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I just rewatched the movie of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and I stumbled upon something strange. In the orchestra at the Yule Ball you can clearly see a saxophone being played at 1:19:08, but in the song ("Potter Waltz") there is no saxophone (or I can not hear it).

So, are my ears too bad, or is there truly a saxophone playing without sound?

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Who says a wizarding saxophone sounds anything like a Muggle saxophone? – Joe White Jul 15 '14 at 0:58
Is that a second saxophone to the right of the circled sax? – Slytherincess Jul 15 '14 at 5:11
@Slytherincess - An alto-sax, I believe. – Valorum Jul 15 '14 at 11:24
anti sound charm? – Awal Garg Jul 15 '14 at 16:14
Useless aside information, I believe the band are actually made up members from Pulp and Radiohead... – Liath Jul 16 '14 at 12:00
up vote 23 down vote accepted

It's likely a continuity error on the part of the film makers.

As a parent to a saxophone player, I can attest that it is universally impossible for any person to blow into a saxophone and not have some sort of sound come out. Saxophones are very loud in person. Very.

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Though I have, in more avant-garde styles, heard some noises coming out of saxophones that didn't sound remotely saxophone-like! – leftaroundabout Jul 14 '14 at 22:21
@leftaroundabout -- Yes, definitely! It's a versatile instrument. My kid plays well now, but for a while there it was almost intolerable -- like the Rite of the Lamenting Walrus or something ;) But your point is well taken. :) – Slytherincess Jul 14 '14 at 23:04
As a horrible musician, I made it through a number of school concerts by only pretending to play my saxophone, mouth on the mouthpiece and breathing through my nose, until the school year was up and I was no longer required to be in the band. – Kevin Rubin Jul 15 '14 at 12:17

The official "Concert Suite for Full Orchestra" sheet music, written by Patrick Doyle and published by Warner Brothers is scored for a range of instruments (see below) but not the saxophone or alto-saxophone.

The most likely explanation therefore is that the presence of the saxophones in the band was either an oversight on the part of the film's Editor, Mike Audsley or a stylistic choice on the part of the Director.

enter image description here

enter image description here

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+1 for sheet music reference – Chris Cirefice Jul 15 '14 at 5:03
It might have been an oversight in the orchestration, if that wasn't done before the scene was filmed and the fact that a sax was seen on set wasn't communicated to or was forgotten by the composer. – Matthew Walton Jul 15 '14 at 14:47
@MatthewWalton - My guess is that the composer wasn't anywhere near the set which is why I've blamed the editor/director. – Valorum Jul 15 '14 at 15:22

Yes most likely the Song is not being played by the band on stage, therefore the creators of the movies did not edit the scene properly to take out the sax playing when there was no sax music.

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