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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
The music isn't up to par
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Tol Eressea

Jul 20 2014, 5:50pm

Post #26 of 81 (374 views)
Agreed. [In reply to] Can't Post

Other than a few instances (the eagles flight, Bilbo running off on his adventure, one or two of the many times the Lonely Mountain theme was used), the music hasn't stood out to me at all in these movies. Granted, i haven't listened to the OSTs, but as far as music as it actually appears in the films, it's just not making much of an impression at all. It's not bad, it's just not all that memorable.

Tol Eressea

Jul 20 2014, 5:53pm

Post #27 of 81 (381 views)
Well, to be fair, [In reply to] Can't Post

the o.p. was asking a question, and not stating anything definitively.


Jul 20 2014, 6:17pm

Post #28 of 81 (372 views)
Smaug's theme [In reply to] Can't Post

I must point out (in case you didn't knew already, ofcourse) that Smaug has 2 themes. One is the theme which you heard in the AUJ prologue, while the other one you can hear here

I can't really say i agree with your comments about Smaug's theme, though. For example, when i see Smaug attacking Dale, noisy music with anger is exactly what i would want to hear, not creepy/eerie music that represents his cunning side. And i think there were plenty of moments in DoS where Smaug's theme sounded more cunning than angry (this for example).

I'll also take this opportunity to point out how much i love the way both of Smaug's themes are played into eachother at the end of A Liar and a Thief. The ending of My Armor is Iron also has something similar like that.


Jul 20 2014, 6:22pm

Post #29 of 81 (368 views)
That captures my feeling perfectly. [In reply to] Can't Post

Before AUJ, I got the CD, and was very disappointed. The Misty Mountain was they only piece that really worked. So, I thought, I'll wait and see the movie. I saw it twice, and still nothing memorable in the music except for the Misty Mountain. I gave the CD to my granddaughter.

DOS had nothing memorable at all. In a previous thread on this subject, folks suggested particular tracks that I should listen to to change my opinion, but they were just nice movie music, nothing at all memorable.

It's very sad. The scores for all three LotR movies were magnificent.


Jul 20 2014, 6:24pm

Post #30 of 81 (351 views)
Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

Smaug's theme is brilliant. I love the Eastern qualities it is given in DOS, but the I think my favourite statement of his main/aggressive theme is from the AUJ prologue. Can't wait to hear how his themes conclude in BOFA.


Jul 20 2014, 6:34pm

Post #31 of 81 (348 views)
Interesting [In reply to] Can't Post

Because the DOS score has many memorable moments. Have you actually given the CD several listens? It can be easy to watch the film and not notice the music much and so pass it off as dull.


Jul 20 2014, 6:43pm

Post #32 of 81 (338 views)
In my view [In reply to] Can't Post

It doesn't for me at all – unlike the LotR music and some of the music for AUJ, as mentioned. I didn't need to listen to CDs of the music for LotR or AUJ to know that I liked the music, and I prefer the music to be connected to the film (I have no particular wish to listen to it on its own). The music for DoS may well sound good to many people – but as an accompaniment to the film, I think it fails.

In Reply To
Because the DOS score has many memorable moments. Have you actually given the CD several listens? It can be easy to watch the film and not notice the music much and so pass it off as dull.


Jul 20 2014, 6:50pm

Post #33 of 81 (324 views)
Well part of the reason [In reply to] Can't Post

Is because some very good music from the soundtrack was cut from the film for whatever reason. Once you familiarise yourself with the music you'll notice it more in the film. There are so many great themes in this one: The Heirs of Durin, Tauriel and Laketown. I find it hard to understand calling this soundtrack dull or unmemorable when we have great music like those themes mentioned. They are just some the main ones, to fully appreciate it you do have to actually listen to it through several times as with any film score.

(This post was edited by SafeUnderHill on Jul 20 2014, 6:53pm)


Jul 20 2014, 7:43pm

Post #34 of 81 (316 views)
That's the way it works for me, too. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not going to invest the money and time to buy a CD and listen to the music if it didn't do anything for me at all in the movie. The primary purpose of movie music is to enhance the images on the screen. For off-line listening, the purpose is to re-awaken them. To me, this music is just bland movie music. If it requires so much effort to get into it, it's failed its primary purpose.


Jul 20 2014, 7:56pm

Post #35 of 81 (300 views)
Well [In reply to] Can't Post

We're telling you it's great and you're missing out on some wonderful music that was cut from the film, that's a good reason to invest! You can listen to it on YouTube anyway.

Also, a film score can be doing it's job correctly even if you don't notice it. Not that the DOS score isn't noticeable IMO. Maybe it's just because I was familiar with the first score, I enjoyed the beautiful statements of the Thorin and Erebor theme. Do you know what the 'Heirs of Durin' theme is? It's stirring stuff.

(This post was edited by SafeUnderHill on Jul 20 2014, 7:57pm)


Jul 20 2014, 8:01pm

Post #36 of 81 (302 views)
that absolves one how? [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't want to derail the conversation but a disparaging comment asked as a question does no less harm than a disparaging comment stated as fact. At least one is not absolved from responsibility for what they've said because they've phrased it as a question.

Having made this point now and many times previous, I won't belabor the point. For further info, look up the definition and function of "innuendo."

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

(This post was edited by Magpie on Jul 20 2014, 8:02pm)


Jul 20 2014, 8:02pm

Post #37 of 81 (303 views)
To me it's just as good, if not better [In reply to] Can't Post

I find myself humming more themes from TH than I do LOTR (maybe since I'm listening to it more often), especially Tauriel's entrance/theme in the Forest River track, the Lake-town theme, and my absolute favorite: the Misty Mountain theme. So to say it doesn't have "hummability" is wrong, in my case anyway, as I find many of the tracks to be hummable.

Now I don't want the music to sound too different. You have to connect these films, after all, so I wasn't expecting a sudden change in the music. I feel like BOTFA will have some of the best music yet, and with DOS getting new music for its EE, we can assume we'll get a Complete Recordings and might be able to enjoy the music in its entirety.

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies 12/17/14
"I know what I must do. It's just... I'm afraid to do it."


Jul 20 2014, 8:04pm

Post #38 of 81 (288 views)
Beyond the forest appears.... [In reply to] Can't Post

during the credits right after 'I See Fire'.

Not all those who wander are Lost

Darkness must pass. A new day will come and when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.


Jul 21 2014, 12:00am

Post #39 of 81 (262 views)
I find them to be quite fantastic. [In reply to] Can't Post

I think both AUJ and the DOS OST are simply fantastic and quite appropriate Middle-earth music to fit these films. I've listened to them many times and they redirects the emotions of seeing the movie for me when I'm just laying in bed chilling. I do wish the Misty Mountains theme was in DOS. That would be my one complaint.

(This post was edited by Elessar on Jul 21 2014, 12:01am)

Tol Eressea

Jul 21 2014, 1:47am

Post #40 of 81 (250 views)
I have enjoyed the music [In reply to] Can't Post

very much so in both films.

Thank you for your questions, now go sod off and do something useful - Martin Freeman Twitter chat 3/1/13


Jul 21 2014, 2:36am

Post #41 of 81 (230 views)
I think [In reply to] Can't Post

I think AUJ and DOS are a fine first and second movement of a 6 movement Middle-Earth Symphony, with an exquisite musical tapestry.


Jul 21 2014, 2:37am

Post #42 of 81 (237 views)
Uh. [In reply to] Can't Post

I have heard some of the sheets pre-orchestration and they sound almost exactly the same as the film cues, so that is untrue.


Jul 21 2014, 5:06am

Post #43 of 81 (232 views)
You know what's awesome but rarely gets mentioned... [In reply to] Can't Post

The score from when we see Bilbo for the first time and all the way through the Azog chase... Plus that is when we see the title and hear Smaugs theme for the first time ( not counting that brief moment in the beginning of AUJ...

I crank the AVR up every time I watch DOS...


Jul 21 2014, 6:02am

Post #44 of 81 (222 views)
Not really true [In reply to] Can't Post

I've listened to the soundtrack before watching the movie and was dissapointed by how little memorable content was on it compared to LOTR.


Jul 21 2014, 8:59am

Post #45 of 81 (220 views)
Music is a matter of taste. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm glad you're happy with it. You have a fair amount of company.

As far as expert assessments go, Shore got 3 Oscars for his work on LotR (and would have gotten one for TTT, but it was ruled too similar to FotR), and so far not even noms for AUJ and DOS, so the experts agree with those of us who are disappointed, I think.

(This post was edited by Elizabeth on Jul 21 2014, 9:01am)


Jul 21 2014, 9:39am

Post #46 of 81 (199 views)
That's not particularly fair [In reply to] Can't Post

If you're going to say the academy are experts in film scores, just because they didn't nominate the scores for AUJ or DOD doesn't mean they were disappointed. I think it has a lot to do with the academy thinking they've given Shore enough awards for his middle earth work. And I am not convinced by people who say they find AUJ or DOS lacking in themes when they won't give the scores a proper chance and actually familiarise themselves with them.


Jul 21 2014, 9:45am

Post #47 of 81 (196 views)
'Expert Assessments'? [In reply to] Can't Post

That sounds a little like you're discrediting the opinion of those who happen to like these soundtracks by bringing that into it. It's like saying "well there's people who like AUJ and people who don't, but the 'experts' (in this instance critics and award voters) mainly agree with those of us who didn't like the film".

And I would hardly call Oscar nominations 'expert assessments' anyway. It was always unlikely people were going to vote for these films in any category beyond visual effects and make-up. I've seen many dubious nominations for best score down the years, often connected to how critically-acclaimed the film is and how well it did in the bigger categories like 'Best Film'. Against this one could mention the numerous specialist-soundtrack websites that gave the scores of both Hobbit films hugely favourable reviews.

(This post was edited by Shagrat on Jul 21 2014, 9:59am)

Turnip Head

Jul 21 2014, 9:52am

Post #48 of 81 (197 views)
Hummability [In reply to] Can't Post

Every time I watch DOS I find myself humming the Laketown theme hours after the film is back on my movie shelf.


Jul 21 2014, 10:18am

Post #49 of 81 (183 views)
In fact [In reply to] Can't Post

When I first walker out of AUJ in the cinema, I thought I wasn't impressed by the music because I mostly didn't notice it (apart from the Misty Mountain theme and the gorgeous eagle flight music). That doesn't mean it didn't do it's job. And is it such a bad thing that you appreciate it on many more levels as you give the music time, and you pick up on the themes. These Middle Earth films are created with the knowledge that people will watch them over and over again. With DOS however I instantly fell in love with the stand out moments like the Laketown theme and Tauriels theme when I first heard them (on the CD).


Jul 21 2014, 10:19am

Post #50 of 81 (189 views)
I'll post this quote from a review again [In reply to] Can't Post

Because i think it's a good summary of the score of DoS:

While the music in The Desolation of Smaug doesn’t have the crowd-pleasing memorability of some of the other works in the series, while doesn’t have as much choral bombast as previous entries, and while the inherent darkness of many of the themes and performances may be off-putting to some who need more lightness in their music, its intellectual design is utterly flawless, and its orchestration is consistently interesting. This is one of the scores of the year.


Either way, i'm a fan of the music from The Hobbit. While i generally like the music in LOTR more overall, i find myself liking the themes from The Hobbit more. LOTR may have more iconic themes, but personally most of the new themes in The Hobbit sound better and more interesting to me (Smaug, Misty Mountains, Erebor, Thorin, House of Durin, etc). Laketown's theme is probably my least favorite theme of all the 5 movies so far, though.

I also kinda like the different tone of the music of LOTR and TH. LOTR has a somewhat feminine soundtrack (grand, beautiful, elegant, etc) whereas TH seems to have a more manly soundtrack (fast-paced, energetic, adventurous, etc). Both are fitting to the tone of their respective trilogy. And i think this is something people need to remember, that each trilogy has a different tone. You can't go expecting lots of grand and emotionally spectacular music when there simply aren't as much scenes like that in TH compared to LOTR.

So yeah, i think it's fine if people don't like the style and tone of The Hobbit's music. But i think it's wrong to say that the music is of lesser quality than LOTR.

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