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The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films: A Comprehensive Account of Howard Shore's Scores (Book and Rarities CD) Hardcover – October 5, 2010
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...Could easily be one of the most significant and important books ever written on the analysis of a film score.... a masterwork. --Ain't It Cool News
An impressive literary debut that will thrill both Rings and soundtrack fans... as meticulous as it is entertaining. --Film Music Magazine
About the Author
More About the Author
As a journalist, Adams began writing for Film Score Monthly magazine in the early 1990s, where he interviewed and collaborated with composers such as Elmer Bernstein (The Magnificent Seven), Alf Clausen (The Simpsons), John Corigliano (The Red Violin), Don Davis (The Matrix), Danny Elfman (Edward Scissorhands), Philip Glass (Koyaanisqatsi), Elliot Goldenthal (Frida), and David Raksin (Laura). At the same time, Adams started penning liner notes for CDs of classic film music, including works by Bruce Broughton, Jerry Goldsmith, Quincy Jones, Michael Kamen, Alfred Newman, Howard Shore, and Franz Waxman.
In 2001, Adams was invited by composer Howard Shore to follow his work on The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He attended the recording sessions in London and began regularly visiting the composer's offices in New York. Impressed by the intricate nature of their collaboration, the two agreed to pursue a full book that would showcase the immense detail and beauty of the project. Shore stated at the time, "I have been reading Mr. Adams' articles and essays on film music for years. His writing on the subject is intelligent, accessible and insightful. His work is tremendously respected within the film community and he is the perfect author for this book."
Adams maintains a busy schedule as a performing musician, a writer, a composer/arranger and a public speaker. Recent appearances include Robert DeNiro's Tribeca Film Festival, the Kraków Film Music Festival, and lectures in Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, London, Luzern, and Vienna.
For more information on Music of the Lord the Rings, please visit www.musicoflotr.com
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Surely, the same must be true of great music. The music of The Lord of the Rings films is among the most intricate and nuanced I have ever heard. And yet, composer Howard Shore, in his own foreword to the book "The Music of The Lord of the Rings Films", states that he takes an intuitive approach to composing. It was up to his friend and constant shadow, journalist Doug Adams, to unearth a treasure trove of details after nine painstaking years of research. His book is surely a labor of love.
When I first purchased the three complete film scores as boxed sets, I also downloaded the companion PDFs for each one. They were chock full of fascinating details about those lovely melodies, and all alluded to an upcoming book with even more material. It is here at long last, and I eagerly dove into it the moment it arrived in my mailbox.
Having seen (five times) all of the "making of" videos from the boxed sets of The Lord of the Rings films, I already knew how much painstaking love and passion went into translating J.R.R. Tolkien's great work into films. The approach was not to dramatize a work of fiction, but rather to uncover a lost civilization and bring it back to life. Howard Shore did the same with his music.Read more ›
But it is not until the music is taken away from the films and listened to on its own that really begins to enchant. Themes weave their way in and out of the music adding their mood and color. The simplicity of the fiddle for the Hobbits grows into the full orchestra and choir behind the bold Fellowship Theme and then dissolves into the strange, mystic and inscrutable eastern instruments that bring us to the world of the elves.
There is so much to discover in this music and as lovers of films, music and film music we have been blessed with the work of Doug Adams who eloquently takes our hand and leads us into rich and complex music of Shore's Middle Earth. His liner notes first appeared in The Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring (The Complete Recordings) and then subsequently in The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (The Complete Recordings) and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (The Complete Recordings). Now this book brings it all together in a beautifully illustrated and designed volume.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a fabulous book. As a professional musician, I can testify that it's really, really rare to be able to find books that offer genuine insight into the process of composing a... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Benjamin McCormack
Amazing! Great collector's item, academic text, and very thorough.Published 2 months ago by Emily Reavie
A wonderfully in depth book studying Howard Shore's magnificent score. I was lucky enough to sing in performances of all three films with live orchestra and choir and this book... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Cali
Beautiful book, and you don't have to be a complete music nerd to enjoy it (but it helps). Nerds unite!Published 5 months ago by Petra
The official music documentary of LOTR, much better than expected!!!Published 6 months ago by Martin
I am so disappointed to give this book 4 stars. But there's a major flaw that's left me dumbfounded. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Christopher R. VandenHeuvel
Superb book for LOTR music fans. Adams explains the in-depth of the music composed by the genious Howard Shore.Published 11 months ago by Gerardo Colorado Diaz-Caneja
I love this book. It's exactly what I've always wanted since I discovered the music of The Lord of the Rings when the films were first released. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Jessica Cheng