Amon Lhaw: [Letter responding to Entmoot #1, including thoughts on LoTR and music, especially Hobbit music with in-line commentary from Greg Shaw]

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5-6

[page 5] FRED J. HOLLANDER 1032 Kagawa Street, Pacific Palisades, Calif 90272 General comments first, then specifics. I liked your coverillo @cover illo@ reasonably well even though it does not agree with my conception of Smeagol (alias Gollum). Becker Staus shows promise but needs development. (I should know, so do I) The repro needs some improvement. I think if you switch to black rather than brown ink or to more expensive stencils, or both, you would get better repro. Looking closer, it would seem that poor stencils is your problem since some parts of the page are poor while others are good. -/I'm inclined to agree that the fault lies with Dave's stencils. He must get them awfully cheaply since mine cost 6¢ and cut perfectly. /- I like the idea of a fanzine where Tolkien fans can discuss what they like and dislike and comment on Tolkien's other works as well. I think that this was a good first issue overall, and please keep up the good work. Now to specifics: Your plans for the future sound very interesting. I would especially like to see the article on how to write the Elvish, and the word list as well. You might try to collaborate with Jack on the latter, as you have probably both hit areas the other missed. -/If you are really interested in the Elvish scripts, talk to Don Simpson, who is more of an expert than I'll ever be. I have shown Jack my dictionary and I expect he'll be able to point out many mistakes. After Jack and all the other authorities nave been consulted, the Elvish dictionary will be published in final form in a small booklet. /- I have given some thought to the music and songs in _The Lord of the Rings_, mostly because Barry Gold, an LArea @LA area@ fan, was putting "The Fall Gil-Galad" to music and wanted suggestions. -/This interests me. I would suggest he forget Gil-galad since it's only 3 stanzas, and find a tune for one of the other songs with a 4/4 meter; longer ones such as Eärendil, or Tinúvial, or Durin, to name a few. Good ballad tunes in 3/4 are quite common, but all these songs require 4/4 and if a good tune of that type can be found it is a shame to waste it on such a short song as Gil-Galad./- I would think that the songs of the Hobbits would be very much like English folk songs in form and meter. And in the way they are sung. They would be sung by groups with little or no accompaniment. Possibly a lute-like instrument could be used, but I know of no mention of anything like it in the books. -/It occurred to me since replying to Banks Mebane's letter that some of the Hobbit songs would also sound good accompanied by a fiddle, and that in fact we know that the Hobbits did have fiddles (I-170-2)/- The only songs of the Dwarves that are mentioned are marching songs which would mean that they are done without accompaniment except for a drum to keep step to. -/ Oh yeah? would you call the song on I-329-30 a marching song?/- The songs of men were probably accompanied by a lute-like or lyre-like instrument. I know of no evidence of this but it feels right to me. Possibly because they are mostly lays, and as such would be sung by minstrals @minstrels@ who are normally accompanied by themselves on the lute or lyre. The marching songs of men would be accompanied by drums and quite possibly by trumpets as the rhythm is right for such accompanyment. [page 6] The songs of the elves presented the greatest problem to me as far as musical accompaniment went. I have an image in my mind of a harpist or a flutist accompanying them, but perhaps that is because the songs of the elves are sad songs, and both the harp and the flute can be sad instruments. As for the songs themselves, they are obviously not choral songs and would probably be sung by the minstrel or by one elf with a particularly good voice, though all elves had good voices The hobbits probably do not have exceptionally high voices, no higher than children's at any rate. If you will remember they were several times mistaken for children during their journeys through the -/?!/- Middle Earth. (This last, of course, refers to Bilbo, Frodo, Merry, Pippin, and Sam.) Speaking of musical instruments, the only ones that I know of that are mentioned in the books are drums and horns. -/Offhand I can think of a few more: harps, viols, flutes, and fiddles. There may be more./ All of the names listed are names of Dwarves mentioned or participating in the story of the LotR. As to the observation that "Tolkien has it in the names department," it is certainly true. I found so myself. But I would expect that as a philologist, he needed some sort of talent to get started in the field at all, much less become famous, so the fact is not so unusual as it is fascinating. _I Palantir_ #3 has a very good article on making a movie of the Lord of the Rtngs. Copies can probably be had for 25¢ from Bruce Pelz, the editor. I'm afraid I don't have his address. Greg? -/Box 100, 308 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, 90024. A year ago he had #s 1 and 3. Now he seems to be out of #1, and I suspect he's running short on #3. I wish to goodness somebody would publish the fourth issue. That was a damned grea @great@ zine and they have plenty of material for another issue./- The main problems in making a movie are, the medium to be used, finding a producer who won't murder the story to get sales, casting, and shooting. That covers about all the problems that can hit a movie, doesn't it. I think I'll write an article on it, though, rather than make this letter any longer than it is going to be. -/ Please do. Meanwhile, it is fairly agreed that the medium should be live acting as much as possible, with animatad segments when necessary. The two can be mixed quite well, witness Mary Poppins. The perfect medium in my opinion would be that used in the movie "Baron Munchausen" that was shown at the Pacificon. The ideal producer would be Twin Rings Films, if only they were rich enough. Ted Johnstone says he has perfect locations in mind for all the scenes, and Owen Hannifen has the musical score pretty much worked out. Hopefully tho if the paperbacks sell big, Disney or someone will attempt the film. He could probably do it well enough if he called in experts, and there's a good chance that he might./- _An Elven Saga_ is a pretty good poem, Greg. The meter is off in a couple of spots and the phrasing could be a little tighter too, but as I know I could not do better myself I will not harp on it too much. Neither an @am@ I very familiar with the bit of history being told but it seems to me that if this is the story of the breaking of Thangorodrim then some things are slightly out of place. -/Yes indeed. See Banks' letter./- I also disagree with your picture of the Valar but would need a little more evidence to back up my feelings. -/I picture them as angels/- Until the next time I write, may the rays of Eärendil's star guide your way. Frederick J. Hollander <Three runes> /-FSG?/-

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