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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
A question regarding the music score

sador
Half-elven


Oct 22 2013, 10:14am

Post #1 of 14 (509 views)
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A question regarding the music score Can't Post

Having liked Tubular Bells a lot, I have finally bothered to listen to Mike Oldfield's second album, Hergest Ridge.
And I found the music at around the 29:00 point oddly familiar... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zr0BR3N9Xss)

Is this just me?
If not, is this a mere coincidence? Does anybody know anything about this?


Bishop
Rohan


Oct 22 2013, 1:54pm

Post #2 of 14 (338 views)
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I'm a musician [In reply to] Can't Post

Hey there. Are you saying that the part at 29:00 sounds like some part of the AUJ score? If so, what part?

Interesting work, btw. I wasn't familiar with Mike Oldfield, so thanks for the reference.


Endor Dweller
Bree


Oct 22 2013, 2:34pm

Post #3 of 14 (312 views)
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Yes, there are similarities [In reply to] Can't Post

with the orchestrated Gondor theme. But I think it's a coincidence.

- Good morning.
- What do you mean? Do you mean to wish me a good morning, or do you mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not? Or perhaps you mean to say that you feel good on this particular morning...or are you simply stating that this is a morning to be good on?

- Good evening.
- Yes, yes it is. Though I think it might rain later.


Bishop
Rohan


Oct 22 2013, 3:20pm

Post #4 of 14 (305 views)
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Right [In reply to] Can't Post

I see what you're saying now. There are definite similarities in tone, and possibly chord progression, but I'd definitely vote coincidence!


Magpie
Immortal


Oct 22 2013, 11:53pm

Post #5 of 14 (285 views)
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It is similar to the Gondor theme [In reply to] Can't Post

so it's not just you...

But it is mere coincidence.

I have a whole section on my site of music that sounds similar to parts of the LOTR score and some of it sounds very similar.

(Follow the link in my footer and find the link along the left for "Similarities to other music".

But the official word (which comes via Doug Adams) is there was only one deliberate reference to another piece of music.

The only Wagner allusion in Shore’s LOTR scores is the Götterdämmerung near the very end of ROTK. Many have asked, “But isn’t that really a nod to material more prominent in Die Walküre or perhaps Das Rheingold?” The answer is simple… Shore, being versed in Wagner, but again not a Wagner scholar, recalled this material from Götterdämmerung when he chose to reference it. That was his intent, so thus it is listed. It’s the same reason that Stravinsky’s Greeting Prelude is not listed as Variations on a Theme by Patty and Mildred Hill. It is the composers’ intentions that are the key to understanding their work in such instances.




Howard certainly knows the classical repertoire, but really his only intentional LOTR homage—as indirect as it may be—is in the trilogy's Wagnerian finale. Now that doesn't mean that there aren't some close musical neighbors here and there (and, by all means, check out Magpie's site if you care to discover more), but these are all accidental and, generally, pretty fleeting. Believe it or not, it really was Tolkien's good old opus that fueled Howard's imagination through this project. He had a dog-eared, well-worn copy of the book tucked under his arm nearly every time I saw him during the composing process. I half expected to see it sitting on the podium when I arrived at the recording sessions… though I have no doubt it was at least sitting back at the hotel.



LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


sador
Half-elven


Oct 23 2013, 4:34pm

Post #6 of 14 (271 views)
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Yes, that's what I've meant. [In reply to] Can't Post

And welcome to TORn!

You're a professional musician? What do you play?


sador
Half-elven


Oct 23 2013, 4:42pm

Post #7 of 14 (267 views)
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I was hoping you'ld answer. [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't know if I would call it a coincidence - Howard Shore might have heard this and forgotten all about it, but subconsciously recalled it when composing the score. Those things happen.

What does surprise me is that this seems to be new to you. At least in TORn, we have several prog rock fans, and I would have expected someone to notice this before me, and raise the question. It's true, I don't recall Mike Oldfield being mentioned in the last love-for-prog thread, but I would expect people to be familiar with his work. Oh well.

Thank you - as always!


Magpie
Immortal


Oct 23 2013, 11:37pm

Post #8 of 14 (252 views)
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hmmm [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
What does surprise me is that this seems to be new to you.


You mean... you're surprised that particular piece of music seems new to me? Why would that surprise you. I am familiar with Mike Oldfield but he was never anyone I listened to. I'm not even sure what progressive rock is but I'm pretty sure I don't listen to it. There is whole masses of music I don't listen to. And there's whole bunches of music I do listen to.

If you mean you're surprised no one else has noticed, then that's a different story. But don't take my list of similar sounding music to be some sort of complete list or the lack of any one piece of music to mean that no one has noticed. It may be they just didn't email me when they noticed. And, at some point, I just stopped adding new pieces because I was being very thorough and methodical about how I handled the suggestions and I didn't have the time - or perhaps the inclination - to follow up in suggestion number 32. :-)


Quote
I don't know if I would call it a coincidence - Howard Shore might have heard this and forgotten all about it, but subconsciously recalled it when composing the score. Those things happen.


Impossible to prove a negative. Doug says that Howard says he was not referencing any music other than Wagner. Unless you get a chance to meet Shore some day and ask if he's familiar with Oldfield or ask him to deny that he's ever heard it somewhere at some point, all we've got to go with is that Wagner thing.

And really, what would we try to prove by saying Shore must have been or even might have been influenced? We're influenced by all sorts of things and just like Tolkien was sourcing from some of the older tales like other authors were, Shore is sourcing from existing motifs and chord structures like lots of other composers are. I always find that fact that all these people use the same motif to indicate that the motif itself is a powerful thing... a thing that endures over time, (perhaps) jumps across geographical or cultural boarders and infuses all our lives in ways we may not be consciously aware of. I am way less likely to think that all the artists/creators are merely repeating what each other have done.

:-)


LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Ziggy Stardust
Gondor


Oct 25 2013, 12:47am

Post #9 of 14 (245 views)
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Cool, me too [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm also a musician. You should check out some of Mike Oldfield's music, it's really good.


Ziggy Stardust
Gondor


Oct 25 2013, 12:51am

Post #10 of 14 (235 views)
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I'm familiar with prog-rock! [In reply to] Can't Post

Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Yes, Mike Oldfield...they're all great. I just love music! Laugh


Bishop
Rohan


Oct 25 2013, 1:15am

Post #11 of 14 (266 views)
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Agree, music is awesome. [In reply to] Can't Post

Though I was never a huge fan of classic rock, Pink Floyd is one of the bands from that time that really speaks to me. King Crimson I'm not that familiar with, and definitely not Mike Oldfield, but they're officially added to the list. There's just so much music to discover, both past and present, it's frankly astonishing. I'm more of a film score soundtrack (love Hermann, Goldsmith, Williams, Takemitsu, Shore of course!), 20th/21st century classical, and EDM kinda guy. But really all music is a unique kind of expression.

Similarities in music happen all the time, and some are more blatant than others. I think sometimes it's coincidence, sometimes it may be unconscious, and I suppose sometimes composers borrow. Williams has been known to lift entire phrases from earlier classical composers, perhaps in homage, or who knows.

The title on this video is a little mean, but the lift is undeniable. (it's the phrase that starts at :47 that is identical to bar 4 in the score)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwjUTI8RNNM

Other times you have composers just copying themselves, which is sometimes funny. James Horner, another excellent composer, does this thing where he works a 3 note chromatic riff into almost every single score he's ever written. It usually represents doom or despair. It's almost like his calling card.


Ziggy Stardust
Gondor


Oct 29 2013, 12:29am

Post #12 of 14 (202 views)
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Yes, it is [In reply to] Can't Post

There is a lot of music to discover, luckily though the list can be narrowed down (because there's some crappy ones out there. Angelic ) But yes, it's very astonishing. There are some great film scores out there. You said you're a musician, do you aspire to do soundtracks? I bet it is/would be rewarding and just amazing to do film scores. The only EDM I listen to occasionally is some of David Guetta's music, and some Daft Punk. Otherwise, I'm more into rock. (I do listen to dance music from the I 90s, but I don't know if it's considered EDM.)

I have noticed similarities in music, and often wondered why. In some cases the artists are playing homage, in some, it's unconcious, but others are done on purpose (and the artist acts like they didn't steal it!) That's a pet peeve of mine.

Have you heard of/heard some of the Ramones? They sometimes would copy themselves, but it worked a lot for their songs. Laugh


dijomaja
Lorien

Nov 2 2013, 10:45am

Post #13 of 14 (187 views)
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back on topic [In reply to] Can't Post

There are lots of similarities to other music, most of them coincidental, no doubt. In the FOTR score alone, besides the pieces discussed on Magpie's site, there's a brief echo of Mussourgsky's 'Pictures At An Exhibition' (Ravel orchestration) and some chords in the horns that sound like 'Peter And The Wolf'. None of this takes away from Howard Shore's work.

As for the Oldfield, the only similarity I hear near 29:00 is a 3-note motif similar to one of the Gondor themes.


(This post was edited by dijomaja on Nov 2 2013, 10:50am)


Doug Adams
Bree

Nov 14 2013, 5:39pm

Post #14 of 14 (176 views)
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X Marks the Spot [In reply to] Can't Post

Try comparing Mark Snow’s old X-Files theme to Shore’s Gondor theme sometime. ;)

These are all mere coincidences of course (other than the Wagner), but pleasant distractions nonetheless.

 
 

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