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Old 06-16-2007, 05:46 AM   #1
Blithe Spirit
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Shore and leitmotif

I came across this site yesterday and I have found it really interesting. Apologies if someone else has already flagged it but I couldn't find any previous reference to it here when I searched.

The author has analysed all the musical themes in LotR, when and how they are used. He's also included samples of variants, with explanations of how the leitmotifs change to fit mood. The different analyses can be found by clicking the links on the left of the homepage.
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Old 06-16-2007, 05:18 PM   #2
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I think this site by Magpie is generally more detailed, but this is a very good site too and I like some of his analysis and connections. Interesting line here:

The Shire theme (with its variants), the Fellowship theme and the Rohan theme are the most recognizable and infectious of all the thematic material in the films.
I would agree with the first two, definitely; they are the most iconic themes (I have one of those 'great soundtracks' CDs, and the LOTR track consists solely of these two themes intertwined - the sensitive and innocent yet determined Shire theme and the rugged, heroic, sturdy Fellowship theme). However, I wouldn't really put the Rohan theme there; it's not heard at all for the first third of the trilogy and doesn't appear that much in ROTK either. I would put the Ring motif here instead as it plays over the beginning of each film and is also a very recurring theme.
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Old 06-17-2007, 05:31 AM   #3
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That Magpie site is fascinating, thanks Sir Kohran.

Edit - however, I can't get it to play me any of the I missiing something?

Hmmm...if I were asked to hum the themes of LotR, I would probably do them in the order the guy on that site lists them - Fellowship, Shire and Rohan.
I love the Rohan theme and even had it on my phone (as my alarm call...) for a while....
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Last edited by Lalaith; 06-17-2007 at 05:37 AM.
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Old 06-17-2007, 04:53 PM   #4
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If you buy the Complete Recordings soundtrack, there's in-depth analysis by the composer(s) of the themes, the thoughts behind them and so forth. (RotK Complete Recordings will be out soon!!)

I tried searching for Howard Shore ringtones on my phone, but nothing shows up. It's strange; it uses the same service as my brother's, but his shows all kinds of tunes. I search for "celtic woman" and all I get back is bikini wallpaper. And it's not the Celtic Women either!
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:37 AM   #5
Beanamir of Gondor
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Eye Being a soundtrack dork myself, I must comment.

The author of that first website certainly made a point bringing in John Williams: he and Howard Shore really are the only two composers who've had that much space to create themes. I probably would have thanked my gods or whoever watched over me, if I were a film composer offered the chance to score the LotR films, or the PotC films, or Star Wars.

Williams also managed to do themes in several other movies, much shorter ones! For instance, take Hook, with Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman. You would probably only recognize the themes after multiple viewings, but there are definitely four or five seperate themes: for Peter and the journey to Neverland, for Tinkerbell and fairies, for the pirates and Captain Hook, for the Lost Boys... even a short one for Maggie and Jack Banning.

That's not to say, of course, that Howard Shore didn't do a fantastic job at layering theme upon theme in LotR, even long after introducing those strains for the first time: he literally had all the time in the world to work with those themes, and unlike another film, their creation was 18 months of simultaneous filming, and he could create the scores all at once, rather than going back over what he'd done for starts. Several tracks from [I]Return of the King[/B] (my first thought is "The Fields of Pelennor") include strains from the Rohirrim, Gondor, the Elves, and sometimes even the Hobbits, though the new Hobbit theme is mostly reserved for Frodo and Sam. Sometimes you have to listen carefully, but they're all present.

Be back later. Great thread.
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