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The Battle begins with the music of the first line of defense—the Lothlórien theme. The Elves release their first volley of arrows as the Uruks begin their charge. In war, brass takes the theme exclusively, the decorative women’s voices, which tied the Elves’ music to their loftiest aesthetics, are now shed. A percussive assault of timpani, two taikos, bass drum and rolled tam-tam continues, and this brass devolves into violent pyramid clusters, sharpening like the warriors’ resolve.

But the Uruks’ numbers are great, and they quickly reach the outer wall, impaling the earth with their ladders. The score switches to the angular metallic storm of the Five Beat Pattern and the Isengard theme. Once this Pattern has worked its way into the battle, it takes hold, refusing to surrender ground. The Uruks gradually begin to bleed through the Elves’ defenses, scrabbling deeper inside. Having passed the Elves, the Five Beat Pattern meets the Rohan Fanfare, trampling not up against it, but directly through it. The score sounds the two lines in counterpoint, deforming Rohan’s rural beauty with the Uruk’s cumbrous brutality.

© The Annotated Score (The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films)

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