Of music that goes BUMP in the night

I watched “Harry Potter and the deathly hallows” the other day and since then I have been plagued by a tune from the movie. The tune is one I have heard so often that I know it by heart, but I don’t know its origins. Unfortunately Its not exactly the theme song of the movie, so a simple google of “Harry Potter theme tune” didn’t turn up anything.

I next guessed that it must be by a famous composer, so started going through youtube’s collection of great composers. I didn’t find the one I was looking for, but I did come across some real favorites. I have added in brackets the things that came to mind when I heard them. (I recommend you search for these on youtube, they are magnificent)

1. beethoven’s 5th (Phantom of the opera)
2. William Tell overture (horse racing)
3. Sabre Dance (circus scenes)
4. Beethoven’s Fur Elise (clock alarms and musical jewel boxes)
5. Carl orffs – “O fortuna” (old spice)
6. Beethovens Ode to joy

I then went in search of “chase music” or music used as background for chase scenes and found this gem.

Fast, frenetic, classical music or chase music

I still didn’t find what I was looking for so I then tried

horror and suspense!

and thats when I finally found it. The Hall of the Mountain king by Edvard Grieg Peer Gynt

The video below gives a great visualization of how the piece gets used (abused??) in the movies!

Classical music is so rich, it seems to have a tune for every human emotion.


Pachelbels canon

In the end when things go right, when families are reunited, when hope triumphs over despair, when the future generations are being shown as successful, during periods of happiness, prosperity or growth shown as images with musical accompaniment, you will probably hear this tune

This is one of the more famous (they say, <I just found out about it>) classical pieces, found in movies as background music. I came across this particular piece by accident while reading about Ruby Why’s poignant guide to Ruby (another fascinating confusion which I will try and review when I finish it).

What strikes me or struck me, is that this particular tune is one I have heard before on many occasions. The image of Pierce Brosnan pops up when I hear this (I dont know why, but I think its from repeated usage of this in the soundtrack of remington steele), I cant place which movie exactly, but its there!