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Music Notes - July 2010
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Jul 15 2010, 4:28pm

Post #1 of 28 (5084 views)
Music Notes - July 2010 Can't Post

July 2010 Music Notes

Greetings TORn Movie Board!

Welcome to the third edition of "Music Notes", our Movie TORn discussion series, where we take a look at recent screencaps in our SCOD series, and discuss them from a musical perspective. A round of applause first to our score expert, Magpie, for compiling background and technical info. In addition, many links herein are from her site, and if ever you want to know all the details on the LOTR score, check out her amazing site.

Today we'll be looking at the SCOD “Eowyn’s Dream” from June.

Here is where you can take a listen to the music accompanying this scene:

CR-ROTK, Disc 1, Track 9 – ÉOWYN’S DREAM - entire track


link to index page:


direct link to soundclip:

Here is a detailed commentary from the AS-ROTK (Annotated Score-Return of the King):


“The celebration at Edoras has subsided. Most of the revelers having long since bedded down, Aragorn wanders alone, pausing to stoke the dying fire in the Golden Hall. Nearby, Éowyn stirs, waking from a dream. As she tells Aragorn of her dream ....

“I dreamed I saw a great wave climbing over green lands and above the hills. I stood upon the brink. It was utterly dark in the abyss before my feet. A light shone behind me but I could not turn. I could only stand there, waiting.”

... a lush setting of the Éowyn and Aragorn theme plays. Aragorn comforts her ...

“Night changes many thoughts. Sleep Eowyn. Sleep... while you can. “

... and the second phrase, the section of the theme that was cut short during the party, finally completes the melody.

Éowyn clutches Aragorn’s hand, and falls back to sleep.”

So... just what is the “Eowyn and Aragorn” theme? Various reference material describe it:

AS-TTT (Annotated Score-The Two Towers): “longing ... the Éowyn and Aragorn theme, [is] the melody associated with her unrequited love.”

CR-TTT (Complete Recordings- The Two Towers): “Double fiddle sings the sad strains of Éowyn and Aragorn, its emotive, woody tone evoking romantic yearning, and strain. The melody sways downwards and upwards in arpeggiated figures ... But the theme, like the relationship between Éowyn and Aragorn, is forever bound up and never blossoms into a fully romantic melody.”

From the SCOD discussion, there seem to be lots of mixed feelings about this scene! Personally I think it’s a visually and musically beautiful scene with a touch of awkwardness in the dialogue. IMO, partly due to Tolkien’s language not always being something that flows easily off the tongue, and partly to reflect that Eowyn and Aragorn were basically, awkward, with each other. However I particularly like this scene because I feel it’s such good example of how the score enhanced and in some cases, you might even say, rescued certain scenes. To me (again this is all my perspective, others are welcome to share!) the scene falls flat without the accompanying music. But with the music, it makes the sense of foreboding, of being lost and alone, very touching. And after reading the above descriptions, it does convey that sense of incompleteness and longing, the fact that Eowyn and Aragorn’s relationship never becomes fully realized.

Hints, pieces, and variations of it are heard in many scenes:
-in the scene where Eowyn realizes Aragorn is “one of the Dunedain”
-when Eowyn pleads with Aragorn to let her fight alongside him
-when she hands him the chalice at the victory celebration
-during the “Eowyn Dream” scene
-and finally in their moment together when Aragorn is preparing to leave to take the Dimholt Road

Also ... this is just an aside, not related to the music. But when I contemplated this screencap awhile, I suddenly remembered the scene from FOTR between Aragorn and Arwen, when she asks if he remembers when they first met, and he replies in Elvish, “I thought I had strayed into a dream.” And here he is shown, straying into Eowyn’s dream. Sometimes in our discussions we’ve uncovered ‘bookend’ scenes - scenes from one of the films that are later mirrored in another way in one of the other films. Isn’t the creative process fascinating? I think a lot of these occurrences are subconscious linkages, not purposely intended on the part of the film makers, that just bubble up and manifest in connections throughout the films.

So what are your thoughts out there? Does the scene feel differently to you, with the music as opposed to on its own? Does the music add or detract from the moment? Were you aware that this music was actually a theme, in that it was used throughout the films to represent an idea, a relationship? Let’s hear from you!



Screencap of the Day. Series on Movie TORn that discusses screencaps from the trilogy in chronological order. Currently in discussion: The Two Towers.

Complete Recordings. Sets of the movies' entire soundtrack from start to finish. Includes 3 CDs of soundtrack, one Audio DVD, and liner notes. Each film has its own CR set. The CR plays the movies' complete soundtracks in the order in which it appears in the film. (more info)

Original SoundTrack. The soundtrack CDs, one CD for each movie. Includes selected pieces of music from the films, generally not in the order in which they appear. The OST CDs both omit music which was used in the films and includes some music which ultimately was not used in the films. (more info)

Annotated Score-The Two Towers. Refers to a free PDF download of the films' score, authored by Doug Adams. There is an Annotated Score paired with each of the three Complete Recordings. They include a track by track discussion of the music (as heard on the Complete Recordings), the source text for lyrics used in that movie, and instruments and artists heard in that movie. (link to AS-TTT pdf - click to open, right click to download)

The Two Towers-Extended Edition. The films' Extended Editions contain additional features, such as commentaries. This discussion quotes some of the "Audio Commentary" from the Extended Editions.

Understanding Soundclip References
Example: CR-TTT: Disc 3: 0:32 - 0:41
This means the selected piece of music appears on the Complete Recordings of The Two Towers, on Disc #3, starting at 32 seconds into the disc and ending at 41 seconds. All DVD times stamps are NTSC Standard

Dialog and scene descriptions are from The Council of Elrond


Jul 16 2010, 4:44am

Post #2 of 28 (3736 views)
I like it. [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't have much to offer tonight - it's late, and I'm having a hard time coming up with original ideas about this little ditty. Much of this will be redundant BUT - night changes many thoughts. We'll see if I have more to say tomorrow...

To be honest I had never noticed the "Eowyn & Aragorn" theme. (I only own the OSTs, so it's been so very refreshing to read/hear about the complete recordings and annotated score - thank you!) Normally I can pick them out, but like the comments for the SCOD, I must have been too distracted in this scene thinking, 'What the hell is she sleeping THERE for?' I'm pretty excited to listen for this during the next watching, and to geekily point out the theme to my wife.

I'm going to start at 0:33 in Magpie's clip (since the first bit is just a simple introduction of arpeggiated figures, as they say). As you mentioned, Loresilme, I hear these things: Loneliness. Incomplete. Strain. It's interesting to me that the melody opens with a perfect fifth as does the introduction to the "Main" Rohan theme, but in this case is not fully realized. It wants to get to the full theme, if only this hunk of a dude would throw caution to the wind and marry Eowyn. But for all it's familiar beginnings, it doesn't wrap up. If I were at the keyboard, open fifths would continue in the left hand throughout the rest of the clip. HS would cause Bach to turn in his grave if his dead, Baroque ears ever heard this, and I think that's a small part in why it seems "incomplete" to us. As an audience we're more open to this composing "flaw," but deep down I think this makes me feel just slightly uncomfortable, and I think it's intentional. The melody, too, seems to linger on the dominant more often than resolving to the root or the third (major or minor, it doesn't matter - any third is more of an "end" than a fifth imho).

In the end, I enjoyed listening to this scene more than I enjoyed watching it. Good music trumps uncomfortable beds and cold feet any day of the week, no question.

Got Necroquestions? I'll give you Necromanswers.


Jul 16 2010, 9:38pm

Post #3 of 28 (3746 views)
Listening vs watching [In reply to] Can't Post

I too felt that this scene was much more powerful with the music than without it. It starts, as you mentioned, in familiar territory, then doesn't go where you feel it should. As in ... girl meets guy, girl likes guy, girl thinks guy likes girl ... then um wait guy goes off in a different direction, not jarringly, just sort of gently, and so does the music. Then when you overlay the words of the dream, how she's lost and anxious, looking for reassurance and again he sort of reassures her but maybe not the way she would have liked .... there's that awkward, longing incompleteness to it. Very touching.

Thanks for sharing :-).


Jul 16 2010, 11:48pm

Post #4 of 28 (3802 views)
I love that theme... [In reply to] Can't Post

It's one of those that sticks with me, and that I find myself recalling a lot...I like the haunting tenderness of it. There's a sense of promise to it, but sadness as well, like when you think about something in your life that could have been, but just wasn't meant to be...

I agree that the music makes this scene...and really, puts the relationship between these two in context, in this scene and in all the places it's used. Yes, there's an attraction, but there's also a reality that means that this attraction will never be more than that. The music, to me, carries the same sensitivity in it that Aragorn shows to Eowyn, acknowledging her feelings without encouraging them. How the heck Howard Shore pulled that off I'll never know, but it mirrors the relationship perfectly.

In terms of the dream connections you point out-- well, I'm always happy when Viggo strays into mine! Smile Uh..where was I...Oh, yes! The use of dreams with both women in the films is interesting and a connection I had not made before....thanks!

Thinking on this a bit more...with Arwen, the dream is a place he feels he is in when he meets her...with Eowyn, she's using him to disconnect herself from a mystical sort of dream. So while dreams are used in both cases, the context isn't quite the same. Hmm....



Jul 18 2010, 12:04pm

Post #5 of 28 (3708 views)
Now you have me wondering [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To

I agree that the music makes this scene...and really, puts the relationship between these two in context, in this scene and in all the places it's used. Yes, there's an attraction, but there's also a reality that means that this attraction will never be more than that. The music, to me, carries the same sensitivity in it that Aragorn shows to Eowyn, acknowledging her feelings without encouraging them. How the heck Howard Shore pulled that off I'll never know, but it mirrors the relationship perfectly.

what HS would have done with an "Eowyn & Faramir" theme Smile. What about that long lost wedding scene!? Did HS write music for it? Would it have been similar? Would it have been based on this theme but then evolved into a new theme? Or would it have been something completely different? I would love to hear how he would have expressed the 'changed Eowyn', musically. As you said, this theme has that 'haunting tenderness ... something that could have been, but...wasn't meant to be' sense to it. Which makes we wonder how he would have approached a theme for Eowyn that expresses that epiphany she has, when she finds herself, and changes so completely from shieldmaiden to healer. And what he would have written for the wedding scene....Heart

frederica bolger

Jul 18 2010, 1:47pm

Post #6 of 28 (3738 views)
hmm, yearning woodwinds... [In reply to] Can't Post

... it did remind me a bit of some of the music in Tristan and Isolde, the ultimate source yearning tunes... the prelude for the 3rd act for example. Interesting comment about this being a bookend to the Arwen's Dream scene, the films do manage to shake up and reassemble motifs from the book and make serendipitous connections. Portentous dreams are a great plot device all over LOTR, Frodo has them, and so have Boromir and Faramir. Someone on the commentaries said that this cements her as an important personage, a daughter of Kings, who would have important dreams!

Rain may fall and wind may blow
And many miles be still to go
But under a tall tree I will lie
And watch the clouds go sailing by.


Jul 19 2010, 5:28pm

Post #7 of 28 (3686 views)
I have to say... [In reply to] Can't Post

... that I don't really understand a lot of what you say but I love it anyhow. :-) That is, I don't have the knowledge to fully get what the intricacies of what you point out about the music but I get it enough that I always get a better understanding of the music.

I've always been really intrigued with how music passages can evoke such strong emotion in me. You help me understand some of that.

As far as listening rather than watching... that was something I recognized very early on in my work. I wrote this with the first publication of my website:

This passionate endeavor to ‘map’ the soundtrack has illuminated depths and nuances in the music but it has also enabled me a form a deeper connection to the movie. Part of my work has included pulling sound clips off the movie. In order to edit and then attempt to discern lyrics and themes, I listen to these sound clips repeatedly through my headphones. When I do that, I hear not only the music, but all the background noise. The headphones provide an intimate connection to all the sounds of the movie: not just the soundtrack and the dialog, but all the ambient, auxiliary sounds that add to the movie experience but mostly on an unconscious level. I heard the clang of the swords, the creak of Lurtz’s massive bow, the grunts of Boromir and the sobs of Frodo and Sam. And they pierced my heart in a way they never had when I had the ‘distraction’ of the picture.

And as I transcribed the movie cues to the music, I found myself writing a description of Boromir’s last battle as I listened to that serenely calm boy’s choir. I had seen that scene dozens of times, but our brain takes in different media in different ways. By writing the description of the events unfolding, I felt the scene on a visceral level unlike all the viewings I’d had.

I think everyone should try doing this with parts of the movie. I'm not sure how well it works for the whole movie. But it's a whole different way to experience the story.

LOTR soundtrack website ~ June 2010 : ROTK Lyrics Update!
magpie avatar gallery ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Jul 19 2010, 5:29pm

Post #8 of 28 (3690 views)
cool observation [In reply to] Can't Post

The music, to me, carries the same sensitivity in it that Aragorn shows to Eowyn

I hadn't thought of it like that but it's true.

LOTR soundtrack website ~ June 2010 : ROTK Lyrics Update!
magpie avatar gallery ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Jul 19 2010, 5:32pm

Post #9 of 28 (3689 views)
I wonder if it's the Rarities Archive that's coming out [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm wondering what HS would have done with an "Eowyn & Faramir" theme Smile. What about that long lost wedding scene!? Did HS write music for it?

I haven't really done a lot of speculation about what's going to be in these Rarities Archives but, with this pondering, I could get pretty excited coming up with possibilities.

for what it's worth, I posted (on Doug's blog), a moment I was listening to for some reason and I found myself clutching my chest with emotion. Someone who has been working on the Rarities Archive told me to watch for Track 19. That's all I know but it's on a post it note on my monitor waiting for a track list to be released.

LOTR soundtrack website ~ June 2010 : ROTK Lyrics Update!
magpie avatar gallery ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Jul 19 2010, 5:48pm

Post #10 of 28 (3688 views)
Track 19 sounds intriguing... [In reply to] Can't Post

I know that the Shire theme evolved to show the growth of the hobbits, the Fellowship theme evolved, etc. -- why not the Eowyn theme? IIRC correctly, Eowyn had several musical themes associated with her character -- so it seems HS spent some time on musically presenting her...I'd love to see if he completes the circle for her with a Faramir/Eowyn theme.

What music is used in the Faramir/Eowyn scene in the HoH? I would suspect we'd hear a few strains of something there that are along the lines of what we're discussing here...

And I also wonder what music was used when she finally takes out the Witch King -- that should be a culmination of something used for her, too, now?

Off to check your fabulous site, Magpie! I suspect I can find a few answers there!



Jul 19 2010, 5:59pm

Post #11 of 28 (3655 views)
when the fan TTT reviews hit on TORn... [In reply to] Can't Post

There was a wonderful review posted by someone who described Eowyn like a beautiful flower, which very much fit the sentiments we've been discussing here. I wish I could find that review -- the fan was from a Japanese or other eastern culture, IIRC, and the review had an almost haiku/poetic quality to it as she talked about Eowyn -- they would have made great lyrics for this theme!



Jul 19 2010, 6:01pm

Post #12 of 28 (3690 views)
ah, so the Witchking moment is the Eowyn/Theoden theme... [In reply to] Can't Post

That makes sense!

I did not spot anything on your site re the house of healing scene of F/E...have you written on that anywhere?

*goes off to listen some more...**



Jul 19 2010, 7:02pm

Post #13 of 28 (4119 views)
I suspect the HoH scene with Eowyn & Faramir... [In reply to] Can't Post

...does not use thematic music and there just isn't a place on my site for non-thematic music unless it's on the OST. I am obsessive but I am able to reign in my obsessive behavior. The Annotated Score functions for the Complete Recordings like my cue by cues do for the Original Soundtrack.

That said, let's see what the Annotated Score says.

Ah, I remember now. It's complicated. The Annotated Score deals with what is heard in the Complete Recordings and in the Complete Recordings, they inserted a song that ended up homeless in the movie's score (story below). So, the music heard in the movie is not included in the CR-ROTK and that means the AS-ROTK doesn't deal with it. Let me go listen.

It sounds likes it's a development of Eowyn's Shieldmaiden Theme. Just fyi: there are three Eowyn Themes: Eowyn Shieldmaiden, Eowyn & Theoden (although I will admit I have trouble determining the difference between those two, sometimes) and Eowyn and Aragorn.

I've uploaded a sound file which you can access by visiting this webpage: http://www.amagpiesnest.com/...MusicNotes/index.htm
or the direct link is this one: http://www.amagpiesnest.com/...am/Eowyn-Faramir.mp3

It would be interesting to see what Legalize Athelas (or any other musically knowledgeable person) can tell us about this music. If this can be called some sort of variant for one of the Eowyn themes, then it should probably make the "Some of the places this theme is heard" list on my site.

As to the musical chairs game that got played (not really connected to Eowyn's music but I mentioned the switch that happens in the CR-ROTK so... here it is).

The AS-ROTK says:
Eowyn and Faramir watch from a high courtyard. The ancient tones of the wood flute, like the pan flute before it, express the ancient wisdom of Gondor. Gondor knows war as the gateway to peace, sorrows as the steppingstones on the road to joy. Eowyn and Faramir clasp hands. Norwegian singer, Sissel, sings "Asea Aranion"; which blossoms, like their love, over poignant strings and female chorus, decorated by cor anglais and French horn.

"Asea Aranion" which uses text from "The Grace of the Valar" was originally written for the film's Houses of Healing sequence. After "Arwen's Song" was placed there, Shore engaged Sissel to perform "Asea Aranion" for the film's Fan Scroll suite.

It appears here, in the Complete Recordings, to represent the burgeoning love between Éowyn and Faramir.

So, "Asea Aranion" (by Sissel and also heard during the end of the ROTK fan club credits just before Bilbo's Song) was originally written for those scenes where we see Aragorn healing people.

And the song that Liv Tyler sings - "With a sigh you turn away" - was originally written for the vision Arwen has of Eldarion with Aragorn.

But Liv's song was replaced by Renee Fleming singing "The Evening Star". So Liv's song... now homeless... bumped Sissel's
"Asea Aranion" and was used for Aragorn's hands of a healer and Sissel's song was inserted into the scene with Eowyn and Faramir with some vague justification of 'to represent the burgeoning love'. It was mostly just to get it on the CR for those of us who wanted it on a recording. It was never intended to be attached to that scene (I don't believe) by either Peter or Howard.

LOTR soundtrack website ~ June 2010 : ROTK Lyrics Update!
magpie avatar gallery ~ Torn Image Posting Guide

(This post was edited by Magpie on Jul 19 2010, 7:06pm)


Jul 19 2010, 9:15pm

Post #14 of 28 (3658 views)
Tristan and Isolde [In reply to] Can't Post

"the ultimate source [of] yearning tunes" ... so true! That continuing feeling of not ... quite ... getting ... there. Not resolving or wrapping up, ever, just going on and on. I remember listening to pieces of Tristan and Isolde in a CD music course I took and to me it had a sort of endless stairway type of feeling to it. Like it was just going to go on and on forever. I haven't listened to it enough to know if it ever changes or evolves into something else or if it just meanders in frustration like that for that entire duration of the story. I like to think that the Eowyn and Aragorn theme would evolve into something else, something that does resolve and represent her ultimately happy change of circumstance.


Jul 19 2010, 9:30pm

Post #15 of 28 (3701 views)
I'm going to hijack my own post here... [In reply to] Can't Post

I just can't help it :-). I was just listening to the clip of Eowyn & Faramir, where she says that it's so cold, and he says it's just the damp of the first Spring rain. And I just had to remark on that exchange, the whole idea of how a person's frame of mind dictates how they perceive reality. Here Eowyn is at the lowest point she's ever been, and so to her, it's cold, bone chilling, feeling like it's the end (of all things), and then here is Faramir, wise and calm and unperturbed, and he interprets it as just the temporary, necessary damp and chill before all things are new again.

Wow. Just.... wow :-).

And now, returning you to your regularly scheduled discussion thread ....!

I don't recognize the lovely melody here, but I too hope someone more musically trained can detect some linkages or similarities :-).


Jul 20 2010, 1:00am

Post #16 of 28 (3660 views)
it's lovely music, but... [In reply to] Can't Post

it's really filler music, I guess, the way you describe how it got attached to this scene.

That fits, though, with how I perceive it. It doesn't line up with the rest of the themes for Eowyn...or the Gondor ones to my mind ..so it's more like lovely background music than anything else.

In rewatching the scene, I'm struck again that this encounter is more aboutFaramir than Eowyn -- I really think film-wise her story reaches its climax when she kills the Witchking -- with the I am no man line, in which she finally realizes she has power as a woman to do something no man can do...

Faramir, though, is another story -- I love being able to see him finally at peace in this scene, and I'd say it's the completion of his character arc in the films. From this perspective, I rather like the music -- it supports the contentment you see in his face here, which is nice after all he's been through. I could see why they felt it fit this sequence for that reason, even if it was not deliberately written for it...



Jul 20 2010, 1:14am

Post #17 of 28 (3691 views)
nice... [In reply to] Can't Post

I too like how he brings her back to center, so to speak...she's been through a lot and is used to going down the path of doom and gloom -- it's almost a conditioned response for her. The way he responds to her is just great -- first, he uses words to give her some grounding so that she knows she doesn't have to go down the "dark" path again, and then he gives her a great alternative place to end up, by following up with that wonderful look of romantic interest...(sigh)...

Ah, Faramir...gotta love a guy who can win your heart by talking about the weather!



Jul 20 2010, 1:59am

Post #18 of 28 (3664 views)
to be clear [In reply to] Can't Post

the audio clip I provided that is from the movie contains music that *was* written for this scene.
the music you hear on the CR-ROTK in this spot was not.

The music in the movie is definitely related to Eowyn. It has the same rise and fall in the beginning. The CR-TTT liner notes describe it as a "rising perfect fifth descending through a Lydian7 mode"... whatever that means. btw.. if anyone has the CRs, digging through the notes on each theme during discussions like this might prove useful. We don't quote much from them since they are essentially copyrighted material that needs to be used in a respectful manner. But they're worth referencing when one is thinking about a particular theme.

Here's a new sound clip. Please right click on the link and download to your harddrive to listen.


The first phrase you hear is Eowyn Shieldmaiden - heard as Éowyn flees from Wormtongue (who desires her) and rushes out into the cool fresh air

The next phrase is Eowyn and Theoden - heard as Éowyn tells Aragorn she fears a cage.

The next is Eowyn and Aragorn - heard when she pleads with Aragorn to let her fight alongside the men of Helm's Deep... alongside Aragorn.

(it's interesting that, even though there is a specific Aragorn & Eowyn theme, a lot of Eowyn's scenes have to do with Aragorn.)

Then finally, we hear the music used for Faramir and Eowyn. They're all definitely formed from the same idea.

LOTR soundtrack website ~ June 2010 : ROTK Lyrics Update!
magpie avatar gallery ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Jul 20 2010, 2:08am

Post #19 of 28 (3656 views)
ah, thanks! [In reply to] Can't Post

Listening to your collage, when you put them all together like that, it's easier to tell they are related in style/composition...

Maybe it's the very different instruments they use that make the HoH F/E romantic scene seem so different to me...I'm used to hearing that opening progression a certain way, I guess!

On the other hand, I suppose the different approach, instrumentally, could symbolize the replacement of the unfulfilled Aragorn relationship with the "real" Faramir one...

I'm in way over my head here...can you tell??? Smile (I am thoroughly incapable of singing on key...so have no natural abilities here whatsoever)

Ah well, I never mind thinking about Faramir...so thanks for a reason to take a lovely diversion to Faramir-land today...



Jul 20 2010, 2:14am

Post #20 of 28 (3681 views)
the weather... [In reply to] Can't Post

I was always struck by the boing moment between Eowyn and Faramir in the book:

"Yes," said Faramir, "of the land of Westernesse that foundered and of the great dark wave climbing over the green lands and above the hills, and coming on, darkness unescapable. I often dream of it."

"Then you think that the Darkness is coming?" said Éowyn. "Darkness Unescapable?" And suddenly she drew close to him.

"No," said Faramir, looking into her face. "It was but a picture in the mind. I do not know what is happening. The reason of my waking mind tells me that great evil has befallen and we stand at the end of days. But my heart says nay; and all my limbs are light, and a hope and joy are come to me that no reason can deny. Éowyn, Éowyn, White Lady of Rohan, in this hour I do not believe that any darkness will endure!" And he stooped and kissed her brow.

And so they stood on the walls of the City of Gondor, and a great wind rose and blew, and their hair, raven and golden, streamed out mingling in the air. And the Shadow departed, and the Sun was unveiled, and light leaped forth; and the waters of Anduin shone like silver, and in all the houses of the City men sang for the joy that welled up in their hearts from what source they could not tell.

It always seemed to me that Tolkien was using the weather as a chaste way to represent what Eowyn & Faramir are feeling at that moment. I can hear a familiar romantic classical tune in my head (I just don't know the name of it) every time I read that passage.

LOTR soundtrack website ~ June 2010 : ROTK Lyrics Update!
magpie avatar gallery ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Jul 20 2010, 10:49am

Post #21 of 28 (3755 views)
Clinging to winter's chill [In reply to] Can't Post

Here Eowyn is at the lowest point she's ever been, and so to her, it's cold, bone chilling, feeling like it's the end (of all things), and then here is Faramir, wise and calm and unperturbed, and he interprets it as just the temporary, necessary damp and chill before all things are new again.

It reminds me of "So fair and so cold, like a morning of pale spring still clinging to winter’s chill" - Grima's description of her from when we first saw her in TTT.

Here she is still clinging to winter's chill - but now Faramir is here to reassure her that the spring thaw is finally coming.

(Sorry that's nothing to do with the music - I love reading everyone's comments about that, but I don't know it well enough to have anything to add....)


They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings


Jul 20 2010, 11:22am

Post #22 of 28 (3707 views)
Thanks! And here is a very helpful link on modes [In reply to] Can't Post

I heard it, I heart it now! Thanks so much for posting that comparison of the phrases, Magpie. When you hear them one after the other, it is clear they are related. And it even de-mystifies that statement I couldn't understand previously from the liner notes: "rising perfect fifth descending through a Lydian7 mode". The rising perfect fifth is those first two pitches going upward (da DAH....) and then the remainder of the pitches going downward is the rest of what they're referring to regarding the Lydian mode.

I looked up some information regarding modes. The simplest way for me to wrap my head around what they are is that when you have an octave, going from one note, like a C, up through the intervening notes to reach the next C above it, you go by a series of whole and half steps, from the bottom to the top, and there are different ways to arrange the whole steps and half steps which result in a distinctive sound, a different 'flavor' to it overall. Most people are familiar with a major scale and a minor scale. The difference between those two is basically, where you put in the whole steps and half steps between the notes to get from the bottom of the octave to the top, which results in them sounding different. I think modes are similar. If you create a melody using the pattern of notes in one mode, it will sound very different than if you use the pattern of notes from another mode.

I found an excellent Wikipedia article on the topic, very helpful and not too technically difficult, and which provides examples of well-known melodies which use the different modes, here. It's interesting from the examples given to realize that many songs are 'technically' written in one or another of these modes. I might be assuming, but I don't think that is always a conscious decision. For instance, I kinda doubt the Beatles woke up one morning and said "I'm going to write a song in the Dorian mode today" and then came up with "Eleanor Rigby". I am assuming... but maybe it's just one of those things that a song or melody is created first and then afterwards you realize it's in a particular mode. Although I suppose technically trained composers might do so consciously. And perhaps referring to modes is a shorthand way for technically trained musical people to communicate, in that they know what 'flavor' each mode is compared to another.


Jul 20 2010, 1:58pm

Post #23 of 28 (3690 views)
What a connection! [In reply to] Can't Post

I hadn't thought of that! But that is so accurate ... it's where her frame of mind typically is, and someone like Faramir can help her to move beyond it.

Somehow also makes me feel sorry for poor Grima, he could see that too, but he couldn't move beyond it. I think, in himself, either, he could not see any new beginning. But I'm really wandering now.

As for our music discussions... we have some commenters who have musical training, but most of us, including me, are just obsessed fans muddling our way through it Smile. The extent of my musical training is childhood music lessons, then a 25 year gap, and then picking it up again with self-taught, continuing ed type of things. And of course, Wikipedia Wink. I so fell in love with the music that HS wrote for the trilogy, that it was what inspired me to start studying music again.

And thanks.... little lurker footprints in the Views are nice to see, and know that people are getting enjoyment out of it Heart.


Jul 20 2010, 3:44pm

Post #24 of 28 (3668 views)
See? You're all music theory whizzes already. [In reply to] Can't Post

(I still haven't had time to dig up my headphones to listen to the collage Frown, and I'm assuming I'd get some dirty looks if I cranked this stuff while at my cubicle. I'll try to get to it later tonight, with a more in-depth technical analysis, I hope!)

Yes, the first two notes are an interval of a "perfect fifth" as I mentioned in my first post. In the Scale in the key of C you mention, Loresilme, a fifth would jump from C to G. And when you hum "da DAH," think of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" or even the main Star Wars theme or "2001: A Space Odyssey." On a keyboard, we can play "C C G G A A G" to get "Twinkle."

We all feel a connection to the Eowyn themes because of this basic beginning. (Again, I will dig deeper into this later.) Instead of referring to the music as "Eowyn and ______ Theme" we could think of this stuff as "Eowyn: Theme and Variations." When Mozart was my age he wrote Twelve Variations on a French tune that should be familiar to all of us. By changing the tempo, complexity or accompaniment Wolfgang gives us 13 unique pieces all with the same theme. The same could be said of Eowyn as she jumps around from boyfriend to boyfriend.

Regarding the modes (and keeping the "C" Scale), changing a whole step to a half step here or there, or vice versa, gives us a new Mode to work with. A Lydian Mode would raise the interval from the third to the fourth from a half step to a whole step, or, if you like, raises F Natural to F Sharp. So, "descending through a Lydian7 mode" means that after our "Perfect Fifth" from C to G, we walk on down the keyboard: "A" back to "G" to "F#".

Yes, composers are very much aware of the modes they intend to write in, or at the very least, they are aware of the modes they have written in once they put a melody down on paper. For centuries there have been composing rules to follow when writing music, as I alluded when I mentioned the "consecutive fifths" that Bach would cringe at. And the "flavor" of differing modes you mentioned: spot on. Knowing the taste of what certain modes offer can be a starting point when deciding what music to cook.

Got Necroquestions? I'll give you Necromanswers.


Jul 20 2010, 4:12pm

Post #25 of 28 (3665 views)
Thanks Magpie, I know where you're coming from. [In reply to] Can't Post

In a way I like hanging out at the technical end of the spectrum... Music deeply affects me, as it affects all people. This much is definitely true. However, I'm a man. I grunt and point to communicate those things called "feelings" and "emotions." Bear in mind I've used flowery words in my day, but I think to really understand how music works its magic I decided to study the theory for a while. In a way I'm like the scientists that take sophisticated tests of the Mona Lisa to try and figure out exactly why and how DaVinci made such a masterpiece. Smile

I think I just compared Doug Adams to Dan Brown in a roundabout way...

Got Necroquestions? I'll give you Necromanswers.

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