237 Soundtrack Websites, Video, & Print Resources*

Official Websites; Video and Print Resources

This section shares some resources to help explore the specifics of how Howard Shore composed the score for Peter Jackson’s LOTR trilogy, how some of the special songs came about, and how and why this music moves us …

Key Websites

Doug Adams Music of LOTR – Doug Adams’ blog on the complete recordings and archive for Howard Shore’s music from Lord of the Rings.

Howard Shore – Official website for Howard Shore, including details on LOTR live-performance-to-film-projection, LOTR Symphony, etc.

LOTR Soundtracks – Official website for details on all versions of LOTR soundtracks, plus trailers and some downloads (like trading cards and buddy icons).

See also the sections below on Film Score Monthly and Filmtracks for lists of specific links.

Video Sources

The Return of the King Limited Edition (green leatherette cover) and Internet Edition (maroon leatherette cover) each include a bonus DVD entitled, “Howard Shore: An Introspective.” According to the soundtrack booklet, features on this DVD relevant to the soundtrack include:

  • “Use Well The Days: A Behind the Scenes Portrait”: a glimpse at Hoard Shore’s weeks in London creating the music for The Return of the King by Elizabeth Cotnolr. (A 20-minuted documentary on the making of the score.)
  • Photo gallery from the studio sessions of The Return of the King

“Creating The Lord of the Rings Symphony: A Composer’s Journey Through Middle-earth” is the bonus DVD that was included with the ROTK Gift Set of the Extended Edition DVDs. It runs 52 minutes and contains both clips of concert footage from the live presentation of the score with orchestra and choirs, as well as commentary by Howard Shore and behind-the-scenes footage on the production of the film score and the live symphony presentation.

Print Sources

Fan Club Magazine – Issue No. 5, Pages 40-49 (October/November 2002; Arwen on the cover). This issue features an extensive interview with Howard Shore, “The Man Behind the Music,” written by Dan Madsen. Other issues of the Fan Club magazine have smaller articles and news features on Howard Shore and/or the soundtrack, but nothing this extensive. For details, check the Fan Club Magazines page, as I will eventually post a comprehensive index of articles and advertisements from the entire magazine series.

Music from the Movies, Issue 42, 2004. The entire issue features The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. This edition is sold out, however, it may appear elsewhere occasionally, on sites such as eBay or abebooks.com.

Projecting Tolkien’s Musical Worlds: A Study of Musical Affect in Howard Shore’s Soundtrack to Lord of the Rings by Matthew Young (VDM Verlag Dr. Müller, 2007, ISBN 978-3-8364-2496-7). Matthew Young, M.M. in Music Theory, Bowling Green State University; Assistant Instructor and Ph.D. candidate in Music Theory at the University of Texas – Austin. From the back cover:

Explaining the meaning or affect of a piece of music is by no means an easy task. However, some success has been found through the work of Philip Tagg, whose technique consists of breaking down a musical example into minimal units of musical meaning (called musemes), comparing those units to other musical examples possessing sociomusical connotations, and demonstrating a transfer of musical affect from the music possessing sociomusical connotations to the object of analysis. This work expands Tagg’s techniques in an attempt to analyze the musical affect of Howard Shore’s film score for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. After a discussion of J.R.R. Tolkien’s description of the culture of the inhabitants found in Middle-earth, this work dissects the thematic material of Shore’s score, focusing on his incorporation of the music and culture of Tolkien’s text into his film score through instrumentation and style, as well as utilizing musematic analysis to argue the musical affect of Shore’s major themes that is projected on the audience. This book is directed toward any individual, musician or film enthusiast, who appreciates the ability for a film score to heighten the overall movie experience.

Studying the Event Film: The Lord of the Rings, edited by Harriet Margolis, Sean Cubitt, Barry King, and Thierry Jutel (Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 2007, ISBN 978-07190-7198-0). A set of academic essays using The Lord of the Rings trilogy to illustrate how a film can now become a global phenomenon through careful planning, marketing, licensing, and promotion … in ways that intersect with fan (and potential fan) interests. This one-of-a-kind resource includes an essay entitled, “Howard Shore’s Ring Cycle: The Film Score and Operatic Strategy” by Judith Bernanke (pages 176-184).

Resources: Film Score Monthly

Film Score Monthly featured cover stories on Howard Shore for each of the three installments in The Lord of the Rings’ soundtrack, and an occasional additional related story. Downloadable PDF back issues are available from the website by purchasing a subscription.

Resources: Filmtracks

Filmtracks offers significant online resources for soundtracks, including reviews, audio clips, track listings, cover images, general production credits, solo vocalists, choral text lyricists, labels and release dates, awards, and other notes.

The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Howard Shore) – Includes reviews, audio clips, track listings, pictures, and other notes about The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack and albums, including standard edition (2001), Complete Set edition (2005), and Rarities Archive (2010).

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Howard Shore) – Includes reviews, audio clips, track listings, pictures, and other notes about The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers soundtrack and albums, including the standard edition (2002), Complete Set edition (2006), and Rarities Archive (2010).

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Howard Shore) – Includes reviews, audio clips, track listings, pictures, and other notes about The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King soundtrack and albums, including standard edition (2003), Complete Set edition (2007), and Rarities Archive (2010).

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