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Middle-earth Minstrel

Happy birthday to lovefromgirl and emerdavid. May you both enjoy many happy returns of the day!

I see that Middle-earth Minstrel: Essays on Music in Tolkien (edited by Bradford Lee Eden for McFarland, 2010) is now available for pre-order. I'm pleased to have an essay in this collection. The cover art is quite striking, I think; it features a 13th-century manuscript of a traditional English song, “Sumer is icumen in." Here is the publisher’s description of the collection:

The twentieth century witnessed the dramatic rise of fantasy writing, but few works are as popular or enduring as the novels of J.R.R. Tolkien. Surprisingly, little critical attention has been paid to the presence of music in his novels. This collection of essays explores the multitude of musical-literary allusions and themes intertwined throughout Tolkien’s body of work. Of particular interest is Tolkien’s scholarly work with medieval music and its presentation and performance practice, as well as musical influences from his Victorian/Edwardian background. Discographies of Tolkien-influenced music of the 20th and 21st centuries are included.

Here is the Table of Contents of Middle-earth Minstrel:

Introduction, Bradford Lee Eden
Horns of Dawn: The Tradition of Alliterative Verse in Rohan, Jason Fisher
“Inside a Song”: Tolkien’s Phonaesthetics, John R. Holmes
Ǽfre me strongode longað: Songs of Exile in the Mortal Realms, Peter Wilkin
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Fortunate Rhythm, Darielle Richards
Tolkien’s Unfinished “Lay of Lúthien” and the Middle English Sir Orfeo, Deanna Delmar Evans
Strains of Elvish Song and Voices: Victorian Medievalism, Music, and Tolkien, Bradford Lee Eden
Dissonance in the Divine Theme: The Issue of Free Will in Tolkien’s Silmarillion, Keith W. Jensen
“Worthy of a Song”: Memory, Mortality and Music, Amy M. Amendt-Raduege
“Tolkien is the Wind and the Way”: The Educational Value of Tolkien-Inspired World Music, Amy H. Sturgis
Liquid Tolkien: Tolkien, Middle-earth, and More Music, David Bratman
Performance Art in a Tunnel: A Musical Sub-Creator in the Tradition of Tolkien, Anthony S. Burdge

I've got no use for dragons. I've got no use for swords.
I'll never make a wordy toast to a table full of lords.
Of pearls and opals give me none, of rubies red as fire,
The beer at The Prancing Pony Inn is all that I desire.

- from "The King's Beer" by Glass Hammer


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 9th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
it's finally here! Something to combine my extreme tolkien nerd-dom with my music theorist nerd-dom!
Mar. 10th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
Yay! :) I'm so glad it's of interest.

Edited at 2010-03-10 03:03 pm (UTC)
Mar. 9th, 2010 04:45 pm (UTC)
We don't have that song, anymore, in our tradition. Now we sing "Wyntr is a-comin-in and we loudlie say Damm"
Mar. 10th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
Mar. 12th, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
Ooh, that book is going on my wishlist right now! :~)
Mar. 16th, 2010 12:36 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks! My chapter ended up changing radically in the eleventh hour; it was very text-specific, discussing among other things how I use the analysis of certain lyrics to teach Tolkien. Right before publication the publisher decided not to include "fair use" quotes, so what was quite specific became much broader and more general. Such is life. I hope the chapter is still useful, though!
Mar. 16th, 2010 05:16 pm (UTC)
Aww, that's a bummer. I'm sure it will still be interesting though.
Mar. 17th, 2010 01:26 pm (UTC)
Yes, a bummer. Thanks for the kind words, though!
Mar. 14th, 2010 05:10 am (UTC)
Re: Middle-Earth Minstrel
Great, another book I have to buy now! :) Any idea whether there will be an ebook edition?

Mar. 16th, 2010 12:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Middle-Earth Minstrel
Thank you! At this point I haven't heard about plans for an ebook version, but I'll be sure to post if this changes.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )