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The Themes of Howard Shore's The Hobbit

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Yes, I am just overjoyed at the return of the Moon Runes material. It is so perfect for what it represents, isn't it? I remember thinking after AUJ how much that music actually sounds like what you see during that scene, the moon beams shining through the waterfall. If that makes any sense. I can't wait to see what's on screen this time.


I do have to say though, I'm not the biggest fan of what is apparently Legolas' motive. The phrygian stuff is a little too on the nose for me there. Conjures up too many non-Middle-Earth associations in my mind. I'm sure it'll grow on me though.

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I'm going off what Doug said. I think the bit at 7:32 in Flies and Spiders is for Legolas. I'm not sure yet if he has a consistent motive or if it's just in general the use of phrygian mode over major harmony, like Doug said, that represents him.

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Yes the Legolas material seems basically to be the Woodland Realm theme in action mode and can be heard e.g. in Flies and Spiders and The Hunters (accompanied by swirling swelling strings that draw connection to his exploits in RotK).

2:30 - 2:40 of "The Quest For Erebor" seems to quote Gandalf the Grey's theme, 2:30 - 2:35 especially, with the rest being an expansion.

Yes it is Gandalf The Grey theme. Doug confirmed that some time ago in his Twitter! Good spotting Joe as most of us missed that at first.

Thats Baggins/Took, or so our resident them experts said.

Nope.

Actually, there was a change in the school of thought some time ago. I think its been confirmed that that instance is indeed Gandalf's theme.

Yeap.

Doug said it's Gandalf's theme. And so it is, and ever shall be.

AMEN!

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I'm going off what Doug said. I think the bit at 7:32 in Flies and Spiders is for Legolas. I'm not sure yet if he has a consistent motive or if it's just in general the use of phrygian mode over major harmony, like Doug said, that represents him.

You refer to the Special Edition track? Can't find something specific there for Legolas.

The regular edition has Tauriel's theme at that time stamp.

Is the choral counterline to Tauriel's "Silence Of The Lambs" theme thematic in itself, by the way? It appears numerous times in loud brass fashion. You can find it in the booklet, in the sketch for Tauriel's theme, in the staff marked as "Solo Soprano".

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Is the choral counterline to Tauriel's "Silence Of The Lambs" theme thematic in itself, by the way? It appears numerous times in loud brass fashion. You can find it in the booklet, in the sketch for Tauriel's theme, in the staff marked as "Solo Soprano".

It's the B-section to Tauriel's theme.

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I do have to say though, I'm not the biggest fan of what is apparently Legolas' motive. The phrygian stuff is a little too on the nose for me there. Conjures up too many non-Middle-Earth associations in my mind.

How so? Since the first appearance of the Lothlorien theme in FotR the phrygian mode has been connected to Elvish settings.

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These staves mean nothing to me!

Is it me or does the theme for Lake-Sound share a similarity, structurally wise with John Debney's main theme for Lair?

that theme sounds familiar to me, but i wouldnt have thought Lair...

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Everytime I kept humming it in my mind it shifted to the Lair theme for some reason. Not really the notes I guess, more the shape of the theme.

In a similar fasion Smaug's theme seems not dissimilar to the Lothlorien theme.

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Everytime I kept humming it in my mind it shifted to the Lair theme for some reason. Not really the notes I guess, more the shape of the theme.

In a similar fasion Smaug's theme seems not dissimilar to the Lothlorien theme.

It is the Eastern influences in both Lothlorien and Smaug's themes that Shore uses to depict the more ancient ages and creatures of Middle Earth. Same goes for Sauron's theme.

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That's what Icanus was referring to. Lothlorien suggests the ancient Arabic mode 'maqām hijāz' transposed to Western equal temperament while Sauron's theme/Evil of the RIng is in the exotic-sounding D harmonic minor. The 'otherness' of both of these themes is down to the augmented second interval, which is also exploited by Smaug's primary theme.

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That's what Incanus was referring to. Lothlorien suggests the ancient Arabic mode 'maqām hijāz' transposed to Western equal temperament while Sauron's theme/Evil of the RIng is in the exotic-sounding D harmonic minor. The 'otherness' of both of these themes is down to the augmented second interval, which is also exploited by Smaug's primary theme.

Well yes although your explanation sounds a bit more precise and academic and goes over the head of most who do not understand musical theory. But yes there it is. ;)

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So are you going to see the film with your sister today or what? Makes sure to make copious notes on the music when watching.

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I'm mid-listen now, and I want to thank you for making this thread, Jason. Without timestamps for themes, I'm clueless. I didn't know what most of the themes signified from AUJ (or even that they were themes!) until I went through with this guide yesterday, and I'm following along during my first listen to the score now. Very helpful.

My spouse and I are skipping work on Friday to see this, and I'm genuinely fully excited for DoS for the first time while I'm listening to this.

BTW The Forest River is amazing, and so is Tauriel's A-theme :)

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Yes, Tauriel's A is quite amazing!

Her material is some of the strongest in the score, strangely enough.

I just noted the instances Jason calls Thranduil's Theme in DoS and I don't agree on this point. I need to see the film to confirm my theories of it being music for either Thorin or Bilbo's burglarious sneaking around (more likely candidate to my ears) and not for Thranduil.

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I'm mid-listen now, and I want to thank you for making this thread, Jason. Without timestamps for themes, I'm clueless. I didn't know what most of the themes signified from AUJ (or even that they were themes!) until I went through with this guide yesterday, and I'm following along during my first listen to the score now. Very helpful.

My spouse and I are skipping work on Friday to see this, and I'm genuinely fully excited for DoS for the first time while I'm listening to this.

BTW The Forest River is amazing, and so is Tauriel's A-theme :)

Glad you enjoyed it Mike!

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So are you going to see the film with your sister today or what? Makes sure to make copious notes on the music when watching.

Tomorrow, and i plan to watch and enjoy the film, not study it, sorry.

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So are you going to see the film with your sister today or what? Makes sure to make copious notes on the music when watching.

Tomorrow, and i plan to watch and enjoy the film, not study it, sorry.

It was a joke Stefan! Some of that strange stuff I try on other people from time to time with varying degrees of success. ;)

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Hey I was joking too. I will be at the theater with a pen, notepad, stopwatch and a metronome.

Your sister can fill you in on the movie's details whilst you scribble studiously through the film's running time.

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Jason, you did an amazing job with the themes, thank you very much, I really enjoy to discover them with your help, but I think you confused Tauriel´s theme with The Woodland Realm´s one in "The Hunters" track.

I´ve just finished my first real listening of the score and I have to say that I like it, but at this moment I feel a little disappointed and really prefer AUJ. I´m sure that with more listenings it is going to grown on me (AUJ did a lot and now I love it, I think it´s a really entertaining score). On the new themes my absolutely favorite is Tauriel´s. I find the rest of new themes pretty bland except The House of Durin. The first disc is kind of boring except for the highlight of "The Forest River". The second is better, specially the Smaug stuff but I really miss Bilbo´s, Gandalf´s and Company´s material.

By the way, I´m going to watch the movie tomorrow and I´m sure it will be amazing :).

P.S.: I like the song, but don´t know if it works in the movie.

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I think you confused Tauriel´s theme with The Woodland Realm´s one in "The Hunters" track.

What timestamp?

All of them :):

4,49 ; 5,14 ; 5,41; 8,28 ; 8,57

where you said Tauriel´s I think it always The Woodland´s theme in heroic variation. I don´t listening any Tauriel ´s theme (or at least her A theme) in that track.

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Hey I was joking too. I will be at the theater with a pen, notepad, stopwatch and a metronome.

Your sister can fill you in on the movie's details whilst you scribble studiously through the film's running time.

She will be looking out for Bunnies of Doom, the eagles and complaining that the film hasnt got enough Gandalf and too much romantic stuff in it (she doesnt care for romantic stuff)

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BTW, I totally only hear Gandalf The Grey at 2:30 of Quest for Erebor now. It's like a prototype version of the theme, since it's before Gandalf has started assembling everyone and begun the Quest of Erebor I guess

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BTW, I totally only hear Gandalf The Grey at 2:30 of Quest for Erebor now. It's like a prototype version of the theme, since it's before Gandalf has started assembling everyone and begun the Quest of Erebor I guess

I wish I could remember what it specifically underscored in the film. I think it played when he first mentioned his name to Thorin.

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Ironically, I've not managed to give the actual discs a proper listen yet. So I haven't heard SE properly. After all this waiting for delivery. The only thing I noticed is that this spider motif from AUJ now makes an appearance.

Karol - who is going to see the film this Friday coming

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Well I suppose this will help us point out the exact timestamps of Beorn's Theme...

attachicon.gifIMAG0440.jpg

I believe that quote is from 2:21 onwards in "Wilderland".

Btw, the Arkenstone theme on celli in "Wilderland" plays as Gandalf convinces Thorin to go on the quest for the Arkenstone, so he can gather the seven dwarf armies and retake Erebor.

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So the beginning of Wilderland is still during the prologue sequence? Cool!

Actually, I'm not sure if you can even call it a prologue. It's too short and not really self-contained enough for my taste.

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Um, was it not obvious? The bombastic statement of Smaug theme in the middle was obviously for the main title.

Well don't you like to sound so superior all the time. Yes it was of course obvious to me months ago that that statement plays over the title card for the film, but in all four prior movies the title is never the first thing shown after the prologue ends. There is always a few scenes back in the present time line before the title is shown. Concerning Hobbits, Frodo and Sam in Emyn Muil, Frodo Sam and Gollum waking up, Frodo and Old Bilbo, etc.

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