Sound effects and soundtracks

I have studied with a lott of passion, the possibilities of a soundtrack to add to the website to enhance the experiemce. It has been proven through my previous research, that my target audience identifies with the use of music and sound effects on websites. Therefore it’s vital that my site also does the same thing. I looked at what has been rated by this audience as one of the most recognisable theme songs ever composed, the Harry Potter theme.


The above video states in the opening sentence how amazing it is the amount of emotional weight that a simple melody can carry.

It is pointed out that the HP theme needed to be ‘light’ and the composer picked a Celesta because ‘if you play 5 notes in quick succession you get this beautiful little blurb’.

The melody is used in different ways 36 times across the first three movies. 24 times in the first movie and 16 before Harry even arrives at Hogwarts. Repetions, and how and when it was chosen to be used is what made it so memorable.

It is played at moments of courage or safety, therefore, it means hope.

Throughout the rest of the movies, the instruments the melody is played varies and so, somewhat does the style.

The use of musical foreshadowing is an interesting concept, that allows the viewer learn about plot and emotional cues before the character does.

What I learnt

The melody should play and develop throughout the experience, it should start as exciting and upbeat using the celesta as the musical instrument it is played on. Then it should divuldge into different sounds.

The melody itself (which consists of 14 notes) should be played at keypoints through the experience.

In my case the melody can be played on the instuments from a specific country to offer a slight contrast throughout the experience. A great example of how this is done is for the Indian version of the Harry Potter theme;

The soundtrack theme should be broken down into different elements;

What I learnt

Creating a soundtrack is important, from the previous research I knew what I wanted to achieve. My music editing skills are limited, therefore I hired a sound producer to help me with creating a soundtrack. This is me and the sound producer working together on the theme tune;

After hours working on a melody that would be interesting for my target audience, we had a song that was very magical and light. This was perfect, and after hours of the producer working on the mastering of the track, it was finally finished. Which is available to listen to here;


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