Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Music (Score)

Music (Score)

John Williams

John Williams composed the original themes for the entire Harry Potter saga, which is fitting. He's scored just about every other iconic film series under the sun. Why not this one?

Williams rocketed to fame with the score to Jaws, a theme that director Steven Spielberg cites with saving the film and which helped make it into a monster hit. Spielberg never strayed far from Williams, who continued to compose music for the likes of E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan and the Indiana Jones movies, among others.

Oh, that's not enough? He also did the themes for the first seven Star Wars movies—yes, all of them—as well as Superman: The Movie and Home Alone. So yeah, our boy's got skillz.

And for the Harry Potter movies, which were angling early on to take a place amid the pantheon of great film franchises, there was nobody else who could deliver the music goods quite like Williams.

You can see a lot of hallmarks of Williams' music in The Sorcerer's Stone. It's brass heavy, with trumpets and French horns taking the lead, and strings and woodwinds scampering behind. And it stresses the classical over the modern, evoking the 18th and 19th centuries far more than the 20th.

In short, it's perfect for what the filmmakers wanted to do with the saga, adding another immortal notch to Williams' belt and setting the tone for later Potter films to follow. Other composers took over in the latter half of the series, but they all took their cues from Williams…which isn't hard, considering that he's the most influential composer of the last forty years.

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