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Song for the White Rider, by Shirley Starke (San Diego: T.B. Thomassen, 1991)

Reprinted from the website of

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:

A Song Cycle for Harp and Voice, October 20, 2002
Reviewer: A reader
Song for the White Rider is a cycle of 12 songs for harp and voice, based on The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. It tells the story of the Battle of the Peak and Gandalf's return as the White Rider.

Each of the songs is complete in itself, but the ending of each song is a bridge to the next. The cycle is best played as an unbroken unit, and takes about 30 minutes to perform.

The songs are written in medieval modes - Aeolian (which is the same as relative minor), Dorian, Phrygian, and Lydian. Key signatures range from two sharps to one flat, but the levers are set at the beginning of the piece so that it can be played through with no required lever changes and a few optional ones.

The melodies are lovely. The arrangments are easy enough so it can be played and sung at the same time, or it could be adapted as a harp solo by a more experienced harpist, simply by playing all three staves (melody and two harp staves).

The piece is extremely moving, especially near the end, when it shifts to the triumphant "Song for the White Rider." It never fails to give me shivers up the spine! A must for any Tolkien fan who plays the lever harp.

This piece is also described in Chris Seeman's Tolkien Discography and on the website of Valkyrie Publications.


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