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Thread: Is there "Elven Music" out there?

  1. #1
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    Is there "Elven Music" out there?

    I'm trying to find some form of music that uses the tolkien elves' language (syndarin??) to sing...

    Does it exist?
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    Yes Jeff, Tolkien himself wrote and sang several Elven songs and put out an album. No I'm not kidding. The album was a record set with J.R.R. and Christopher (his son) reading several of the stories, chapters for some of his work. Included was Tolkien singing several of the elven songs. I'm not sure if he wrote the music or someone else did.

    I had gotten a copy as a gift about 20 years ago but I sold it on Ebay within the past 2 years. I'm not sure of the title.

    I not going to critque it but let's just say his writting was better than his singing.
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    Re: Is there "Elven Music" out there?

    Originally posted by Jeff Ellis
    I'm trying to find some form of music that uses the tolkien elves' language (syndarin??) to sing...

    Does it exist?
    Look for the songbook "The Road goes ever ever on".


    My mother had it hen I was a kid. It had songs with music, and had some sort of approval from Tolkien. I never paid attention to the music, but I did read the notes.

    The reason I remember had some elven songs was that it noted that Tolkien was not happy with the tune of an Elvish piece which Tolkien felt should sound more like Gregorian Chant.

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    Originally posted by Peter Remling
    Yes Jeff, Tolkien himself wrote and sang several Elven songs and put out an album. No I'm not kidding. The album was a record set with J.R.R. and Christopher (his son) reading several of the stories, chapters for some of his work. Included was Tolkien singing several of the elven songs. I'm not sure if he wrote the music or someone else did.

    I had gotten a copy as a gift about 20 years ago but I sold it on Ebay within the past 2 years. I'm not sure of the title.

    I not going to critque it but let's just say his writting was better than his singing.
    That's the thing though.. I'm absolutely certain one of the Tolkien fans would have picked up and sang things as he wished, and not only Tolkien... You know, taken his language and sang with it... I'm sure someone will know of somehting...
    I like swords.

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    If you search at Amazon there have been several groups who have recorded songs from the Tolkien universe. One in particular has been well-received although I can't say I'm impressed with the feel of their music.

    I did this search also online a year or so ago, and in the end found nothing which came close to the quality of the music (both by Howard Shore and others) which was used for the movies.

    Some additional 'elven' material is available on the newly released complete recordings of music for the first movie, something like 3+ hours of music on that, a great thing if you're into soundtracks.

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    http://www.arwen-undomiel.com/elvish/lyrics.html

    Yeah... Lyrics to all songs featured in the movie, The soundtrack has lyrics to the main songs.
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    I think this is what you're looking for:

    http://www.elvish.org/gwaith/language.htm

    Look at the music links (about half-way down the page). Most of it is composed by Jessica Butler.

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    If I were you, I'd check out Blind Guardian and Demons and Wizards. They are mostly metal, but they have some softer songs like "The Bard's Song" and "The Lord of the Rings." They are very good and I recommend them to anyone.
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  9. #9
    Go and check out this lady's site too - there's no singing, but she's been doing some wonderful stuff with harps (has been a harpist for over 20 years...), including the speculation of different sorts of harps for the different races of Middle-earth!

    http://www.asni.net/

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  10. #10
    Oh yes -- Jessica Butler's music is INCREDIBLE! She has a gift for the ethereal sound of it all.. I do hope she makes an album of it at some point.


    Personally, I'm not fond at all of songs in "The Road Goes Ever On" -- with one or two exceptions, it sounds like '50's parlor music rather than "Middle Earth." Makes since given the time of its production I suppose, but... yuck.

    While not exactly Elvish, the Border Collies have a wonderful version of "The Road Goes Ever On" -- I'm not certain they have that for sale though for copyright reasons.

    -J

    PS -- you can also get the sheet music online for some of the Elvish choral pieces from the films.. and someone somewhere (darned if I can find it) transcribed and re-recorded the song of the Wood Elves Frodo and Sam hear in FotR. I think it goes by the name of "a Faunilos" -- if that's not enough to find it PM me and I'll hunt though my files for it.
    Last edited by Jennifer S; 01-17-2006 at 07:45 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Originally posted by Jennifer S
    .. and someone somewhere (darned if I can find it) transcribed and re-recorded the song of the Wood Elves Frodo and Sam hear in FotR. I think it goes by the name of "a Faunilos" -- if that's not enough to find it PM me and I'll hunt though my files for it.
    The entire song in all its wonderful strangeness is on the "full score" release. That release comes with the option of listening to the whole thing off a DVD with "theatrical quality" sound, which really is an amazing upgrade even on my so-so computer sound system.

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    "The Road Goes Ever One" was written by Donald Swann (the walking half of Flanders and Swann), and he performed it for Tolkien, who approved of all the tunes except "Namarie", which was the one he felt should be like a gregorian chant - so Swann changed it. I think "Namarie" was also the only song in the book that was IN elvish, but it's been maybe 30 years since I saw the book.
    Last edited by Steven Lowe; 01-18-2006 at 04:49 AM.

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  14. #14
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    Originally posted by A. Trent
    If I were you, I'd check out Blind Guardian and Demons and Wizards. They are mostly metal, but they have some softer songs like "The Bard's Song" and "The Lord of the Rings." They are very good and I recommend them to anyone.
    I'll second this reccomendation, and also the album "Nightfall in Middle Earth" by Blind Guardian (it is a concept album based on the Silmarillion and dedicated to Tolkien).

    Also, there is a band called Summoning, who's entire career has been based on the Lord of the Rings (again, somewhat metal, but primarily classically inspired).

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    Originally posted by David Lackner
    I'll second this reccomendation, and also the album "Nightfall in Middle Earth" by Blind Guardian (it is a concept album based on the Silmarillion and dedicated to Tolkien).

    Also, there is a band called Summoning, who's entire career has been based on the Lord of the Rings (again, somewhat metal, but primarily classically inspired).
    yeah man, summoning kicks some hardcore ass! if i'm not mistaken do they not have a drummer now?
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  16. #16
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    Originally posted by A. Trent
    yeah man, summoning kicks some hardcore ass! if i'm not mistaken do they not have a drummer now?
    I haven't read anything about that yet, if they did get one that should be interesting. Hopefully it doesn't alter their sound much, if at all.

  17. #17
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    From what I hear, the drummer was being a bit of a corporate sell-out(though I don't know the story) and was pretty much told to leave. Now they use electronicly produced drums if I'm not mistaken.
    "Never trust a northern wind, never turn your back on friends!"
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