Patrick Doyle: Hogwarts’ Hymn


With the first three Harry Potter films accompanied by music from American composer John Williams, the fourth instalment, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, saw music by Scottish film composer Patrick Doyle. Doyle only composed for this one film in the Harry Potter franchise, with British composer Nicholas Hooper taking the reins for films five and six. 

Doyle has been nominated and also won a number of awards for his film scores including the 2002 World Soundtrack Award for ‘Soundtrack Composer of the Year’, the 1995 Academy Award for ‘Best Original Score’ in Sense and Sensibility, and the ASCAP 2006 ‘Top Box Office Films’ for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. 

The switch of composers for the fourth Harry Potter film was down to complicated scheduling problems on Williams’ side, as he was also composing music for Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Memoirs of a Geisha, Munich and the remake of War of the Worlds in 2005.

The music was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Shearman in 2005. Doyle only used a small snippet of Williams’ music from the previous three films, which came in the form of Hedwig’s Theme which makes an ominous reprisal throughout the film. 

Doyle composed three new main themes for the film which included one for Harry Potter, Lord Voldemort and the Triwizard Tournament. The soundtrack has been praised for its seamless transition from one composer to another, as well as its new themes and darker undertones.


The Music

Hogwarts’ Hymn is heard at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Doyle’s rich orchestral writing is really proven here as the long sweeping string melody takes control of the piece. As the camera pans out over the Hogwarts castle, the theme begins to flourish, with Doyle using the brass to bolster the texture at climactic sections. The theme reprises a number of times, with each repetition being a touch louder in dynamic to show the orchestral development. The use of slurs throughout creates these long lyrical lines with no gaps, which is very pleasing to the ear. 

As the final climax plays out, the brass help with the final resolution before Hogwarts’ Hymn concludes with power and strength. 


Ⓒ Alex Burns

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