Musical Analysis of The Fellowship of the Ring

Analysis of Track 2: Concerning Hobbits

First we have an introduction given by the cellos and bassoons to set the "hobbit" mood. Notice that in most of the other tracks, the low
strings, when played by themselves, give a kind of foreboding. Here, by playing them staccato (detached) and playing 1-5-8-5-1-5-8 which is
tonal it gives it a more playful sound. (The numbers refer to the notes of the scale. If you are in C then C is 1, D is 2, E is 3 and so forth.)

At :05 the tin whistle, I believe, gives us Frodo's theme when he says, "It's wonderful to see you Gandalf!". Notice that it is played light and
airy, in other words, there is little bass and completely tonal. This is definitely our happy Frodo! The theme also has many ornamentations such
as grace notes and slides which is a folk derivative. The high strings take over the cello part, which helps maintain a steady, but very subtle
beat. Almost all of the tracks have a lot of dissonance in them and the fact that this is so tonal makes the music seem very folk like. The
harmony is also quite simple in its form.

This time at :23 the bassoons play the 1-5-8-5-1-5-8 intro by themselves. This is where Frodo asks about the outside world.

At :28 a solo violin plays the folk like melody. Each note is very attached to make it sound like a fiddle which is a folk instrument. A
harpsichord is added playing the notes of each chord one at a time to give a very simple accompaniment. The fact that HS used harpsichord
instead of piano makes it seem even more folk like and detached. (A piano hits the strings and a harpsichord plucks them.) The strings also
do what I call a boom-chuck-chuck, boom-chuck-chuck which is also very simple in it's form and gives a kind of humor to the music. This is
where Gandalf says, "Well, what can I tell you?" and you see Hobbiton for the first time.

At :43 we hear a version of Frodo's theme again while we see the market place at Hobbiton. The music is very legato (opposite of detached) and
the contrast makes this section seem very warm and inviting. However, you can still hear the harpsichord still playing its detached notes in
the background to continue the happy/playful side of the hobbits.

At :54 the solo violin enters again as we see the "Happy Birthday Bilbo Baggins" sign raised. The music also raises in pitch to help the
expectation of the party. This doesn't last very long since Gandalf changes the subject to Bilbo at...

1:04. Here the music changes to a more serious tone, a premonition perhaps? There is no tune until 1:13, just held chords by the strings.
It's like the playfulness of the hobbits paused for a moment of foreboding. However, there is still no dissonance here.

Of course it doesn't last very long because at 1:18 Frodo changes the subject and tells Gandalf that he can keep his secrets and the
boom-chuck-chuck and harpsichord returns. Then he says, "Whatever you did, you've been officially labeled as a disturber of the.....

peace." Which is right on 1:36. Here the violins play even more staccato, any more and I don't think the note would exist ;), with the
addition of the flute to give it as much of a humorous tone quality as possible as the grumpy old hobbit gives Gandalf the grim look.

Then we see the countryside again with the young hobbits running toward Gandalf's cart at 1:44. Frodo's theme comes back played very lyrically,
again to give us the warm, fuzzy hobbit feeling.

At 1:57 the hobbit children cheer for the fireworks and we get the interaction with the grumpy hobbit and his wife. The music returns to the light
and detached theme to say that this is funny. I think the wife's glare happens at the silence at 2:07.

At 2:15 as Frodo says, "Gandalf – I'm glad you're back." His theme returns so we can end with the warm fuzzies as Gandalf pulls up to Bag End.

- Talagawen