Music of The Hobbit film series

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"The Hobbit soundtrack" redirects here. For the soundtrack of the 2003 video game, see The Hobbit (2003 video game).

The music of The Hobbit film series is composed and produced by Howard Shore, who scored all three The Lord of the Rings films. The music for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was performed and recorded by the London Philharmonic Orchestra as it was for The Lord of the Rings. However, the music for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies was performed and recorded by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

The soundtrack album for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey received nominations for various awards and peaked in the top ten album charts in multiple countries.

Principal leitmotifs[edit]

First appearance in An Unexpected Journey[edit]

  • Bilbo's theme: A variation on the 'Shire theme'; a harmonious motif to represent Bilbo Baggins, the main protagonist.
  • Erebor theme: A rising motif using three-horn calls that represents the homeland of the Dwarves.
  • Arkenstone theme: A choral motif that accompanies the Arkenstone, the most valuable jewel in the Dwarves' possession.
  • The Woodland Realm theme: a choral motif which accompanies Thranduil and the elves as they greet Thror during the prologue.
  • Thorin's theme: A hopeful motif representing Thorin Oakenshield, first appearing when Thorin tries to defend Erebor's gate from the dragon Smaug, during the prologue.
  • Smaug's theme: A menacing and discordant theme representing Smaug the Terrible.
  • Gandalf's theme: A five-note motif that represents Gandalf the Grey; this theme is different than that of Gandalf the White's theme, from The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
  • Bilbo's Antics: Appears as Bilbo struggles with the Dwarves' lifestyle and lives out of his comfort zone; represents his "Tookish" side.
  • Misty Mountains theme: Represents the Dwarven Company and their Quest to reclaim Erebor. It is also the basis for the "Song of the Lonely Mountain" by Neil Finn. However, it is curiously absent from The Desolation of Smaug.
  • Radagast theme: A quirky theme for Radagast the Brown.
  • The Necromancer: aggressive and sombre theme that represents the Necromancer.
  • Azog's theme: Variation on the 'Descending Third motif' of Mordor, here representing the film's main antagonist Azog the Defiler.
  • Moon theme: A motif that represents the Dwarves' moon runes, and their secret doors.
  • Goblin-town theme: A chaotic and brassy theme which appears when the Dwarves get captured by the Goblins.
  • Bilbo's Heroics: Appears at the end of the film when Bilbo saves Thorin's life.

First appearance in The Desolation of Smaug[edit]

  • Beorn theme: A deep and brassy theme played several times in the beginning.
  • Mirkwood theme:The theme is built around slow succesion. Different variations are played when the Company wanders in the forest.
  • Thranduil's theme: Wholly majestic theme orchestrated with beautiful strings and ethereal voices.
  • Legolas's theme: A fast paced theme based on the first line of Thranduil's theme but differentiates in tempo.
  • Tauriel's theme: A powerful and melodic string rhythm appears as a theme several times. Later on, the theme is changed and mixed based on the scenario.
  • Bard's theme: The theme reflects his ambiguity as a character.

Soloists[edit]

Shore is working with many vocal and instrumental soloists through the three films. These include Neil Finn who performed the "Song of the Lonely Mountain" in An Unexpected Journey[1][2] and Richard Armitage as a cast performer.

An Unexpected Journey[edit]

The Hobbit:
An Unexpected Journey
Soundtrack album by Howard Shore
Released 11 December 2012
Recorded 2012
Length 1:48:49 (Standard Edition)
2:07:03 (Special Edition)
Label WaterTower Music, Decca Records
Producer Howard Shore, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens
Alternative cover
Special Edition cover

The soundtrack album for An Unexpected Journey was released on 11 December 2012.[3] It has been released in both Standard Edition and Special Edition, with both coming in a 2-disc format.[4] The Geeks of Doom commented that Shore, who recorded the soundtrack at Abbey Road Studios in London,[5] re-used some of the "magisterial musical motifs" from his music for The Lord of the Rings soundtrack, but that he "uses his established themes to launch into a completely original sonic adventure with turns both optimistic and dark, true to the mutual visions of Jackson and Tolkien".[6]

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by Howard Shore except where noted.

Standard edition
Disc 1
No. Title Length
1. "My Dear Frodo"   8:04
2. "Old Friends"   4:29
3. "An Unexpected Party"   3:57
4. "Axe or Sword?"   5:59
5. "Misty Mountains" (Music by David Donaldson, David Long, Steve Roche and Janet Roddick;[7] performed by Richard Armitage and The Dwarf Cast) 1:42
6. "The Adventure Begins"   2:06
7. "The World is Ahead"   2:18
8. "An Ancient Enemy"   4:58
9. "Radagast the Brown"   4:53
10. "Roast Mutton" (Contains excerpts of "Misty Mountains" by Donaldson, Long, Roche and Roddick[7]) 4:00
11. "A Troll-Hoard"   2:39
12. "The Hill of Sorcery"   3:51
13. "Warg-Scouts"   3:05
Disc 2
No. Title Length
1. "The Hidden Valley"   3:50
2. "Moon Runes"   3:20
3. "The Defiler"   1:15
4. "The White Council"   7:19
5. "Over Hill" (Contains excerpts of "Misty Mountains" by Donaldson, Long, Roche and Roddick[7]) 3:43
6. "A Thunder Battle"   3:55
7. "Under Hill"   1:54
8. "Riddles in the Dark"   5:22
9. "Brass Buttons"   7:38
10. "Out of the Frying-Pan"   5:54
11. "A Good Omen"   5:46
12. "Song of the Lonely Mountain" (Lyrics and performance by Neil Finn,[8] music by Finn, Donaldson, Long, Roche and Roddick[7]) 4:10
13. "Dreaming of Bag End"   1:49
Special Edition

The two-disc Special Edition contains six bonus tracks and six extended tracks.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[9]
Examiner.com A+[10]
Filmtracks.com 5/5 stars[11]
Movie Music UK 4/5 stars[12]
Music Muse 5/5 stars[13]
MovieCues 5/5 stars[14]
Tracksounds 10/10 stars[15]

The full score was nominated at the 11th Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards,[16] and the "Song of the Lonely Mountain" received a nomination for the Houston Film Critics Society Awards.[17] Allmusic's reviewer wrote favourably about the album, but noted that the soundtrack was not as "sweeping and epic as that for [Jackson's] The Lord of the Rings", attributing this to the smaller scale of Bilbo's adventure as compared to the events of The Lord of the Rings.[9] Examiner.com, however, was very positive and observed that The Hobbit soundtrack fitted the style and tone of The Lord of the Rings, writing that the opening for An Unexpected Journey was much better than that of The Fellowship of the Ring.[10] In 2013, the score for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey ranked ninth out of one hundred by Classic FM'S top film scores.

The album charted in several countries, reaching the top ten album charts in Korea and the United States. It was also awarded a golden record certification in Canada.

The Desolation of Smaug[edit]

The Hobbit:
The Desolation of Smaug
Soundtrack album by Howard Shore
Released 10 December 2013
Recorded 2013
Length 1:56:27 (Standard Edition)
2:09:17 (Special Edition)
Label WaterTower Music, Decca Records
Producer Howard Shore, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens
Alternative cover
Special Edition cover

The soundtrack album for The Desolation of Smaug was released on 10 December 2013 in both Standard Edition and Special Edition. The cover of the Special Edition features the design used for the special edition of the soundtrack for An Unexpected Journey on a purple background.

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by Howard Shore except where noted.

Standard edition
Disc 1
No. Title Length
1. "The Quest for Erebor"   3:23
2. "Wilderland"   4:56
3. "The House of Beorn"   3:42
4. "Mirkwood"   4:27
5. "Flies and Spiders"   7:51
6. "The Woodland Realm"   4:26
7. "Feast of Starlight"   2:49
8. "Barrels Out of Bond"   1:50
9. "The Forest River"   4:54
10. "Bard, a Man of Lake-Town"   2:30
11. "The High Fells"   2:37
12. "The Nature of Evil"   3:20
13. "Protector of the Common Folk"   3:36
Disc 2
No. Title Length
1. "Thrice Welcome"   3:33
2. "Girion, Lord of Dale"   3:33
3. "Durin's Folk"   2:28
4. "In the Shadow of the Mountain"   2:15
5. "A Spell of Concealment"   2:51
6. "On the Doorstep"   7:46
7. "The Courage of Hobbits"   3:00
8. "Inside Information"   3:48
9. "Kingsfoil"   2:25
10. "A Liar and a Thief"   3:40
11. "The Hunters"   9:04
12. "Smaug"   5:24
13. "My Armor Is Iron"   5:16
14. "I See Fire" (Written and performed by Ed Sheeran) 5:00
15. "Beyond the Forest"   5:25
Special Edition

The Special Edition contains one bonus track and twelve extended tracks.

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2013–2014) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[36] 60
Australian Classical/Crossover Albums (ARIA)[36] 2
Australian Hitseeker Albums (ARIA)[36] 1
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[18] 29
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[19] 44
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[20] 97
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[25] 51
French Albums (SNEP)[21] 103
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[37] 25
Irish Classical Albums (IRMA)[38] 7
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[39] 40
South Korean Albums (Gaon)[40] 84
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[28] 39
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[30] 51
UK Albums (OCC)[41] 69
US Billboard 200[42] 39
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[42] 4
US Top Current Albums (Billboard)[43] 34
US Top Soundtracks (Billboard)[42] 6

The Battle of the Five Armies[edit]

The Hobbit:
The Battle of the Five Armies
Soundtrack album by Howard Shore
Released 16 December 2014
Recorded 2014
Label WaterTower Music, Decca Records
Producer Howard Shore, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens

The soundtrack album for The Battle of the Five Armies will be released on December 16, 2014, to coincide with the film's release.[44] Both a Standard Edition and a Special Edition will be released. The score will be performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra as it was for The Desolation of Smaug. For the soundtrack, Billy Boyd, who played Pippin Took in The Lord of the Rings, wrote and recorded the song "The Last Goodbye".[45]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Neil Finn Reaches Epic Heights on 'Song of the Lonely Mountain' – Song Premiere". Rolling Stone. 12 November 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Neil Finn's song for The Hobbit". Stuff.co.nz. 14 November 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  3. ^ Vlassoff, Nadya (2012). "The Hobbit Soundtrack Cover Art and Track Details Revealed". Deadbolt. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Burger, David (1 November 2012). ""The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" soundtrack will be released at all retailers on December 11". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Watercutter, Angela (26 November 2012). "Peter Jackson Races to Complete The Hobbit in Time for Premiere". Wired. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "Howard Shore's 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' Score Streaming For Free". Geeks of Doom. 13 November 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – Special Edition (Media notes). WaterTower Music, Decca Records. 2012. p. 6. 
  8. ^ a b Holslin, Peter (30 November 2012). "'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' Soundtrack Honors the Dwarves". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 
  9. ^ a b Morita, Patsy. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]". Allmusic. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  10. ^ a b Gonzalez, Danny (20 December 2012). "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Music By Howard Shore". Examiner.com. 
  11. ^ Clemmensen, Christian. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey review". Filmtracks.com. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  12. ^ Broxton, Jonathan (17 December 2012). "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Howard Shore". Movie Music UK. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  13. ^ "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Howard Shore)". Music Muse. 28 December 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  14. ^ "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Howard Shore)". MusicCues. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  15. ^ Meinerts, Edmund. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey by Howard Shore". Tracksounds. Retrieved 6 October 2013. 
  16. ^ "The 2012 WAFCA Awards". Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "Lincoln leads Houston Film Critic Society Awards with eight nominations". awardsdaily.com. Retrieved 11 January 2012. 
  18. ^ a b "Soundtrack / Howard Shore - The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey" (in German). Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  19. ^ a b "Soundtrack / Howard Shore – The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey" (in Dutch). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  20. ^ a b "Soundtrack / Howard Shore – The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey" (in French). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  21. ^ a b "Soundtrack / Howard Shore – The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey". Lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  22. ^ "Soundtrack / Howard Shore – The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  23. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 50, 2012". Chart-Track.co.uk. IRMA. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  24. ^ "South Korea GAON International Albums Chart". On the page, select "2012.12.09~2012.12.15" to obtain the corresponding chart. Korean Charts. GAON. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  25. ^ a b "Soundtrack / Howard Shore – The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey" (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  26. ^ "Soundtrack / Howard Shore – The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey". Charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  27. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLIS - Official Retail Sales Chart". OLiS. Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  28. ^ a b "Soundtrack / Howard Shore – The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey". Spanishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  29. ^ "Soundtrack / Howard Shore – The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey". Swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  30. ^ a b "Soundtrack / Howard Shore – The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey". Swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 January 2013.
  31. ^ "Howard Shore | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  32. ^ "US Billboard 200 – Week of December 29, 2012". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 12 January 2013. [dead link]
  33. ^ "US Soundtrack Albums – Week of December 29, 2012". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  34. ^ "US Independent Albums – Week of December 29, 2012". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  35. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack – The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey". Music Canada. 
  36. ^ a b c ARIA Report. ARIA Charts. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  37. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  38. ^ TOP 10 CLASSICAL ALBUMS, WEEK ENDING 9 January 2014. chart-track.co.uk. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  39. ^ "Soundtrack / Howard Shore – The Hobbit - The Desolation of Smaug". Norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  40. ^ GAON ALBUM CHART (in Korean). gaonchart.co.kr. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  41. ^ CHART: CLUK Update 21.12.2013 (wk50) (in German). zobbel.de Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  42. ^ a b c "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  43. ^ Top Current Albums : Dec 28, 2013. Billboard biz. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  44. ^ http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2014/09/16/92720-exclusive-recording-has-begun-on-the-score-of-the-hobbit-the-battle-of-the-five-armies/
  45. ^ "Our final trip to Middle-earth to finish with "The Last Goodbye" sung by Billy Boyd". TheOneRing.net. 20 October 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2014.