John Williams: Aunt Marge’s Waltz


Featuring in the 2004 film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Aunt Marge’s Waltz is a comical orchestral underscore that accompanies one of the first scenes of the film. When Harry’s horrible aunt Marge visits the Dursely’s home, she goads Harry until he gets so angry he illegally uses magic on her to teach her a lesson. As Marge begins to swell up into a massive balloon, it’s Williams’ underscore that really brings this scene to life.


The Music

Opening with a jaunty oboe solo accompanied by pizzicato strings, this angular melody is soon taken over by the strings. This playful melody is decorated by whirling woodwind and boisterous horns. The waltz tempo and time signature is dramatic and heavy, perhaps relating to the size that aunt Marge is growing into. The central section is led by the upper strings who go against a secondary theme played by the horns. As the tension rises so does the panic on screen as nobody can help Marge. The tempo begins to pick up as the final climax is reached when the orchestra unite for the final comedic ‘galop’ as Marge floats away into the distance. 


Ⓒ Alex Burns

Happy Reading!

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