‘Tina Takes Newt In / MACUSA Headquarters’

Short, yet nonetheless one of my favourite cues, ‘Tina Takes Newt In / MACUSA Headquarters’ displays the full glory of the ‘Fantastic Beasts Main Theme.’ Starting with a bare solo clarinet, string flourishes and staccato choir accompaniment, a bouncier variation of the theme is heard as Tina drags Newt towards the Woolworth Building, with some syncopations and the rhythmic highlight being the triplet underlay, transforming this versatile theme into quite an airy and light-sounding idea.

The theme concludes and a triplet, pounding bassline begins as Newt starts to talk about his Appaloosa Puffskein. Nearly entirely conjunct, there are alternating time signatures passing through 3/4, 4/4 and 2/4 which give a sense of regulated irregularity. The occasional woodwind flourish ornaments this passage with little distinct melodic material, all building up to the big reveal of MACUSA. The triplet section crescendos with a gradually increasing orchestration, as a dominant pedal is put down in the bass, all leading towards the release, which we finally hear in the form of a majestic rendition of the ‘Fantastic Beasts Main Theme (A)’ in the brass, low strings and choir, with woodwind and high string runs to drive this climax forward.

This calms down into a 20s jazz inspired idea, which plays as we see a House-Elf polishing wands in MACUSA, and Newt takes in the beautiful American Ministry. A drum kit is introduced, as well as muted brass, and improvisatory jazz piano, which all give a relaxed, laid-back feeling, very idiomatic of the up and coming jazz music in this era. Being the first time this more casual, big-band like scoring is used, it links the American Wizarding World with the idea of newness, and something that is alien yet ‘cool,’ especially as we see it through the eyes of Newt. This kind of music is later used to represent Jacob, further separating both the American No-Maj and Wizarding World from our protagonist, with unfamiliar music. A slightly more classical orchestration returns towards the end with percussion, strings and brass and fizzles out, as Tina talks to Red about her infamous Section 3A, and the lift starts it descent, with a decrescendo in the music to match it.

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