How does the Music of the Ainulindale relate to the show music in Seasons 1 & 2?

Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
If we want a session devoted to music for season 2 then we had better get in some good thematic input so the hosts can prepare.

In terms of music for SilmFilm, this is a biggy. There was plenty of discussion early on about the Ainulindale and how that would be treated, the general sound of it, Melkor's themes and the instability he provokes and only a little bit devoted to the actual themes so what I want to discuss here is thematic only. We didn't really discuss this for season 1 so why not have a catch up and do up to the end of Season 2.
The Ainulindale describes the three themes put forward by Iluvatar and I would like to concentrate on those themes more than the discord that Melkor sows during the Music in this thread.
What do we know?
Theme 1: the Ainur sang "and a sound arose of endless melodies woven into harmony that passed beyond hearing into the depths and into the heights and the places of the dwelling of Iluvatar were filled to overflowing, and the music and the echo of the music went out into the Void, and it was not void."
Theme 2: the new theme began "like and yet unlike the former theme, and it gathered power and had new beauty." After the Music it says about Manwe "...he was the chief instrument of the second theme that Iluvatar had raised up against the discord of Melkor."
Theme 3: "it was unlike the others. For it seemed at first soft and sweet, a mere rippling of gentle sounds in delicate melodies; and it could not be quenched, and it took to itself power and profundity. And it seemed at last that there were two musics progressing at one time before the seat of Iluvatar, and they were utterly at variance. The one was deep and wide and beautiful, but slow and blended with an immeasurable sorrow, from which its beauty chiefly came." and as to Melkor's music "...it essayed to drown the other music by the violence of its voice, but it seemed that its most triumphant notes were taken by the other and woven into its own solemn pattern." After the music there is more, "For the Children of Iluvatar were conceived by him alone; and they came with the third theme, and were not in the theme which Iluvatar propounded at the beginning, and none of the Ainur had a part in their making."

If the Ainulindale is a run through the history of Arda (up to a certain point) then these themes should directly relate to people, places and events that happen during the show. So what are your ideas about the three themes, at what times should we hear them appearing in the story, who and what should they be associated with, how do we show the echo of the Music in the waters of Ulmo?
Hopefully we will have enough material for the hosts to have a darn good session.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Oh, I want a 'Finwë's Last Stand' track - something suitably tragic and yet noble/epic to show that he is facing the darkness knowing he can't defeat it. So some of that 'immeasurable sorrow' of the Third Theme would be good.

Also a 'Light of the Trees' track that can be our Valinor leit motif and play it when the silmarils are on screen. I think that maybe this could be the first Theme, as it should seem very primordial, something good and wholesome before there was any conflict?
 

Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
I can hear the first theme being played whenever there is any sort of sub-creation going on. The "endless melodies woven into harmony" seems to represent the early world-building when the Powers are working together, as their acts of creative influence overlap and affect each other and the resulting beauty (such as the snowflake). By inference it can then be applied throughout the series when someone is working on a craft or project such as the Silmarils, even the construction of the great elf kingdoms in Beleriand (maybe this can be the theme for "of Beleriand and its Realms"). Of course those creations can also be related to any other themes associated with the person, the race or the place that are pictured, but overall if it is the theme of the sub-creative process that results in beauty, it will give enormous scope.
 

Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
So if the second theme was raised up against the discord of Melkor and mostly associated with Manwe I can see it consisting of Manwe's theme, but more than that I would guess it to be associated with Valinor which was established (raised up) as a bastion in the darkness and as a direct challenge to Melkor. I would hear it in Valinor and possibly anytime a person or people demonstrate resistance against Melkor and what he stands for.
 

Phillip Menzies

Moderator
Staff member
Originally I thought that the third theme would basically be Nienna's theme, but on closer reading I am having second thoughts. I am feeling like Nienna's theme should be related or maybe be a variation, but not the third theme as such. I know the third theme has to be sad and slow and be directly related to the Children of Iluvatar, but there is not much about the elves initially that has cause for that type of music. The awakening, the journey, the sundering and the other events are all lots of things, but not the grief that the third theme evokes. For men it appears to be easier as I can associate the music of the third theme with their mortality. Maybe the third theme should begin in S2 with the fading of Miriel, the first grief stricken moment in S2 and can then move into the unrest of the Noldor and the atrocities that start to be committed in S3. I think it appropriate to keep the theme away from the Valar's grief at the loss of the trees as it is a Children of Iluvatar theme.
 

Niendil

New Member
Interesting! I rather thought the second theme was the Elves, and the third the humans (including hobbits, even though they are not revealed until much, much later).
 
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