In a discussion at TheOneRing.net's
commented that there was a short phrase in
the first movement, (Allegro moderato), of
Jean Sibelius' Symphony No. 3 that sounded quite similar to the Fellowship Theme. This is especially interesting since we know that JRRT was
interested in the Finnish language and sagas and Sibelius is a
Finnish composer who composed from the sagas.
The recording I have is 10:50
The first time is at about 8:50 (there's a section of very quiet
pizzicato that bounces from violins to cello/bass, then the
whole orchestra chimes in majestically (with the horns on top)
to accent on 3 chords ..Bb..F..C. That's it.
part 1 ~ 8:50
About a minute later (9:45) there's a section of slow scales up
and down that hold on a long "A" (horns over viola, I think)
Then the horns slowly scale up into another majestic statement
of the same three chords ..Bb..F..C.
It's not the whole theme, just a few bars of it... those three
chords with practically the same grace notes.
part 2 ~
When I listened to the Sibelius phrase,
I could immediately imagine the Fellowship Theme. Finding a
comparison clip was harder than I thought, however. I don't
have more than a rudimentary musical knowledge, so bear with my
simplistic attempt to break this down a little. The Fellowship
Theme has an opening measure with 5 notes... two slower, three
quicker. This opening measure is often used by itself as a
little reminder of the Fellowship. But when the phrase goes
on, it continues with a series of three quick notes repeated three
times followed by two slower. Then it all repeats. The opening
5 note measure is heard again followed by the three repetitions of
three quick notes (with same rhythm but different notes)... the last
note being held out (with maybe a declining phrase of some sort to
finish or to segue into the next bit of music). Now, this gets
changed for every iteration. The rhythm, notes and/or key may
By my ears, what sounds familiar between
Sibelius and Shore is found in those three repetitions of the three
quick notes as heard the first time through the phrase. In
fact, it is the second and third trio of notes. So I've
isolated those 6 notes from the two Sibelius clips (as heard above)
and then from one iteration of the Fellowship Theme (as heard in the
final moments of the FOTR credit music - Track 18 on the CD ).
part 1 segment ~
part 2 segment ~
Fellowship Theme - 3:51 - 3:55, FOTR, Track 18, May
Jean Sibelius, Symphony No. 3 in C
Major Op. 52, Movement 1, Allegro moderato - recording
information for audio samples is unknown.