The Lord of the Rings Score Analysis Project
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The Dwarves

Moria

Appears in:

1|2|11 The Doors of Durin
[03:49-04:05] Once the doors of Durin creak open a brief overlapping statement of the Moria theme manifests, but soon dissipates as the Fellowship sees the carnage that awaits their arrival. Retreat, however, places them in even graver danger.
1|2|12 Moria
[00:00-??:??]
1|3|1 Khazad-Dm
[01:28-01:38] The Balrog roars and Gandalf looks turns to look behind him. Legolas, who has just jumped a gap in a bridge, calls to him. Gandalf leaps.
[01:46-02:04] Legolas shoots an arrow and the camera follows it till it hits an Orc in the forehead. The orc falls. Boromir leaps the gap in the bridge with Merry and Pippin. Legolas shoots again.
[02:18-02:36] The gap in the bridge crumbles more leaving Aragorn and Frodo stranded on the wrong side. The approaching Balrog roars again.
[02:41-03:16] A large boulder falls behind Aragorn and Frodo, isolating them on a teetering section of the bridge. Aragorn steadies Frodo, then, leaning forward, the two tip the section towards the rest of the Fellowship waiting on the far side of the bridge. This iteration has the Moria voices chanting to the Moria Theme rising motif.
From the Annotated Score: "The rising fifths of the Moria theme are further explored, spiked with syncopated rhythms unique to this sequence. "I was careful with that in the writing," Shore remembers. "There are a just couple of times where I used that." Throughout the score Peter Jackson and Howard Shore sought to maintain a primal sound to the music, so anything that smacked of a contemporary sound (including an over-reliance on syncopated rhythms) was strictly avoided. The tension in Moria is never built through flashy rhythmic figures, but through layers of sound - a kind of rigorously structured chaos that licks at the Fellowships' heels."
[04:09-04:21] We get an overhead view of the Fellowship running along a narrow bridge.
[04:45-05:08] The Balrog strikes at Gandalf who has a bubble of protection around him. Aragorn and Frodo watch in horror. The Balrog roars at Gandalf.
2|1|1 Glamdring
[00:00-00:32] Magpie writes: "One of the first things I thought when I listened to the Doors of Durin music is, This is the opening music from The Two Towers. Specifically, the rising phrase heard over the company credits (New Line and Wingnut) and the soaring shots of the Misty Mountains. Doug Adams does not identify this music as the Moria Theme. Here's what he says about the opening music:
The Two Towers opens with horns and strings delicately ascending, until the London Philharmonic Orchestra comes to rest in familiar territory. Howard Shore's History of the Ring theme parts the curtains with a cold, bi-tonal setting of the figure that sets the A minor melody over an F minor harmony, and nestles us back into J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth.
But before the plot can move ahead, it must remind us from where we have come. And so we plummet back into Moria, back to the Fellowship's darkest hour as, having just crossed the Bridge of Khazad-dm, they wait breathlessly for Gandalf the Grey to ward off the fiery Balrog.
Doug seems to gloss over the music between the History of the Ring and the interior Moria shots. He, in fact, identifies the first instance of the Moria Theme as being heard during the fall of the Maiar. But, the earlier music sounds to me as being the same steps up (although there are some differences in how many notes step up and there's a variation in there). Perhaps to the trained ear there are some glaring inconsistencies that would exclude this music from being iterations of the Moria Theme. DA may have had reasons for wanting to identify the louder, battle-tinged Moria Theme for readers."
[00:50-01:23] Magpie writes: "This part reminds me a lot of the Moria Theme, especially as heard when the Doors of Durin open. Doug Adams does not identify them as the Moria Theme in the Annotated Score."
[02:46-02:59] Chorus erupts with Philippa Boyens' text "The Abyss," while the rising colonnades of the Moria theme ...
[03:08-03:32] ... battle for dominance.