The music of The Hobbit film series is composed and produced by Howard Shore, who scored all three The Lord of the Rings films, to which The Hobbit trilogy is a prequel. The score continues the style of The Lord of the Rings score, and utlizies a vast ensemble, multiple musical forms and styles, a large number of leitmotives and various unusual instruments, adding to Shore's overarching music of the Middle-earth films.
Shore composed over nine hours of music, featuring 65 new musical themes and reprising 50 themes from the Lord of the Rings. Shore sketched and orchestrated the music for an immense ensemble consisting of a large symphony orchestra, additional stage "bands" (featuring various non-orchestral instruments), multiple choirs and several vocal soloists.
While not quite as critically successful as his Lord of the Rings compositions, Shore's score remained a financial success, peaking in the top ten album charts in multiple countries, and garnered various award nominations, and his setting of the "Misty Mountains" tune becoming very popular. The score has since been performed as a Symphonic piece in four movements for orchestra and soloist. The score and its production were the subject of an hour-long documentary film created for the behind-the-scenes features of The Desolation of Smaug, and is also to be featured in dedicated book by musicologist Doug Adams, set to be completed in late 2017.
With these three scores added to the music of the Lord of the Rings, Howard Shore has composed over 160 leitmotifs for the Middle Earth films, creating by far the largest collection of themes in the history of cinema and one of the biggest collections for any cycle of musical compositions.
Howard Shore continued his approach from the music of The Lord of the Rings films, and wrote 64-70 identified leitmotifs (not including ten or more newly reprised themes from the Lord of the Rings) that are used throughout the nine hours[note 1] of the three scores. Combined with recurring themes from the Lord of the Rings, there are about sixty or more leitmotifs used through each of the three scores, which given their shorter length makes them somewhat more dense than even The Lord of the Rings scores. The main theme of the trilogy is The Shire theme. The main themes of the individual episodes are, in order, the Company theme, Smaug's theme and the Erebor theme. The opening of An Unexpected Journey also serves as an "overture" of the series, introducing many of the principal themes and the full orchestral forces and colors, while The Battle of the Five Armies serves as a bridge to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
from the Lord of the Rings: Gandalf's Farewells (film only), The Return Journey (film only), The Shire, Hobbiton, Frodo/Hymn (film only), Playful variant, Hobbit Outline, Two-Step, Skip-Beat, End-cap, Antics, A Hobbit's Understanding, The History of The One Ring, Sauron, Descending Thirds, Mordor Skip-beat, the Threat of Mordor, The Power of Mordor (film only), Servants of Sauron (chords only, full theme only in the film), Footsteps of Doom (film only), Rivendell, Rivendell Arpeggios, Galadriel, Saruman, Witch-King of Angmar, The Pity of Smeagol, Gollum's Menace, Orc five-beat pattern, Weakness motif, Dwarrowdelf, Nature's Reclamation, Gondor Reborn (film only), Evil Times, Fellowship theme.
Shore also revisited pieces of none recurring music from the Lord of the Rings, turning them into themes after the fact: Durin's Folk, Map of then Lonely Mountain, Bilbo's Birthday, Smoke Rings, Gandalf's Fireworks, Eagles, Flaming Red Hair.
Themes for Bilbo
Bilbo's Adventure: based on the existing Shire material, this melody appears (on the album) as early as the opening credits, and serves as the de-facto main melodic representation of Bilbo, and one of the main themes of the first score. It appears less frequently in the two later entries, but remains the most persistent of Bilbo's themes. The theme is presented formally in "A very respectable Hobbit" and, in a heroic variation that turns into a theme for the company, in "Erebor."
Bilbo's Theme: Another central theme for Bilbo. This theme was underplayed in the finished film and following soundtrack installments, where its only hinted subtly.
Bilbo's Theme (Tookish Side): This theme starts as part of Bilbo's unabridged theme, but it is set in a different key and different orchestration (usually set for horn or recorder); and its style more closely recalls the Dwarvish music. It soon begins to appear separately, as Bilbo's more outgoing side gets the better of him. 
Fussy Bilbo: Appears as Bilbo struggles with the Dwarves' lifestyle and lives out of his comfort zone. The theme is written in a more classical vein, in waltz time, which puts it outside of the scores' largely late-romantic style.
Themes for the Dwarves
Erebor theme: A rising motif using three horn-calls, followed by a descending B-phrase. There is also a longer variation on the Erebor theme which heralds the reclaiming of Erebor. It is ultimately played (diegetically) as a dirge on a blowing horn in the Battle of the Five Armies.
Arkenstone theme: the motif for the Arkenstone, begins with a choral cluster and follows with a viola figure. It is also applied to the map and the key that Thorin uses to reclaim it.
Thorin's theme: Thorin's theme is related to Erebor but more stepwise like the Shire theme, hinting at Thorin's connection to Bilbo. There are several variations on Thorin's theme: one variation, which appears in the film when Thorin claims Azog died in combat; and a hybrid of his theme and the Erebor theme. The most distinct variation, however, is when the harmony of the theme is hummed by a chorus at the end of "Brass Buttons" after Thorin thinks Bilbo had run away. This variation was to return, sung by the full choir, as Thorin charges Azog in the end of the film, as it appears in "Out of the Frying Pan", perhaps as a theme for Thorin's Pride.
The musical theme of Thorin Oakenshield. It is based on the related Erebor theme, but is more stepwise like the Shire music, hinting at the effect that Bilbo will have on his life.
Dwarves in-Exile: A weary and grim gradually rising and falling motif revolves around the exile and subsequent degradation of the fortunes of the Durin's folk of Erebor and more generally relates to the dwarvish suffering and fate. It incorporates "elvish" timbres, such as female chorus and arpeggiated figures, to denote the Dwarves' blaming of the Elves for their misfortunes. 
The House of Durin: This theme is usually set to male chorus and related both to Thorin and to the Dwarrowdelf theme from Lord of the Rings. It is one of the main themes of the trilogy, and relates to all of the Dwarf characters of the line of Durin, and to the heritage of the Dwarves. Its first full statements are reserved to the second film, where it first appears in a flashback to the battle of Moria, and goes on to be featured in tracks such as "Girion, Lord of Dale", "My Armour is Iron" and "The Hunters". In The Battle of the Five Armies soundtrack, it is played in "Beyond Sorrow and Grief" and "Mithril" and is featured prominently at the beginning of "Sons of Durin."
An unnamed theme appears in the opening logos to the film, and again in the closing of the soundtrack and again in the Battle of the Five Armies. It is a major-key hybrid theme, created by combining the History of the One Ring theme, with the House of Durin theme.
Another unnamed theme is used whenever the company of Dwarves coalesces: its returns with every couple of Dwarves that arrive at Bag End, and is used again when the Dwarves appear in couples before Beorn. The theme features the opening notes to the Dwarrowdelf theme looped into an ostinato.
Ancient Enemies: an aggressive variation on the Dwarvish parallel fifths male chorus. It represents the animosity of Dwarves and Orcs, especially between Thorin and Azog, and the war waged between the races. Its used to score the entire Moria flashback, and returns for Thorin's encounter with Azog in the Battle of the Five Armies. 
The Company theme: Represents the Dwarven Company, their quest to reclaim Erebor, and their crossing of the iconic Misty Mountains and is the main theme of the first film, having appeared as early as the announcement trailer. It is Howard Shore's rendition of Plan 9's melody that is used in the film. Shore quotes different parts of the unabridged song, be they the introduction figure, either of the two verses or the refrain, and even provides it with an accompaniment figure that features prominently in the trailer and in "Overhill." however, it is curiously absent from The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies. Shore and the filmmakers opted to reinforce the sequels' darker tone by removing the more heroic Company themes, creating a sense of absence in the listener. The melody of the company theme has two variants, not written by Shore: Plan 9's original "Misty Mountains" composition (in which the melodic line is not informed by Thorin's theme like the Company theme proper) and "Song of the Lonely Mountain" by Neil Finn.
A Secondary theme for the company and the quest is used throughout the first score. It is a "dwarvish" variant on Bilbo's adventure theme, which was an early composition of Howard Shore. It appears in full in the Bonus Track, "Erebor", accompanied by Uilleann pipes.
Moon runes theme: a hybrid of the Erebor theme (in the high, "Elvish" registers) and the Rivendell Arpeggios (in the low, "Dwarvish" registers) is used for the reveal of the moon runes and again for the reveal of the hidden door itself.
The Dwarf Lords: This early thematic idea for the Dwarves was largely unused in the final film, but made appearances in all three films: the coda appears when Dwalin tells Gandalf that Thorin is delayed because of a meeting in the Blue Mountains; the A section appears when the Dwarves reach the site of the Hidden Door; and it returns as an elegy in "The Darkest Hour" in the third film.
Themes for the Elves
The Woodland Realm theme: the first half of this choral theme accompanies Thranduil and the elves as they greet Thror during the prologue. As the company reach the Woodland Realm, the unabridged tune is performed, and than used consistently with the Woodland Elves. 
White Gems of Lasgalen: a subtle slurred, truncated variant of the theme for the Woodland Realm. Its used for the introduction of the gems, and for Thranduil's allusion to them. Its tracked, aptly enough, to Gandalf's discovery of the vandalized statue of Thranduil's wife, who owned the gems. 
The Valley of Imladris: Howard Shore wrote a serene diegetic piece of music for Rivendell, which he also utilizes in the underscore in a martial setting when Elrond's riders arrive.
Themes for Smaug
Dragon Breath chords: An accompaniment to Smaug's themes, echoing his breath.
Smaug's theme: A menacing and discordant theme representing Smaug the Terrible. This is also the main theme of the second film.
Smaug's Malice: an ascending, inverted rendition of Smaug's theme. It is played when Bilbo hears Smaug's name and again throughout the following soundtracks, where it alternates with Smaug's main theme.
Themes for Nature
The Eagles: The eagle rescue at the end of the film passed through two different compositions, with three distinct melodic ideas associated with the Eagles throughout. The version used in the finished film was reused in the Battle of the Five Armies, creating a new theme for the eagles. there is also an alternate Eagle theme on the album.
Stone Giants: This theme doubles as a "monster piece" in the vein of Shore's work on the Watcher in the Water and the Cave Troll, but the chords themselves are also tied to the music of nature.
Themes for the Wizards
Gandalf's theme: In The Lord of the Rings, Shore saw Gandalf the Grey as a mediator figure, and intentionally wrote no theme for him, since his demise was imminent. The Hobbit saw the character of Gandalf explored much more, providing Shore with reason to write a new, five-note theme for the wizard.
The Istari: The order of the Wizards, the Istari, is also depicted by a theme of its own. The theme is mostly associated with Gandalf, who is featured much more prominently than the other wizards.
Radagast theme: Radagast is represented by nervous table percussion and fiddle, complementing both his perpetual movement, his association with nature and his eastern-European inspired design. This theme was left out of the finished film. Adams mentions several themes being associated with the Wizard, which perhaps includes a longer melodic line for fiddle and boy choir which appears on the album. In the film, the theme appears in the orchestra, without the solo fiddle or voices.
Shadow Over Greenwood: an eerie call sung by the boy choir as Radagast discovers the sickness of Mirkwood forest. The theme is reprised when Gandalf reveals the Morgul blade to the White Council.
Themes for the Necromancer
The Necromancer: for the Necromancer, Shore takes the existing theme for Sauron (and the Evil of the Ring) and changes the ending coda, and uses the oboe to mimic the signature rhaita. It develops gradually into Sauron's theme from after Gandalf shows the council the dagger and until Sauron is revealed in the next film.
Dol Guldur: A Descending Thirds figure based on a similar figure used as an accompaniment motif in the Lord of the Rings.
The Threat of Dol Guldur: A more frenetic, "danger" motif for Dol Guldur, based on the Mordor Skip-Beat and the Threat of Mordor motifs.
Azog's theme: Another, more aggressive, variation on the "Descending Thirds", hinting at the connection of Azog and Sauron. Here, the pattern ends with a musical "barb". By the battle of the Five Armies, the barb evolves into a long trumpet call, and comes to represent the army marshaled by Azog.
Goblin-town theme: When the Dwarves get captured by the Goblins, Shore introduces a theme on percussion and shrill brass that contains hint of his 5/4-time Orc theme. As the Goblin King is revealed, the theme appears more melodically on brass, and as the Dwarves make their escape, it is echoed by a deep male choir.
Warg Scouts' Theme: In the Lord of the Rings, the Warg's brief appearance was scored with "the cruelty of the Orcs" motif. For the Gundabad Wargs of the Hobbit, Shore created a new theme, related to the cruelty of the Orcs, that represents the beasts.
Themes for the Monsters of Middle Earth
Trolls motif: A loud, Waltz-time theme that plays in the track "Roast Mutton". The Troll theme mingles with the Weakness motif to represent the Trolls' dull wits and this hybrid figure goes on to score the sequence in the Trolls' hoard. The music is first hinted as Bilbo stalls the Trolls and later during the Troll-hoard sequence.
Spiders of Mirkwood: An eight-note figure that stands for the spiders that attack Radagast's house. Their musical palette is expanded in the Desolation of Smaug, with the return of the motif as well as various stingers, rhythmic patterns and two-chord figures that evoke their terror.
Themes for the Quest of Erebor
Pine Glades of the Misty Mountains: Used in the finale of the first film.
Elvish Blades motif: When Thorin picks up Orcrist, a short lyrical line appears in the celli, violins and oboe. That line is perhaps recalled both as Bilbo draws out Sting in Gollum's cave,[note 2] and again in the film when Orcrist is revealed to the Goblins.
From An Unexpected Journey: Bilbo; Bilbo's adventure; Fussy Bilbo; Erebor, Thorin, Arkenstone, Dwarf Lords, Moon Runes, The House of Durin, An Unexpected Party; Woodland Realm, White Gems, Gandalf, Spiders, Smaug, Smaug's Malice, Dragon breath, Wargs, Azog, Dol Guldur, Threat of Dol Guldur, Necromancer.
From the Lord of the Rings: The Shire, Hobbit end-cap, Hobbit Skip-beat, Rivendell Arpeggio, Weakness Motif, Sauron, The History of The One Ring, Mordor Descending Thirds, Mordor Skip-Beat, Threat of Mordor.
Returning from the Lord of the Rings (new themes): Gandalf's Fireworks, Legolas' Heroic feats, Elvish Medicine, The Forces of The Enemy, Bree, Minas Morgul.
Themes for Bilbo
Bilbo Suspense Music (Bilbo the Burglar): This motif is a sneaky driving ostinato figure that follows Bilbo when he takes charge of the situation at a pivotal moment. It goes on to replace his fussy theme.
Themes for the Dwarves
Thrain's Theme: In the Extended Edition of the Desolation of Smaug, Thrain is introduced with a theme. His is a slow variation of the Erebor theme with a string arpeggio, referencing the Weakness motif.
Themes for the Elves
Thranduil's theme: Thranduil's theme bears the mark of the Weakness motif, hinting at the Elvenking's Weaknesses.
The Elvish Host: The Woodland Realm is associated with a martial idea, related to the Elves tense relationship with the Dwarves. It is used when the Dwarves are thrown into the dungeons, and again when they are besieged by the Elves in the third installment.
Legolas' theme: A fast-paced, flamenco-like theme based on the first line of The Woodland Realm theme played in major mode.
Tauriel's theme: Tauriel is represented mostly by a rapid, if graceful, five-note figure derived from the B-phrase of the Woodland Realm. The B-phrase of her own theme, however, is more closely connected to the Elvish Host idea but unlike that motif, Tauriel's secondary phrase also receives lyrical settings for Oboe or choir.
Tauriel and Kili: A love theme that represents the relationship between the two characters. It starts with a duet for flute and oboe, followed by a chorus section for voices, and ends with a lyrical oboe phrase. It appears in "Feast of Starlight", "Kingsfoil", and "Beyond the Forest". In "Feast of Starlight" and formally presented in "Beyond the Forest". In The Battle of the Five Armies soundtrack, it is played at the beginning of "Shores of the Long Lake" and is played near the end of "Ravenhill."
Themes for Smaug
Smaug's Fate: A choral combination of Smaug's various themes was used for when he is toppled by the statue of molten gold. It was then reprised for his eventual demise in the following installment.
Themes for Nature
Beorn's theme: A deep and brassy theme played several times in the opening tracks. The harmony, based on the Nature theme, appears by itself as well and recalls Beorn's hefty footfalls.
Themes for Laketown
Bard's theme: The theme reflects his ambiguity as a character, starting quite moody with the ambivalent introduction to the character. It becomes more heroic as Bard defies Smaug.
Esgaroth Theme: A 10-note, baroque-styled theme that represents Lake-Town. It appears prominently in the tracks "Protector of the Common Folk" and "Thrice Welcome".
The Master of Lake-Town's Theme: The theme, played by woodwinds, strings and a clavichord, reflects his high position and his greedy nature. It is played in retrogrades when associated with his guards. A figure hinting at the opening pitches is used in the Forest River sequence.
Alfrid's theme: The end-cap of the Master's theme is used as a motif for Alfird, his councilor. It appears briefly in "Protector of the Common Folk" and several times in the film version of "The Battle of the Five Armies."
Girion's theme (The Black Arrow): A motif to represent the Last Lord of Dale who injured Smaug. It goes on to represent the Black Arrow and the heroism of both Bard and Bain, Girion's descendents.
Themes for the Necromancer
Bolg's Theme: Bolg is represented by another variation on the descending thirds, which Doug Adams seems to identify as a distinct motif, in spite of the similarity to Azog's theme. It appears at the end of the extended version of "The Forest River" and appears in "The Hunters."
The Nine: A solo piece, related to the Istari theme, marks Gandalf's discovery of the resurrection of the Ringwraiths.
Themes for the Quest of Erebor
Mirkwood: The theme is built around slow succession. Different variations are played when the Company wanders in the forest. As the company becomes lost in the forest, the motif is swallowed by the dissonant musical texture of Mirkwood.
The Death Theme: the Death theme (based on the Evil Times motif) becomes a prominent musical motif in the third film and it appears frequently throughout the final part of the story to signal loss and sorrow. It skirts the Woodland Realm theme as it actively revolves around Thranduil and the elves, the concept of mortality strongly present both in the war that rages in the last film of the trilogy and in the relationship between Kili and Tauriel (this short motif is embedded in their love music as a reminder of its tragic nature) and informs the theme of Dwarvish Suffering as well.
From the Lord of the Rings: The Shire, Hobbit Outline, Hobbit Skip-Beat, Bilbo's Song; Battlefield Heroism, the Fellowship, The History of The One Ring, Sauron, Mordor Descending Thirds, Mordor Skip-Beat, Threat of Mordor, Servants of Sauron, Evil Times, Weakness Motif, Galadriel, Rivendell, Rivendell Arpeggios, Nature's Reclamation, Orcs.
From the Hobbit: Bilbo's theme; Bilbo's Adventure, Sneaky Bilbo; Erebor, Thorin, The House of Durin, Dwarf Lords, Arkenstone; Dragon Breath, Smaug, Smaug's Malice, Dragon Sickness, Smaug's Fate; Laketown, Bard, Bard's Family, Bard and the People of Laketown, Politicians of Laketown, Alfrid, Girion; Woodland Realm, Thranduil, Legolas, Tauriel, Elvish Host, Tauriel a End Kili; Death Motif, Dol Guldur, Threat of Dol Guldur, The Nine, Azog, Bolg, Wargs, Ancient Enemy, unnamed title theme.
Returning from the Lord of the Rings (new themes): Mithril, The Forces of the Enemy.
Themes for Smaug
Dragon Sickness: The dragon-breath motif and Smaug's Malice theme are shifted from the dragon to Thorin and play in tandem during scenes that illustrate his dragon sickness. The dragon breath motif is inlaid with a rhythmic, dissonant string pattern.[note 3]
Themes for the Dwarves
Dain II "Ironfoot"'s theme: A heroic theme played by woodwinds, trumpets, and highland bagpipes. It appears in "Ironfoot" and "Battle for the Mountain", and it is played in the movie during Dain's arrival to the Lonely Mountain and the beginning of the battle. It is backed up by a rhythmic march figure which appears in conjunction with the Dwarvish army.
Thorin's Fate: Thorin has yet another thematic idea, sung by a solo Soprano (one of the only instances of female voices incorporated into Shore's Dwarvish music) that speaks of his ultimate fate. It is played after he breaks out of the Dragon Sickness and opts to assault the Orc Armies, and again before his demise.
War Preparations (Dwarven Warriors): A harsh motif that is played with drums and horns in the tracks "The Ruins of Dale" and "Mithril", representing the militarization of Thorin's company.
Themes for Laketown
Bard's family's theme: A gently rising and falling theme which, after being hinted at in the second movie, is first played in full during "Fire and Water". It is based on a combination of phrases from Bilbo's theme and the Master's. A heroic rendition of the theme appears during the end of "Battle for the Mountain". It also appears in the extended version of "Ironfoot".
Bard's Leadership Theme: A short motif that appears in "Shores of the Long Lakes", "Ironfoot", and "Dragon-Sickness". In the film, it is played when Percy recounts Bard's shooting the dragon.
Bard and the People of Laketown: A combination of the Laketown theme and the ending of Bard's theme, which is played either as action music or as an elegy.
Themes for Dol Guldur
Gundabad theme: A driving, offbeat theme for Mount Gundabad and its forces. It is first played out in "Bred for War", and features prominently in "Ravenhill". It is underlined by a version of the 5/4 rhythm that comes to represent the Orcs in the scores.
While revisiting the themes from the Lord of the Rings, Howard Shore also made a unique choice to return to hitherto singular musical expressions, such as the music heard when Bilbo gives Frodo the Mithril vest, thereby turning them into themes, after the fact. This technique allowed him to use The Hobbit scores in order to inform the music of the Lord of the Rings without rescoring and keeping both trilogies similarly dense with themes by using The Hobbit to "add" themes into The Lord of the Rings.
The first film is the most reliant on existing themes, and that reliance was expanded upon in the final film, including multiple cases of tracked music. Nevertheless, most themes are introduced in more devolved expression and evolve to their starting point from The Lord of the Rings. There are, nevertheless some puzzling thematic connections:
The final framework story opening the first film showcases the themes for Gandalf's Farewells and the Journey Back. Both are meant to be used as book-ends with the ending of Return of the King, and the Journey Back even shares similarities to Bilbo's Adventure which was used on the album version. Gandalf's Farewells is used in Lord of the Rings in scenes that do not involve the departure of the wizard, much like this scene, the explanation being that it is most likely being used in an opposite meaning, of expecting to meet again with the wizard, be it Bilbo in the framework story, or Frodo on Mount Doom, who (believing Gandalf to be dead) is about to die.
Two of the variations of the Shire theme, the Hymn and Playful variation, which are mostly associated in The Lord of the Rings with Frodo and with Merry and Pippin, respectively, are applied to Bilbo in the first score: The Hymn variation in the finished film when Gandalf explains his choice of Bilbo to Galadriel, and the playful variation when Bilbo runs out of his door. However, the themes do have a broader association and the former in particular prefigures Frodo's choices more so than scoring Bilbo's.
Galadriel's theme, in a martial setting, is used for Elrond's Riders assaulting the Warg riders. More so than scoring the moment, the music seems to connect it to the arrival of the Host of the Eldar in The Lord of the Lords, or perhaps to prefigure the encounter with Galadriel in the White Council.
The "Ringwraith" theme is used for the final confrontation of Azog and Thorin in the first film. While the theme is most strongly associated with the Wraiths, it is first and foremost an "offspring" of the broader theme for "The Power of Mordor", which the composition also alludes to. In fact, this use of theme comes shortly before the revelation (in the following film) that Azog is a servant of the Necromancer, which later in that film turns out to be Sauron and using the theme in the broader sense of "The Servants of Sauron" is consistent with several of its applications in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, including two statements in the Prologue and one unused statement in 'Amon Hen." In fact, the signature chords of theme underline much of the music for the Goblins and Wargs which dominates the parts of the composition leading up to the statement. Azog's own theme is also derived from one of the Mordor accompaniments which is often used in conjunction with the Ringwraith theme.
"Gondor Reborn" was briefly quoted in the finale of the film. This is the closest that any of the scores come to using themes "romantically", as a pure suggestion of mood (which in and of itself is a valid technique, utilized by Wagner and Strauss, as well). However, based on dialogue from the third film, a tenuous connection can be made between the success of the quest and ultimate victory of Gondor in the War of the Ring. The most likely explanation is that Shore utilized this theme, which has a strong connotation of "good winning over evil" and extrapolated it from its narrow association with Gondor into a broader sense, applying it (once) in this scene.
There are various unconfirmed themes and non-thematic recurring figures that are nevertheless important to the storytelling in the score:
The Forest River sequence features repeated string ostinatos that represent the churning river.
There is similar music used when the Dwarves first fall into Goblintown and again when the bridge they cross collapses. Whether it is a leitmotif or not is unclear, as it might be tracked.
Since the High Fells of Rhudaur were originally supposed to appear in An Unexpected Journey, one of the bonus tracks, "Edge of the Wild", has the same musical idea that would later be used in conjunction with them in the following film, making the music of the High Fells technically recurring.
As with The Lord of the Rings, many soloists performed music for the three films. To support the more Dwarf-centric story, the singers of the end-credit songs were all men, compared to the female ensemble on The Lord of the Rings. This includes Neil Finn, who performed "Song of the Lonely Mountain" in An Unexpected Journey, and Ed Sheeran and Billy Boyd for following installments. Richard Armitage appears as a cast performer in the film itself. James Nesbitt also performs a song (of his own composition) in the extended edition of An Unexpected Journey and Barry Humphries performs two songs (one only in the Extended Edition).
Within the underscore, Howard Shore utilized soprano voices, featuring Clara Sanabras and Grace Davidson (who often serve as featured soloists in the live performances of his Lord of the Rings scores), often in conjunction with the music of nature or the Elves. Unlike The Lord of the Rings, no boy soprano or young girls were used in the score.
Song of the Lonely Mountain: Composed by Stephen Gallaghar and Neil Finn. Orchestrated and arranged by Victoria Kelly under the supervision of Howard Shore and performed by Neil Finn and sons and the London Metropolitan Orchestra. It is another setting of the "Misty Mountains" melody.
"I See Fire": Composed and performed by Ed Sheeran.
"The Last Goodbye": Composed by Billy Boyd. Orchestrated and arranged by Victoria Kelly under Shore's supervision. Performed by Billy Boyd and the London Metropolitan Orchestra.
Howard Shore composed "The Valley of Imladris" - a diegetic piece for lute, lyre, wood flute and harp that is performed in Rivendell, a recapitulation of a piece of music introduced in the underscore previously as Elrond rides into Rivendell to meet the Dwarves. Shore also composed the horn-call at the end of Battle of the Five Armies, which is in fact a statement of the Erebor theme. Other sound effects used in Mirkwood and the Treasure Hoard scene, while non-diegetic, were performed by the orchestra and feature on the album.[note 4]
Other diegetic music was composed by The Elvish Impersonators, Stephen Gallaghar and members of the cast, including the aforementioned source songs and a "trumpet fanfare" that sends the Dwarves off to the Mountain. The melody of the "Misty Mountains" song goes on to feature in the underscore.
As with The Lord of the Rings, Shore used an immense ensemble, including a large symphony orchestra of 94 to 96-piece; SATBB and boy choirs and featured vocal soloists; additional instruments to augment the orchestra in select passages, and onstage instrumental "bands" - overall over 300-pieces are used.
Plan 9's diegetic music utilized a serpent, alphorn and straight bugle (for the Laketown trumpet fanfare), a bowed banjo and spoons and handclapping (Blunt the Knives). A variation of the Laketown theme used for the behind-the-scenes material might have utilized cornetts.
Shore composed the music for the announcment trailer to the first film, but further trailer music written for the film and the following two - which was written by Audiomachine in the vein of Shore's music - utilized a doubled brass section and added cello parts, as well as various percussion and string instruments (such as sitars and mountain dulcimers).
An Unexpected Journey was recorded at Abbey Road Studios with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, with Howard Shore orchestrating and conducting. The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies, however, were recorded by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in the Wellington Town Hall, as was the case of the early parts of The Fellowship of the Ring. The orchestra was conducted by Conrad Pope who, along with James Sizemore, did the orchestrations based on mock-ups and detailed sketches handed over from Shore. The London Voices and London Tiffin' Boys choir provided the choral and soloist parts for all films. Several of the end credits songs were orchestrated by Victoria Kelly (under Shore's supervision) and performed by the London Metropolitan Orchestra, conducted by Robert Ziegler. The London Voices, boy choir and Metropolitan Orchestra were recorded at Abbey Road and AIR Lyndhurst.
In The Lord of the Rings original soundtrack releases, several pieces of music have been edited out of their film order so as to create a concert-like program, with concert suites of various themes. With The Hobbit, the original release has been expanded and features most of the music from the film in its chronological order. However, several pieces of music were edited or even conceived as concert suites:
"Dreaming of Bag End" (Bilbo's Baggins/Took themes)
"A Very Respectable Hobbit" (Bilbo's Adventure, Baggins and Fussy themes)
"Erebor" (The secondary company theme)
"The Dwarf Lords"
"Beyond the Forest" (The various Woodland Realm themes)
"Ironfoot" (Dain's theme and the new Laketown material)
"The Hobbit in Four Movements" is a symphony program constructed from "A Very Respectable Hobbit", "Beyond the Forest", "Smaug" and "Ironfoot".
Soundtracks for The Hobbit have been released in an extended, two-disc form, offering over two hours of music each and liner notes by Doug Adams. The music is, for the most part, presented as it is in the film and by the film order, but some pieces were re-edited to augment the listening experience into something more akin of a concert program. The recording is nevertheless incomplete, especially given alternate music used in some of the film scenes,[note 8] although fans have since unearthed much of it and a rarities CD is attached to the upcoming book. The music for the trailer of An Unexpected Journey was released for free by New Line.
The soundtrack album for An Unexpected Journey was released on 11 December 2012. It has been released in both Standard Edition and Special Edition, with both coming in a 2-disc format. The Geeks of Doom commented that Shore, who recorded the soundtrack at Abbey Road Studios and AIR Lyndhurst in London, 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".
The soundtrack was performed by the London Philharmonic orchestra, London Voices and Tiffin' boy choir, as well as featured vocal and instrumental soloists, namely soprano Clara Sanabras, Richard Armitage as a cast performer and Neil Finn for the end credits song.
The full score was nominated at the 11th Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards, and "Song of the Lonely Mountain" received a nomination for the Houston Film Critics Society Awards.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.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. In 2013, the score for 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 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. The scoring process was documented in an hour-long feature of the behind-the-scenes footage of the film..
The soundtrack was orchestrated by Conrad Pope and James Sizemore, with Conrad conducting the orchestra. It was performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Wellington University Gamelan Orchestra, London Voices and Tiffin' boy choir, as well as featured vocal and instrumental soloists, namely soprano Grace Davidson and singer Ed Sheeran. The latter's Song, "I See Fire", was released as a single.
The soundtrack album for The Battle of the Five Armies was released on 8 December 2014. Both a Standard Edition and a Special Edition were released. The score was performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Wellington University Gamelan Orchestra as it was for The Desolation of Smaug. The London Voices and soprano Grace Davidson provided the vocal performances. For the song, Billy Boyd, who played Peregrin Took in The Lord of the Rings, wrote and recorded the song "The Last Goodbye".
^For comparison, John Williams' 16-hour composition to Star Wars contains just over fifty leitmotifs.
^Mikko Ojala notes the two instances. He stressed elsewhere that the initial Elvish Blades composition is not part of the Dwarves in-Exile motif that precedes it in the Troll Hoard.
^Ojala points out that "Interestingly this music is combined often with a rhythmic string pattern to represent the dragon-sickness." Doug Adams explains in the liner notes: "the heaving furnace-like chords that once breathed fire into Smaug's bellows are now inlaid with dissonant string pulsations[...]and the melody line is rendered with queasy microtonal colorations."
^The sound effects of the Treasure Hoard utilize a Gamelan Orchestra, Tibetan Singing Bowls, Shakuhachi, Gongs and a Tanpura, echoing the rattling jewels.
In Mirkwood, the effects include thumping heartbeats on timpani and sounds of bowed and struck string instruments, waterphones, bowls and gongs.
^Oscar Gimenez mentions the sound of Kouxian being used.
^The transceleste is a xylophone-like instrument of hollow metal bars that are tuned to the Indian microtonal shruti scale.
^A harpsichord was also recorded and tested, but the composer and filmmakers opted for the clavichord.
^There are even alternates between the standard and extended editions of the soundtrack, with some material appearing only on the standard soundtrack and some - only on the extended version.
^According to Doug Adams: "claiming that the AUJ passage "is the House of Durin" theme is categorically incorrect. The line is related to both Durin and the Ring--more the latter than the former--but it is also its own thing."
^Howard Shore stated: "Mines of Moria and Dwarrowdelf.[...]In An Unexpected Journey I did make references to that. If you look at the arrival of dwarves, you'll hear little fragments of that."
^Doug Adams comments: " was meant to play a larger role overall[...]This was sort of a quest theme[...]and as such it functioned similarly to Misty Mountains" and notes at least one appearance at ""Roast Mutton" at 2:07."
^It is the motif mentioned by Mikko Ojala: "the wizard's question is soon answered by the muscular canter of a new motif (3:14)[...] the score leaping into a martial march for brass, percussion and strings, a rare display of aggression in the elven music of Rivendell. "
^Doug Adams says: "As far as the Fussy theme goes, it departs as Bilbo changes. [...]But, he also gains a new theme that replaces it."
^Doug Adams mentioned this theme as the parallel of the later Dwarvish Warriors theme. SoundCast Podcast, episode 78. It is the theme that Faleel, in his breakdown of the score, calls "Dwarves vs Elves"
^Adams clarifies: "Legolas' theme is the uptempo version of Woodland Realm where the Phrygian melodic line is played over major harmonies!"
^According to Doug's liner notes: "the themes associated with Azog, Bolg, and the Hill of Dark Sorcery expand their rotting influence. "
^In The Battle of the Five Armies, Gandalf says:
"The Dwarves were never meant to reach Erebor. Azog the defiler was sent to kill them. His master seeks control of the mountain[...]this is the gateway to reclaiming the lands of Angmar in the North. If that fell kingdom should rise again, Rivendell, Lorien, The Shire, even Gondor itself, will fall." The line is distilled from the Appendix "Durin's Folk" from "The Lord of the Rings": "When you think of the great Battle of the Pelennor, do not forget the great battles in Dale and the valour of Durin's folk. Think of what might have been." The appendix itself is an abridged form of a chapter from Return of the King that ended up as the "Quest of Erebor" under the "Unfinished Tales" which also reads: "Did not the recovery of the Kingship under the Mountain, and the fall of Smaug, begin there? Not to mention the end of Barad-dûr, though both were strangely woven together.[...]How could the Ringbearer have escaped, if there had been no Lórien or Rivendell?"
^This technique is also used by Shore when he uses the Fellowship theme for the Host of the Eldar. Seeing as how strong the "Fellowship theme" is associated with ideas of companionship, Shore extrapolated it once from its narrow meaning (which pertains strictly to the Nine Walkers) to a broader use.
^Faleel mentions this in a list of new motifs (some dubious) which he composed.
^Due to the inclusion of a drumkit, the score features a variety of cymbals such as a sizzle cymbal, a splash cymbal, an upturned cymbal and a drilled cymbal. For Mirkwood, one of the effects was achieved by two players bowing a spiral-shaped trash cymbal.
^The liner notes denote a bass oboe, but according to Radio New Zealand, the only available instrument of this sort is a heckelphone.
^As with the music of the Lord of the Rings, much of the Dwarvish music is sung entirely in the basso profundo register (D2) although several sections call for the "lowest note" possible, potentially reaching the range of the russian base.
^The live performance of Song of the Lonely Mountain in the Hobbit Premiere featured an electric guitar.
^Conrad and Sizemore's orchestrations were supervised by Shore and based on his detailed sketches and orchestral mock-ups. According to the documentary as well as Doug Adams, the reason for the change in orchestration duties was to accommodate the faster post-production process on the later two films.
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