Here is my attempt at some of the tunes from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I have tried to create them as I think Prof. Tolkien had in mind, based on the meter of the poem, with rising and falling that naturally occur (to me) when spoken or derived from the meaning of the words. Some I have based on traditional tunes, as had been used by Tolkien in Songs for the Philologists, where I think there is a good match. All others are my own invention. The styles he apparently intended are traditional British folk music (for hobbit and wood elven music), medieval music (dwarven music) and Gregorian Chant (high elven music).
Other artists have rendered these songs differently, and I realize that, despite my effort, my tunes may say more about myself than about Tolkien's intent. That is, perhaps Tolkien did not provide the tunes because he wanted to give each reader the freedom to personalize and hear them as they would like---just as he wanted a broad "applicability" for the meaning of the stories themselves. So I can make no claims of accuracy, except for "The Troll Song".
At present these tunes are in MIDI format. Over time I will add more songs (I have several more on paper) and may try to make them more iPod-worthy with live recorded .mp3. A pdf of piano sheet music is available below.
6 August 2020 - Lina Willowwood's awesome videos of "Over the Misty Mountains Cold" and "Gil-galad was an Elven King" can be found HERE.
27 November 2013 - Lina Willowwood produced a YouTube video of "Gil-galad was an Elven King", based on one of my tunes. I am happy to have made a contribution to such artistic projects!
24 December 2012 - Lina Willowwood, in collaboration with Floradine, produced a YouTube video of "Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold" based on one of my tunes. Well done!
22-31 July 2011 - The famous voice actor Rick Reid, acting as sound designer, adapted a few of my tunes in a theatre production of "The Hobbit" put on by the Parker Arts Council in Parker, CO. I heard it was well received!
6 July 2011 - I added a 2nd version of Chip the Glasses.
2 July 2011 - Minor changes were made to Chip the Glasses, Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold and Sing All Ye Joyful.