The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films: A Comprehensive Account of Howard Shore's Scores, Book & CD

The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films: A Comprehensive Account of Howard Shore's Scores, Book & CD

Hardcover(Book and CD)

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Howard Shore's Academy Award-winning score for The Lord of the Rings has been hailed as some of the greatest film music ever written. Sweeping in scope, it is an interpretation of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth as music---an operatic tapestry of cultures, histories, languages, and peoples. The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films takes the reader on an unprecedented journey into the heart of this history-making opus with extensive music examples, original manuscript scores, a rarities CD, and fascinating glimpses into the creative process from the composer himself. Also included are a foreword by Howard Shore, an introduction by Fran Walsh, and sketches by John Howe and Alan Lee.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780739071571
Publisher: Alfred Music
Publication date: 10/05/2010
Edition description: Book and CD
Pages: 401
Sales rank: 95,799
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Doug Adams is a Chicago-based author and musicologist. In 2001, Adams was invited by Howard Shore to observe and document his work on Peter Jackson's motion picture trilogy of The Lord of the Rings. This book is the culmination of almost a decade of writing and research, during which time Adams attended recording sessions, examined the original scores, and was given total access to the composer's archives.

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The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films: A Comprehensive Account of Howard Shore's Scores, Book & CD 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
J_Takis More than 1 year ago
Full disclosure: the author of this book, Doug Adams, is a colleague and friend. That said, I firmly believe that THE MUSIC OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS FILMS is perhaps the most accomplished and significant analysis of a film score ever published. There is little that can easily be compared to Howard Shore's score for THE LORD OF THE RINGS - not when you consider that the films are one continuous story, with a score more than TEN HOURS in length. There are parallels to John Williams' STAR WARS scores, although these are more individualistic. For sheer length, narrative scope, and leitmotivic complexity, we can turn to Wagner's DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN ... and that's about it. Beyond length, Shore enters into the same ambitious spirit of world-crafting as Tolkien himself, creating a musical representation of the peoples, languages, cultures, and histories of Middle-earth. Adams reveals how Shore's choice of instruments, performance styles, orchestration, and even recording techniques all express something meaningful. Musical elements migrate between characters and cultures, forging chains of interconnection. Gollum's cimbalom, for example, is a relative of the dulcimer, one of the key hobbit instruments; and the chords underpinning his "pity" theme have a surprising connection to Mount Doom. This sort of knowledge makes the listening experience infinitely more fascinating, and will reward you with the gift of hearing this music with new ears. In terms of accessibility, Adams has pulled off a minor miracle. By treating the ANALYSIS AS NARRATIVE, he allows the musical theory to unfold with surprising clarity and lucidity. Musical literacy will enhance your reading, but you don't have to worry about a lack of training - anyone who listens to music with an attentive ear will benefit much from this book. You might ask, "How does this book differ from Adams' previous LOTR writings?" For starters, the text is more flowing and expansive, with more space for big ideas and new details. You also get much more on the composer's creative method and the recording process. Shore himself contributes a foreword, and the intro is by screenwriter/producer Fran Walsh. The number of musical examples has also been increased, including manuscript pages and original sketches. The complete choral texts are here - a treasure for Tolkien linguists. Designer Gary Day-Ellison's pages are a delight to the eye as well as the mind, showcasing full-color film stills, and an amazing selection of sketch artwork from artists John Howe and Alan Lee - much of it appearing in print for the FIRST TIME. Finally, a CD accompanies the book: THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RARITIES ARCHIVE. This album of previously unheard material includes mock-ups, theatrical-version cues, and other alternate or unused compositions, all capped by a conversation between author and composer. It's a thoughtful musical program that is amazingly coherent as a disc-length listening experience. And if "Sammath Naur" (an alternate vision of the trilogy's climax) doesn't make your throat catch, check your pulse! In sum: if you are a devotee of the art of film music, you owe it to yourself to investigate this book. No study of a film score has ever been published on this scale, by someone with Adams' musical background and credentials, and with his unprecedented access. Rejoice that a book of this nature exists! It is a true milestone, and hopefully a harbinger of things to come.
AshRyan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fans of Lord of the Rings and film music alike will enjoy this in-depth analysis of Howard Shore's music for the LOTR movies. Adams begins by presenting all the various themes used in the score, then describes how Shore weaves them all together in the films going through each movie from beginning to end. The accompanying demos/rarities CD has some interesting pieces, as well as a conversation between the composer and the author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago