Harad and the Haradrim

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
So the Thread for Season 5 will be focusing on Harad and the Haradrim. In the Script Discussion for S5E01, @Rhiannon suggested the music change from an instrumentation typically associated with Tolkien's world to Middle-Eastern/African instruments and tunes.

We all know how Howard Shore composed The Lord of the Rings.


One example I can give is the track "Hunger" from Black Hawk Down composed by Hans Zimmer, which is heard in the film's opening scenes.

 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Also contrast the instrumentation for the track "Leave No Man Behind", a relatively straightforward piece on cello, piano, guitar, violin and some electric guitar, used as one of the themes for the Rangers.


and the track "Chant", with more traditionally African instrumentation, electric guitar and chromaticism, used when the first Black Hawk is shot down.

 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
A few comments. The Somali people are clearly the threat and villains of Black Hawk Down. So, yes, there are African instruments used in the soundtrack, but they are there to create a sense of threat, a sense of the alien.

Contrast this with Black Panther, where Wakanda is the land of the heroes. Sure, there are villains and threats, too, but this imaginary African nation is being celebrated.

Based on last night's conversation, it would seem that it is fine if the Harad theme is identifiably Middle Eastern. . .but only if it is equally as clearly as happy and pastoral as 'Concerning Hobbits'.

But I agree that creating a unique sound would be better than making this sound like the intro to Aladdin.
 

Rob Harding

Active Member
Perhaps ancient Hebrew as an influence here? Or would we want to keep these as a more direct influence for dwarves? As I recall it bring highlight the Semitic influences on the creation of the dwarven language.

I suppose it depends how closely are real world influences are mapping onto races and where the overlapping of those ven diagrams occurs.
Still, I love this piece so hope you enjoy and find some merit


Something less joyous but still interesting and evocative here:
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
The music of Black Panther is very deliberately SubSaharan African; the music of the Mandalorian is just as deliberately...somewhat difficult to identify. Clear 'Western' vibe, and yet.... They're composed by the same person, so clearly he went in different directions with themes for these two fantasy worlds.

Regarding real world cultures - we are attempting to avoid 'lifting' any culture wholesale from the real world into Middle-earth. So, there are a variety of real world influences in the costuming choices, and in the music, and in the set design (clearly). But...it's not like those decisions are cohesive and united about a one-to-one equivalence between the real world culture and the fantasy culture. We don't want them to be.

So, for example, Amrod can live an itinerant life in yurts on the plains of East Beleriand, but his people are not dressed like Mongolians while doing so. And the yurts shouldn't look exactly like Mongolian yurts, either.

As for Harad...we know* that Pelargir is at the latitude of ancient Troy. So, situating Harad at Carthage and points south is...fair enough. And we know Harad has elephants, so the African equivalencies aren't too difficult to reach. Geography shapes culture; if you choose a geographical area, you are making decisions that should influence all aspect of that people's culture. But we are hoping to create the appearance of a unique fantasy culture, not a clear nod to real-world cultures.


*Well....this is what we know: “The action of the story takes place in the North-West of ‘Middle-earth’, equivalent in latitude to the coastlands of Europe and the north shores of the Mediterranean (…) If Hobbiton and Rivendell are taken (as intended) to be about the latitude of Oxford, then Minas Tirith, 600 miles south, is at about the latitude of Florence. The Mouths of Anduin and the ancient city of Pelargir are at about the latitude of ancient Troy.” The latitude of ancient Troy is: Latitude: 39° 57' 16.19" N . In another letter, Tolkien compares Pelargir to Venice (which I take to mean that the port city has canals).
Location of ancient Troy:
1610136965864.png

Our Frame is set along the coast in Near Harad, so at the very least, we are 300 miles south of Pelargir.

1610137816675.png

So...Carthage, Crete, Cyprus, Beirut type of latitude, maybe. We can go further south if we want to, but we likely should not make it less southerly than those real-world locations. We'll want some sand and sun. We don't have to make it tropical, though.

1610138830712.png
 
Last edited:

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Maybe a more Raiders of the Lost Ark-esque sound, like the Map Room theme, which appears to be the main theme for the Ark?

First Variation, as shown in a book which Indy shows to the Washington Men:

Second, in the Map Room:



An idea for the Mouth of Sauron: make a theme with the rhythm of what we decide for Harad, but with the instrumentation of Mordor?
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Did you ever listen to recreations of antique music? It''s quite a sound...



To be fair, some of the musicians seem to have arabic backgrounds so i doubt they're uninfluenced by that, but still interesting


Ancient roman music i also like... i think we also know a little bit more on how it was actually played:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uJLXyBzMci0


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=X83IYWmcEFg



Musica romana and synaulia are both quite good
 

NBL

New Member
Did you ever listen to recreations of antique music? It''s quite a sound...



To be fair, some of the musicians seem to have arabic backgrounds so i doubt they're uninfluenced by that, but still interesting


Ancient roman music i also like... i think we also know a little bit more on how it was actually played:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uJLXyBzMci0


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=X83IYWmcEFg



Musica romana and synaulia are both quite good
Peter Pringle is awesome.
 
Top