Thursday, January 27, 2011

Music in The Hobbit contd...

In our discussion group, one of the major themes we discussed was the variety of tones with which Tolkien portrays the different races through their music and poetry. It is particularly interesting that the music represents the races and their actions or outlooks on the world.We noticed that the Dwarves, with the exception of the "Dishes Song" in Bag End, usually sing of things that have been lost. Their tone is forlorn, yet with a sense of eventual redemption. The Elves of Rivendell are exceptionally merry in their songs, and perhaps this is simply Tolkien reaching out to the sensibilities of a younger reading group. Later in the Trilogy, the Elves seem much more serious and reserved. One explanation of this change is the darkening of the times in Middle Earth. In the Fellowship, there is darkness rising in the East which could have impacted the thoughts and moods of the Elves. Both of these Races contradict the music of some of the "evil" races we encounter in The Hobbit. The Goblin songs deal with violence, often crushing and smashing from which they seem to derive much pleasure. This is also evident in the Wargs, although the companions, save Gandalf, cannot understand their exact words.

1 comment:

Idril said...

By designating a specific tone for each race's song and language, Tolkien strengthens the boundaries that separate them. This emphasis on communal isolation and nationalistic pride intensifies the moments when each culture collides with another. Eventually this idea culminates into a terrific battle with 6 different races (Elves, Men, Dwarves, Eagles, Goblins, Bilbo/Gandalf) fighting for their own agenda.