Overview of Themes for

 Isengard and the Orcs

 

In The Music of the LOTR Films, Doug Adams identifies six themes associated with Isengard and the Orcs. Preview information about the Lord of the Rings symphonies said, "The industrialized hordes of Orcs earned Shore's most violent and percussive sounds, including Japanese Taiko drums, metal bell plates, and chains beaten upon piano wires..."   (and anvil).

 

FIVE BEAT PATTERN - This is a clanking, clamoring motif that represents "the industrial might of Middle-earth." (Howard Shore per Doug Adams, CR-FOTR liner notes, page 20). In the FOTR and TTT, it was assigned to the category of Isengard and the Orcs and can be heard alone to represent Isengard, underlying the Isengard theme, or alone to represent forces of Mordor (other than Isengard). In the ROTK with the dimming of Isengard's power, the Five Beat Pattern was realigned to Mordor.

 

ISENGARD/ORC THEME - This theme is often used in conjunction with the Five Beat Pattern, but forming no particular rhythmic relationship with it. (That is, it can be heard starting on any beat of the 5 Beat Pattern).

 

ORC CRAWL - For more information on this four pitch motif, see "The Music of the Lord of the Rings Films."

 

GRÍMA WORMTONGUE - This is creepy, creeping low music which is heard twice in TTT.

 

THE CRUELTY OF THE ORCS - This theme is a blaring, discordant, descending phrase. It was first assigned to the category of Isengard and the Orcs (FOTR & TTT). But in the ROTK, with the dimming of Isengard's power, it was realigned to Mordor.

 

THE URUK-HAI IN BATTLE - This is a two chord motif heard during the battle of Helm's Deep. For more information, see The Music of the LOTR Films.