Our Sponsor Sideshow Collectibles Send us News
Lord of the Rings Tolkien
Search Tolkien
Lord of The RingsTheOneRing.net - Forged By And For Fans Of JRR Tolkien
Lord of The Rings Serving Middle-Earth Since The First Age

Lord of the Rings Movie News - J.R.R. Tolkien
Do you enjoy the 100% volunteer, not for profit services of TheOneRing.net?
Consider a donation!

  Main Index   Search Posts   Who's Online   Log in
The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Movie Music Trivia Game and Discussion #4

Magpie
Immortal


Mar 24 2007, 6:58pm

Post #1 of 22 (1047 views)
Shortcut
Movie Music Trivia Game and Discussion #4 Can't Post

(I know a Saturday afternoon is an odd time to post this, but I gotta grab my time when I can.)


I thought I would try a slightly different approach to this game... challenge... thingie.

  • The first is to create a more distinct division between two aspects of this activity.
    • The Game
    • The Discussion


  • The second is to provide two options for listening to the music:
    • Very short clips (6-15 seconds long): Providing short clips will make it easier to download them and it may make it easier to think about the music since one is left with a quick, first impression rather than overwhelmed by longer, more complex passages.
    • Access to longer clips: These will be helpful if one wants to dig deeper into the music.


The aspects of 'Game' and 'Discussion' have been part of the challenge from the beginning but, in not making a distinction, I think I’ve given the impression that one needs to participate in both parts in order to participate at all. If fact, participating in just one part is fine so I’ll try fine tuning my approach in order to facilitate that.


The 'Game':
I call it a game and then give all these parameters that move it out of the game definition. You can use resources to get answers. You can listen to movie clips with dialog and sound effects. I don’t tally up results and consider any form of answer to be participating. The reason I format it like a game or challenge is because it can be fun. For some of us.

But there’s another reason I want you to listen to something about which you’ve been given no knowledge. If I gave you a bunch of info about some music and then asked you what you thought, I think you’d be more inclined to think within the parameters of what you’ve been told. Without the ‘right’ answer... or the ‘official word’ our minds are free to roam where they will. I think there have been some wonderful observations on the music discussed so far and I’m not convinced we would have gotten some of those observations if we were working from the framework of the ‘official word’. And I think our observations are just as valid as the ‘official word’ and help to further inform the ‘official word’.

So, I encourage you to listen to the clips with no prior knowledge and form your own opinions. But you don’t have to. You can listen and not play the game, instead moving straight on to the discussion. Or you can skip listening to the clips at all, move to the discussion and add whatever thoughts or observations you have to the conversation there.

The Discussion:
Discussions are purely open forum. I'll provide the info I think you need to be informed about this music and then you all talk about it. The only questions I will ask are ones I wonder myself. I use the information I gather to think about the music emotionally because I don't have the background knowledge to think about it musically. Hopefully we'll get input on both levels. I don't think one needs to worry about whether one is right about something or not. Some observations were made in Trivia #3 that I've never seen anywhere in official information. And, far from being wrong, I think these observations more fully inform us about how the music affects us - whether it was a conscious intention on the composer's part or not. Additionally, I have--more than once--offered an opinion on music that seemed to contradict the composer himself. Am I wrong? Am I saying Shore is wrong? No... the music belongs to us now and, like many things in life, there is more than one way to view and react to the art. (Interestingly, after defending this position to other soundtrack fans a couple of times, Doug Adams said essentially the same thing in a response he gave to someone.) This isn't college... this is coffee shop.


I will create a subthread for each aspect and one for feedback:
  • Game: You’ll be asked to identify the scene for different clips, note any observations you have, and to speculate on what person, place, or concept the music represents.
  • Discussion: I will provide all pertinent information about the scenes and the music. This is open forum for discussion. I’m not really going to prompt with a lot of questions other than ones I wonder about myself. In this format, the answers are provided soon after the questions (within 24 hours... just give me time to write and format) instead of 4-7 days after the questions.
  • Feedback: let me know how the activity is working for you because this activity is designed to serve the members of this forum. Honest feedback - positive or negative - informs me greatly. I appreciate any you can give me. Honestly, the game is still in trial run and unless we get more participants, it will probably not continue.






Magpie
Immortal


Mar 24 2007, 7:19pm

Post #2 of 22 (319 views)
Shortcut
The Game [In reply to] Can't Post

Visit THIS PAGE to find links to music from 8 different scenes. These are very short clips - between 8-15 seconds long. As I said in my root post, I thought providing short clips would make it easier to download them and it may make it easier to form initial, quick impressions when one is not overwhelmed by longer, more complex passages. But, it may make it harder to identify the music. If you can't from a 15 second CD clip, feel free to listen to the movie clip or find the links for accessing the longer clips.

After identifying the scene, think about what this music has in common. (And if you haven't listened to the longer clips yet, you may want to. I think some will do better with shorter... some with longer.)

I will tell you up front, it is a theme representing a person, place or concept. But, even though it is prevalent throughout the three movies, it is the least melodically consistently. Iterations of the Seduction Theme or the Rivendell Theme always sound pretty similar. This one... not so much. If you've identified most of the scenes, I think you'll have your answer. As the clips progress 1-8, they get less connected to the theme. The latter ones are described by Doug Adams as 'being informed' by the theme in question.

Share your observations about the music in general, if you have any. But if you don't have any... feel free to move right to the Discussion subthread where you can read more about this music.






Magpie
Immortal


Mar 24 2007, 8:49pm

Post #3 of 22 (358 views)
Shortcut
The Discussion [In reply to] Can't Post

Hoo boy. This week's theme is a complex one, IMO. I chose it because I thought it was one of the more interesting ones but it's not a straight forward melody that, once you have in your head, you can identify easily.

The Theme is called, "The Heroics of Aragorn". This was not a theme I picked up on my own at all. When I was updating my website, I drew from the work of other soundtrack fans who had identified "Aragorn's Theme". I had to get specific time stamps from them and listen over and over to the clips. Then, when I thought I kind of 'had it', they started calling it a Gondor Theme. HUN? It seems that, as the character of Strider/Aragorn develops, the music develops until it blends into and becomes an extension of the Gondor Theme. This blend into the Gondor Theme will be more fully discussed with the release of the Complete Recordings of the ROTK.

The Scenes:

  1. Aragorn faces the Uruk-hai on Amon Hen
  2. Aragorn rides Brego toward Helm's Deep
  3. Strider vs the Riders on Amon Sul (Weathertop)
  4. Aragorn the King at his Coronation
  5. Aragorn vs. Lurtz on Amon Hen
  6. "Around here, folks call him Strider" at the Prancing Pony
  7. "This is a dream", the Evenstar Melody
  8. Aragorn's revival on the banks of the river, the "Breath of Life" melody



Citation Abbreviation:

  • AS = Annotated Score; AS-FOTR = Annotated Score of the FOTR; AS-TTT = Annotated Score of TTT. Both available as a free download.
  • CR = Complete Recordings; LN = Liner Notes.
  • both AS and CR-LN written by Doug Adams. With the exception of comments for scene #4 and anything in parenthesis, all comment below are direct quotes from Doug.


The Music:

The Lord of the Rings follows many stories: the plight of the hobbits, the recession of the Elves, the succession of Mankind. But Aragorn's reluctant climb to the throne impacts every other tale through which it passes. Howard Shore's music for Aragorn forms more gradually than the Fellowship theme and contains an even greater number of thematic connections.
CR-FOTR LN pg 23

In The Fellowship of the Ring, The Heroics of Aragorn theme slowly moved from a reluctantly interwoven melodic snippet to the bold rising line heard at the onset of battle at Amon Hen. The Two Towers continues the actualization of Aragorn's heroism, but, as in the first film, the path is hardly direct.
CR-TTT LN pg 22

scene 1 : Aragorn faces Uruks on Amon Hen
CR-FOTR C5 Parth Galen 4:49 - 5:12
FOTR OST 16, Amon Hen 0:43 - 1:06

Frodo’s sword, Sting, glows blue—the Orcs have arrived! Aragorn, having refused the Ring now turns to protect Frodo, and thus earns his true heroic theme, the fully formed Heroics of Aragorn melody. Below this powerful theme another shape takes form, a plodding mechanical beating in five in piano and timpani. As the pulsing continues to grow, the Five Beat Pattern emerges and the Fellowship meets the figure face-to-face for the first time. “This is carefully done to match the action, the beats of the scene and Aragorn’s role in it all,” Shore explains. “It’s like Weathertop, in terms of the way the music is used.”
AS-FOTR

Once again Aragorn is summoned to the heroic purpose at Amon Hen. As Saruman's throng of Orcs approaches, Aragorn engages the beasts to allow Frodo to escape to the shore. Even more important than this potentially selfless act, Aragorn has just accomplished what Isildur could not: he has refused the temptation of the One Ring. Now the lines from Weathertop take their most determined stance, laced with the three down-and-back-again pitches of the newly minted Fellowship theme and pushing more assuredly upwards. The murky rising perfect fourth of Aragorn's Bree introduction takes on the flavor of a steeled fanfare. The Fellowship theme reference acknowledges that it is Aragorn's participation in this quest -- in the nine-member Fellowship of the Ring -- that has begun to awaken his heritage.
CR-FOTR LN pg 24



scene 2 : Aragorn rides Brego toward Helm's Deep
CR-TTT C1 Aragorn's Return 0:25 - 0:54
TTT OST 14, Breath of Life 4:21 - 4:49

A shadowy figure on horseback moves across Rohan’s plains. The music establishes a martial gait as Aragorn catches sight of a blight upon the land—at least 10,000 Orcs moving in snaking columns. Brego turns and picks up his pace, and Shore returns to The Heroics of Aragorn as the Dúnedan speeds towards Helm’s Deep. This is the most powerful and propulsive setting of this Fellowship variant in the score—a very similar setting to that heard at Amon Hen—but there is still an impurity threaded within. The rising perfect fourth interval that first introduced Aragorn in Bree again opens the ascending line, and it is this interval that carries the remnants of Aragorn’s reluctance and uncertainty. He rides to Helm’s Deep not to lead, but to forewarn.
AS-TTT

(Aragorn's revival on the banks of the river - see scene 8) is a turning point in the story for Aragorn, for it is here that his feelings for Arwen begin to push him towards the throne of Gondor rather than pull him away from it. For all his regal birthright, it is this open, compassionate side of Aragorn that awakens hims to his responsibilities. His eventual arrival at Helm's Deep elicits the most stirring and courageous setting of The Heroics of Aragorn in the second film--similar to the Amon Hen version in Fellowship, but more confident, more sturdily orchestrated for brass choirs and strings. It is at Helm's Deep that Aragorn will, for the first time, assume a prominent role within the World of Men. If his music in Fellowship urged Aragorn to become a hero, The Two Towers music pushes him to become a leader. But the most important step in Aragorn's evolution is yet to come. Tellingly, Aragorn's arrival at Helm's Deep has not yet shed it's less-certain origins--here The Heroics of Aragorn still begins with the same rising perfect fourth that marked his mysterious appearance in Bree.
CR-TTT LN pg 22-3



scene 3 : Strider vs the Riders on Amon Sul (Weathertop)
CR-FOTR B2 The Caverns of Isengard 0:15 - 0:44

With an electrifying burst of Fellowship fragments, Strider intercepts the Wraiths, and Shore introduces the Heroics of Aragorn’s next stage of development. Rising shapes in French horns recall the shady cello phrase that accompanies Aragorn in Bree, now emphasizing a bolder heroism. “He saves Frodo,” says Shore. “He’s Aragorn the hero—Aragorn the savior of Frodo. He’s so essential to the Fellowship.”
AS-FOTR

At Amon Sul, Shore introduces the melodic shape when Aragorn leaps into the fray, protecting the hobbits from the Black Riders. The line now takes a more solid, determined course, but it's still not fully formed. "You don't know much about him at that point," asserts Shore. "He's still Strider." The steady ascent is tempered by sinking figures less inclined to the rising purpose. Brass has assumed the line from the low strings, but Shore keeps the theme in a low register, still unable -- or unwilling -- to emerge as a purely valiant figure. Aragorn, as we will soon learn, does not desire the throne. His ancestors' weakness kept the Ring from destruction once, and he is afraid that history will repeat itself. Still, at Weathertop his melodic line begins to shuffle off its mystery for a bit of heroisim. For the first time in the story, Aragorn -- heretofore nothing more than a Ranger of the North -- puts himself in harm's way to save the hobbits.
CR-FOTR LN



scene 4 : Aragorn the King at his Coronation
ROTK OST 16, The Return of the King 2:51 - 2:58 and 3:05 - 3:13

There is no Annotated Score or Liner Notes for the ROTK. By this point, I believe, Aragorn's music has become an extension of the Gondor Theme. The only inclusion from ROTK that I offered was from the coronation. As Aragorn is crowed and first faces his people as King, the music moves between the primary Gondor Theme and what I call (until we get a more official name) the Gondor B/Aragorn's Theme music:

2:44 ..the horns play a noble Gondor Theme as Aragorn is crowned. Gandalf declares, "Now come the days of the King."
2:51 - 2:58 The camera cuts to Aragorn's face as we hear the Gondor B phrase (similar to Aragorn's Theme). Gandalf adds quietly, "May they be blessed."
2:58 The main Gondor Theme returns as Gandalf steps back and Aragorn stands up. Aragorn takes a big sigh...
3:05 - 3:13 and the Gondor B phrase plays again as he turns to face the crowd who cheer and clap.
(timestamps pertain to the ROTK OST, Track 16, The Return of the King


scene 5 : Aragorn vs. Lurtz on Amon Hen
CR-FOTR C6 The Departure of Boromir 1:57 - 2:28

Aragorn leaps in a vain attempt to save Boromir, but though he defeats Lurtz, the Orcs’ serving captain, Boromir is beyond his reach. An older version of Aragorn’s Heroic theme appears here, similar to the melody used at Weathertop. It’s a harsh musical judgment, but an apt one: despite his efforts, Aragorn fails to save Boromir and thus moves a step back from the hero he must eventually become.
AS-FOTR



scene 6 : "Around here, folks call him Strider" at the Prancing Pony
CR-FOTR A13 Strider 1:42 - 1:48
FOTR OST 6, At the Sign of the Prancing Pony 1:05 - 1:12

Inside the Prancing Pony the group encounters a mysterious new ally, Strider, and his equally enigmatic musical theme, the Heroics of Aragorn, here stripped down to the slimmest lines of its early incarnation.
AS-FOTR

Aragorn first appears in Bree as a mysterious hooded figure drawing upon the glowing embers of his pipe. Beneath, Shore introduces a winding line for celli that begins with an upwards-leaping fourth interval -- the first Rings melody to begin with such a leap. After the leap, the line slowly, indirectly ascends the steps of a minor scale.
CR-FOTR LN pg 24



scene 7 : "This is a dream", the Evenstar Melody
CR-TTT B7 One of the Dúnedain 2:35 - 5:06
TTT OST 8, Evenstar 0:00 - 2:30

Lyric soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian enters singing “Evenstar” over female chorus divided three ways. The line, which moves from voice to alto flute, combines the ambrosial vocal tone of the Elves with melodic contours directly out of The Heroics of Aragorn theme—including the crucial down-and-back-up figure. Can Aragorn lead the World of Men without abandoning his love for Arwen?
AS-TTT

In (The Two Towers) The Heroics of Aragorn is first referenced in a three-note turn common to the Fellowship and, now the opening phrase of the Evenstar theme. The tranquil melodic line turns in on itself, eclipsing the continual rise inherent to Aragorn's purely heroic music. Evenstar presents Aragorn's material in a softer Elvish veing, but without sacrificing the introspective bravery inherent in Gondor's heir.
CR-TTT LN, pg 22



scene 8 : Aragorn's revival on the banks of the river, the "Breath of Life" melody
CR-TTT B11 Arwen's Fate 0:00 - 1:54
TTT OST 14, Breath of Life 0:00 - 1:54

Aragorn’s unconscious form floats downriver, as the soothing graze of the monochord hums beneath him, conjuring the music of the Elves. Four alto flutes ascend in their clement, airy tones, dreamily hailing the arrival of a soprano voice. Sheila Chandra performs “The Grace of the Valar,” the text of which seems at first to address Aragorn from Arwen’s point of view (“Shadow lies between us/as you came, so you shall leave from us”), though the opposite is soon shone (sic) to be true. This is Aragorn’s selfless plea to Arwen, that she should leave Middle-earth and carry the memory of his undying love with her. (“For you are not bound to the circles of this world/You are not bound to loss and to silence.”) Though painted in Elven hues, the melody belongs to Aragorn—its contours are informed by the Heroics of Aragorn theme.
AS-TTT
The second, even more prominent confluence of the music of Elves and Men (in The Two Towers) occurs near the midpoint of The Two Towers when Aragorn, gravely injured in the Warg attack, floats downriver. Arwen's powers--real or imagined--stir him as the solo voice of Sheila Chandra presents a variation on Aragorn's ever-developing theme, here gently leaning towards numinous Eastern harmonies and orchestrations. Beneath the melody line Shore includes a prominent monochord drone on an open fifth interval and an accompanying lacework of four alto flutes.
CR-TTT LN pg 22



Discussion:

Well, I've been at my computer a long time and I need a break.

And, as I said, this was one of the most challenging themes for me. I'm intrigued with how much the music mutated from that first hint in Bree to the Coronation. Shore did this with all kinds of music but tracking Aragorn's music may provide the broadest range and the easiest focus of the highly mutating themes. So have at it, you guys. I can't wait to read what you all think.






FarFromHome
Valinor


Mar 24 2007, 8:51pm

Post #4 of 22 (287 views)
Shortcut
I'm having a problem [In reply to] Can't Post

with the Scene 6 CD short file, which has a .rar extension instead of .zip (I tried just changing the extension, but that didn't help).

I'm starting to get some ideas but I'll not post them until I've given it a bit more thought!

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.


Magpie
Immortal


Mar 24 2007, 9:01pm

Post #5 of 22 (322 views)
Shortcut
Feedback [In reply to] Can't Post

Please drop any feedback you have here. Do the tweaks I've made make you more likely to participate, or less likely? Do they make it more fun to participate or less? Is there any suggestion you have for making it easier to participate?

I especially want to appeal to the people who are accessing the web page with the sound clips but are not posting. You seem to be interested enough to go to the site... are you downloading clips and listening? If so, what keeps you from participating?

I have enjoyed this experiment and I think the comments and observations people have made have been tremendous. There is so much emphasis placed on the musicology of the music in the soundtrack community and not enough on how it effects our relationship to the movie. And I think the people who have participated are enjoying it.

But... it is a lot of work for me. If we are only going to get 4-5 people participating, I can't justify continuing. If people don't want to participate, I'm fine with that. But if people do, but something is keeping them from it - let me know how to change that. And if you're playing silently (by listening to the clips) and not posting... maybe you can consider coming out of hiding and contribute your thoughts to the discussion.

I'll post one more for sure, a special edition in a week. But I will be assessing the responses on this game/discussion in determining if I prepare another one after that.





Magpie
Immortal


Mar 24 2007, 9:03pm

Post #6 of 22 (276 views)
Shortcut
thanks... [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll go fix that. rar is just another type of file compression and I have it set as my default compressor. So I have to manually change it to zip (since more people use zip) and I sometimes forget.

give me a minute and I'll rezip and reupload the file.





FarFromHome
Valinor


Mar 26 2007, 9:11pm

Post #7 of 22 (302 views)
Shortcut
Hoo boy is right! ;-) [In reply to] Can't Post

There's so much here, and it's quite hard to get a handle on it!

I zeroed in very quickly on Aragorn, since I recognized several of the excerpts in a general way - for example, I could visualize Aragorn fighting when I heard 1, 3 and 5. I knew at least one of them was from Amon Hen, when Aragorn wades into the attacking orcs, but I wasn't sure which, and I didn't think of Weathertop at all.

Number 4 seemed very familiar, but when I tried to keep humming to see what the music made me visualize, I found out I was humming the ROTK trailer music. It does sound quite Gondorian, I think. (Watching the trailer again, which I did just to see how this music fits in there, really brought back memories - what an amazing time that was!)

These were my first guesses, based just on the CD clips:

1. Amon Hen
2. Arriving at Helm's Deep on Brego
3. Similar to 1. Fighting at Helm's Deep?
4. Return of the King (recognized from trailer)
5. Amon Hen
6. Frodo first hears of Strider
7. Evenstar
8. Vision of Arwen before Brego arrives


I had to listen to these quite a few times before I began to see any overall similarity between them - the fighting ones all had that insistent beat, so they seemed to fit together, but the others struck me as very different. I did notice that they all had a similar rising pattern to the notes (having read your notes on the "rising fourth", I assume this is what I heard, although I don't really know what a "rising fourth" actually is!), and most of them had a similar rhythmic pattern to the melody too, with two or three long notes followed by three much quicker ones.

Many of these snippets seem to be played by a full orchestra with horns dominating, giving a very full sound (as opposed to the solo instruments that often play the Shire theme or the Rohan theme, for example). But I'd never have recognized all these cues as one theme. 6, 7 & 8 in particular seem to be very strongly influenced by other elements in the scene - the uncertainty of Bree in 6, the intensity of Arwen's love in the Evenstar music (7), the ethereal, mystical vision of Arwen in 8.

Having read your notes, I'm now thinking that perhaps what Shore's theme(s) for Aragorn tell me most of all is just how well Aragorn blends himself into his environment. He changes according to where he is and who he's with, as he evolves from a suspicious-looking ranger to the King of Gondor. Yet there's a deep core of continuity in the music, hidden until you listen to all these excerpts together. Very nice!

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.


weaver
Half-elven

Mar 26 2007, 11:42pm

Post #8 of 22 (271 views)
Shortcut
Hey, I think I know all of these!! [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Aragorn telling Frodo to "run" right and then turning to face all those Uruks at Amon Hen

2. Aragorn riding to Helm's Deep to warn Theoden, after seeing Saruman's army

3, Aragorn coming to the rescue at Weathertop and taking on all those Ringwraiths

4. Aragorn's coronation

5. Aragorn crashing into Lurtz, right before he's about to shoot that final arrow at Boromir

6. The first time we see Aragorn, at Bree

7. Arwen's vision of Aragorn's tomb

8. Arwen's appearance to Aragorn, where she gives him that blessing from the Valar to wake him up

How'd I do? This was fun!!

Weaver


weaver
Half-elven

Mar 26 2007, 11:56pm

Post #9 of 22 (331 views)
Shortcut
This is like the Da Vinci code... [In reply to] Can't Post

I had a lot of "ah ha!" moments reading this, in terms of you seeing how a lot of things work together to support the portrayal of Aragorn's character in the films.

I guess I had not considered that Aragorn had a theme before, as odd as that now seems to me. And certainly I did not at all consider how much the music used for him contributed to the development of his character.

I knew the Shire theme, the Fellowship theme, the Gondor theme, the Ring theme, Arwen's theme, etc. but Aragorn's had never quite stood out to me the same way. Now I now why -- the others are all pretty much different versions of the same theme, but Aragorn's develops sequentially and things are added and detracted from it depending on where he is in his journey.

How the heck did Shore keep all of this straight? He is amazing...

I had noticed though that the music used for Aragorn seems to most closely fit his actions, to underscore them, really. More so than any other character. They define him, and are as much a part of him as his clothes or his sword. Viggo I know walked around with that sword everywhere, to help him stay in character. The music seems to have walked around with him as well.

I wish I could everyone who struggles with Aragorn's portrayal in the films to read these notes on the way Shore developed the theme for him. I know some folks can't get past the doubting Aragorn bit, and I can understand that, given how drastic a departure that is from his book persona. But the notes you list here demonstrate the amount of depth we did get in terms of his character, and add to my appreciation of how these film makers interpreted Aragorn and brought him to life on screen.

This is amazing stuff, Magpie -- thank you!

Weaver


weaver
Half-elven

Mar 27 2007, 12:03am

Post #10 of 22 (310 views)
Shortcut
I like the three-part approach... [In reply to] Can't Post

Or, at least the two-part approach -- one thread for people to just play the game, and one for people who want to discuss things. Compartmentalizing things like that works well for me.

I learn so much from these Magpie, I do hope you'll keep them up. They are a real gift to this Board.

When you did the special feature discussion for TTT, I know there was a lot of response and interest. How much different was the format you used then that what you are doing now?

Weaver


Magpie
Immortal


Mar 27 2007, 2:09am

Post #11 of 22 (266 views)
Shortcut
a good question [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
When you did the special feature discussion for TTT, I know there was a lot of response and interest. How much different was the format you used then that what you are doing now?


I think one difference was I asked a bunch of questions. I don't think that particular approach will work as well with this concept partly because I don't have a lot of questions to ask (I have less intuitive knowledge about this music than people give me credit for) and partly because I thinking of a bunch of questions is just an extra step of work for me and partly because I like the open forum approach more than I like a led discussion.


Enjoy the LOTR movie soundtracks?
Why not join us for fun and discussion in
the current Movie Music Trivia Game.




FarFromHome
Valinor


Mar 27 2007, 8:41am

Post #12 of 22 (269 views)
Shortcut
Good point [In reply to] Can't Post

about "doubting Aragorn". For people who know him from the book, the doubt may seem like something that's just been tacked on to the book character. But the music, and the notes on the music, show that it's been fully thought through and has become an integral part of the character.

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.


FarFromHome
Valinor


Mar 27 2007, 8:56am

Post #13 of 22 (296 views)
Shortcut
I like the two-part approach too [In reply to] Can't Post

I have a suggestion for a tweak though - how about labelling the Discussion with a "game spoiler" tag? I know you'd explained what you were going to do in your introduction, which I'd read, but I still ended up clicking on Discussion before I'd finished figuring out the identities of the clips (I hadn't listened to the movie versions), so I couldn't test myself as fully as I'd have liked.

The point being, that people don't read instructions properly (at least, I don't, obviouslyEvil) so any extra hints you can give to keep us on track would be a help!

It's obvious what a labour of love this is for you, Magpie, and it's very much appreciated. I imagine that a lot of people read what you post, and think about it, but don't know quite where to start to reply. That plus the extra step of having to download clips is perhaps what's causing the slowness of response. And there's also the fact that we seem to have less people around right now who want to have serious discussions. Even the RR is lighter in tone than it used to be. I think we're all still sniffing out the new place and learning its little quirks. Right now, it's kind of like a bright and airy cafe that we've moved to from a shabby, gloomy old pub. We're still a bit unsure of ourselves in the sleek new surroundings, I think, and engaging in small talk for a while until we get comfortable!

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.


Magpie
Immortal


Mar 27 2007, 2:01pm

Post #14 of 22 (271 views)
Shortcut
Good comments [In reply to] Can't Post

I had to laugh about not reading instructions... but it's easy to label 'spoilers'... or, as I did in a previous game, "Here there be answers".

I'm also glad to get the feedback that both you and weaver like the two pronged approach because I didn't want to make the discussion less fun for the people participating in trying to make it more accessible for people who 'might' participate.

As to the 'lighter tone' observation. I've had that sense as well so it's nice to know other people have noticed it. It kind of feels like there's a lot going on. Too many threads to check. Even if I don't participate in them all, I'm often opening them up (my default is collapsed view) to see what's in them. And time seems to be an issue for everyone so if there's an easier way to participate (as in a lighter discussion) then I think it's tempting to grab it.

This is a labor of love for me, meaning I love it. So I am not sorry I've tried it. And I'm not abandoning it yet. But, in talking with weaver, it's become clear to me that I cannot devote the amount of time I have been for the payoff that's come from it. And even if activity picks up over a few months, I will run out of topics before that so activity will pick up just as the subject matter peters out. I know that they have to be spaced further apart. That's a certainty. And I will consider any tweaks people suggest. But waiting it out - as in continuing them at two week intervals waiting for people to come aboard - may not be an option. Putting it on hiatus or slowing them way down may be an option.

I'm a little worried that people are going to start to think I'm begging for attention. I am just someone who highly processes things and I am constantly wondering how I can do it better. And I'm highly invested in the collaborative process where people get a say in how things go. And I declared this a beta test from the beginning and examining how things are going is part of beta testing. But I promise I won't be constantly asking for feedback. I think people have given me al ot and I'm really grateful for it.

Enjoy the LOTR movie soundtracks?
Why not join us for fun and discussion in
the current Movie Music Trivia Game.




(This post was edited by Magpie on Mar 27 2007, 2:03pm)


Magpie
Immortal


Apr 2 2007, 8:17pm

Post #15 of 22 (245 views)
Shortcut
responses to FFH... [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
I had to listen to these quite a few times before I began to see any overall similarity between them - the fighting ones all had that insistent beat, so they seemed to fit together, but the others struck me as very different. I did notice that they all had a similar rising pattern to the notes (having read your notes on the "rising fourth", I assume this is what I heard, although I don't really know what a "rising fourth" actually is!), and most of them had a similar rhythmic pattern to the melody too, with two or three long notes followed by three much quicker ones.



I don't know what a rising fourth is either. I had a moment where I wondered if I could find an audio example of a rising fourth, and then Doug mentions another perfect fifth or something and I decided I was unequipped for the task. This is a good example of how some TORnsibs might be able to talk about the music in this way and might be able to explain it to the rest of us.... but not me. I'm strictly on layman's grounds when it comes to music.

I do think those up-and-down notes - heard quickly for many iterations but slowly in others are key.


Quote
Many of these snippets seem to be played by a full orchestra with horns dominating, giving a very full sound (as opposed to the solo instruments that often play the Shire theme or the Rohan theme, for example). But I'd never have recognized all these cues as one theme. 6, 7 & 8 in particular seem to be very strongly influenced by other elements in the scene - the uncertainty of Bree in 6, the intensity of Arwen's love in the Evenstar music (7), the ethereal, mystical vision of Arwen in 8.



That's a good observation about the orchestration. There are times, of course, when the full orchestra is used in the Shire Theme.... it would be interesting to examine when and why. I think the horns are associated with Gondor and I think, very early on, Shore starts moving Aragorn towards Gondor.


Quote
Having read your notes, I'm now thinking that perhaps what Shore's theme(s) for Aragorn tell me most of all is just how well Aragorn blends himself into his environment. He changes according to where he is and who he's with, as he evolves from a suspicious-looking ranger to the King of Gondor. Yet there's a deep core of continuity in the music, hidden until you listen to all these excerpts together. Very nice!


And that is what makes these conversations so exciting for me. I would never have thought about that. Whether it's because my brain just didn't go there or because I'm too close to the music to stand back and observe, the observations you guys make are so astute and meaningful.

I've decided I would like to quote some of these comments on my website. Would that be okay with you?

Thanks for sharing all these thoughts, FFH.

Enjoy the LOTR movie soundtracks?
Why not join us for fun and discussion in
the current Movie Music Trivia Game.

SPECIAL *APRIL* EDITION OF THE GAME




Magpie
Immortal


Apr 2 2007, 8:32pm

Post #16 of 22 (273 views)
Shortcut
responses to weaver [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Quote
I had noticed though that the music used for Aragorn seems to most closely fit his actions, to underscore them, really. More so than any other character. They define him, and are as much a part of him as his clothes or his sword. Viggo I know walked around with that sword everywhere, to help him stay in character. The music seems to have walked around with him as well.


Another great observation. It is one of the most, if not the most, changeable themes present in the movie, I think. Well, perhaps the Shire is comparable. That seems to be a broad piece of work from which Shore used different elements for different effect. That would be a long term study I think. But, back to Aragorn.


Quote
I guess I had not considered that Aragorn had a theme before, as odd as that now seems to me. And certainly I did not at all consider how much the music used for him contributed to the development of his character.

I knew the Shire theme, the Fellowship theme, the Gondor theme, the Ring theme, Arwen's theme, etc. but Aragorn's had never quite stood out to me the same way. Now I now why -- the others are all pretty much different versions of the same theme, but Aragorn's develops sequentially and things are added and detracted from it depending on where he is in his journey.


I asked during the Appendices discussion: why would Shore give Eowyn a theme when so few individual characters had themes. It is still interesting to me that Aragorn has a theme but not Frodo. Aragorn's music seems to represent him but 'Frodo's music' is shared with the other Hobbits and is motivated by emotion and mood. hmmm.. Is Aragorn's motivated more by action? I don't know.


Quote
How the heck did Shore keep all of this straight? He is amazing...


He is rather, isn't he. I still think he had the basic personality that led him to this work and to the particular approach he took. But, I like to think he was possessed a little by Tolkien's temperament, personality and approach as well.

I know I've said this before but I had this conversation with another soundtrack fan:



I'm beginning to think that Howard Shore has woven something magical into the score. And part of me would like to believe that for all his talent, for all his gifts, for all his conscious intentions, in the end there's a bit of Tolkien magic that possessed him and elevated the work past that of an ordinary score.


and she answered:

Do you remember the passage in the book while the Fellowship was in Lothlorien, and Sam asks Galadriel to show him some "Elven magic"? She is confused, because she doesn't really understand what he is meaning by that phrase. What is magic to a mortal (hobbit or man) is merely a natural for an Elf. Tolkien explained that Elves, through intense concentration, were able to extend their "will" or "essence" into things they grew, made, built, crafted, etc. (i.e., lembas, Elven cloaks, Arwen's banner) Perhaps mortals also have something of that ability. It is usually possible for us to detect something made with intense love and dedication. I'm sure that Tolkien's writings are built this way, and I'm sure that Howard Shore's music is colored by his love for music, and the intangible themes that run through the book. From the moment I read LOTR - I felt something that compelled me to read and re-read. I have cherished the story and those feelings for more than 30 years. It is the same with the music - and most of the movies --- the feelings generated "felt" like I did when I read the book. Something in LOTR draws me in, as does the music. They have the same effect on other people. There must be something real in that fact....





last thought: I asked FFH permission to quote some of her observations on my website. Do I have yours?

Thanks for all your thoughts, weaver.

Enjoy the LOTR movie soundtracks?
Why not join us for fun and discussion in
the current Movie Music Trivia Game.

SPECIAL *APRIL* EDITION OF THE GAME




FarFromHome
Valinor


Apr 2 2007, 8:40pm

Post #17 of 22 (230 views)
Shortcut
Thanks Magpie! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To

I've decided I would like to quote some of these comments on my website. Would that be okay with you?

I'd be honoured!

...and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew,
and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth;
and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore
glimmered and was lost.


weaver
Half-elven

Apr 2 2007, 10:20pm

Post #18 of 22 (247 views)
Shortcut
yep, just correct my math... [In reply to] Can't Post

If I said something here worth using elsewhere, I would be honored.

Thank you for the post about "elven magic" and the comparision with the type of magic we get from Tolkien and Shore and the films (for me). I think the sense that they all "feel' the same, in terms of something I can't quite name, is what keeps me coming back to them, as well. They feel like they come from the same place, I guess, however that's defined.

I do a lot of writing as part of my job and I know that there's a vast difference in the quality of what I'm doing based on my level of investment in the project. My best work comes only after I've passed a certain milestone of endurance -- where it becomes not a job, but a creation. I can always tell in looking back on my work when I hit that point. I'ts not something I can point to in terms of one word, it's just permeates the whole thing.

On character themes, Eowyn and Gollum get themes that are pretty recognizable, as does the Ring. But aside from Aragorn, whose theme is more subtle than those I just mentioned, do any other main characters get a theme? I'm thinking that Eowyn, Gollum and the Ring are more defined because they aren't main characters -- they are more like the sidekick kind of role, that is better defined than the hero -- Spock is easier to relate to than Kirk, for example -- because it's in relationship to these side characters that the main character is revealed. The side characters have to be better defined for that to happen. In terms of the music, they get more defined musical themes. Does that makes sense?

Fun to carry on as always with you Magpie!

Weaver


Magpie
Immortal


Apr 2 2007, 10:28pm

Post #19 of 22 (279 views)
Shortcut
Character themes [In reply to] Can't Post

off the top of my head:

  • Aragorn
  • Eowyn - gets three!
  • Arwen
  • Gandalf has two: The White Rider in the Fellowship and The White Rider in Nature. I don't know if the last one was intended as a theme. The music just got used a couple of times so they had to give it a name.
  • Faramir
  • I think there's some very subtle music for Grima but I haven't dug into it.
  • There's Sauron.. but that's also called the Mordor Theme and also designated as a Ring Theme. I think it's more concept than character.
  • Gollum - two
  • Treebeard - but that's more Ent music than character music
  • There's music for the monsters: Watcher in the Water, etc. But that's incidental music... specific to a scene.


Enjoy the LOTR movie soundtracks?
Why not join us for fun and discussion in
the current Movie Music Trivia Game.

SPECIAL *APRIL* EDITION OF THE GAME




weaver
Half-elven

Apr 2 2007, 10:49pm

Post #20 of 22 (272 views)
Shortcut
Ok, I think that backs up my point.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Aside from Aragorn (who's a special case), all of those other characters are more secondary in the films; their development is something that we wouldn't at all see if they weren't connected to the primary characters -- Frodo and Aragorn.

Aragorn's theme seems more to be part of how they actually brought him to the screen -- it helps to keep his journey on track for us.

As you pointed out, the hobbits as a whole have a theme -- which makes me think that it's the collective experience of the four of them, rather than what they individually go through, that really matters in the films.

Gimil doesn't get a theme, but the dwarves have their own "sound", as do the Ents. The elves are the ones who don't seem to have any particular theme associated with them, other than Arwen, who I've always seen in the films as encapsulating the entire Elvish experience from the books. So her theme is the "elves" theme to me.

Interesting stuff!!!

Weaver


Magpie
Immortal


Apr 2 2007, 10:56pm

Post #21 of 22 (250 views)
Shortcut
Dwarves and Elves... [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, there seems to be Dwavish music, used primarily in Moria. But it's not associated strictly with Gimli at all.

As to the Elves. There is Rivendell, Lothlorien... both places and each distinct from each other. And then there is the Diminishment of the Elves - the music you hear at Gilraen's memorial (is a grave or memorial... I'm not sure). That's a very interesting piece that could stand discussion someday!

It's also interesting to note that Arwen has 'her' theme and then the Evenstar is a theme for Arwen and Aragorn.

Eowyn also has 'her' theme and then one for her relationship with Theoden and one for her relationship with Aragorn.

Enjoy the LOTR movie soundtracks?
Why not join us for fun and discussion in
the current Movie Music Trivia Game.

SPECIAL *APRIL* EDITION OF THE GAME




weaver
Half-elven

Apr 2 2007, 11:12pm

Post #22 of 22 (296 views)
Shortcut
So elves and dwarves themes are more associated with place... [In reply to] Can't Post

Moria, Rivendell, Lorien get themes, but not the individual people who come from those places..

And the other two "diminishment themes" aren't in the TE, so that's why I'm mostly thinking of that aspect of the elves in association with Arwen's choice to be mortal.

The women seem to have different themes depending on which man they are connected with. Kind of like changing clothes, I guess! Howard Shore's musical theme closet for women in LOTR?

Weaver

 
 

Search for (options) Powered by Gossamer Forum v.1.2.3

home | advertising | contact us | back to top | search news | join list | Content Rating

This site is maintained and updated by fans of The Lord of the Rings, and is in no way affiliated with Tolkien Enterprises or the Tolkien Estate. We in no way claim the artwork displayed to be our own. Copyrights and trademarks for the books, films, articles, and other promotional materials are held by their respective owners and their use is allowed under the fair use clause of the Copyright Law. Design and original photography however are copyright © 1999-2012 TheOneRing.net. Binary hosting provided by Nexcess.net

Do not follow this link, or your host will be blocked from this site. This is a spider trap.