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A C O M P A N I O N P I E C E T O :

THE MUSIC OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS FILMS
PART I: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING

P A C K A G E D W I T H

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING
THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS.

THE ANNOTATED SCORE

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DISC ONE

1 – PROLO GUE : ON E RI NG TO RULE THE M ALL

The film’s Prologue plunges the audience into the world of Middle-earth
and the plight of the One Ring in a standalone sequence establishing the
enormous tale about to unfold. Shore’s music acts as a prelude, introducing
brief clips of the thematic material that will populate the score as the story
progresses. Heard here for the first time are a choral rendering of the Elvish
Lothlórien theme; Mordor’s Skip Beat accompaniment, the Descending
Third accompaniment, the Sauron/Evil of the Ring theme; the Ringwraith
theme; the bitter Fall of Men motive; and even the fleeting shape of the Fel-
lowship theme—all bristling and shuddering amongst the violent conflict on
screen.

Most prominent in this sequence, however, is the History of the Ring
theme, which makes its debut appearance following the opening Lothlórien
clip. Throughout the Prologue, Shore highlights a single purpose of his His-
tory theme: “It’s showing you how the Ring has traveled from hand to hand.”
Galadriel continues her narration, as again this History theme introduces
the Ring to its new owners: Isildur, and then Gollum/Sméagol (skulking
in his dank cave and accompanied by his Pity theme). The Nameless Fear
passage plays under the Lady of the Galadhrim, for though it looks as if the
Ring has receded from Middle-earth’s everyday life, we well know that it
shall again make its presence known. Sure enough, with another cor anglais
statement of the History theme the Ring passes to Bilbo Baggins of the
Shire.

2 – THE SHIRE

The story moves forward to the waning years of the Third Age of Middle-earth as we are introduced to the Shire. The short piece
of music that ushers us into the hobbits’ homeland was originally written for the theatrical cut of the film, but the early Shire
scenes were shortened when the Prologue was lengthened, so Shore’s introductory music went unheard until the DVD edit. “We
had the piece and I’d almost finished orchestrating it”, the composer recalls. “It didn’t have much of the full Shire theme in it yet,
because it was just showing the history
of the Shire in a montage. Now, you
actually hear the Rural fiddle theme
first, then the Pensive setting theme
developing from it.” Here too, Shore
begins to utilize his Celtic assortment
of instruments, including bodhrán,
dulcimer, Celtic harp, musette, man-
dolin and guitar.

Also introduced are the Two-Step
Figure, the End Cap, the Hobbit Skip
Beat and a more developed statement
of the Fellowship theme used under
the film’s title graphic.

UNUSED CONCEPT:

The filmmakers originally shot Fellowship’s
prologue as a shorter sequence for which
Shore wrote a self-contained four minute
composition. During the film’s editing, it
was decided that a lengthier sequence would
set up the film’s story with a more detailed
and visceral punch. The film’s Prologue was
expanded, and so Shore went back and com-
posed a new work to match the edit. The first
composition (featuring the text, “The Battle
of Dagorlad”) was presented on The Fellow-
ship of the Ring’s original soundtrack album
in 2001, but never appeared in the final film.

While the two Prologue scores are similar,
the final version (now presented on disc
for the first time) considerably expands the
original concept and captures the opening
action with a raw collection of orchestral
outbursts, hinting at the level of conflict that
The Two Towers and The Return of the King
will present.

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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.

7 – THE ROAD GOES EVER ON…PT. 1

Gimli, Legolas and Aragorn are silenced by the carnage around them while Frodo, overwhelmed, stands frozen at the bank of the
river, pondering his fate. A deflated Fellowship theme meets the group’s uncertainty with subdued tones. Tears stream down Fro-
do’s face, but in his mind he hears Gandalf ’s sage words and resolves to continue the quest. This turning point earns the emotional
peak of the Shire themes, as the Hymn chords begin and a profound setting of the Hobbit’s Understanding soars above. The in-
nate goodness of hobbits prevails, and Samwise appears, trudging his way through the water to reach his friend. Shore allows the
score a momentary dalliance with counterpoint to underline the moment. “The counterpoint seemed right for the complexity.
I didn’t use it too much in the film. It’s a little modern and quite different than anything else you’ve heard up until this point.”
Frodo pulls Sam into the boat—the two friends will take this journey together. Again the Hymn chords and the Understanding
melody sing out, but with yet another old friend: the whistle. “The whistle works well because it doesn’t overdo it. It’s so simple
but has all the emotion.”

After committing Boromir’s body to the Falls of Rauros, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas determine to track Merry and Pippin’s cap-
tors, and the score summons one last muscular statement of the Fellowship theme, still weakened, still partial, but undefeated.
It is, after all, a dark time for the Fellowship. Two members have perished, two have been captured and two have set out on their
own. But the three hunters will not be deterred. Despite the Fellowship’s painful losses, they will see their quest through.

On the opposite shore, another Hobbit’s Understanding variation meets Frodo and Sam with a renewed determination and a
willingness to accept what fate insists. Shire variations trail away into the darkness, and the stage is set for the adventures of
The Two Towers.

8 – MAY IT BE
Composed & performed by Enya

The Fellowship of the Ring’s end credits begin with Enya’s composition, “May It Be,” wherein the broken Fellowship is offered a
blessing and a faint glimpse of hope: “A promise lives within you now.”

9 – THE ROAD GOES EVER ON…PT. 2
Featuring “In Dreams” performed by Edward Ross

“In Dreams” presents Fellowship’s last development of the Shire theme’s Hymn setting. Here, in the final segment of the film’s end
credits, the song sits nestled between the endearing remains of the Fellowship theme which, with a splash of cymbals, ends
The Lord of the Rings’ first film.

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TEXTS
Choral lyrics in The Lord of the Rings films reference the past histories and broader concepts of Tolkien’s universe. Several passages
directly quote the author’s writing, though the majority of the verses are original, scribed by Philippa Boyens, Fran Walsh, David
Salo and, for Enya’s work, Roma Ryan. Shore often uses the texts in a nonlinear fashion, much as one would find in modern
opera. Verses are often begun mid-stanza and certain syllables are repeated to create a beautiful vocal mosaic of the languages of
Middle-earth. At other times, the writing is presented unaltered with full verses acting as counterpoint to the immediate action.
Seen here is the text in its original complete format, just as it was presented to Howard Shore before he set it to music.

David Salo, the world’s leading expert on Tolkien languages, provided the translations, resetting texts in the languages of Middle-
earth. Often, however, Tolkien’s concept of the languages didn’t include the detailed vocabularies the filmmakers wished to use. In
these cases Salo’s work extended to language creation, where he found himself expanding the existing dialects to more accurately
express the writing.

For Fellowship, texts were translated into five languages, each representative of the cultural histories of Tolkien’s world: the Elv-
ish languages of Quenya and Sindarin; Khuzdûl, the language of the Dwarves; Adûnaic, the oldest language of Men; and Black
Speech, the language of Mordor.

FOOTSTEPS OF DOOM

Text from J. R. R. Tolkien
Adapted by Philippa Boyens

Sindarin Translation by David Salo

FIRST HEARD: DISC ONE | TRACK ONE

Man sí minna? Who enters here?
Man ammen toltha i dann hen Amarth? Who brings to us this token of Doom?
I anann darthant dam morn That which has stood so long against the darkness
Si dannatha. will now fall.

THE REVELATION OF THE RINGWRAITHS

Text by Philippa Boyens
Adûnaic Translation by David Salo

FIRST HEARD: DISC ONE | TRACK ONE

Nêbâbîtham Magânanê We renounce our Maker.
Nêtabdam dâur-ad We cleave to the darkness.
Nêpâm nêd abârat-aglar We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
îdô Nidir nênâkham Behold! We are the Nine,
Bârî’n Katharâd The Lords of Unending Life.

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I NSTRUME NTALISTS

THE LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
Howard Shore’s relationship with the London Philharmonic Orchestra dates back to 1986 and his score to The Fly. Today that re-
lationship has blossomed into a gratifyingly personal one, both for composer and orchestra. “I love them because they’re a concert
orchestra, but they’re very much a great opera orchestra. They’ve been playing Glyndebourne every summer for about 30 years.
Being in a pit accompanying opera is so much like what I’m trying to do with film music, and they understand that well. That’s
the perfect combination for film music, so it seemed obvious that they should do The Lord of the Rings. The LPO has fantastic
instrumentalists. I know them so well. I know Sue Bohling, the cor anglais player, and how great she will sound playing a particu-
lar piece. I know Paul Beniston, the first trumpet player, and the first flute player and principal violin. I’ve absorbed, from working
with them so many years, their beautiful sounds.” Sue Bohling returns the compliment. “The first film I worked on with Shore was
The Yards, which I remember as if it were yes-
terday. There was a lot to do and it had the most
beautiful title melody… for cor anglais! It’s always
a thrill to play someone’s composition when they
know how to write for the instrument. He has a
natural feel for what the c.a. does best. He writes
with such a lyrical quality, and in the right range
of the instrument for it to sing.”

Principal cellist Bob Truman echoes this praise
for detail. “A lot of thought has gone into it.
All his music is very well written. He under-
stands the nature of the instruments and, from
my perspective as a cellist, he writes very, very
well. It’s all in singing registers. He understands
harmonics and things like that. He uses tone
clusters where we all play different rhythms and
they’re fascinating. It’s very interesting the way
he writes strange sequences of clusters and then
has a melody that fits in.” Concertmaster Pieter
Schoeman continues, “Howard would write the
most complex divisis. He creates a cluster of sound where all the violins start on the same note and then start dividing, spreading
into a chord and finally forming a cluster so thick you would need a chainsaw to cut through it. The Concertmaster has to orga-
nize this kind of divisi in such a way that you have an equal numbers of violins on each note as the chord spreads. I finally worked
out a certain method, which we ended up using systematically since we needed it quite often. We still affectionately refer to this
technique as the ‘Howard Divisi.’”

Although the LPO is primarily a concert hall orchestra, they’ve played for a great number of film scores. Still, the seasoned veter-
ans in the groups were not immune to the uniquely epic score of The Lord of the Rings. Principal trumpet Paul Beniston explains,
“The Lord of the Rings project totally dwarfed any other film project I have been involved in, or indeed heard of and I have been in
the LPO for almost 10 years.” Bohling sums up the orchestra’s feeling towards composer and project. “He’s a bit of a master, isn’t
he? There’s nothing like this, and there won’t be anything. The score was like going on a long journey, like playing one long phrase.
Howard’s writing is very clear, we know what he wants and where he wants to take it and he knows what we can do.”

THE NEW ZEALAND SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Established in 1947, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra has become the country’s preeminent musical ensemble hosting,
over its years, such noteworthy guest musicians as Lang Lang, Hilary Hahn, Kiri Te Kanawa, Mstislav Rostropovich, Elisabeth
Schwarzkopf, Antal Dorati, Yehudi Menuhin, Vladimir Ashkenazy, William Walton and Igor Stravinsky. As is well known, the
Symphony performed on one of Fellowship’s most thrilling and dynamic sequences, however they also performed a rendition of the
film’s closing music at the same time. This sequence was reedited before the London recording sessions, so after Shore re-scored
his music, the LPO was asked to perform the new arrangement. The NZSO’s performance, however, can still be heard under the
Fan Club credits on the Fellowship Extended Edition DVD.

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http://www.lpo.co.uk/
http://www.nzso.co.nz/

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PLAN 9 [ Janet Roddick, David Donaldson, Stephen Roche andDavid Long]
Plan 9 first collaborated with Peter Jackson on 1995’s Forgotten Silver. In The Lord of the Rings films, they specialized in diagetic,
or on-screen music, including the hobbits’ party music (“Flaming Red Hair”) and the Wood-elves’ song (“The Elvish Lament”).

ADDITIONAL INSTRUMENTAL PERFORMERS:
Dermot Crehan: Fiddle, Mike Taylor: Pennywhistle/Fiddle, Jan Hendrickse: Rhaita/Ney Flute, Sylvia Hallett: Sarangi, Ed-
ward Hession, Tracey Goldsmith: Musette, Jean Kelly: Celtic Harp, Greg Knowles: Dulcimer, John Parricelli: Six-String Guitar,
Twelve-String Guitar, Gillian Tingay: Celtic Harp, Sonia Slany: Monochord, Robert White: Drones/Bodhrán, Alan Doherty:
Ney Flute/Pennywhistle, Alan Kelly: Bodhrán

Additional information available in the complete book The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films, released in 2006.
Motion Picture Artwork & Photography ©2001, 2005 New Line Productions, Inc.

Original text Copyright © 2005 by Doug Adams

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