"I feel as if I was inside a song"The Presence of Music in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth and Songs and Poems set to Music

The Presence of Music in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth and Songs and Poems set to Music

About this Book

This book, representing a revised form of a M.A. paper submitted by the author in 2011 at the University of Mainz / Germany, sets out to discuss the extent in which selected musical works based on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien represent the ideas and descriptions of music in Middle-earth introduced in Tolkien’s works.

While this book (and the paper it is based on) strives to follow academic standards, for reasons of brevity the whole complex of textual criticism needed to be largely omitted. This is explained in more detail in the text and mentioned here just as a note to readers coming from the academic world: Yes, I am keenly aware of the fact that this topic is not dealt with in this book. This is on purpose because it, despite being good practice and very interesting, does not contribute to the topic researched here. As such, J.R.R. Tolkien’s idea of Middle-earth being set on our earth, but a very long time ago, along with the origin of The Lord of the Rings as a translation of the Red Book is taken as “reality” here on purpose.

Everyone who has read the original paper will find a number of additions in this revised edition, along with a sizable number of corrections and clarifications.
For all readers not from the scholarly world: I hope you will find this book informative and maybe even entertaining. At times it can get a bit technical, simply because after all it is first and foremost a research paper. But nevertheless I hope you enjoy reading.

I am open for any feedback, criticism and maybe even a tiny bit of praise if you think it is deserved. Please use the contact form at www.middle-earth-music.info to send a message. I fully plan to expand this paper in the future with discussions of additional pieces as well as more background information. This version is for the interested reader who wants to explore the Music of Middle-earth a bit further and represents just a tiny fraction of what one may find out about this topic.

Tobias Escher


A lot of people had their part in making this paper (and book) possible.
First of all, I'd like to thank Prof. Christoph Hust and Prof. Manfred Siebald, who agreed to the topic of the paper.
A big thank you goes to all the authors of the books and essays I used for research. Any readers of this paper should really read all the resources mentioned in the bibliography!
Many proofreaders graciously spent a lot of time finding and correcting my typos and making great suggestions.