Howard Shore Returning To Score ‘The Hobbit’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 11:47 am,

Howard Shore composing The Hobbit  Howard Shore Returning To Score The Hobbit

Now that The Hobbit has clawed its way out of that MGM mess and has been given the all-important green light, us fans are free to properly look forward to what Peter Jackson has in store for us with the much-anticipated adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved novel.

For a while now we’ve been hearing word of the different cast members being brought onboard for the The Hobbit, including Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, Richard Armitage as the leader of the Company of Dwarves and James Nesbitt as the dwarf Bofur (amongst many other casting additions). Now we have just have to wait for confirmation of those long-standing rumors that Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis will be reprising their roles as Gandalf and Gollum, respectively.

Fans now have one more reason to jump for joy in anticipation of The Hobbit, as it appears that Lord of the Rings composer, Howard Shore, will be returning to compose the musical score for Jackson’s two-part Hobbit epic. The Province spoke to Shore himself:

“We’ve [Shore and Jackson] talked about making these movies [The Hobbit] for many years, at least since 2002… It looks like finally it’s going to be happening. I’ll be working on it for the next three years — it’s going to consume a lot of my time and work now.”

Shore’s score for the LOTR trilogy – which he originally recorded 11 hours of music for – has taken on a life of its own outside of the confines of the films, having been performed over 160 times since 2003. The latest performance will be next week by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Shore regards the music as his best work and says that, “everything I knew about composing, orchestrating, conducting — everything I had learned about music was in it.”

Lord of the Rings score symphony orchestra Howard Shore Returning To Score The Hobbit

The Lord of the Rings score being conducted

Does anyone really think that Shore won’t do just as stellar of a job with The Hobbit as he did with LOTR? I certainly don’t. His score for the latter somehow managed to be monumentally epic but still feel rather intimate, which perfectly mirrored the journey Frodo and Sam took to destroy the One Ring To Rule Them All.

Fans of The Hobbit novel will know that it has similar attributes to the journey taken in the LOTR but nonetheless falls a lot more on the intimate side of the fence. I have every bit of faith that Shore will help Jackson do justice to the source material.

Both parts of The Hobbit are being shot back-to-back in New Zealand, starting early next year. Part 1 is currently scheduled to hit theaters on December 19th, 2012, while Part 2 will follow a year later in December, 2013.

Source: The Province via Coming Soon

TAGS: The hobbit
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  1. There ARE a lot of wonderful things in Shore’s score to LotR, and it IS a monumental piece of film scoring. I can’t say that his composing the music for Hobbit, one way or the other, enchants or bothers me.

    While I like a lot of what is in the LotR score, there is a lot of musical weakness in it as well. If that score contains everything he knows about orchestration, form, etc.. then he has some learning to do. There are still quite a few grotesque harmony errors in the score, clumsy voice-leading and simplistic (read “vulgar”) harmonic passages.

    Had someone like John Williams composed the score, at least we would have been on good solid musical ground. I’m not saying I’d have preferred Williams, but rather that while Shore’s score to LotR is “monumental”, it is far from being an actual musical masterpiece. It never transcends the medium for which it was written. It’s a great filmscore, but a terrible concert work, honestly, for the cost of the tickets to hear it in concert “live”, just watch the movie again. You will get as much, if not more, out of watching the film with the music as you would out of a touring production of the filmscore.

      • I agree with everything that you wrote GK333. Hopefully there wont be any further delays on this project.

      • what exactly are you disagreeing with “more” with?
        I SAID it was a monumental piece of film scoring. Do you bother to read when people write? or do you just look for the negatives?

        As for the negatives, there ARE plenty of negatives about the scores to LotR. He spent 4 years writing those scores. That’s already 3 and a half years longer than most other composers get.

        I honestly don’t care if you like the music. That isn’t the point. Lots of people like the music of Madonna, of Justin Bieber, of Hans Zimmer… that doesn’t make their music good. It makes it popular.

        My criticism, by the way, is from the point of view of a professional in the music industry. The music of LotR has wonderful parts, and has clunky and awkward parts. There are grotesque errors in it, there are sublime moments in it. It is a score of contradictions, which are – in this professional musician’s opinion – a clear indication that Howard Shore, talented as he is, and hard-working, and momentarily touched by flashes of genius like all artists are, is still lacking in some departments.

        Your reactions to the music, while admirable, are nothing but gut reactions to the music. That doesn’t diminish them, but it puts them in a completely different category from other types of reactions.

        Remember, there are people who have emotional reactions to Justin Bieber, to the Spice Girls, to Tupak Shakur, to Mary Had a Little Lamb.

        The music of LotR is a monumental piece of filmscoring. I said that. It’s 11 hours of music, it’s 4 years of work, it’s a lot of wonderful work in developing lietmotifs and intimate associations between the various thematic materials. But John Williams would probably have done it better, particularly had he spent 4 years working on it. I don’t think Williams has ever had more than a few months to score a film, like most Hollywood composers. For a filmscore, Shore had the UNPRECEDENTED luxury of all that time to put the ideas together and compose the score, thanks to Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens.

        And the score is film music, first and foremost. It does not stand on its own as a musical entity simply because you enjoy listening to it on its own. Don’t confuse your like for the music as some indicator of its quality.

        • Williams is definitely a superior composer. As much as I like some sections of the LOTR stuff, to me it works mostly in parts, and is great for reworking :) . I’m having a lot of fun messing around with some of the arrangements.

          I’m glad Shore’s returning though, simply for continuities sake. Say what you will about some of his voice leading and harmonic choices, he still writes with an identifiable “voice”, like Williams, Zimmer, Horner, and many other great film score composers.

          How did you like Zimmer’s Inception?


    • Yeah, I don’t agree at all with what you wrote. I think it’d definitely be worth seeing in concert, and I’m glad Howard Shore did the score rather than John Williams. I can’t even imagine what the music would be like instead, and personally, I don’t really want to. I haven’t noticed at all the “grotesque harmony errors” that you mention. But for all I know, you could be a huge expert on this sort of thing I guess.

  2. This is probably the first bit of great news for this project. Shore’s Lord of the Rings work is truly phenomenal. Despite this I will always put both John Williams and Hans Zimmer above him in any list of great music composers.

  3. anybody that scores a kevin smith film gets my vote!!

  4. man ive been waitin foe the hobbit forever

  5. Now I’m excited.

  6. I had the opportunity to interview Doug Adams, the author for “The Music of the Lord of the Rings” and I’d like to know more about your negative sections of the LOTR scores and soundtracks. The new book comes with a bonus disc of tracks that join the rest of the soundtrack in what is one of the most eloquent, clearly-hard-working efforts that I think I’ll ever have the pleasure of listening to.

    • well, how much music theory do you know?
      I’d be happy to indulge you and give you my opinion on some of the aspects of the score that could have been better.

  7. Music theory doesn’t decide if music is wonderful, but only explains how. Music theory without intelligence is like an unread newspaper wrapped around fish and chips uneaten and thrown in a bin. Master E., you speak as though you have an exact list of every musical combination, in a short list of order of value.

    Howard Shore is on par with Grieg in some respects, and has vision, apart from which neither intelligence or music theory make anything of value. Williams wasn’t the one that had that vision for LOTR. Shore is a genius, and none of his harmonies are incorrect. If a man asks his wife to be to marry him differently than you think a man must get a woman’s hand in marriage, and she thinks his words were perfect, and full of a heart just right for the asking, would you take out your guide book and say, “Nope, the proposal sucked!”?

    Howard Shore does what nearly no one else well known to the world today can do: he takes the things put into lists as “incorrect” (so categorized merely due to the inability of the masses to make use of them)and creates a beauty others doubted could have existed. A mortal man’s limitations were expected and instead was unveiled the immortal music thatwas always meant to be.

    To me, the LOTR music is part of my utmost favorite music ever, doing what the music you favor could never do: move a heart that won’t go on just any quest.

    I think that Howard Shore, whom I admire greatly, failed only to open the door to the hidden music of the Dwarves and Elves, but that he revealed the truth of the themes of Man’s place in Middle Earth and in the War of the Ring, showing Man at his utmost strain of Faith, Hope, and Love, striving after a Real Dream, in a Real Virtue. Every sinew of LOTR took life in Shore`s music.

    Because I have been obsessed in a strange way with music thatkeeps coming to me, and feels fit only for the Hobbit, it is no small thing to admit my respectfor Howard Shore. I never could have done with LOTR what he did with it, yet I honestly think I could not rest short of striving to myself make a musical offering to the Hobbit, and see Shore`s contribution coalesce gradually into it on the second film.

    Has anyone heard about how Shore got picked for LOTR when he had as of yet done nothing like it? Yethe knew it was to be, and against all odds his dream came true. I truly think that two different composers should work, one on the first film, the other coming gradually into it on the second film. I have endless music I can only consider Dwarvish, and themes that remind me only of things in the Hobbit, and to judge their worth without hearing them would be silly. It is only because Shore’s work I have heard that I now praise it unreservedly. Even Peter Jackson is not Tolkien, nor the ONE WHO gives visions of Destiny and inspires the Theme of Life, and is very priviledged, rather than in the right, to get to be the one to work on another’s well-loved story. The right to be involved is a world beyond any one man outside of the Tolkien family.

    But anyways, I mention what I here mention as showing that in my personal aims, I dare not slight Master Shore his due.

  8. The great thing about art is it needs no introduction to appreciated. You don’t need to understand music theory to be moved by a song, you don’t need be familiar with the techniques of painting to be touched by a picture, and you don’t need to be a classically trained actor to love film. It is purely subjective and cannot be given any more or less value than the value it has to whomever is experiencing it. For every rigid, structured school of artistic thought, there is an opposite perspective teaching freedom and abstraction.

    Also, it is counter-intuitive to profess your credentials within your argument as it supplants your actual points in favor of posturing. It comes across as impertinent and insecure, and is never a suitable replacement for a clearly stated opinion. Unfortunately, Mike E., that’s all your perspective is; An opinion. If your opinion is imbued with more value than it deserves, you appear narrow-minded and ignorant.

    I would encourage you to break away from clinical analysis of art, and try to experience it rather than dissect it. Learning the fundamentals of the creation of art is devoid of creation itself, and can lead instead to the stagnation of creativity. Every major artistic development in the last 200 years has been reached through defiance of conventional thought. No one is going to recognize you for perpetuating the status quo, and feeding your ego through elitism and austerity. Break the mold my friend.

    • I love your points and ideas. Well said!

  9. Hm.