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(clockwise, starting with purple shirt) Aaron Nordyke, Jason Munday, Luke Conard, Ryan Seiler, Mark Jennings

Melanie on Music: Ministry of Magic brings Harry Potter to life through “wizard rock” and an electronic sound

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Like many people, I’ve been a huge fan of the “Harry Potter” series for years. I first read the book in eighth grade, which was right around the time I discovered the Internet. So naturally, I started searching for things related to my favorite books, and one of my best findings was a band called Ministry of Magic.

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They’re part of a genre called “wizard rock,” also shortened as “wrock,” which is a type of music inspired by the “Harry Potter” series. It originated in 2002 with a band called Harry and the Potters, and has since developed into a genre with more than 70 known bands.

Ministry of Magic is named after the government system from “Harry Potter.” It was launched in 2007 by Jason Munday and his friends Luke Conard, Aaron Nordyke, Ryan Seiler, Mark Jennings and Jeremy Jennings. They have also featured many guest singers from other wrock groups, such as Kristina Horner from the Parselmouths.

Ministry of Magic has a consistently electronica style, with elements of pop as well. They can digitally record certain parts on the guitar and piano. From there, they add a plethora of effects and electronic sounds with a computer program. And all of their songs deal with some aspect of Harry Potter’s world, and they are usually either about or in the point of view of one or several specific characters.

They have written songs about everyone from Severus Snape to Dobby the house-elf. And many of their songs look at romantic relationships in the book, including at least four songs dedicated to Ron and Hermione, some about Harry and Ginny and one about Neville and Luna, who, despite never being an actual couple in the books, are a favorite among fans.

Like with most wrock bands, some of Ministry of Magic’s songs are humorous. “House Song” features all of Ministry of Magic, as well as six other wrock singers, in a song about the competition between the four Hogwarts houses. Each of the singers represents the point of view of a different house, and the disagreements they get into throughout the lyrics are clever and include funny pop culture references.

But the majority of Ministry of Magic’s songs are more serious. Though their electronic sound gives their music an upbeat style, many songs deal with the darker topics of “Harry Potter.” “Pensieve Diggory” is about Cedric Diggory’s death, the first major character death in “Harry Potter.” And “A Phoenix Lament” is about the aftermath of the war and the many characters who died in it.

Though they have many songs, my favorite would have to be “I May Lose Everything.” The lyrics and music some of their best, with an electric guitar accompaniment throughout. They perfectly depict the differing points of view of Harry and Voldemort, and focus on Harry’s realization that though he “may lose everything” in the war, Voldemort never had anything or anyone to lose.

Ministry of Magic has six albums on iTunes. Four of them — “The Triwizard Lp,” “Goodbye Privet Drive,” “Onward and Upward” and “Magic is Might” — have all different songs. And they also have “Acoustiatus,” acoustic versions of some of their songs, and “Songs From Gringott’s Vault,” a compilation of their best songs.

 

McGinniss is a senior at Red River High School. She can be reached at melaniemcginniss2448@gmail.com

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