The Road Goes Ever On

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by Alison

Road Goes Ever On (audio)

Road Goes Ever On (score)

To bring together Tolkien and some of the present day themes we’ve been discussing in class, I chose to write a short piece of violin music to accompany one of Tolkien’s better known poems—“The Road Goes Ever On.” I find this short verse to be very relevant to several of our themes, but the most obvious would be “leave-taking”, which is the idea that our lives are a journey. The “road” that is to be followed is our life journey, and though we may not know where the road is leading us, we have to follow it. Another theme that, once I thought about it, really seemed to fit was the idea of a bigger cosmos; that we are all part of something larger than ourselves. The last couple of lines especially illustrate this theme, when the road joins other roads “where many paths and errands meet.” Musically, I tried to interpret the idea of the journey by using unexpected melodies, sudden shifts in mood or tempo. The two intertwining melodies show the interaction of multiple “roads”, and the unison parts hint at a joining into one road.

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