Popular Music Lesson

Hedwig's Theme

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Welcome to the Hoffman School of Piano Craft and Wizardry.
Today you will be learning Hedwig's theme,
a rather famous tune from a movie about a young wizard you might have heard of before:
Harry Potter.
I would teach you myself, but there is some trouble in the Forbidden Forest,
so I leave you in the very capable hands of our new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and
piano instructor, Professor Hoffman.
Thank You, Headmaster.
And now, I must be off. Farewell for now.
Well, let's go ahead and get class started.
Just grab hold of this port key with me,
and we'll transport to the piano to start learning Hedwig's Theme. Go ahead! Just reach out and touch it,
but be ready for a wild sensation.
Whoo! If that's your first time traveling by port key, you may feel a little dizzy or nauseated, but don't worry, the feeling will pass quickly.
So let's start off by looking at the keys you need to use in your right hand for Hedwig's theme.
Here we have an E; F-sharp;
G; A; and B; and that's where you'll place your five fingers of the right hand at
the beginning of the piece.
Sometimes instead of an F-sharp
you'll actually need an F-natural, like here on line two. That little symbol is a natural sign
which means play the regular white key instead of the sharp.
Let's go ahead and place your right hand over those five notes to be ready, and then
you'll notice the first note of the piece is actually played by the left hand which you can tell because it's down here in the
bass clef. It says finger four is playing this B, a step below middle C.
So, you'll notice that your hands have to kind of share this E, or your your thumbs will both be around there.
So just share nicely and your left hand thumb actually doesn't even need to help. It can kind of just rest off the keys like this.
So go ahead and find this position, and then let's try and play the first five notes,
like this. The left hand starts on B, then E,
G, F-sharp, E
And a little faster, like this.
Now you try.
Now, once again. Now you try.
Let's focus on the rhythm of the right hand for a second.
Throughout Hedwig's theme you'll see this rhythm of a dotted quarter note then an eighth note
followed by another quarter note, and that sounds like this
I added that half note at the end.
Let's do this like five times in a row together, because that rhythm is so important in this song to give it the feel.
Can you play that with me? You skip up from E to G, and then just step down in that rhythm
Together with me, go
Try it again, go
One more time
Good. Now if you need extra practice with that just press pause and keep trying it on your own. Otherwise
Let's go on and add three more notes after you have
Then you'll notice you have this skip up of the fifth with which takes us up to B, and then we step down to A
Skip down to f-sharp, and you notice the A is three beats, so hold one two three, one two three.
So together with the B before it we have B A
2 3, F-sharp 2 3. Will you try those three notes on your own? Go.
Good now remember to play Hedwig's theme correctly
It's not just about playing the right notes you want to play the correct rhythm. So as you're holding
those longer notes make sure you count
1 2 3
1 2 3 or the song won't sound correct. Now. Here's the whole first line
One two three, one two three. Now
Will you press pause and work on that first line on your own try it several times?
Make sure you're playing with the correct rhythms and
then press play to go on
Okay, let's try line two now here on line two you'll notice we start off with this pattern again that we've we've seen
So will you play that with me? Go
And that's
E, G, F-sharp now here, we have
A D-sharp and in order to play the D sharp we're going to use our left hand finger two that's what that
LH2 means and
D is here. D Sharp would be right here so our LH2 is gonna come up to help on that note
Which holds for two beats, and then the right hand, you'll notice it's an F-sharp
so the right hand finger two has to move to F natural
Did I say natural? It's not F-sharp it's F- natural this time so left hand plays D-
sharp and right hand plays F-natural
Then left hand plays B, so let's practice those three notes. With me, left hand play F-
sharp with finger sorry D sharp with finger two
Right hand plays F-
natural with finger two and left hand plays B
And the rhythm is this one two three, one two three, one two
You hold that note for three tied to two more beats, which means you basically add it together five beats
Okay, let's try that together get your left hand finger two. Ready go. One two three, one two three, one two

Good now. Let's back up and put that together with the first measure of line two
Good now press pause and I'd like you to work on that section on your own
Once you feel confident with it press PLAY to go on
Good okay next up is just like the beginning again. We have this B in the left hand then Bom
Bom Bom and now here's where it changes now you'll see we have a B
But the changes that it's marked with a finger three and that's because we're going to need to shift up on the piano
So you have to move two finger three or you can kind of stretch up like this finger
Three is playing B
And now your right hand is going to be in this kind of G major pentascale
And we play D, then D-flat, then C
Those three notes right there are what are called moving by half-step. A half-step on the piano is
When you're playing every single note white or black one at a time going in a certain direction
Okay, that's called moving by half steps. Why don't you just try that on your piano? Just experiment with moving by half steps
It's kind of a cool sound
So right here these three notes are moving down by half step, and you're gonna play it with fingers five,
four, three,
John Williams does that a lot in Hedwig's Theme. It gives it a really cool kind of magical
mystical sound when he does those half-steps
Okay, so backing up to the start of this phrase we have
Now finger three moves up to B, and D, D- flat, C moving down by half steps
Okay, let's start right here on the B with finger three try this with me. Play B, then skip up to D
Then step down by a half step
Step down by another half step
Okay, now all together we have
Three moves up
Now I'd like to stop there
There's more to that phrase
But I'd like you to stop, press pause, and just work on those few notes until you feel confident with that
Then press play to go on
Okay, so you just played D,
D-flat, C. Now your left hand is gonna be a helper again
It has been hanging out down here, but we needed to come up and play this one G- sharp with finger two
So after you play that D, D-flat, C move your left hand up to play that G-sharp
And then the right hand is going to kind of shift its finger four down to C for these next three notes C,
B, A-sharp, and you'll notice those are three half steps again, but we're using our
TAA-TI-TA rhythm
Then the left hands got to move down to this A-sharp, and then we finish it out with a G, E
Okay done. It's a little crazy
This is probably the hardest part of the piece, so let's break it down one more time After we play D,
D-flat, C, left hand comes up to play G sharp, and then finger four moves to C,
B, A-sharp, those are all half steps, move down to low A-sharp
and then G, E
Now let's practice this starting with
the last two notes, and we're gonna actually work backwards. Can you just use your finger one
Which is your thumb of right hand to play the last two notes?
Finger one of the right hand for G,
finger one of the left hand for E, try that with me
That's the ending, so we've got that down right? Good work, now let's back up one more note
Now the left hand's got to play this low A- sharp
For two beats, and then we come up
To finish it. Try that with me: two beats on A-sharp with finger three, go. One two three,
one two three, one
two, and once again, here's a note with five beats
Try it one more time, go: one two three, one two three, one
two, good
Okay, now. Let's back up
Three more notes now. We're gonna add these half steps that move down starting with finger four of the right hand on C
We move down by half steps
Like this and then left hand plays low A- sharp, and then we add those two notes at the end
Okay, try that with me starting with finger four on C go
And then low A-sharp then G
Good we've almost got it now all we have to do is add one more note before this left hand on G-sharp
finger two and
Then we jump up here to those half steps low A-sharp, G
Good now because this is the hardest part of the whole piece
I'd like you to press pause and review that several times until you can confidently play it like this

May take you 5, 10, 15
However many times it takes to get confident work on that on your own then press play to go on
If you like that is an okay place to stop there is more to Hedwig's theme
But if you feel like you've learned enough for it today feel free to stop there if you'd like to learn the rest of Hedwig's
Theme feel free to continue
Okay, the good news is that the rest of the piece actually uses a lot of the same patterns we've learned so far.

This next section starts off with a G and then skips up to B, then you notice it
just kind of goes back and forth between B
for two measures. Okay, let's try that together starting on this first G on the previous line
Go. G B
BG and then here it skips up to C
B A-sharp. Do you recognize those half steps?
This time the rhythm is a little different, but it's those same three half steps that we played a second ago
So we have C B A-sharp
So on your own I'd like you to practice this section listen to me play once
One two three, one two three
One two three
One two, and let's stop right there. Okay press pause and practice that phrase on your own then press play to go on
Okay for this next section the left hand has to come up to play this F-sharp
with finger two and then the right hand is going to do this rhythm we've had before but this time
we're on a G. So we have G B A-sharp, so watch that once the left hand plays F sharp
Now your turn
Good one more time
Your turn
Good after you play that the left hand goes down to A-sharp
for two beats then steps up to B
Which is a half step above. One two three
And then we jump up to B in the right hand A-sharp B B
You try that. Go
My turn again. A-sharp B B, your turn
Good now putting that all together starting with this F-sharp move down for the left hand
Now you try
Good. Now the next phrase starts off the same as two phrases ago. We have another
G B G and then here it's like our
phrase from line three. D D-flat C
Exact same notes we saw on line three right so this is good
We can capitalize on that that hard work we did before. Okay, so let's hear this whole
section these last three lines of the piece. I'll play it once and then you can press pause to work on it on your own
One two three, one two

And that's the whole piece okay press pause and work on that section on your own and then press play
And I'll show you how you can put this together with a backing track to make it sound really cool
Now once you feel like you have the notes mastered here a few pro tips. First of all
What I like to do because the original Hedwig's Theme isn't played this low it's kind of played on this cool cellist sound
Which is actually a pretty high instrument so Hedwig's theme
I think will sound better if you transpose it up an octave
Basically take every note you were playing down here and just move it up one position or octave higher on your piano like this
Also earlier I was playing it kind of slow, which is a good way to learn a piece
But as you get better you'll want to pick it up to the final performance speed of about this
And remember the dynamics are marked piano. The song is meant to be played delicately to give it kind of a mysterious
sound. It shouldn't be played
heavily. Okay remember it's supposed to sound like Hedwig this owl floating on a breeze, not stomping his
Hagrid feet. You know, this is supposed to sound delicate and light
Now the final step of mastering this piece would be to play it with our backing track
Which you can access from our website and I'll play it for you now. What you'll hear are four little pizzicato
string plucks and that is your signal to start after the fourth pluck. I'll demonstrate it for you once and
Show you how you can play along with this backing trick
Congratulations on learning Hedwig's theme today
I'm certain you'll score very well on your piano owl exam later this year
Well, I'm off to go supervise quidditch practice, so happy practicing and see you next time
I hear we have a new music theory teacher this year. Yeah, isn't his name Drape or something? No, Snape!
Quiet, here he comes! There will be no foolish finger flailing or silly songs in this class

As such
I don't expect many of you to appreciate the subtle science and exact art that is music theory
I better write this down
Where's my pencil?
However for those select
who possess the predisposition

I can teach you to transpose any piece to any key with your eyes closed.
(Mr. Scuba takes notes)
I can teach you Schenkerian analysis, and how to harmonize your way to fame and music glory.
Music glory.
Then again
Maybe some of you have come to Hoffman School of Piano Craft and Wizardry
in possession of talent so formidable that you feel confident enough to not pay
Mr. Scuba, our new snorkeling celebrity
Tell me, what would be the secondary dominant of the sub-mediant in the key of B minor?
Oh, oh, I know!
You don't know? Let's try again. What is the value, Mr. Scuba, of a dotted sixteenth note in 6/8 meter?
Please, call on me, please, please?
I don't know, Sir
snorkeling isn't everything, is it, Mr. Scuba.
In closing I'd like to say just a few words
Scuba, why so sad?
Well you see, headmaster, Snape-
-Professor Snape.
Right, Professor Snape just told me that
snorkelling isn't everything. What am I going to live for now?
May I suggest something?
Sure, what?
Live for friendship and for love
Friendship and love?
In my experience two of the most powerful forces in the world
Even more powerful I might say than music and magic and
One more powerful force I should mention to cheer the soul. A delicious treat.
How about a Bertie Botts Every Flavour bean?
Oh! Sure, thanks
Uhh...pink. That looks pretty safe.
Ahhh. Earthworm!