Monday, 5 January 2015

Suggested music for Lord of the Rings free peoples

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Hobbits: South of England folk music, including Morris dances.

Men of Rohan - The Border Ballads from the Scottish English border, bagpipes.

Men of Gondor - Roman Catholic unaccompanied choral music - e.g. Palestrina, Victoria etc.

Elves of Rivendell - Welsh folk music, harp etc.

Elves of Lothlorien - Byzantine chant (Greek Orthodox tradition)

Ents - Russian Orthodox choral music (featuring Basso Profundo)

Dwarves - Hmm. Something that suitable to be sung by deep, gravelly tuneless voices; perhaps simple chanting alternating between two notes of a minor third (rather like a police siren) perhaps?...

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Some Hobbits doing a Morris dance with clubs:



15 comments:

  1. See here for Georgian Chant (perhaps suitable for Dwarves?): http://youtu.be/KCcqfk2nVG8

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  2. Or this style of Finnish "Rune-singing":
    http://youtu.be/A8UfdehDqm4

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  3. "Dwarves - Hmm. Something that suitable to be sung by deep, gravelly tuneless voices; perhaps simple chanting alternating between two notes of a minor third (rather like a police siren) perhaps?..."

    With considerable misgivings, I suggest American country music. That would pretty much cover deep, gravelly, and tuneless.

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  4. Oh, and. Men of Gondor singing Palestrina seems right on the money. The thought is almost moving.

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  5. @Alan - Both excellent suggestions. I had forgotten the Druedain - they could have the rune songs.

    @Vader - I think Alan has beaten you on this!

    Anyone who wants to make suggestions for orcs, trolls, Nazgul, Easterlings, Dunlanders, .

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  6. Nicholas Fulford6 January 2015 at 00:20

    Nazgul - Death Metal (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_metal )

    Trolls - Gangsta Rap (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gangsta_rap )

    Orcs - same music as Trolls, unless someone has a better idea.

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  7. NF - Rap seems a natural for orcs; but too clever, fast and wordy for trolls.I don't suppose trolls could do much more than bellow a few (nasty) nursery rhymes.

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  8. With the finesse of the Dwarves (as craftsmen) also in mind, I wonder about something like Tuvan or Tibetan overtone singing... (How different would their own music be, from their singing in Westron, as rendered in The Hobbit?)

    David Llewellyn Dodds

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  9. @DLD - another good suggestion!

    I don't take the Hobbit descriptions of dwarf singing as canonical - since they supposedly accompany themselves on all sorts of musical instruments, which are however never mentioned again, and which they would obviously not be carrying on a tough expedition.

    Let's say that Bilbo was just allowing himself some fanciful - and probably ironical - elaboration!

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  10. The viols, harp, and drum, and probably the flutes and clarinets as well, will have been left at Bag End for safekeeping. Their fate at the auction is mentioned only obliquely: "various prices from next to nothing to old songs".

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  11. @K - The fact that dwarves had invented the clarinet thousands of years BC, just shows how advanced was dwarf technology; since it was not until the 18th century that modern man discovered these instruments.

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  12. I have been told by by acoustic engineers that you can make a credible facsimile of a clarinet from a plastic garden hose. Whether or not that is actually true, it seems the clarinet is the least distinctive of musical instruments, with a wave form rather close to an ideal sine wave.

    String instruments are another matter. If dwarves invented the violin thousands of years ago, then I am genuinely impressed.

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  13. Obviously for the dwarves, the music would be Hava Nagilla.

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  14. J - Good suggestion! Tolkien remarked on the Semitic aspects of the Dwarves.

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  15. Thanks Bruce. The list of Dwarf instruments exactly matches those listed in the Bible. Except the clarinet. But the clarinet features heavily in Jewish klezmer music. So, yes, Dwarf music must be Hebrew/Klezmer. Archeological work has pointed to a strong likelihood that that the modified phrygian mode used in Klezmer music today was also used in Solomon's temple.

    Also, have you ever shaken hands with a Chabadnik rabbi? They may be tall, but shrink them down in size, and they wouldn't be out of place in Tolkien's world.

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