Melinda Johnson / EyeEm / Getty Images

He uses around 30 wine glasses to bring the famous leitmotif to life.

Abbey White
November 16, 2017

A street performer in Venice used some unconventional instruments to cast musical magic on passersby with his rendition of Harry Potter’s “Hedwig’s Theme.”

The Harry Potter book and film franchise are known for a lot of things—from its whimsical creatures to its food and music. Since the first book’s release in 1997, everything from bed and breakfasts to amusement parks has attempted to bring the fantastical world to life. That’s resulted in some magnificent experiences, including grand holiday dinners in the great hall and edible howlers.

While a lone performer may not have the means to recreate an entire musical composition designed to be played by an orchestra, one Italian street performer gave it his best shot using wine glasses, and the result is pretty impressive.

To bring to life one of the film franchise’s most famous melodies (it was written for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, but became so popular they used it in every film after that), the musician used a “glass harp,” or around 30 different wine glasses of different shapes and sizes. The minute-and-a-half video shows the performer’s hands dancing around his short podium as he carefully circles the rims of various glasses to elicit just the right notes.

The leitmotif, otherwise known as a short, recurring musical phrase often associated with a particular person, place or thing, was composed by John Williams and is part of a much larger song known as “Prologue.” Often casually referred to as the “Harry Potter theme,” the song has become almost instantaneously recognizable and has been featured in everything from orchestral performances to trailers to ringtones.

Watching this street performer work his magic with wine glasses is enough to inspire a trip to the actual Wizarding World of Harry Potter for a glass of butterbeer and some sticky toffee pudding.