‘Inside the Case’

One of the better known cues from the first film, ‘Inside the Case’ follows Newt and Jacob upon their first trip inside Newt’s suitcase. Opening with a rippling broken chord figure in the brass with string tremolos and flourishes, it bursts out into the ‘Thunderbird Theme’ as Jacob turns to see Frank in all his majesty.

‘Newt’s Theme’ then takes over as Newt begins to talk about Frank, with the chugging ostinato driving this scene forward, with an inserted, new, slightly altered version of the second motif where the flute leads with a more decorated rhythm.

As Newt finishes talking, the orchestration mounts and soars into the ‘Case Theme’, which as mentioned previously in ‘Main Titles’, accompanies Frank’s beautiful takeoff into his enclosure, with an appropriately exciting and soaring feeling felt in the music.

‘Newt’s Theme’ returns after this, modulating slightly before it diminuendos and enters a lyrical, horn and string passage which represents the Graphorns, as they run towards Newt and a panicking Jacob. A strong, chordal and fastidious melody, this reflects the stoicism and gentle-giant-like nature of these creatures.

This quietens down even more and extends into more drawn out string passages, ‘Majestic Chords’:

A light, airy passage representing the Bowtruckles then enters, using piano, flute, oboe, strings and harp. A new idea; the ‘Bowtruckle Theme’ begins, as Newt walks towards the tree, and talks about Pickett being bullied.

This gentle, sequential idea returns at emotional points for Newt as well as accompanying appearances of the Bowtruckles. Spin-off material continues as Newt cares for the Occamies, with foundations in the B idea from the ‘Fantastic Beasts Main Theme’, which dramatically modulates with unusual, chromatic harmony.

This pares down to a percussion and string inverted pedal, before the strings re-enter, now with a pulsating, rhythmic broken chord in imitation with each other, with accented bass notes before the cello takes the melody heard at the start of the cue, the upper strings flourish, and it bursts out into a transposed repeat of the opening, repeating the ‘Thunderbird Theme’ with an altered ending, as the camera pans down from Doxies to the other fantastic beasts Newt has in his case, such as the Nundu, Diricawl and Grindylows. A glittering tremolo accompanies the Mooncalves’ dinnertime, followed by a very loose variation of the ‘Thunderbird Theme’ again, using the intervals and harmony of the first two bars alone.

Then there comes a pang – a snap out of this warm reality, with a dissonant, chilling, techno ring, as the curtain blows open and Jacob sees the Obscurus in its enclosure. This harsh, metallic sound further adds to the Obscurus being ‘other’ – a striking contrast to the other things in Newt’s case, reflected in the contrast of musical timbre. Strings then overlay this with a haunting melody, which outlines the ‘Obscurus Theme (B)’ and is comprised of three tensions and releases between dominant and tonic, with the tessitura increasing each time and thus the intensity.. This is similar to how the Obscurus and the Obscurial create a tension and release respectively between each other. Both need the other to survive and this concept is beautifully and subtly conveyed in the theme for this “parasitical magical force.”

This is abruptly overtaken by another striking contrast, as the camera cuts to Newt with a jarringly major melody on the piano, using the Lydian mode for a ‘double major’ feel, as two parallel majors are created between the tonic (C major) and the F# allows D major to be used in the harmony, which makes for an overly-bright sound. This harmony is associated with Newt throughout the score as well, aside from his many themes. The strings and woodwind gradually enter and supplant this melody, with a meandering, poignant passage, with many suspensions. Written out lower mordents transition us back to the plot, with a chugging bassline, rising string idea with tremolo and crescendo to create a cliffhanger ending to this cue, as Newt and Jacob plan to embark on their mission; Outside the Case.

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