ABSTRACT

This chapter focuses on ‘canonic’ or ‘authorised’ tourist experiences within the world of Harry Potter, and presents four individual case studies on four distinct experiences – the CineConcerts tours of Harry Potter films performed with a live orchestra, the Warner Bros ‘Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour’ in Leavesden UK, the ‘Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ theme park at Universal Studios in Orlando FL, and the West-End play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Methodologically the chapter draws on a mixture of fieldwork recordings and interviews with composers and sound designers involved in the experiences, and thus looks principally at the ways in which the existing musical worlds are extended, expanded, distorted or rejected by various stakeholders. More specifically, the experiences require different modes of active or passive engagement from the visitor, and are immersive and absorptive to differing degrees, so they employ existing and original music in different ways, drawing on nostalgic impulses to enable different ways of inhabiting fantasy spaces. While there are a few tourist attractions related to the Lord of the Rings franchises, these focus almost entirely around the set tours in Matamata New Zealand where the use of music is minimal, and so the more naturalistic sonorities of this experience serve as a useful counterpoint to the more filmic musical worlds of the Harry Potter attractions.