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Interview with Composer of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Video Game Soundtrack

Video Games
Posted by: sue
March 09, 2009, 08:45 AM

Composer James Hannigan has given a new interview to the BBC, where he discusses his work on the music heard in the Harry Potter video games. At this link to the article, you can also preview the theme that will be heard in the upcoming Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince video game. Those with sharp ears will recall that indeed that music has been used recently in trailers for the new HBP game from EA.

In the interview, Mr. Hannigan says that he takes into consideration work done by the Harry Potter film composer, in this case Nicholas Hooper for HBP, as he says

"There has to be a similar approach to the music" says Hannigan.  "I'll work some of the famous Hedwig's Theme into some of the music to identify it as Harry Potter - it's very much the game of the film". 

The soundtrack for the game was recorded by the Philharmonia Orchestra at Pinewood's Air Studios.  At the moment, such a grand level of music production is relatively unusual in a game, and typically only reserved for so-called AAA games, those with the biggest budgets.  

The interview continues with the following on the nature of music for these videogames:

"The biggest difference between games music and film music is really the function" says Hannigan."You have to remember that the gamer is both audience and participant - they're observing this world, they're watching a story, but they're also a participant in the story ".

Pre-orders for the video game of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince are available now, with the game out in July of this year.

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8069 Points

I am glad they are putting more into the music for this game.

Posted by Melinae ♥Squee♥/Professor Truffle on March 09, 2009, 09:26 AM report to moderator
2235 Points

not a fan of a game ;D

Posted by Sidish_black6 [WBM] on March 09, 2009, 09:26 AM report to moderator
2235 Points

but will definitely love the music !!! ;D

Posted by Sidish_black6 [WBM] on March 09, 2009, 09:29 AM report to moderator
3048 Points

It is just wonderful that Electronic Arts does invest so heavily in the creation of fantastic soundtracks to accompany the video games. In my opinion, they make playing the games even more rewarding.

Posted by Kirk on March 09, 2009, 10:01 AM report to moderator

This is awesome. Hannigan’s score to the last game was one of the best things about it.
I don’t think he bases the music off Hooper’s score as you say though. He said he works in Hedwig’s theme by John Williams sometimes. I read in another interview the game music gets written before Hooper’s, so it’s separate.

Posted by DaveF on March 09, 2009, 10:08 AM report to moderator
4138 Points

I love the theme!!!

Posted by Calum Wilson (RuneDream54) on March 09, 2009, 01:03 PM report to moderator

I love the little preview, but that music was in OOTP. I assume they’ll probably use it for HBP too (because in OOTP they used music from all the past games), but that specific song wasn’t composed for HBP. It was composed for OOTP.

Anywho, I love it. The music in the games are always incredible.

Posted by hallowethe on March 09, 2009, 02:23 PM report to moderator
3700 Points

The music adds greatly to the atmosphere of the game and I’m glad they’re co-ordinating with the film score!

Posted by Minerva McGonagall on March 09, 2009, 03:08 PM report to moderator
1013 Points

Very interesting article. I love hearing how he really put thought and effort into distinguishing the music in the game from the music in the movie, and recognizing that music shapes your experience differently in games than in movies. Often for movie-based games, you just get the main theme recycled in an endless loop, with some sound effects slapped on there. And he’s totally right about how a 3rd person game, especially one like this and OotP, where there’s a lot of emphasis on exploration and just looking around, that there are times when you want to stop and soak in the full experience, and so it’s okay to ramp up the music a bit.

Oh, and the actual sample of music is great, too!

Posted by Dawlish and the Archies {WBM!} on March 09, 2009, 03:28 PM report to moderator
8256 Points

I will definatly buy this game.

Posted by spicefan78 OoM1 {ROAR!} on March 09, 2009, 04:28 PM report to moderator

there was a spoken interview that went with this. It’s here (listen from 21:45):
(click listen to the latest edition)

Posted by DaveF on March 09, 2009, 04:42 PM report to moderator
2224 Points

I may end up buying this game. I haven’t really liked the ones before this. Order of the Phoenix was the best, so far.

Posted by on March 09, 2009, 04:45 PM report to moderator
2573 Points

Definitely buying it…like all the others!

Posted by ErinM {Roar} on March 09, 2009, 05:25 PM report to moderator
8256 Points

I will definatly buy the game.

Posted by spicefan78 OoM1 {ROAR!} on March 09, 2009, 05:56 PM report to moderator
383 Points

I hope this game will be awesome! The is so much more they could add to the games. Think about online play

Posted by grednforge7 on March 09, 2009, 06:19 PM report to moderator
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