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The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films: A Comprehensive Account of Howard Shore's Scores (Book & Rarities CD): 1 Hardcover – 28 Sep 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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  • The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films: A Comprehensive Account of Howard Shore's Scores (Book & Rarities CD): 1
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  • On the Track: A Guide to Contemporary Film Scoring
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Carpentier / Alfred Music Publishing; 1st Unabridged edition (28 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739071572
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739071571
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 21 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 370,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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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Format: Hardcover
OK, first of all, full disclosure: the author of this book, Doug Adams, happens to be a colleague and friend, and I have thus enjoyed a unique view of the work as it came together over the better part of the last decade. That said, I don't benefit from its sales, nor have I been asked to write this review. I DO write this review because, irrespective of my association with the author, I am a film music journalist myself - and 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.

Let's begin with an appreciation of the sheer magnitude of the film score under discussion. At the outset, we must note that there is very little in the history of music that can easily be compared to Howard Shore's score for Peter Jackson's film trilogy of THE LORD OF THE RINGS. When you consider that the films are most accurately viewed as one continuous story, with the similarly continuous score totaling more than TEN HOURS in length, you realize the true scope of Shore's opus. In the world of cinema, there is little to compare it to. One can draw some parallels with John Williams' work on the STAR WARS saga, although its entries are far more individualistic and spread out over a longer period of time. Certain composers for television have written more total hours related to a contiguous body of work; but the musical architecture of, for example, 200 episode scores from THE X-FILES is so vastly different as to defy direct comparison. Even in the world of classical music, it is likewise difficult to find points of reference. For sheer length, narrative scope, and leitmotivic complexity, we can turn to history's *other* great musical ring cycle, Wagner's DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN ... and that's about it.
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Format: Hardcover
When JRR Tolkien created his fictional Middle Earth he created a world so rich in invention and detail that it seemed like a description of a real world, real events and real peoples. It explains why generations of readers have fallen in love with his works. In his Lord of the Rings trilogy (originally one book but split into three on the advice of his publisher) he created what has become one of the most popular and beloved works of modern literature.

Ten years ago an almost unheard of New Zealand film maker adapted Tolkien's great work for film and Tolkien lovers all over the world held their breath. They needn't have worried; Peter Jackson's film trilogy 'The Lord of the Rings' was every bit as epic in scope and detail as the world Tolkien had invented. They were hugely successful and taken together, one of the greatest films ever made. A large factor in its success was the magnificent score Canadian composer Howard Shore composed for the films - every bit as complex and rich in invention as the world it was describing and it went on, like the films, to win numerous awards. It was very recently voted the favourite film score by listeners to the UK's Classic FM radio station.

Shore created a score into which he put as much thought and detail as any great composer. For instance, he carefully crafted different types of music for each of the different races and develop these as the story does. So as the events of the story develop and events unfold, the themes in Shore's score interact in the same way - very much in the manner of the Leitmotif's Wagner invented for his great Ring Cycle.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is quite simply one of the greatest things I have ever brought off Amazon.

Anyone who is a fan of Howard Shore's music to the motion picture trilogy should definitely be in possession of this book. It provides the reader with a fantastic theme by theme analysis of the films score. It shows the reader what went into writing the theme and how it is influenced and what other themes it influenced. It is really clearly set out with great manuscript examples.

The book is beautifully illustrated with sketches, photo stills from the films and score examples. These serve really well to draw the reader in. I honestly cannot recommend this book highly enough.

An totally brilliant buy for any price!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For anyone studying the music of Lord of the Rings, Film Music/Composition, Music for musicals and operas including its composition, Western Mainstream Orchestral composition in general, this is a very good book to read.

It is full of compositional techniques used by Howard Shore in the Lord of the Rings film. What you get sense of; is the strong use of leitmotif and how it has been used so successfully within the films.
When you watch the films after reading the book, you discern sections of the music that you have read about and only then do you ascertain how vital a role music has within the film.

Though it is a specialist book written by American musicologist; Doug Adams. Like books of this type, I think it is only truly understandable by those who have good knowledge of western classical music theory.

For me as a music student it is fantastic and at £31 definitely a good buy!
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