The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: The Arena:
John Williams vs. Howard Shore


Nov 10 2012, 2:54am

Views: 2190
John Williams vs. Howard Shore

Whose music is better?


Nov 10 2012, 6:54am

Views: 1203
Howard Shore!

Howard Shore any day! For example Concerning Hobbits, no one can beat that!!


Nov 10 2012, 8:05am

Views: 1235
Howard Shore! /


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Nov 10 2012, 9:00am

Views: 1540
Well, Shore did LOTR, Williams did Star Wars...that says everything

Williams is a great, great composer, but he couldn't have brought justice to the superior LOTR trilogy in the way that Shore did. Every soundtrack in LOTR heightens the emotions to just the right level, in my opinion.

"Radagast is, of course, a worthy wizard, a master of shapes and changes of hue, and he has much lore of herbs and beasts, and birds are especially his friends."-Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings.


Nov 11 2012, 1:33pm

Views: 1225
Well when you grow up listening to John..

but we Know Howard is still at his Peak
& John is in November of his career.
My internet Radio station plays mostly
Movie Soundtracks and Ambient New Age.
So I often tear up hearing various Peices
of Howard's Score.

The Shire

Nov 11 2012, 5:22pm

Views: 1238
Howard Shore


“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky”


Nov 12 2012, 12:48am

Views: 1151
Howard Shore

Seeing as he is a great inspiration to myself and other composers.
I listen to his music every day!

'What are we holding on to, Sam?'
'There's good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for!'

'I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you!'


Nov 12 2012, 3:38am

Views: 1294
Williams overall, but Shore's LOTR is my all-time favorite

Shore is an excellent composer, but only his LOTR scores have a special place in my heart, whereas I generally like John Williams' output more consistently. Nothing he has written matches what Shore accomplished with LOTR (in my opinion), though Star Wars comes closest.

Flame of Udun

Nov 12 2012, 2:47pm

Views: 1233
I have to agree with you

John Williams is a fantastic all-around composer, but if were to go head-to-head with each composer's best masterpiece (star wars vs LOTR) then Shore blows Williams out of the water. Sure Star Wars has some of the most iconic songs to come out of a movie, but almost none of the songs have the depth of emotion that Shore conveys in the LOTR soundtrack.

"'Ai! ai!' wailed Legolas. 'A Balrog! A Balrog is come!'
Gimli stared with wide eyes. 'Durin's Bane!' he cried, and letting his axe fall he covered his face.
'A Balrog,' muttered Gandalf. 'Now I understand. What an evil fortune! And I am already weary.''


Nov 13 2012, 12:22am

Views: 1181
I have to say that

they both work for the genre they're most famous for. Williams worked very well for SW and Shore was brilliant for LotR.

"It was like a great shadow, in the middle of which was a dark form, of man shape maybe, yet greater; and a power and terror seemed to be in it and go before it." ~FotR

Tol Eressea

Nov 13 2012, 4:35am

Views: 1327
Something to bear in mind


In fairness, John Williams is more than about Star Wars. He has done themes for quite a few other big movies that are very iconic and recognizable by many. Indiana Jones and the Tower of Sorcery, Close Encounters of the 3rd Age, Jaws (Just a Watcher, Swimming), Hairy Plodder series, E.T. the Elvish Terrestrial, Back to the Fourth Age, etc.

Or as the comedic acapella quartet Moosebutter puts it,
John Williams is the Man . I tend to agree.

Similarly, Howard Shore is more than about LOTR and the Hobbit. In my case, though, those are the only movies for which theme music of Shore's I have paid attention.

But as great as John Williams' body of work may be, IMO, it fails to surpass what Shore has done for Middle Earth. As others have mentioned, Williams' style would not have done it justice.

They are both equally The Man.

A bag is like a hole that you can carry with you.;


Nov 15 2012, 11:01pm

Views: 1270
Seeing how they are both excellent composers...

It is a difficult decision. Williams seems to be adept in composing for films that fit in the genre of action, such as Indiana Jones, Star Wars, etc., while Shore can really capture the feel of traditional fantasy.

'What are we holding on to, Sam?'
'There's good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for!'

'I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you!'


Nov 16 2012, 1:41am

Views: 1656

On the genre of movie but no doubt when it comes to Middle Earth. Howard Shore!

Noel Q. von Schneiffel

Nov 18 2012, 6:58pm

Views: 1073
I didn't think about it in terms of "whose music is better"...

...I was thinking "battle". You know, both of them in a room, armed only with saxophones, trying to trumpet each other's drumheads to pieces.

Who would win? And would the winner be able to hear the victory announcement?

Why are you looking at me that way?

The Glorious Truth of J.R.R. Tolkien
Radiates from his Holy Writings


Nov 18 2012, 7:02pm

Views: 1389
In that case Williams


Forum Admin / Moderator

Nov 19 2012, 5:30am

Views: 1158
So in other words...

it's a Battle of Bombast? Yeah, I'd probably go with Williams too; he's more famous for the big horn fanfares.



Nov 21 2012, 12:53am

Views: 1300
They are both wonderful

I loved Williams music for Harry Potter, it conjures the magical world perfectly. and Shore conjures LOTR perfectly. Its a win win. Evil


Jan 8 2013, 7:28pm

Views: 1470
Howard Shore

No other modern composer's music affects me the way his has. Other composers' music is just music. Wonderful to listen to yes, but just accompaniment. Shore's music has meaning, a language of its own.