Music Scores in TV and Film Adaptations

A week or so back, I heard the most wonderful interview on BBC R4’s Woman’s Hour with Debbie Wiseman who wrote the score for the BBC adaptation of Wolf Hall. Debbie plays parts of the score live on the piano and explains how they relate to the book and the characters. I have the first couple of episodes recorded, but I haven’t watched them yet. The small extracts of music I heard during this interview made me think about how books inspire music. 

The score that sprung to mind immediately was Neville’s Waltz from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It is a beautiful piece which sees Neville practising his ballroom dancing before the yule ball. I love that scene, although I don’t recall it from the actual book. Along with Neville’s Waltz is Hedwig’s Theme which I think perfectly captures the secret magical world which sits so closely beside our own. 

One of my longstanding favourite sound tracks are the three which go with Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. The orchestral score is so beautiful and tranquil whilst in the Shire, rapidly changing to robust choral music when the black riders approach. When I need to blank everything out, and work, or think, this is the CD which gets played. The Knife In The Dark when Frodo is stabbed by a Black Rider always gives me goosebumps.

Another wonderful soundtrack is Sherlock from the BBC. The Game Is On is fantastic and has a real feel of daring-do about it. 

Last but by no means least is the wonderful Bookshop Band, who write music based on books. I’ve seen them at Mr B’s and they are fantastic. Check out their website to see all their wonderful compositions. 

Do you have music related to reading which you really love?

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