World *
  19. Hedwig's Theme *

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Soundtrack

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Soundtrack
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Date Released: November 17, 2002
Composer: John Williams

The second soundtrack has a whimsical quality to many of the songs but Williams knows how to turn things dark where needed, such as when Harry and
Ron Weasley watch spiders scuttle past in a line or when Harry meets Tom Riddle when he is taken into Tom's diary to see past events.

Here is a playlist of this album (I have indicated my favorites by putting an asterisk after the song titles, like this*):

  1. Prologue: Book II And The Escape From The Dursleys *
  2. Fawkes The Phoenix *
  3. The Chamber Of Secrets *
  4. Gilderoy Lockhart *
  5. The Flying Car *
  6. Knockturn Alley *
  7. Introducing Colin *
  8. The Dueling Club *
  9. Dobby The House Elf *
  10. The Spiders *
  11. Moaning Myrtle *
  12. Meeting Aragog *
  13. Fawkes Is Reborn *
  14. Meeting Tom Riddle *
  15. Cornish Pixies *
  16. Polyjuice Potion *
  17. Cakes For Crabbe And Goyle *
  18. Dueling The Basilisk *
  19. Reunion Of Friends *
  20. Harry's Wondrous World (Chamber Of Secrets) *

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Soundtrack

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Soundtrack
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Date Released: May 25, 2004
Composer: John Williams

This is the last of the soundtracks penned by John Williams and it is the soundtrack that I like the least of his. There are moments of excitement and adventure, such as
Buckbeak's Flight and Mischief Managed!, as well as comical, like The Knight Bus. But, there are also several pieces that I completely hate. Don't get me wrong, they all work well in the movie but don't do nearly as well as stand alone pieces and I don't like listening to them if I'm not watching the movie.

Here is a playlist of this album (I have indicated my favorites by putting an asterisk after the song titles, like this*):

  1. Lumos! (Hedwig's Theme) *
  2. Aunt Marge's Waltz *
  3. The Knight Bus *
  4. Apparition on the Train *
  5. Double Trouble *
  6. Buckbeak's Flight *
  7. A Window to the Past *
  8. The Whomping Willow and the Snowball Fight *
  9. Secrets of the Castle *
  10. The Portrait Gallery *
  11. Hagrid the Professor *
  12. Monster Books and Boggarts!
  13. Quidditch, Third Year
  14. Lupin's Transformation and Chasing Scabbers
  15. The Patronus Light *
  16. The Werewolf Scene
  17. Saving Buckbeak *
  18. Forward to Time Past *
  19. The Dementors Converge
  20. Finale
  21. Mischief Managed! *

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Soundtrack

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Soundtrack
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Date Released: November 15, 2005
Composer: Patrick Doyle

The reigns to the soundtracks were turned over to Patrick Doyle with this film and this soundtrack has a very different feel from the previous three. Doyle managed to give the soundtrack a grander feeling than the previous three, which you can hear right away with the opening track,
Story Continues.

This is a much darker album, which makes sense since this is a much darker story than the ones that came before it. But there are also moments of beauty, such as with
Harry in Winter, and moments of hope, such as Neville's Waltz.

Not only was this soundtrack written by a new composer to the series, but it also is the first to feature music by a musical group. The last three songs on the album were from the Yule Ball scene and were performed in the movie by the magical group "The Weird Sisters."

Here is a playlist of this album (I have indicated my favorites by putting an asterisk after the song titles, like this*):

  1. Story Continues *
  2. Frank Dies
  3. The Quidditch World Cup *
  4. The Dark Mark *
  5. Foreign Visitors Arrive *
  6. The Goblet Of Fire *
  7. Rita Skeeter *
  8. Sirius Fire *
  9. Harry Sees Dragons *
  10. Golden Egg *
  11. Neville's Waltz *
  12. Harry In Winter *
  13. Potter Waltz *
  14. Underwater Secrets *
  15. The Black Lake *
  16. Hogwarts' March *
  17. The Maze
  18. Voldemort *
  19. Death Of Cedric
  20. Another Year Ends *
  21. Hogwarts' Hymn *
  22. Do The Hippogriff (by Jarvis Cocker, Jonny Greenwood, Phil Selway, Steve Mackey, Jason Buckle, and Steve Claydon) *
  23. This Is The Night (by Jarvis Cocker, Jonny Greenwood, Phil Selway, Steve Mackey, Jason Buckle, and Steve Claydon) *
  24. Magic Works (by Jarvis Cocker, Jonny Greenwood, Phil Selway, Steve Mackey, Jason Buckle, and Steve Claydon) *

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Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Soundtrack

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Soundtrack
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Date Released: July 10, 2007
Composer: Nicholas Hooper

Once again there is a new composer for the series and it just might be my absolute favorite of the eight soundtracks. I
love the tone that Hooper set for this movie.

Interestingly, the story for this movie is very bleak but you wouldn't know it by listening to this soundtrack. Hooper nailed every character he wrote for and gave the movie just the right amount of humor in his music.

Stand out pieces for me include
Fireworks, Professor Umbridge, and The Room of Requirements. There is only one piece that I don't like to listen to on this soundtrack, and that speaks highly of what Hooper did with this movie.

Here is a playlist of this album (I have indicated my favorites by putting an asterisk after the song titles, like this*):

  1. Fireworks *
  2. Professor Umbridge *
  3. Another Story *
  4. Dementors In The Underpass
  5. Dumbledore's Army *
  6. The Hall Of Prophecies *
  7. Possession *
  8. The Room of Requirement *
  9. The Kiss *
  10. A Journey To Hogwarts *
  11. The Sirius Deception *
  12. Death Of Sirius *
  13. Umbridge Spoils A Beautiful Morning *
  14. Darkness Takes Over *
  15. The Ministry Of Magic *
  16. The Sacking Of Trelawny *
  17. Flight Of The Order Of The Phoenix *
  18. Loved Ones And Leaving *

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Soundtrack

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Soundtrack
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Date Released: July 14, 2009
Composer: Nicholas Hooper

Nicholas Hooper only wrote one more score for the
Harry Potter films, which was this one. It has 10 more pieces on it than the last one, and I love it just about as much as I do the previous soundtrack.

The Half-Blood Prince
isn't as bleak a story as Order of the Phoenix but it does have Harry dealing with the death of his Godfather, Sirius Black. Despite that, the film manages to incorporate a nice amount of humor into it and the score reflects that.

Having said that, this score is darker than the previous one. The opening piece,
Opening, has a definite sense of urgency which is the underlying state of Dumbledore as he knowingly comes to the end of his life.

The pieces for Fred and George Weasley,
Wizard Wheezes and The Weasley Stomp, are upbeat and whimsical, which is fitting for the twins. Another whimsical piece is The Slug Party.

There are several dark pieces that fit the tone of story. One of the most heartbreaking pieces on the soundtrack is
Dumbledore's Farewell.

Here is a playlist of this album (I have indicated my favorites by putting an asterisk after the song titles, like this*):

  1. Opening *
  2. In Noctem *
  3. The Story Begins *
  4. Ginny *
  5. Snape & the Unbreakable Vow *
  6. Wizard Wheezes *
  7. Dumbledore's Speech *
  8. Living Death *
  9. Into the Pensieve
  10. The Book *
  11. Ron's Victory *
  12. Harry & Hermione *
  13. School! *
  14. Malfoy's Mission *
  15. The Slug Party *
  16. Into the Rushes *
  17. Farewell Aragog *
  18. Dumbledore's Foreboding *
  19. Of Love & War *
  20. When Ginny Kissed Harry *
  21. Slughorn's Confession *
  22. Journey To the Cave *
  23. The Drink of Despair
  24. Inferi In the Firestorm
  25. The Killing of Dumbledore *
  26. Dumbledore's Farewell *
  27. The Friends *
  28. The Weasley Stomp *

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 Soundtrack

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 Soundtrack
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Date Released: November 16, 2010
Composer: Alexandre Desplat

The fourth and final composer for the
Harry Potter movies was Alexandre Desplat. He took over for the final two movies and he did a great job! He was my second favorite of the four composers.

This movie was incredibly bleak and hopeless, and Desplat set the tone for this with the opening piece,
Obliviate. That piece starts slow and builds with a great sense of urgency and just a touch of hope, but mostly despair. The urgency continues in the next piece, Snape to Malfoy Manor.

Harry and Ginny
is haunting and sparse and does a great job of expressing the emotions that Harry and Ginny Weasley have for one another but can't act on. Farewell to Dobby is also full of emotions and is a beautiful way to say goodbye to Dobby, the free elf.

Lovegood
perfectly captures the eccentric nature of Luna's father, Xenophilius Lovegood and is one of my absolute favorite pieces from all eight soundtracks. Other fun pieces include Ministry of Magic and Detonators.

Here is a playlist of this album (I have indicated my favorites by putting an asterisk after the song titles, like this*):

  1. Obliviate *
  2. Snape To Malfoy Manor *
  3. Polyjuice Potion *
  4. Sky Battle *
  5. At The Burrow *
  6. Harry And Ginny *
  7. The Will *
  8. Death Eaters *
  9. Dobby *
  10. Ministry Of Magic *
  11. Detonators *
  12. The Locket
  13. Fireplaces Escape
  14. Ron Leaves *
  15. The Exodus *
  16. Godric's Hollow Graveyard *
  17. Bathilda Bagshot
  18. Hermione's Parents *
  19. Destroying The Locket
  20. Ron's Speech
  21. Lovegood *
  22. The Deathly Hallows *
  23. Captured And Tortured *
  24. Rescuing Hermione *
  25. Farewell To Dobby *
  26. The Elder Wand *

There is a song in the movie that played on the radio when Harry and Hermione Granger danced together that is not on the soundtrack. The song is called O Children and it is by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. You can buy it here at Amazon but it isn't available at iTunes. This is a must-have song for fans of the movie!

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 Soundtrack

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Soundtrack
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Date Released: July 12, 2011
Composer: Alexandre Desplat

Here it is, the final soundtrack for the final movie. The previous soundtrack was bleak with moments of hope, but this one has much more hope and is more adventurous. That's not to say that there aren't dark tunes on here because there are, but Harry and his friends, both young and old, rally together for the final showdown against Voldemort and his Death Eaters and you can feel their determination as you listen to several of the pieces. Two great example of this
Statues and Courtyard Apocalypse.

Severus and Lily
is wistful and full of longing, and was beautifully written. Another piece written for Lily, Lily's Theme, is equally beautiful, yet in a different way than the other.

Here is a playlist of this album (I have indicated my favorites by putting an asterisk after the song titles, like this*):

  1. Lily's Theme*
  2. The Tunnel*
  3. Underworld*
  4. Gringotts*
  5. Dragon Flight*
  6. Neville*
  7. A New Headmaster
  8. Panic Inside Hogwarts*
  9. Statues*
  10. The Grey Lady*
  11. In The Chamber Of Secrets*
  12. Battlefield*
  13. The Diadem
  14. Broomsticks And Fire*
  15. Courtyard Apocalypse*
  16. Snape's Demise*
  17. Severus And Lily*
  18. Harry's Sacrifice*
  19. The Resurrection Stone*
  20. Harry Surrenders*
  21. Procession*
  22. Neville The Hero
  23. Showdown*
  24. Voldemort's End*
  25. A New Beginning*

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