The Hook

Catchy rhythms and melodies

Harry Potter

Hedwig's Theme has a simple core rhythm, employs musical transformations, and benefits from the composer's practice writing various musical forms (rondos, sonatas, etc). These forms teach us to repeat, connect sentences, and help us tell a story with music. The motif is repeated dozens of times in the first 12 minutes of Harry Potter. Even children without musical training have learned many iconic themes by ear on the piano, especially this one. That speaks volumes.

sheet music rhythm example: dotted quarter, 8th, dotted quarter, 8th

Eventually I wrote an experiment. My first Rondo (ABA-C-ABA) is full of problems, but it helped me write sentences, paragraphs, and to order what I was saying. I wrote a 2nd (ABACA), then realized why Sonata followed. Sonata form is music's 3 act story structure. Then it was all clear. Find a core idea that's accessible, that anyone can identify and understand what you're saying with it. Then tell the story. It's not enough to learn about core rhythms and voice leading. Form is how we establish and return to an idea.