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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Movie Music Trivia Game
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Feb 22 2007, 4:23pm

Post #26 of 31 (2112 views)
Ver-r-r-y interesting! [In reply to] Can't Post

I hadn't consciously put these musical phrases together, but now you point it out, I see how they are all variants of the same theme.

I got the first two without the movie clues (in the second one, I could hear "there are fell voices in the air" at the appropriate point, so that told me the answer!) I missed the third one though.

As for the two without clues, I can feel them on the edge of conscious knowledge, but can't be sure. I think one is looking up the Stairs of Cirith Ungol - either when the hobbits first start to climb or (more likely, I think) when Sam looks back up the Stairs after finding the lembas.

I'm looking forward to seeing the answers. I wonder if they are all connected with climbing, whether Caradhras or Cirith Ungol.

Farewell, friends! I hear the call.
The ship's beside the stony wall.

Looking across Dublin Bay from Dún Laoghaire harbour


Feb 23 2007, 7:24pm

Post #27 of 31 (2140 views)
Answers! Winners! Prizes! [In reply to] Can't Post

For this week, I'm going to post the answers for our first Movie Music Trivia Game on Friday. I'm thinking this might give our weekday visitors a chance to respond, if desired, while the info is still fresh in their minds.

Look for the next challenge over the weekend, which is the best time for me to post.

The Answers to Movie Music Trivia #1

The name provided by the Complete Recordings of the FOTR liner notes for this music is, "Dangerous Passes", and it is one of three "Ring Quest Themes" under the category of "Middle-earth". The "Middle-earth" music represents "an order -- a balance between effort and reward, sorrow and joy, fear and comfort". The Ring Quest Themes deal with the Ring's passage through the world. Dangerous Passes music conveys "the passing of time and distance" "Shore chills his musical palette, setting this theme high in the violins and stressing chromatic instability. The dragging shapes evoked in this theme, like weary limbs, represent the onerous, burdensome course before the members of the Fellowship." (All quotes from CR-FOTR liner notes, pages 33-4, written by Doug Adams)

The five iterations of this music I provided were:
  1. The Fellowship climbing up the slope of Caradhras
  2. The Fellowship digging their way through the deep snow of Caradhras.
  3. Approaching Moria: the EE and the TE are slightly different here:
    TE: The music is heard just as we catch our first glimpse of the Walls of Moria and Gimli says, "The Walls of Moria."
    EE: The music is heard just as we catch or first glimpse of the Walls of Moria but the scene quickly switches to extended material as Gandalf calls Frodo to him and advises him to be wary. I provided the EE music.music
  4. from ROTK-OST, track 6, Minas Morgul - not in the moviemusic
  5. from ROTK-OST, track 9, Cirith Ungol - not in the movie

My speculation about the two unused instances of Dangerous Passes for ROTK are:

Minas Morgul: The music heard just before Dangerous Passes (on the CD) matches the music heard while troops march out of Minas Morgul, followed by the Witch King. Just as Dangerous Passes would play on the soundtrack, the scene shows Frodo, Sam, and Gollum beginning the long climb up the Stairs of Cirith Ungol. I believe this was originally scored with Dangerous Passes.
Cirith Ungol: The music heard just before Dangerous Passes (on the CD) matches music heard while Gollum convinces Frodo that Sam is treacherous. Frodo tells Sam to go home, and he turns to go... while Sam sits weeping. The scene stops at this moment but the music on the CD begins, at this moment, to play Dangerous Passes. I believe the scene was originally longer and would have shown Frodo and Gollum climbing further up the stairs.

Our Players This Week:

...were Ainu Laire, weaver, Loresilme, Nessa Ingolorian and FarFromHome. (Aerin dropped in but didn't play.)
All are winners for participating.
  • Of those that speculated, you all did well identifying the FOTR clips.
  • And you didn't do badly with the ROTK clips.
    • You all thought #4 was Minas Morgul. It was fun to see some of you 'remembered' it from the film... since it wasn't in the film. Most of you figured that out from the hints I was dropping.
    • As to clip #5, most of you again guessed Minas Morgul.
      This would be the time to realize that, although identifying the scene as Minas Morgul for #4 works... I know what you're talking about... it is not Minas Morgul that provides the prompt for Dangerous Passes to be played. It's the climb up the Stairs of Cirith Ungol. And it is again, the Stairs of Cirith Ungol that would have prompted #5... if it had been used.

As to what the music represented, descriptions from the players included: foreboding, sinister, and danger. Although I don't think Dangerous Passes was meant to indicate these moods as directly as other 'Danger Motifs', those elements certainly are there. I think the first intention of the music is, as Adams puts it, to convey "the passing of time and distance... The dragging shapes evoked in this theme, like weary limbs, represent the onerous, burdensome course before the members of the Fellowship". But along with this, Adams speaks of "an order -- a balance between effort and reward, sorrow and joy, fear and comfort." (All quotes from CR-FOTR liner notes, pages 33-4, written by Doug Adams)

And, although Adams doesn't directly connect the music to high places, I do think that is part of the intent. Maybe not just 'high' places... but the tedious, tiring act of climbing. (Which would explain why the music was not used over pictures of the Misty Mountain in the FOTR prologue or the opening of TTT... those were high places, but those scenes were not about the Fellowship or the physical act of travel and climbing.)

The word 'pass' provides us with the same dual sense of foreboding and climbing that we all took from the music. I looked it up the word 'pass' and found these definitions:
  • the location in a range of mountains of a geological formation that is lower than the surrounding peaks
  • a bad or difficult situation or state of affairs
  • a difficult juncture

Thanks to all those who participated and lurked.

Little Magpie prizes will be awarded to those who participated: Ainu Laire, weaver, Loresilme, Nessa Ingolorian and FarFromHome (check you PMs over the weekend.)

I'm awarding extra *notes* to two players:
  • FarFromHome went beyond 'Minas Morgul' for #4 and pegged 'Stairs' and got very close with #5, speculating that it was after Sam found the lembas (and perhaps she's right since we don't know exactly what the music was intended for).
  • In regards to what the theme represented, FarFromHome added in 'climbing' and Nessa 'mountains'.
  • Nessa also went the extra step to check out my website and identified the theme as 'Dangerous Passes'.

(I've been using Firefox spell check w/o problems... but either that spell check or the site's spell check - I may have tried both - really messed up this post. I've just taken an extra 10 minutes finding and fixing all the problems but please forgive me if I missed any. Feel free to ask for a repost of any part I did happen to miss. I've been formatting and editing for a good half hour and I just want to hit POST!)

no longer just aMagpie... I'm now *the* Magpie


Feb 25 2007, 5:52pm

Post #28 of 31 (2094 views)
Thanks Magpie! [In reply to] Can't Post

That was a very interesting quiz. If I've understood correctly, it looks as if this theme, which was originally used for the Pass of Caradhras, was also going to be used for the Pass of the Spider (=Cirith Ungol). But other considerations presumably changed the plan.

My idea about the Stairs of Cirith Ungol must have come from remembering the soundtrack album. I also had a strong sense that it came right before the Muster of Rohan scene, so I checked, and the music for that scene does come next on the soundtrack album, but not in the movie - Faramir's story comes in between.

Oh, and thanks for the prize, gift, thing - that's one of my favourite quotations!


Feb 25 2007, 7:12pm

Post #29 of 31 (2079 views)
It's not at all uncommon.. [In reply to] Can't Post

...for people who listen to the soundtrack a lot to transfer what they hear there onto the movie even when it isn't in the movie. It happens a lot, actually. And, IMO, there's no reason not to. It's not actually a 'mistake'.. Shore intended it to be used for those scenes.

no longer just aMagpie... I'm now *the* Magpie


Mar 24 2007, 2:53pm

Post #30 of 31 (2048 views)
just a test [In reply to] Can't Post

just testing to see if the notification works....


Jul 2 2007, 11:55am

Post #31 of 31 (2655 views)
I like this idea. [In reply to] Can't Post


Never doubt that a small group of peple can change the world indeed,that is the onely thing that ever has......Margaret mead

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