Middle-earth Minstrel

Essays on Music in Tolkien

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About the Book

The twentieth century witnessed a dramatic rise in fantasy writing and few works became as popular or have endured as long as the novels of J.R.R. Tolkien. Surprisingly, little critical attention has been paid to the presence of music in his novels. This collection of essays explores the multitude of musical-literary allusions and themes intertwined throughout Tolkien’s body of work. Of particular interest is Tolkien’s scholarly work with medieval music and its presentation and performance practice, as well as the musical influences of his Victorian and Edwardian background. Discographies of Tolkien-influenced music of the 20th and 21st centuries are included.

About the Author(s)

Bradford Lee Eden is Dean of Library Services at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Bradford Lee Eden

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 215
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4814-2
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5660-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction
BRADFORD LEE EDEN      1

Horns of Dawn: The Tradition of Alliterative Verse in Rohan
JASON FISHER      7
“Inside a Song”: Tolkien’s Phonaesthetics
JOHN R. HOLMES      26
Æ´ fre me strongode longas: Songs of Exile in the Mortal Realms
PETER WILKIN      47
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Fortunate Rhythm
DARIELLE RICHARDS      61
Tolkien’s Unfinished “Lay of Lúthien” and the Middle English Sir Orfeo
DEANNA DELMAR EVANS      75
Strains of Elvish Song and Voices: Victorian Medievalism, Music, and Tolkien
BRADFORD LEE EDEN      85
Dissonance in the Divine Theme: The Issue of Free Will in Tolkien’s Silmarillion
KEITH W. JENSEN      102
“Worthy of a Song”: Memory, Mortality and Music
AMY M. AMENDT-RADUEGE      114
“Tolkien is the Wind and the Way”: The Educational Value of Tolkien-Inspired World Music
AMY H. STURGIS      126
Liquid Tolkien: Music, Tolkien, Middle-earth, and More Music
DAVID BRATMAN      140
Performance Art in a Tunnel: A Musical Sub-Creator in the Tradition of Tolkien
ANTHONY S. BURDGE      171

Contributors      201
Index      205

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Finalist, Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Myth and Fantasy Studies—The Mythopoeic Society
  • “clearly a labor of love…well researched, well written…excellent essays…a strong contribution to the field of Tolkien studies…highly useful…worthwhile reading”—Mythlore
  • “Lee Eden has done Tolkien fans a great service by drawing our attention to the substantive presence of music within Tolkien’s novels themselves”—Seven