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The Fellowship’s quest starts out playfully and carefree with clips of hobbit music encouraging Merry and Pippin’s wrestling match with Boromir and Aragorn. Soon the group learns that their progress does not go unwatched and decides to take the path through Caradhras. Another of Shore’s Ring Quest themes debuts with their decision: the attenuated stretch of Dangerous Passes.

On the path, Boromir momentarily comes into possession of the Ring when it falls off Frodo’s neck. Again, Shore uses the Seduction of the Ring theme, but now for the first time the boys chorus is able to articulate the text. The Ring’s seductive message is not lost on Boromir.

Saruman’s powers block the Fellowship’s progress by way of an avalanche, and so Frodo, the Ringbearer decides that the troupe shall pass through Moria. The corrupted White Wizard is pleased, both he and Gandalf know what dangers lay in the Dwarves’ lair. Distant bass and taiko drums presage the harsh Dwarf music that will soon meet the band.

Text from J. R. R. Tolkien
Quenya Translation by David Salo
I tuo, i macil – | The strength, the weapon –
Astaldaron mauri. | The needs of the valiant.
Nai corma macilya | Be the ring your weapon
A lelyat túrenna! | Go to victory!

The Orcs’ unique instruments are particularly important to this base and uncivil race. Here Shore represents the ferocity and anger that melody would be far too eloquent to articulate. The Five Beat Pattern is designed to showcase these joltingly sharp industrial tones of pounded metal and stretched skins.

Listening Example: Disc Two| Track Ten| 2:37
These ancient drums, which have been used in Japanese music for over a millennium, exist in four basic sizes. The rich, rumbling tone of the drum was associated with the power of the gods in traditional Japanese culture, and the drum was used on the battlefield to strike fear into the hearts of enemies. It serves much the same purpose in the music of the Orcs where its pounding, unforgiving tone represents their brutal force.

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

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