Themes - 123 pages (10 with full page illustrations)
90 themes (including settings,
what themes represent and relationships
analysis directed at those knowledgeable
about music, music theory, and music terminology
occasional footnotes explaining music terminology
discussion of the music that doesn't require
advanced musical knowledge
This section is comparable to, but not identical to, the theme discussions as found
in the Complete Recording liner notes. But the text is not
identical between the two. I'm sure part of the difference
in the book was a result of Doug rethinking something he
wrote in the liner notes. But I think most of it is the
difference in focus between the two products. The liner
notes for FOTR, for example, addressed the music as heard in
the FOTR. The same is true for the next two CRs - with the
addition as to how the music was changing.
The book is addressing the themes in terms of the whole
story - across three movies and scores. I actually think the
content in the Complete Recordings liner notes is still
useful and relevant and the LOTR score fan would be well
served by owning and referencing both the book and the liner
I think Doug does a very good job of serving both the most
musically astute and the casual music fan with no musical
knowledge. To those of us who can't read music (much,
anyhow) and wouldn't know an A from a G, or a a whole step
from a half step, or a Lydian from an Aeolian mode... the
musical analysis of each theme may make our eyes glaze over
or induce some mild panic that we're in over our heads.
But it's important to realize two things:
The inclusion of musical analysis is not meant to define the
intended audience for this book.
There is plenty of discussion in there that does not require
Doug is attempting to - and succeeding, imo - to respect and
address the wide range knowledge and interests of LOTR score
fans. If you love delving into minor and major modes,
there's stuff in there for you. If you love pondering how
the Shire theme changes for different types of scenes,
there's stuff in there for you.
My approach to all kinds of literature, and my suggestion in
regards to this book, is to simply take in what interests
you and skip over what doesn't... or what seems to hard to
sort out at the time. Some parts of this section may never
appeal to you. But you may find, the more you read and
listen and discuss with others the music of the LOTR
films... the more you do start to take in.
website supports the Theme section of the book:
For most of those 90 themes, I have a page dedicated to
listing where the theme can be heard, an audio example of
the theme, and a link to a site that lists some time stamps
for when to find that theme on a Complete Recording track.
These can be very helpful for someone who can't read the
musical notation in the book to figure out what 'that theme'