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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Does anyone miss the "loudness" of the score?
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Annatar598
Rohan


Mar 5 2014, 11:53am

Post #1 of 50 (1138 views)
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Does anyone miss the "loudness" of the score? Can't Post

Or perhaps... the score itself?

Don't get me wrong, I thought the "muted" sections of DOS were great from a filmmaking standpoint. Scenes like the Spider sequence and Bombur Bom-Barding orcs and Legolas vs. Bolg are tremendous to just HEAR without the score but... It feels as if DOS is lacking in the music department.

There's only four moments where I feel the score really has the same power as AUJ and the LOTR trilogy:

The Wilderness (up till the company crashes through Beorn's)

The High Fells

LakeTown entrance

Gandalf facing Sauron (right after the bubble shield is broken)

Everything else has the score take second place to the SFX. Especially the barrels! I love love love the Forest River track but it's so sad that most of it is inaudible because of the sound of the water and other things. The score almost feels muffled at times.

With AUJ, the same themes were reused and reused and reused. But there was still that feeling that the music was significant; it had a powerful presence.

What do you guys think of the DOS music work? Do you like the "new" style and do you want TABA to follow suit?

"[Annatar598] is an overzealous apologist [for PJ]" - Certain TORn member.

Really? Alright...

Well, proud to be one I guess.

(This post was edited by Annatar598 on Mar 5 2014, 11:54am)


Shagrat
Gondor

Mar 5 2014, 12:21pm

Post #2 of 50 (704 views)
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One thing I will say [In reply to] Can't Post

That Bombur barrel sequence would have been all the better for having the grand statement of Thorin's theme accompanying it. Don't know why that was dialled out.

I didn't really have a problem with the loudness as such. More the bits which were dialled out, like during the barrels and spider sequence.

Perhaps my favourite music bit in the film is where we first hear the 'House of Durin' theme when Bard is reading the tapestry. I think that was loud enough.


Skaan
Lorien


Mar 5 2014, 12:37pm

Post #3 of 50 (633 views)
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Definitely [In reply to] Can't Post

This is my main gripe with the score aswell, it just felt too much like incidental music and not enough like the "overpowering" music we've been used to from LOTR and AUJ. I do like the score, though, i just think it's a little too quiet in the actual movie. There were some parts on the score which i think could've given us this same "epic" feeling as LOTR and AUJ, but in almost all of those cases the music was simply too quiet, dialed out or heavily edited.

That being said, i still have good hopes for TABA. Firstly because all the major events will happen there, and major events also invite grand music. But secondly, it's also most likely the last time Howard Shore will make music for a Middle-earth movie, which gives me the feeling he's going to go all out this time (both in action and emotion).

So yeah, DoS kinda disappointed me a bit in terms of the music, but i haven't lost faith yet and i'm really looking forward to hearing what Howard Shore has in store for us in TABA.


Noria
Gondor

Mar 5 2014, 12:42pm

Post #4 of 50 (614 views)
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Yes, I miss that too. [In reply to] Can't Post

One of the things I loved about the LotR movies was the use of the music. To my mind, it was almost operatic and the music was almost a character. I was watching Lawrence of Arabia the other day and that fabulous music was very much front and centre there as well.

I miss that about AUJ and DoS. I love the two scores and listen to them often, but to me it feels as if they were being used more conventionally. The music could have made the movies much more epic.


Dipling
Lorien

Mar 5 2014, 12:47pm

Post #5 of 50 (594 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

That is my only "problem" with the Hobbit movies.

Maybe the score gets "lost" because dolby atmos mix - in non atmos theaters.


Glorfindela
Valinor


Mar 5 2014, 1:11pm

Post #6 of 50 (613 views)
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The music [In reply to] Can't Post

For me, the only piece of music in DoS that has the 'sound of Middle-Earth', evident to me in AUJ and LotR, is to be heard during the Lake-Town entrance.

I think the entire score for DoS is good, but simply not 'grand' or 'moving' enough, and too divorced in style from the scores for AUJ and LoTR.

I would like TABA to go back to the style of the AUJ and LotR scores, for consistency and in terms of emotional content, which (for me) is lacking in DoS.


Shagrat
Gondor

Mar 5 2014, 1:16pm

Post #7 of 50 (599 views)
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Emotional content is entirely subjective [In reply to] Can't Post

I find the 'House of Durin' theme heard in 'Girion, Lord of Dale' and 'In the Shadow of the Mountain' very moving, as I do much of the second half of 'On the Doorstep'. Just because you don't find you connect emotionally doesn't mean others will.

Furthermore, it is related very much to what we see on screen. What in DoS are we likely to find emotional, beyond Thorin leaving Kili behind and Thorin and Balin entering Erebor (which I thought was brilliantly done in all respects)? Some would add the Kili and Tauriel bits, but I am not of that persuasion. Tongue


Elarie
Grey Havens

Mar 5 2014, 1:18pm

Post #8 of 50 (575 views)
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Yes, I missed the use of the music [In reply to] Can't Post

as a "front and center" element very much, and it wasn't until I started downloading the music from iTunes that I even realized there was a lot of music in DOS that I really like. It just sort of got buried in the movie, which is a shame because a lot of it is quite beautiful and I enjoy listening to it for its own sake.


tsmith675
Gondor


Mar 5 2014, 1:31pm

Post #9 of 50 (590 views)
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Yeah I actually remember when I was sitting there at the premiere... [In reply to] Can't Post

When the WB logo came up and The Quest for Erebor started playing, I thought something was wrong with the speakers, because it seemed really quiet.

Because I remember last year for AUJ, when My Dear Frodo started playing over the beginning logos, it was loud and grandiose. I was so impressed by that last year, and was a little let down this time.

Yes, it's just a small thing, but I definitely noticed it!

"This day we FIGHT!"


painjoiker
Grey Havens


Mar 5 2014, 2:05pm

Post #10 of 50 (589 views)
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I guess I am one of the few.. [In reply to] Can't Post

I think the usage of music was excellent in DoS!
Better than in AUJ for my taste Smile

Vocalist in the melodic metal band Betomast
and the progressive doom rock band Mater Thallium


Smeagol Bagginsess
Rivendell


Mar 5 2014, 2:16pm

Post #11 of 50 (560 views)
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Was about to say this. [In reply to] Can't Post

I would go as far as to say that the use of music was better than even LotR.
Unlike those films, the music in this one did not hit me on the head.
In DoS, the score was atmospheric. And lets the scene do the talking rather than the music.


Annatar598
Rohan


Mar 5 2014, 2:34pm

Post #12 of 50 (538 views)
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Yes, that is a great way of looking at it [In reply to] Can't Post

Most of my friends, casual movie-goers HATE the score in movies like Star Wars and LOTR because the score "doesn't shut up."

The music in DOS is extremely effective in that it complements the scene. Something that LOTR and AUJ often didn't try to do. But I personally prefer the
latter because I just love Shore's themes...

But I think you're right, from an editorial perspective, the score is handled well. I think I just contradicted myself...

"[Annatar598] is an overzealous apologist [for PJ]" - Certain TORn member.

Really? Alright...

Well, proud to be one I guess.


Glorfindela
Valinor


Mar 5 2014, 4:03pm

Post #13 of 50 (498 views)
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Yes, I know that 'emotional content is entirely subjective' [In reply to] Can't Post

That is why my post stated in several ways that my message was 'in my opinion'. I simply find the DoS rather alien compared with Shore's other Midle-Earth scores, and would prefer to hear music that was more familiar, and grandiose in appropriate places.

Kili and Tauriel bits (and sundry ninja elf bits), I entirely agree with you on.

Tongue


Faleel
Rohan


Mar 5 2014, 4:09pm

Post #14 of 50 (491 views)
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I agree [In reply to] Can't Post

I think people have a very narrow view on what "emotional" means.


FoFo64
Rivendell


Mar 5 2014, 4:25pm

Post #15 of 50 (481 views)
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I wouldn't say the scores don't complement the scene.. [In reply to] Can't Post

If they didn't complement the scene then it wouldn't be doing its job as a film soundtrack. I think Howard Shore is just trying out a different style of soundtrack composition this time around. My guess is that after scoring 4 ME movies he wants to keep challenging himself to do new things so that he can continue to grow as a composer, rather than do what he's been doing in the past.

As other have mentioned, the score for DOS, aimed to be more atmospheric and mood setting than being in the forefront as an emotional guide. Both styles work great, but offer a decidedly different mood.

For LOTR and AUJ, the scenes themselves through the great acting, convey emotion to the audience. The soundtrack accentuates it via melodic musical themes that come to the forefront to epitomize that emotion.

For DOS, Howard Shore used less melodic compositions in favor of guiding the audiences emotions through mood setting music. Like how in Smaug's lair you hear asian instruments and the tings of percussion to imitate the sound of Bilbo walking on jewels.

'It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing...such a little thing...' Boromir; Fellowship of the Ring Film


SafeUnderHill
Rohan

Mar 5 2014, 4:30pm

Post #16 of 50 (477 views)
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I have to disagree. [In reply to] Can't Post

Whilst AUJ used many more themes from LOTR, I feel like the DOS sounds more like a LOTR score because of it's atmosphere and mood. AUJ is more uplifting and fresh and it should be, whereas DOS is dark throughout and sounds more like middle earth to me.


Faleel
Rohan


Mar 5 2014, 4:33pm

Post #17 of 50 (466 views)
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Also [In reply to] Can't Post

The Hobbit scores seem to focus more on "character" themes, and less on "location"/"concept" themes.


Magpie
Immortal


Mar 5 2014, 4:47pm

Post #18 of 50 (466 views)
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I would tend to agree [In reply to] Can't Post

as someone who spent an insane amount of time studying the LOTR scores and no time studying the Hobbit scores, this is what I would suspect is happening as well:

Quote
I think Howard Shore is just trying out a different style of soundtrack composition this time around. My guess is that after scoring 4 ME movies he wants to keep challenging himself to do new things so that he can continue to grow as a composer, rather than do what he's been doing in the past.

I'm not sure I have enough knowledge of what other film score composers are doing to speak well but my sense is a fair number do what they do... score films. And some even score with kind of the same music over and over and over again.

But, although one can hear familiar echos in some of Shore's scores, he's also done
The Betrayal and the opera, The Fly

I think he really is interested in mixing things up and providing The Hobbit with its own musical identity while still connecting it to LOTR.


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

(This post was edited by Magpie on Mar 5 2014, 4:47pm)


Shagrat
Gondor

Mar 5 2014, 4:50pm

Post #19 of 50 (465 views)
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I get you [In reply to] Can't Post

I was hoping to hear the company's (Misty Mountains) theme myself. A few travelling montages might have helped on that front, and given Shore a chance to compose more grandiose pieces. Maybe the EE will offer something for both of us in that regard?


wonderinglinguist
Lorien

Mar 5 2014, 5:06pm

Post #20 of 50 (460 views)
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You might be on to something [In reply to] Can't Post

When I left the theater after my first viewing, I couldn't even remember hearing any music! The Laketown theme is the only one I could recall. I know there are many factors (ie the action on screen, the type and quality of the music, etc) that might cause it to not stand out so much, but you make a good point about the volume. While I don't find DOS music to be as memorable as others, in general, I do find it more stirring when listening to the soundtrack on my own than as part of the film --perhaps it's simply because I can't hear it that well!

keep smiling Smile

(This post was edited by wonderinglinguist on Mar 5 2014, 5:06pm)


wonderinglinguist
Lorien

Mar 5 2014, 5:15pm

Post #21 of 50 (450 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

Wonderfully put! That is a great way to describe the music of LotR and I think it captures the essence of what is different between those soundtracks and the ones of the Hobbit.


In Reply To
...the music was almost a character.


keep smiling Smile


Dcole4
Rohan

Mar 5 2014, 5:37pm

Post #22 of 50 (452 views)
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It has to do more with PJ than Howard Shore [In reply to] Can't Post

If you listen to the soundtrack, it's quite beautiful and stirring music, probably some of my favorite LOTR music from Shore. I think the change has come from PJ's directing that has matured and shifted away from having several moments where music is allowed to explode. There were a lot of "travel" shots in LOTR. Whether it be Aragorn racing to Helms Deep to warn Theoden of the army or the Company walking through Moria. The Hobbit has afforded Shore less opportunities to explode. The story is simply a lot more linear in this trilogy, they're strolling through the plot opposed to LOTR which pummeled it's way.


Glorfindela
Valinor


Mar 5 2014, 6:10pm

Post #23 of 50 (422 views)
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Indeed… [In reply to] Can't Post

I hope so – because I find the track for DoS unmemorable on the whole.


In Reply To
I was hoping to hear the company's (Misty Mountains) theme myself. A few travelling montages might have helped on that front, and given Shore a chance to compose more grandiose pieces. Maybe the EE will offer something for both of us in that regard?



Faleel
Rohan


Mar 5 2014, 6:49pm

Post #24 of 50 (408 views)
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What [In reply to] Can't Post

Do you mean by the "Track for DOS"?


CathrineB
Rohan


Mar 5 2014, 7:06pm

Post #25 of 50 (415 views)
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The epicness lacks [In reply to] Can't Post

Lord of the Rings had so many epic/loud soundtrack moments like Gandalf riding up Minas Tirith, the Rohirrim leaving Edoras etc. Brought chills all over every time. None of that happened in the Hobbit. Well the company theme in AUJ did, but there's none of that in DoS.

I just think TH soundtrack lacks what LotR had so much of. Soul, stories to tell and effort put into it. It certainly didn't feel like just another soundtrack which TH kinda does. It has some beautiful moments of course, but nothing that get's to your core like LotR did. I also think the credit song for DoS just made things seem even worse as that song is teeeerrible.

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